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Contemporary Art Gallery

555 Nelson Street
Vancouver, Canada
Closed for installation
until June 7, 2024

Admission always free
21 Nov 23·7:30 PM

Timelines Talk

Khelsilem & Vanessa Richards

The Birdhouse, 44 West 4th Avenue

Portraits of Khelsilem and Vanessa Richards

Portraits of Khelsilem (Photo: Rick Etkin) and Vanessa Richards


CAG is pleased to welcome Khelsilem and Vanessa Richards to present “Legends of Vancouver,” the first event in the gallery’s Timelines Talks series.

The history of Vancouver shapes the future of Vancouver. First called Granville, but popularly known as Gastown, then officially Vancouver, this city has a significant history, especially from the perspective of the Squamish People who have called this area home for thousands of years. Join Indigenous community leader Khelsilem from the Squamish Nation with transdisciplinary artist and facilitator Vanessa Richards in a fireside chat to reflect on the stories of Vancouver’s history, including legendary people and places. Khelsilem will share stories handed down or researched by them over the years in a reflection of what history means for the future of Vancouver.

Timelines Talks is a series of talks and conversations that invite open reflection on the future of “Vancouver.” Programmed as part of the gallery’s forthcoming Timelines project — which welcomes fifty artists, activists, community leaders, and other thinkers to speak to the social and cultural histories that have shaped the city over the past five decades — these talks look toward the questions set to shape the next fifty years.


This event is free; advanced registration is required. RSVP to secure your seat here


This event is held in a ground floor space with a wheelchair-accessible entrance/exit. There are no stairs or steps to navigate the venue. ASL interpretation will be provided.

All attendees are asked to wear masks for this event. Disposable masks will be available at the door. Please contact for more information.


Khelsilem is a prominent Indigenous leader and current Chairperson of the Sḵwx̱wú7mesh Úxwumixw (Squamish Nation). First elected to Council in 2017, Chairperson Khelsilem was an official Spokesperson and active in leading work on various projects and initiatives, including developing an affordable housing not-for-profit that is building 1,000 units of subsidized affordable homes and the 6,000-market apartment development at his Nation’s Sen̓áḵw lands, the largest Indigenous housing development in Canadian history. Chairperson Khelsilem’s lifelong work has focused on progressive social change, including climate justice, social democracy and gender equity. Chairperson Khelsilem brought this passion for change when he became leader of the Sḵwx̱wú7mesh Úxwumixw (Squamish Nation) in 2021. Chairperson Khelsilem has been a strong advocate for democratic reform, good governance, and policy change that addresses the material needs & conditions of his people.

Vanessa Richards works as a transdisciplinary artist and facilitator. She brings this practice to her work in education, social enterprise, and culture moving in solidarity towards a just, joyful and liberated life for a right-relationship with each other and the living Earth.