press release

What is the Vancouver Sculpture Biennale?

A Biennale is a bi-annual citywide celebration that benefits the city, its citizens and visitors. The inaugural Vancouver Sculpture Biennale: Open Spaces 2005/2006 will highlight Vancouver's public spaces with an 18-month installation of major public art sculptures beginning in June. The Biennale will officially launch in September with a series of unique unveiling ceremonies, making it the largest public art exhibit and festival in Vancouver and the only event of its kind in North America. View the sculptures. Objective To engage Vancouver citizens and visitors in a citywide festival that celebrates the social value of public spaces and provides interactive cultural programming.

To promote Vancouver and Canada as a dynamic cultural destination highlighting the unique outdoor lifestyle of the Pacific Northwest.

History In 1998, Buschlen Mowatt Galleries developed an initiative with the Vancouver Parks Board to bring leading names in international sculpture to Vancouver for a summer long exhibition on a bi-annual basis. For four months along a one-mile stretch of beach in English Bay the inaugural Project, called “Open Spaces” featured the works of such acclaimed artists as Nicki de St. Phalle (France), Lynn Chadwick (England), Ferdinand Botero (Colombia) and Joel Shapiro (USA). Over 7 million viewers experienced this unprecedented display of major public art resulting in excellent public feedback to the Vancouver Parks Board and Buschlen Mowatt. The second project took place in 2000 expanding the number of participants. Interest and support for the project grew and attracted the support of the Federal Government, the City of Vancouver and sponsors. The third 2002 project included 17 major international quality public art pieces located along English Bay, Granville Island, Coal Harbor, Harbor Green and key downtown business plazas. In 2004, the programming was greatly expanded and the project was restructured as a “not for profit” organization with a charity designation and renamed as The Vancouver Sculpture Biennale.

The beneficiaries of this cultural event are the citizens and visitors of Vancouver, the city, the Province of British Columbia, Canada and the world.

Program Open Spaces 2005/2006 will be the inaugural Biennale for International Sculpture in Vancouver. For a period of 18 months, the communities of Vancouver and its visitors will be invited to participate and interact in a community wide program of special events generated through the strategic placement of 22 major International public art pieces along the walkways, waterfront parks, pathways and major public spaces of Vancouver. These sculptures are accessible 24 hours a day, 7 days a week and will be contextualized in an awareness program of school programs, public contests, lectures and publicity events. The project will boast the participation of some of the world's most celebrated contemporary sculptors from 11 countries.

Team VISB brings together the vast talents of a number of professional individuals from around the globe. The managing team in Vancouver consists of the projects original visionary, Executive Director, Barrie Mowatt, who is supported by a group of experienced professional event administrators and marketing individuals. Collaborating with the management group are three impressive advisory boards; one serving the curatorial needs of the project, the second leveraging their talents towards programming and public awareness and the third providing expertise and support of the educational programs and interactive web site. Learn more about the management board or see our partners.