Contemporary Art Centre

I was introduced to the Contemporary Art Society of Vancouver by Centre A, the Vancouver International Centre for Contemporary Asian Art. The members of the Contemporary Art Society Board were exploring ideas about what they could do and where they could go. I offered to host a conversation to imagine and create the story.

I asked participants to come prepared to  contribute their interests and ideas and sent everyone my observations to kick-start our thinking to explore where we had some thinking in common and perhaps to excite some ideas and opportunities that could kick our thinking a little out of the box.

Creating our Story
Contemporary Art Society of Vancouver
For creative conversation – July 11, 2010

Our story communicates our interests, role, and contribution as an enterprise. Exploring who we are, what we do, and how we contribute, – and who we would like to be, what we would like to do, and how we would like to contribute is how create our story.

Creating our story is how we imagine our enterprise. We create our enterprise by exploring, imagining, and creating our story.

The interests and ideas we imagine for ourselves create our individual story and enterprise. The interests and ideas we imagine for our communities create our community story and enterprise, – whether we are a community of two or a community for gain or a community for contribution or a sustainable community, – and regardless of the interests we have in common that create our community.

We each have our personal interests, observations, and ideas to contribute to imagining and creating the future for the Contemporary Art Society of Vancouver.

Creative conversation is an exploration and imagining of who we are and who we like to be and the exploration of how and what we contribute and how and what we would like to contribute. These are some questions to explore and consider for our conversation.

What are our interests?
What interests do we contribute to?
Whose interests do we contribute to?

What do we do?
What are we doing?
How does it contribute to our interests?
What does it contribute to our interests?
How do we measure our contribution?
How well are we doing?

What are we interested in doing?
What interests would we like to contribute to?
What resources, relationships, and opportunities do we have?
What could we do to increase our contribution and our ability to contribute?
What opportunities would we like to pursue?

My role is to moderate our conversation around these questions and your ideas. My personal interests are to explore ideas and excite interest in opportunities that contribute to establishing Vancouver as a centre for the arts and to increasing our understanding and appreciation of the contribution of contemporary art and artists to our thinking, our creativity, and our culture.

Where we are now

This is my understanding of our interests, what we do, and how we contribute based on what I learned online.

Our interests

Increase understanding and appreciation for the contribution of twentieth century art and contemporary art practices
Contribute to Vancouver’s cultural environment

Our role

Create learning opportunities for people with an interest in contemporary art
Increase awareness of the opportunities to experience contemporary art in Vancouver.
Create conversation around our understanding of contemporary art.
Create connections and relationships with contributors to the contemporary art scene in Vancouver
Contribute to creating more equal representation of both male and female artists in commercial galleries and museum and institutional exhibitions and collections.

Our contributions

Create opportunities to attend lectures by prominent artists, critics, collectors, designers, architects and fine art professionals and contributors from North America and abroad
Create opportunities for conversation with speakers and other art professionals and enthusiasts in private homes and galleries
Create opportunities to visit and meet local artists and see how they work in their studios
Create opportunities to travel to other communities to explore and enjoy contemporary art
Organize private and public collection tours
Provide access to special events in local galleries and museums
Publish a newsletter
Contribute to a scholarship for an Emily Carr College of Art and Design art student
Create global conversations

Our resources

The communities of interest we represent.
Our contributions
Our membership

Our relationships

CCA Wattis Institute for Contemporary Arts
Charles H. Scott Gallery
Contemporary Art Gallery
Ikon Gallery
Morris and Helen Belkin Gallery
New Museum of Contemporary Art
Presentation House Gallery
SITE Santa Fe 2008 Biennial
Vancouver Art Gallery
Western Front
Whitney Museum of American Art


The question our story raises for me is whether the Society is a community of interest, represents a community of interest, contributes to a community of interest, or contributes to creating a community of interest. Does the Society have an opportunity to create community around Vancouver’s contribution to the world of contemporary art?

What happened

The conversation excited my interest in the idea of creating a learning centre for contemporary art as a creative community enterprise to give our world the opportunity to explore the art and artists of our time, and our contemporary artists the opportunity to create connections with and increase their contribution to our community of common interest. I registered that afternoon in preparation for the next conversation.

Contemporary Arts Society of Vancouver