Vancouver’s Must Attend Art Events in 2011

Don’t you hate hearing about that cool event that everyone except you was at last night? Time to grab your phone and mark your calendars, because these are Vancouver’s best art events for 2011. We’ll see you there!

1. BLACK/WHITE: Art Auction 2011
Back again for 2011 is the Vancouver Art Gallery’s decadent bi-annual art auction and this year the theme is BLACK/WHITE. With personal contributions by Jeff Wall, Roy Arden and Stan Douglas, amongst others, this is a definite must attend if you can swing it. Tickets aren’t cheap so if you know someone with deep pockets mark it in their calendar for them. The more money raised, the more we can all enjoy the VAG year-round.

Date: February 19, 2011
Dress code: black-tie

2. Heffel Fine Canadian Art and Post-War & Contemporary Art Auctions
Once a year in Vancouver, Heffel holds their Canadian art auction in Vancouver. You can literally watch the Canadian art market make history and headlines before your eyes, as these auctions are full of fierce bidding and high prices. David and Robert Heffel, brothers and Vancouver natives, will make you wish it was your piece on the auction block.

Date: May 17, 2011
Dress code: business/cocktail

3. The Cheaper Show
Back for its 11th installment, the now infamous Cheaper Show will once again shake things up. With all works of art priced at $200, it’s a great opportunity for first time buyers. Full of emerging, local talent, you’ll be sure to find a piece that you love, but be prepared to wait in a line longer than at the Apple store on boxing day.  Last year we personally waited 10 hours.

Date: end of June
Dress Code: hipster/casual

4. Swarm
The Pacific Association of Artist-Run Centres will hold their annual festival, Swarm, to mark the kick-off of Vancouver’s artist-run centre programming season. Two nights full of gallery hopping, public projects, and artist collectives will leave you feeling inspired. Swarm is always a fun party and a great way to connect with our alternative art scene.  

Date: mid-September
Dress Code: anything goes

5. Splash
Arts Umbrella’s annual art auction and gala fundraising event is hard to put into words. It’s a feast for the senses, with drinks flowing and wallets open, this fabulous event raises the money needed for Arts Umbrella to stand behind their mantra of inspiring kids for life through art at their school. Splash falls on the Saturday after Thanksgiving, so you will be able to work off the extra gravy on the dance floor.     

Date: October 16, 2011
Dress Code: avant-garde

6. Eastside Culture Crawl
This jam-packed weekend in November gives you a behind the scenes look at artists and artisan’s studios and their work. With over 400 artists, and multiple buildings to hit up, this event will take some planning on your part, but it’s well worth the effort. Being ESCC veterans ourselves, we recommend you to wear comfy, waterproof shoes, a warm jacket and don’t forget your umbrella! Make sure to bring your wallet as well, because unlike most art events, this gives you the unique opportunity to buy from artists directly.

Date: November 18-20, 2011
Dress Code: comfortable-casual

More in The Art Market

The Cheaper Show celebrates 10 years of offering art for affordable prices

This Saturday, June 25, numerous art lovers are getting ready once again for the 10th installment of The Cheaper Show in Mount Pleasant.

Vancouver’s arts scene changing its look

This spring marks some big changes for the Vancouver arts scene.
Speak up about this article on Facebook or Twitter. Do this by liking Vancouver Observer on Facebook or following us @Vanobserver on Twitter. We'd love to hear from you.