Contemporary Art Society of Vancouver

On July 11, 2010, I hosted and moderated a conversation with the Board of Directors for the Contemporary Art Society of Vancouver.  Two weeks before our meeting I sent some notes to everyone to give them an opportunity to consider their own interests and ideas so that when we got together we could explore what interests and thinking we had in common and what opportunities and ideas we had that could kick our thinking out of the box about what the organization could do going forward. These are the notes I prepared for the conversation.

Creative conversation
July 11, 2010

Our story communicates our interests, role, and contribution as an enterprise. Exploring who we are, what we do, and how we contribute, – and who we would like to be, what we would like to do, and how we would like to contribute is how we create our story. Creating our story is how we create our enterprise.

Creating our Story

We each have our personal interests, observations, and ideas about the Contemporary Art Society to contribute. These are some questions to explore and consider for our conversation.

What are our interests?
What interests do we contribute to?
Whose interests do we contribute to?

What do we do?
What are we doing?
How does it contribute to our interests?
What does it contribute to our interests?
How do we measure our contribution?
How well are we doing?

What are we interested in doing?
What interests would we like to contribute to?
What resources, relationships, and opportunities do we have?
What could we do to increase our contribution and our ability to contribute?
What opportunities would we like to pursue?

My role is to moderate our conversation around these questions and your ideas. My personal interests are to explore ideas and excite interest in opportunities that contribute to establishing Vancouver as a centre for the arts and to increasing our understanding and appreciation of the contribution of contemporary art and artists to our thinking, our creativity, and our culture.

Where we are now

This is my understanding of our interests, what we do, and how we contribute based on what I learned online.

Our interests

  • Increase understanding and appreciation for the contribution of twentieth century art and contemporary art practices
  • Contribute to Vancouver’s cultural environment

Our role

  • Create learning opportunities for people with an interest in contemporary art
  • Increase awareness of the opportunities to experience contemporary art in Vancouver
  • Create conversation around our understanding of contemporary art
  • Create connections and relationships with contributors to the contemporary art scene in Vancouver
  • Contribute to creating more equal representation of both male and female artists in commercial galleries and museum and institutional exhibitions and collections.

Our contributions

  • Create opportunities to attend lectures by prominent artists, critics, collectors, designers, architects and fine art professionals and contributors from North America and abroad
  • Create opportunities for conversation with speakers and other art professionals and enthusiasts in private homes and galleries
  • Create opportunities to visit and meet local artists and see how they work in their studios
    Create opportunities to travel to other communities to explore and enjoy contemporary art
  • Organize private and public collection tours
  • Provide access to special events in local galleries and museums
  • Publish a newsletter
  • Contribute to a scholarship for an Emily Carr College of Art and Design art student
  • Create global conversations

Our resources

The communities of interest we represent.
Our contributions
Our membership

Our relationships

CCA Wattis Institute for Contemporary Arts | Website
Charles H. Scott Gallery | Website
Contemporary Art Gallery | Website
Ikon Gallery | Website
Morris and Helen Belkin Gallery | Website
New Museum of Contemporary Art | Website
Presentation House Gallery | Website
SITE Santa Fe 2008 Biennial | Website
Vancouver Art Gallery | Website
Western Front | Website
Whitney Museum of American Art | Website


The question our story raises for me is whether the Society is a community of interest, represents a community of interest, contributes to a community of interest, or contributes to creating a community of interest. Does the Society have an opportunity to create community around Vancouver’s contribution to the world of contemporary art?

Notes for the conversation – PDF

My Point of View

Creating a Centre for the Arts
2004 Downtown Vancouver Association Core Report
Roger Chilton

Vancouver as a City of Arts and Culture
20014 Presentation to Vancouver City Council
Roger Chilton

Let’s Twist Again


The Contemporary Art Society of Vancouver

The Contemporary Art Society of Vancouver is a registered charitable organization founded in 1977. We promote the understanding and appreciation of contemporary art by hosting a regular schedule of members-only events featuring prominent artists, curators, critics and collectors from around the world. In 2017 the Society will award a $10,000 Artist Prize to a local emerging artist who has been out of post-secondary education for 5 years or less.

The Contemporary Art Society of Vancouver