It might be cliché to say, but art can bring us together. For Art Vancouver taking place at the Vancouver Convention Centre starting today, their goal is to make that connection on a larger scale.

Under the theme of “Uniting Nations through Art,” creators both local and international (representing over twenty countries) will exhibit their work in beautiful Vancouver for the fair’s fifth anniversary since inception. For four days, visitors will be able to engage with artists, purchase work, and see a variety of speakers and live art demonstrations all within the Vancouver Convention Centre’s East Building.

Lisa Wolfin, the architect of Art Vancouver and a local artist herself, wants the fair to bolster the immense arts community in British Columbia and create a stronger bridge to creators worldwide. “It’s a chance to bring in local artists and artists from around the world, each at different phases of their journey, and give them the space to showcase their work on a global stage.”

And with art and multiculturalism so deeply engrained into Vancouver and British Columbia’s identity, Art Vancouver feels perfectly at home. Wolfin sees the fair as a crossroad for artists and appreciators from near and far to share their passion and let B.C.’s already-strong community thrive.

“We have people coming from Nanaimo and from South Korea, and through fairs like this they have the opportunity to meet and learn from each other. It’s amazing.”

To keep the local community growing and help foster new artists, Art Vancouver is introducing a new element to the fair for its fifth year: Art Ignites, a program that invites local students to attend and learn about art in a way that is itself interactive and creative.

“Over two hundred students will be attending the fair through Art Ignites,” says volunteer and art educator Marty Dolan. “We want to give these kids a chance to engage with art directly, and show them what a life pursuing the arts can look like.” If the program’s pilot year is a success, Wolfin and Dolan hope that it can be expanded in the future.

Supporting and highlighting the province’s arts community has been a foundational priority for the Vancouver Convention Centre. With our thematic Art Project, which features the BC Artists Gallery, Coast Salish Gallery and 16 individual works including the iconic Digital Orca by Douglas Coupland, local artists have been able to tell the story of the people, history and other aspects of B.C.

Art Vancouver will be open from Thursday, April 25 to Sunday, April 28. If you would like to attend, click here for more information.

Photos courtesy of Art Vancouver