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Contemporary Art Gallery

555 Nelson Street
Vancouver, Canada
Open from Tuesday to
Sunday 12 pm → 6 pm

Admission always free
29 Apr 17·12:00 PMuntil3:00 PM


Derya Akay: Exploring Syrian Cuisine

Offsite at Burrard Marina Field House

A salad in a big blue bowl, a bottle of olive oil, and various other plates are placed on a table.

Photo: Michelle Martin

Join artist Derya Akay, Hayat Shabo and her daughter Carmen Aldakhlallah of Tayybeh as they explore Syrian cuisine.

Hayat Shabo, a chef originating from Damascus, and her daughter Carmen Aldakhlallah will discuss traditional Syrian dishes while demonstrating how to prepare kibbeh, minced meat, onion and bulgur balls. All participants are welcome to try their hand at making kibbeh under Hayat’s guidance. Over the afternoon there will be opportunities to taste a range of Syrian recipes and share stories about food traditions.

This event is presented in collaboration with Tayybeh, a nascent organization that aims to support Syrian women in Vancouver by organizing community-based dining experiences. By showcasing beautiful and authentic dishes from their hometowns in Syria, the women of Tayybeh have access to an income and financial independence. Working together, they build connections with other women and interact with the communities they live in. All while doing something they love: cooking.

The word “tayybeh” in Arabic is the feminine construction that means “kind”, and in the colloquial Levantine dialect means “delicious.”

The Contemporary Art Gallery welcomes Vancouver-based artist Derya Akay as the Burrard Marina Field House resident this spring. Expanding on recent projects, Akay is collaborating with women elders from a range of cultural backgrounds to explore and share local and diasporic culinary traditions through a series of workshops and meals. This convivial partaking of food is a gateway to oral history, which Akay understands as both storytelling and the sensations and memories summoned through communal eating.


Derya Akay (b, 1988, Istanbul, Turkey) is an artist living in Vancouver. Recent solo exhibitions include Campbell River Art Gallery, 2017; Del Vaz Projects, Los Angeles, California, 2017; Painting with Light, Kunstverein Toronto, 2015; Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner & Supper, Centre A, Vancouver, 2014. He received the 2016 Portfolio Prize Emerging Artist Award, Vancouver, and was shortlisted for the 2015 RBC Emerging Artists People’s Choice Award at the Gardiner Museum in Toronto. Recent and upcoming group exhibitions include Ambivalent Pleasures, Vancouver Art Gallery, 2016; Geometry of Knowing Part I, Simon Fraser University Gallery, Vancouver, 2015.

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