Proposed Arts & Culture Centre

Imagine a new Arts & Culture Centre in West Vancouver that can harmonize our existing facilities and proudly honour the rich history of West Vancouver’s internationally renowned artists.

West Vancouver has a remarkable artistic history that began in the 1930s and continues to thrive today. West Vancouver’s own B.C. Binning designed and built his home with his wife Jessie in 1939 on Mathers Crescent and is listed as Canada’s first modernist home. The Binning House, a National Historic site, became a cultural hub for young artists, architects and scholars of the post war period right here in West Vancouver. The Binning House connected Vancouver to the larger modernist movement happening in California, Europe and Japan. The art and architecture created in the decades that followed are a jewel in West Vancouver’s crown and should be on display for all to see. There’s a reason West Vancouver hosts the annual West Coast Modern Home Tour to sell-out crowds of eager design enthusiasts. Even the realtors get it. Arthur Erickson and Geoffrey Massey designed an internationally celebrated house and studio for renowned West Vancouver resident Gordon Smith who became friends with West Vancouver artist and resident Douglas Coupland who has become a household name. These creators and innovators have shaped the culture of the community, region and country — it’s time West Vancouver stepped up to create a facility worthy of our global impact on art and architecture.

Some of West Vancouver’s artists past and present.

B.C. Binning

Gordon Smith

Joan Balzar

Pierre Coupey

Takao Tanabe

Douglas Coupland

Bobbie Burgers

Cori Creed

The possibility of a new Arts & Culture space on the West Van waterfront is an exciting proposition which can harmonize our scattered and crumbling arts facilities, Silk Purse, Music Box and the small but mighty West Van Art Museum and roll them into a single location in Ambleside. This proposed arts facility will be a site that is a public space for everyone. For the arts and culture community, it will consolidate exhibition space, rehearsal space, programs and classes, and storage. For the general public, it will be a space to experience art exhibitions, take a class, rent a venue for a private celebration, a place to enjoy a meal with friends and family, or shop for gifts. A new facility will connect the dots between the Audain Art Museum in Whistler and the Polygon Gallery in North Vancouver. The proposed location for this new facility is strikingly similar to the excellent Louisiana Museum in Denmark just outside of Copenhagen. An inspired piece of architecture on an equally stunning oceanside setting offering an impressive permanent collection, curated exhibitions, children’s programs, music and events with a fully realized cafe serving local food and drink. This is a special moment in time for West Vancouver. We have an opportunity to build on our rich cultural history that helped make West Vancouver such a remarkable place while ensuring future generations are encouraged to participate in a creative culture.

We were told, quite seriously, that there never would be a Canadian art because we had no art tradition.

– Lawren Harris

West Vancouver’s Current Arts Facilities

Scattered and crumbling, well past their due date.

Architecture Matters

Architecture not only serves the communities in which they’re built, they become destinations for tourists and their dollars.

Louisiana Museum in Denmark

An example of what’s possible for West Vancouver.

If you support a new arts and culture centre, please write a short email of support to: — Be sure to include your mailing address.

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