Arts & Culture Alive in Vancouver in Spring 2020

Springtime in Vancouver is busy with festivals, events, and new exhibitions.

Here is a round-up of just some of the arts and culture happenings in Vancouver you can enjoy this spring:



Museum of Vancouver

Acts of Resistance

February 5 – July 2020

MOV’s newest feature exhibition Acts of Resistance showcases the artwork of seven indigenous artist-activists from the Pacific Northwest. The designs were hung from the Iron Workers Memorial bridge on July 8, 2018, in protest of the Trans Mountain Expansion Pipeline Project. The exhibition features all seven of the 40-foot-long streamers created for the aerial blockade. 

A Seat at the Table: Chinese Immigration to B.C.

April 2020

This exhibition will propose a framework for understanding Chinese immigration to British Columbia as a story that is local and global, historical and contemporary. Using food and restaurant culture as a narrative entry point and visual platform, the exhibition will address themes of mobility, belonging racism, agency, resilience, and reparation. A Seat at the Table’s vision and direction are guided by an advisory committee whose members represent diverse Chinese Canadian communities and regions. 

Vancouver Art Gallery

Lineages and Land Bases

Feb 22, 2020 – May 18, 2020

The artworks in lineages and land bases address differing understandings of the self and personhood in relation to nature as artists seek to represent their relationships to the world around them. At the center of the exhibition is a focused look at the life and work of two important women in British Columbia’s history: Sewiṉchelwet (Sophie Frank) (1872–1939), from the Sḵwx̱wú7mesh Úxwumixw (Squamish Nation), and Emily Carr (1871–1945), the first in her British family to be born in Canada. The two women were close contemporaries and friends for 33 years, a relationship that was undoubtedly also shaped by the profound inequalities between them resulting from colonialism. A comparison of Frank’s basketry with Carr’s late landscapes both prefigures and extends the critique of the separation of nature and culture seen elsewhere in the exhibition through artworks drawn from the Vancouver Art Gallery’s permanent collection that urge us to think anew about the meaning of the self and its ties to the non-human world. 

Shuvinai Ashoona: Mapping Worlds

Feb 22, 2020 – May 24, 2020

This exhibition brings together a selection of drawings created by the Inuk artist Shuvinai Ashoona over the past two decades. In many of her drawings, Ashoona references traditional Inuit imagery—from quotidian life to the mythic—and she is celebrated for the imaginative way she combines these and other cultural references to develop a sophisticated and highly personal iconography. Derived equally from her environment and her imagination, Ashoona’s work is fed by her fascination with horror films, comic books, and television. In this exhibition, visitors will encounter Ashoona’s wide-reaching interests that blur boundaries between the worlds of reality and fantasy, past and future. 

Bill Reid Gallery

What We Bring With Us

January 29 - April 12, 2020

The works of seven emerging Indigenous artists will be exploring the questions:

What does it mean to be a guest in this territory in relation to Indigeneity?

How do we as Indigenous artists relate to the land we occupy while also acknowledging our presence as visitors?

Cheyenne Rain LeGrande ᑭᒥᐊᐧᐣ  (Nehiyaw) Jake Kimble (Deninu K’ue) Lacie Burning (Kanien'kehá:ka, Mohawk) Maria-Margaretta (Métis) M.V. Williams (Skwxú7mesh, Wet'suwet'en) Taran Kootenhayoo (Denesułįné, Nakoda Sioux) Whess Harman (Carrier Wit’at)

These seven Indigenous artists will be creating works on the unceded territories of the Coast Salish people that are originally from outside this territory. In What We Bring With Us, the artists’ work speaks to their relationship to this land and kinship founded through displacement in works ranging from photography to performance. 


Other upcoming festivals and events to look out for this year:

Vancouver International Wine Festival: Feb 22 – March 1, 2020

Vancouver International Dance Festival: March 6 – 28, 2020

Vancouver Cherry Blossom Festival: April 2 – 26, 2020

Ignite! Festival: April 10 - 12, 2020

35th TD International Jazz Festival: June 19 – 28, 2020 & July 1, 2020