John Wood and Paul Harrison, installation view from ‘I DIDN’T KNOW I DIDN’T KNOW IT’, Contemporary Art Gallery, February 12 – April 24, 2016. Photography by SITE Photography

2019 Spring Appeal: Can we talk about something difficult?

Aslan Gaisumov, 'People of No Consequence', 2016, installation view from 'If No One Asks', Contemporary Art Gallery, Vancouver, January 18 – March 24, 2019. Photography by SITE Photography

Today we live in a world where many things are uncertain, with new challenges emerging to be faced by future generations.

Historic support has helped CAG provide a safe setting, a space for dialogue to engage with difficult issues as we grapple with such complexities. Through contemporary art, you can directly participate in and support stimulating but much-needed exchange, bringing to light alternative viewpoints and histories, and through your contribution and attendance, develop new insight into the urgent issues facing our societies today. We write to you today and throughout May, to ask you to contribute to our annual appeal.

Your gift can reinterpret and rewrite histories

Our Canadian history, like so many other nations, contains moments considered unacceptable from a contemporary standpoint. Many issues from past actions continue to remain unresolved, so how can you contribute to this essential conversation? CAG has never shied away from dealing with difficult histories. By supporting exhibitions with artists such as Lawrence Paul Yuxweluptun, Gordon Bennett or more recently Aslan Gaisumov’s compelling, People of no consequence, through your generous donations you prompt audiences to consider how communities have been marginalized, connecting our local histories to those globally felt issues that are being addressed as part of our progressive societies. Will you contribute to tackling these issues for future generations by making a contribution to support future exhibitions?

Deanna Bowen, installation view from ‘A Harlem Nocturne’, Contemporary Art Gallery, April 5 – June 16, 2019. Photography by SITE Photography

Your support can help promote empathy and understanding between communities

CAG has consistently worked with artists reflecting and representing our various communities, including presentations by Jeneen Frei Njootli and Rabih Mroué, and your support is crucial in providing a platform for these essential stories to be shared. A Harlem Nocturne, our current exhibition with artist Deanna Bowen, examines Vancouver’s cultural past by asking questions about the dialogue surrounding Black Canadian experience. She revisits an often painful history revealing people and places that were highly visible—both in terms of admiration and vilification—yet whose current experiences are overlooked today. Will you help reclaim our diverse histories by making a gift today?

Unveiling of Simon Fraser Monument, 1911. Image courtesy New Westminster Archives

Your generosity can facilitate necessary reflection

Through participation in public programming you can view your world differently. Artists in CAG’s residency program such as Keg de Souza or Broken City Lab have consistently examined issues present in local histories, conditions and places. Since 2015, artist Maddie Leach has been working in New Westminster, with particular reference to the changing status and fortune of the Simon Fraser monument. Lowering Simon Fraser is the culmination of her local research exploring how once celebratory civic forms can shift meaning over time and turn toward indifference and discomfort. Today, you can make a gift to ensure this forthcoming program is presented to new audiences off-site. Can you boldly support artists who explore our difficult past for our future benefit?
We are asking you today to make a financial contribution of your choice towards our annual goal of $60,000. Donations can be made online, via Canada Helps or by calling us directly at +1 604 681 2700.

The Contemporary Art Gallery has the capacity and networks to deftly present exhibitions and public programming raising questions that face our society today. You enable progressive conversations to happen contributing to benefit an active and healthy society. However we rely on the generosity of you – our members, donors and greater community – in order to achieve this. Your donation today will allow programming that engages conversations concerning issues that impact us all to remain free and available to everyone.

Please consider making a gift to CAG today.