Arts and culture are integral to a city’s distinct personality and flair, which is why we're committed to connecting locals with their civic spaces through programming, events and partnerships.
Vancouver Civic Theatres looks to use its venues as gallery space to provide an opportunity for local visual artists and arts organizations to exhibit their work. These artists are selected through a call and jury process which occurs annually. The artists range from emerging and mid-career to more established artists. Our intention is for both artists and visitors to experience and share in the work, using art as a catalyst for individual and community engagement.
Exhibitions will be available for viewing during show times for ticket holders. There will also be opportunities to view the exhibitions without a ticket through our seasonal Visual Arts Open House. Open House dates and information will be listed below once available.
Family Day + Visual Arts Open House: Saturday, February 17, 2024, 10:00 am – 1:00 pm
Applications for 2024 exhibition slots in the lobbies of the Queen Elizabeth Theatre are now closed.
Check back next spring for the 2025 Call for Artists.
Winter Exhibition in the Queen Elizabeth Theatre Lobbies
January 2024 to March 2024
Hoda Mir – Unity & Equality
Hoda Mir’s Unity & Equality collection was inspired by the romantic epic Seven Domes, written in 1197 by Persian poet Nezami. The poem consists of seven tales where Bahram, the king of Iran, sends for seven princesses from seven different territories, and builds a palace containing seven domes; each dedicated to one day of the week, governed by the day’s planet, and bearing its emblematic color. Bahram visits each dome in turn, and listens to each woman tell a symbolic story.
For the artist the most intriguing aspect of this symbolic story is the importance of cultural unity and equality, which her homeland has lost since the revolution.
Her intention as an immigrant artist is to demonstrate how injustice can affect people's lives and how beautiful and peaceful the world would be if equality existed everywhere.
Shannon Pawliw - Weavings and Water
In the exhibition Weavings and Water, the artist delves into the nuanced relationship between structure and fluidity, utilizing the canvas as an arena for creative experimentation. The collection features a series of paintings that seamlessly integrate intricate, grid-like patterns with expressive, organic strokes, inviting spectators into a dialogue between order and spontaneity.
The woven grid is a metaphorical loom, where colours intertwine to create a visual tapestry that transcends conventional boundaries. Each brushstroke functions as a thread, meticulously placed yet granted the freedom to move within the confines of the canvas.
Conversely, the more expressive paintings evoke the unrestrained spirit of water, unbound by the constraints of a rigid structure. These works flow and ripple with a liberated sense of movement. The contrast of these two approaches mirrors the inherent duality of existence—order and chaos, structure and spontaneity.
Winter Exhibition in the ANNEX
January 2024 to April 2024
Jayeson Lyonns - XIII
XIII. is an exhibition based on the tarot in its many forms. For centuries, enthusiasts have taken the imagery associated with tarot cards and drawn deep symbolism from the various forms to a degree that readings of these artworks can have a direct and sometimes polarising effect. Originally, the tarot were hand-painted collections, eventually brought to the masses with the development of wood-block prints. This exhibition combines the two approaches to create a unique and historic tribute to the original collected forms of the tarot. The figures used are drawn from parables and the designs are inspired by local surroundings. As in most artwork, and especially the tarot, the interpretation can be very personal, perhaps particularly so with the artwork titled XIII, or The Card That Has No Name.
Vancouver Community College - Jewellery Art and Design Graduates exhibit
Queen Elizabeth Theatre - Balcony Lobby
VCT’s creative spaces showcase and empower local artists and artist collectives by providing accessible and high impact gallery spaces. VCT’s partnership with the Vancouver Community College allows graduates of the Jewellery Art and Design program to display their award-winning work on the balcony level of the Queen Elizabeth Theatre lobby.
The current exhibition features work from Sardaana Alaas, Dafne Avendaño Pérez, and Pascale Laforge.
Arts Umbrella - Gallery for Young Artists
Vancouver Playhouse Lobby
VCT proudly celebrates the work of young artists enrolled in the Arts Umbrella Foundation Program. The Foundation Program provides a multi-disciplinary experience for students aged 7-12 with an emerging interest in Art and Design. The students are exposed to many creative disciplines throughout the yearlong program, where they are able to experiment with new forms of working.
VCT’s partnership with Arts Umbrella brings local young artists to the forefront of the artistic community by displaying the students’ year-end pieces in the lively lobbies of the Vancouver Playhouse.
Arts Umbrella’s Foundation Program is generously supported by the Poseley Family.
Over the course of two years, Platforms: Nine Places for Seeing will be showcased on multiple public platforms throughout the city and will present new works regularly.
It will feature newly commissioned works by 21 local xʷməθkʷəy̓əm (Musqueam), sḵwx̱wú7mesh (Squamish), səlilwətaɬ (Tsleil-Waututh), and urban Indigenous artists.
We are proud to host three of the artists, Olivia George on the Queen Elizabeth Theatre windows, Atheana Picha on the Vancouver Playhouse windows and Aaron Nelson-Moody on the šxʷƛ̓exən Xwtl’a7shn lightbox.
For more info go to: Nine Places for Seeing