Kim Lee

Vancouver Art Gallery

Learn about the history of Vancouver City and its environs at the Vancouver Art Gallery. It is the most extensive museum building in the West of Canada, taking up 165,000 square feet of space.

Vancouver Art Gallery houses about 12,000 works from national and international artists. It also features a Library and an Archive.

Occasionally, the museum organizes temporary and traveling exhibits for the public. Lastly, over 600,000 tourists visit this tourist highlight every year.


Brief history of Vancouver Art Gallery

Vancouver Art Gallery was established in its old site at 1145 West Georgia Street in 1931.

In 1983, it moved to its current location at Hornby Street. The building in the present area was initially a courthouse designed by Francis Rattenbury. Before the gallery moved to the courthouse, Arthur Erickson renovated the building–and today, the century-old edifice is an impressive sight to visit.

The structure features a neoclassical architectural design with a central dome, formal porches, ionic columns, elegant stonework, and US-imported marbles.

What will I see at the Vancouver Art Gallery?

The art gallery has a compilation of artworks by Canadian and global artists, although only a few are shown to the public. They include North American photographs, Asian art pieces, West Canadian artwork, and First Nations Art.

You’ll see works from Canadian artists like Emily Carr, Michael Snow, and Group of Seven. Art pieces from indigenous Canadian artists from Nuxalk, Inuit, Hadia and Tlingit are also available.

A recent addition is the First Nations Shoes displayed at the back of the art gallery. It is a collection of hundreds of children’s shoes and toys to remember the children who faced an untimely death in Canadian residential schools in the past.

The Vancouver Art Gallery Library and Archive are concerned with modern and contemporary Canadian arts. It has over 50,000 books, documentary files, journals, subscriptions, etc.

The Archives holds records of the Art Gallery dating back to 1931.

Does Vancouver Art Gallery host events?

Yes. Festivals, performances, and even protests are always happening outside the museum at the North Plaza and the facility’s south side. Some of the events include:

  • Vancouver Thai Festival (Summer)
  • Vancouver Sun Run (Spring )
  • Summer Nights (Summer)
  • Vancouver International Jazz Festival (Summer)

What is the Vancouver Art Gallery admission fee?

The gallery’s entry prices are:

  • $24 for Adults
  • $20 for Seniors
  • $18 for Students
  • $6.50 for Children
  • Free entry for Infants 

Individuals with disabilities are also allowed into the gallery for free. The prices above are prone to change depending on your time of visit.

When should I visit the Vancouver Art Gallery?

Vancouver Art Gallery is open 365 days a year, so you can visit anytime you want. Still, Summer is an excellent time to visit because summer events always happen in the gallery.

You can also visit during temporary exhibitions to engage in art lectures and admire the exhibited art.

What are Vancouver Art Gallery’s opening hours?

Vancouver Art Gallery operates all year-round, but ensure you visit during these opening hours:

  • 10:00 am – 5:00 pm on Monday, Wednesday, Thursday, Saturday, and Sunday
  • 12:00 pm – 8:00 pm on Tuesday (admission by donation is from 5:00 pm to 8:00 pm)
  • 12:00 pm – 8:00 pm on Friday

Where is the Vancouver Art Gallery?

The gallery is at 750 Hornby St, in the hub of downtown Vancouver and within walking distance from the SkyTrain Station. It is at the intersection between Georgia, Howe, Robson, and Hornby streets.

It is accessible by car, bike, or transit.