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Nov 07, 2022
Vancouver Locals Guides – 6 Free Art Galleries in Vancouver You Need to Check Out

Vancouver arts and entertainment

Vancouver is a city that is rich in culture and art. If you are looking for a fun and free activity to do, why not check out one of the city’s many art galleries? In this post, HSCR will provide you with a list of 6 art galleries that you can visit without spending a penny. Immerse yourself in the local culture and learn about artists from British Columbia and Canada by visiting one of these free art galleries in Vancouver.

The Polygon Gallery

The Polygon Gallery is a renowned art gallery in North Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. It was founded in 1981 and has been operational ever since. The gallery is the largest non-profit photographic art gallery in Western Canada and sees a footfall of over 60,000 visitors annually. 

The Polygon Gallery is housed in a striking new building which was designed by Patkau Architects. The new gallery space cost $18 million to build and was officially opened to the public on November 18, 2017. The gallery consists of 25,000 square feet of exhibit space across two levels, complete with a café and gift shop. 

The Polygon Gallery has a varied and ever-changing exhibitions programme which showcases the work of both local and international artists. Past exhibitions have included work by prominent figures such as Ansel Adams, Edward Burtynsky and Barbara Kruger. The Polygon Gallery is therefore an important cultural institution in North Vancouver and a must-visit for art lovers from all over the world.

Gordon Smith Gallery of Canadian Art

The Gordon Smith Gallery of Canadian Art is a 4000 square foot gallery located in Vancouver. The gallery features a wonderful collection of artwork from a variety of well renowned artists including Gordon Smith, Jack Shadbolt, Bill Reid, Robert Davidson, Angela Grossman, E.J. Hughes, Kenojuak Ashevak, Rodney Graham, Guido Molinari, Etienne Zack, Douglas Coupland and Toni Onley. The collection contains a variety of mediums including painting, sculpture and mixed media.

The Gordon Smith Gallery of Canadian Art is open Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays from noon to 4 pm (until February 23, 2023). Admission is free. The gallery provides a unique opportunity to view and learn about Canadian art and culture.

Contemporary Art Gallery

The Contemporary Art Gallery (CAG) is a vital part of the Vancouver arts community. It was established in 1974 as a space for promoting contemporary art practices in all media. The CAG has always been a champion of emerging artists; it was one of the first galleries in Canada to give exposure to artists like Stan Douglas and Rodney Graham. The gallery also has a strong commitment to Canadian content; it has exhibited work by some of Canada’s most celebrated artists, such as Liz Magor and Myfanwy MacLeod.

The Contemporary Art Gallery (CAG) is located in downtown Vancouver on Nelson Street between Granville and Howe streets. The gallery is open from Tuesday to Saturday from 11:00am to 5:00pm. Admission is free for all visitors.

Grunt gallery

The Grunt gallery is a contemporary art gallery in Vancouver that showcases emerging and mid-career artists from Canada and abroad.

The gallery was founded in 2006 by artists Lorna Brown and Ruth Phillips. It occupies a 2,000 square foot space on the ground floor of a heritage building in the heart of Vancouver’s downtown eastside. Grunt gallery represents over 25 artists and has exhibited work by notable names such as Stan Douglas, Rodney Graham, Liz Magor, Ho Tam and Myfanwy MacLeod.

The Grunt gallery is open from Tuesdays through Saturdays from 12:00pm to 5:00pm and closed on Sundays and Mondays.

Morris and Helen Belkin Art Gallery, University of British Columbia

The Morris and Helen Belkin Art Gallery is located on the University of British Columbia’s main campus in Vancouver, Canada. The gallery was opened in 1995 after being renamed and moving into a new building. The gallery’s mission is to promote understanding and discussion of contemporary art, with a focus on the region within a national and international context. The gallery achieves this mission through research, exhibitions, acquisitions, publishing, education and public and academic programs. Some of the gallery’s most recent exhibitions have included “The Allure of Matter: From alchemy to now” and “Out There: Contemporary Art in British Columbia”.

Richmond Art Gallery

Richmond Art Gallery seeks to be one of the most important art galleries in Canada. It regularly puts on exhibitions that explore different aspects of culture – whether it be environmentalism or indigenous culture – as well as hosting special events that allow for even more engagement with art and artists alike.

RAG’s current programming reflects its dedication to engaging with diverse audiences. Recent exhibitions have focused on topics such as the environment, First Nations art and culture, portraiture, and abstraction. RAG also offers a range of education programs for all ages, from drop-in family workshops to intensive studio classes for adults. Publications such as exhibition catalogues and artist monographs are also regularly produced, and the Gallery’s permanent collection continues to grow with new donations and acquisitions.

There are a number of art galleries in Vancouver that offer free admission. These art galleries provide opportunities to view and learn about Canadian art and culture. If you’re looking for a unique cultural experience that won’t cost you a dime in Greater Vancouver, be sure to check out one of these outstanding local art galleries.

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