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Vancouver's unconventional centre and its art project

Jaakko Pernu's sculpture, Floats, located at the Vancouver Convention Centre.

A few weeks ago, we were lucky enough to get a private tour of The Art Project at the Vancouver Convention Centre. This project is made up of various pieces ranging from large-scale sculptures to prints and installations, working together as part of a thematic whole to highlight British Columbia and its history.

We love that this art is a feast for the eyes for all of the convention goers and cruise ship visitors visiting Vancouver. But, what we love most is that it’s available for locals to tour for free as well. Here are a few of the pieces that we discovered while on our tour.

1. Candelabrum

We love Germaine Koh for everything from her quirky personality to the ingenious way she merges technology and nature within her art. This piece is a stunning example of a Chandelier with LED bulbs on a simple and sleek lamppost. Because the brilliance of each bulb is affected by wind and moisture, you will never experience this piece the same way twice. Flickering in the breeze, and glowing brighter through fog, Koh’s Candelabrum is one of those pieces that is as entertaining as it is stunning.

Artist: Germaine Koh

Location: Level 2 of roof – visible from 2nd floor south side


2. Successful Journey

We literally stopped in our tracks when walking through the Coast Salish Gallery and looked up to see this beautiful installation celebrating struggle, success, and dedication in a very familiar symbol of the West Coast. Using the traditional image of salmon, Wilson authentically communicates stories of the First Nations people, their culture and heritage. Gazing up at these works hanging beneath the skylight and surrounded by their shadows on adjacent walls, we felt as if we were underwater in a stream.

Artist: Joseph Wilson

Location: Coast Salish Gallery – Harbour Concourse connecting the east building to west building


3. The Drop

Ah, the quintessential Vancouver piece - a giant drop of water. Anyone living in Vancouver can appreciate this big, elegant, blue sculpture. Providing “an homage to the power of nature,” according to Inges Idee, this landmark represents the relationship and outlook towards the water that surrounds us. This piece has a playful relationship with the viewer – it’s our big inside joke and we love it.

Artist: Inges Idee

Location: Bon Voyage Plaza at the foot of Burrard Street by the waterfront


4. Floats

Made from the branches of pine beetle-infected forests from BC’s Interior, Floats are impressive in both their size and construction, and are a definite crowd pleaser. Intended to ignite conversations about the connection between the rivers and the cities that depend on them, Finnish sculptor, Pernu, works with natural materials to highlight the relationship between humans and nature, emphasizing the need to manage our resources in a sustainable and ethical way.

Artist: Jaakko Pernu

Location: Level 1 of West building, foyer outside the ballrooms


5. Big House and People of British Columbia

Stretching down a corridor of the convention centre is this large mural depicting the development and history of British Columbia. Displaying pictures of our industry, the beaches we frequent, and the people who have populated them, Arden does a great job of showcasing that BC has always been full of people who take as much pride in their work as they do embracing their leisure time. Accompanying this sizeable piece is an interactive guide that allows visitors to explore each photograph panel and learn a little more about the people who have come before us. 

Artist: Roy Arden

Location: Exhibition Level Lobby

To find out more about The Art Project at the Vancouver Convention Centre visit  

Don’t wait another year to see this art. To book your tour click here. (

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