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Contemporary Art Gallery

555 Nelson Street

Vancouver, Canada
Admission always free

Today's Hours
12 pm - 6 pm

CAG believes in the vital work of contemporary art and artists in moving us toward a freer, more engaged world.

Mission

Artist-driven and audience-centred, CAG champions art and ideas that invite us to transcend the familiar, reimagine the possible, and explore new ways of understanding ourselves, one another and the worlds around us.

Values

Open: We believe we are at our best when we are in active dialogue. In everything we do, we strive to operate in open, attuned and accountable ways.

Responsive: We believe in responding meaningfully to the conditions of our times. We embrace new ideas, new approaches and an ongoing commitment to learning, change and growth.

Connective: We believe in the power of creative exchange and collective engagement. We aim to operate as a threshold, bridging artists and communities, people and ideas, the local and global.

Engaged: We believe that our work is most effective when grounded in an ever-evolving understanding of Vancouver and the ancestral and unceded territories of the xʷməθkʷəy̓əm, Sḵwx̱wú7mesh and səlilwətaɬ nations on which it is situated. We anchor our work in a commitment to this city, its many histories and the current realities that shape it.

Equitable: We believe that our vision cannot be meaningfully realized without confronting white supremacy, colonialism, ableism, and other systems of privilege and oppression within our institution and the communities we operate in. We are committed to addressing these systems at all levels of our organization, including staffing, policy, programming, visitor experience, and partnerships.

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Land

At the Contemporary Art Gallery, we carry out our work on the ancestral and unceded lands of the xʷməθkʷəy̓əm (Musqueam), Sḵwx̱wú7mesh (Squamish) and səlilwətaɬ (Tsleil-Waututh) Nations. We are engaged in an active learning process about our responsibilities to the stewards of the land we occupy.

Funding

The Contemporary Art Gallery is a registered charity. Alongside essential support from individuals, corporations, community partners, and foundations, our programs are supported by the Canada Council for the Arts, the Province of BC (through the BC Arts Council and BC Gaming Policy and Enforcement Branch), and the City of Vancouver.

Everything we do — exhibitions, events, outreach and community engagement programs — is free of charge. All revenue generated by our fundraising efforts and shop sales is reinvested into our programming.

If you would like to support us by making a donation, sponsoring a program, becoming a member, or planning a legacy gift, please visit our Support section or contact our Development team at development@cagvancouver.org for more details.

Thanks to our funders

History

The Contemporary Art Gallery (CAG) is the longest-standing independent public gallery in Vancouver dedicated to contemporary art. Originally established in 1971 as the Greater Vancouver Artist’s Gallery, the organization administered a federal employment program from 1972 to 1978 with the support of the Social Planning Department of the City of Vancouver, hiring local artists for six month periods to produce art for exhibition, which was subsequently accessioned into the City of Vancouver Art Collection. The organization was incorporated as a charitable society in 1976 and renamed the Contemporary Art Gallery in 1983. The following year, CAG adopted the mandate of an artist-run centre, showcasing the work of local artists in dialogue with national and international peers.

In 1996, CAG’s mandate evolved to that of a non-collecting public gallery. With no mid-sized independent public gallery in Vancouver at the time, CAG sought to occupy a vital role in the cultural ecology of British Columbia: an artist-focused, audience-centered institution, one positioned between the artist-run centre and major museum. Operating as a threshold between Vancouver and broader contexts nationally and internationally, the organization has come to be widely recognized for providing landmark early exhibitions to many of the city’s best-known contemporary artists, while introducing local audiences to the work of significant practitioners from across the country and around the world.

First established in 1971 as the Greater Vancouver Artist’s Gallery, the organization offered new federal employment programs for artists, following the desire of the Social Planning Department of the City of Vancouver to make use of the large artistic talent available within the city. From 1971 to 1978, artists were hired for six month periods to produce art for exhibition at the gallery and for inclusion into the City of Vancouver Art Collection.

In 1976 the organization was incorporated as a non-profit charitable society. In 1983 it was renamed the Contemporary Art Gallery and the following year became an artist-run centre, widely recognized for providing the first ever solo exhibitions of many of Vancouver’s now well-known artists.

Since 1996 CAG has been an independent public art gallery, recognized as a key contributor towards the cultural provision of Vancouver and as a major advocate for the artistic brand of the city both nationally and internationally.

In 2001, CAG moved from its longstanding home on Hamilton Street to a new purpose-built facility, where it remains today. Construction was made possible through the City of Vancouver Bonus Amenity Program in cooperation with Bosa Ventures Inc. The building was awarded an AIBC Architectural Award of Excellence, Lieutenant Governor Medal in 2002.

More information

To find out more about CAG, please contact us 
at +1 604 681 2700 or email contact@cagvancouver.org.

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