Set in the former courthouse in the heart of downtown, Vancouver art gallery is one of Canada’s most renowned and innovative visual arts institutions. Founded in 1931, this exemplary neoclassical building, located in the hustle-bustle of Robson and Hornby Streets, is the largest public art museum in Western Canada. The Gallery houses more than 11,000 artworks, including both local and international artists. Moreover, it provides a dynamic experience for thousands of visitors each year. 

Explore the gallery’s repository of works by leading artists like Emily Carr and Ansel Adams, as well as the ground breaking exhibitions in the larger sphere of visual culture, design, architecture,  sculpture and drawing. 

Vancouver Art Gallery History and Architecture

History and Architecture

The Vancouver Art Gallery was constructed in 1931 on the heritage site donated by the city of Vancouver at 1145 Georgia Street. It was erected in art-deco style, and the facade pays homage to the Greek and Rome origins on which the names of great painters were carved. The gallery debuted with a decent collection of British historical paintings and a few works by Canadian artists. 

In 1951, the Gallery was expanded three times to its original size to accommodate 157 works by artist Emily Carrf and several other paintings by Marc Chagall, Jeff Wall and the Group of Seven. Further, in 1983  as a part of the settlement between the Province of British Columbia and Vancouver City, the old courthouse became the home of the Vancouver Art Gallery. This Neoclassical architectural building designed by Victoria architect Sir Francis Mawson Rattenbury features formal porticos, marble stonework, a magnificent central dome, and ancient court halls adorned with wooden panels. On sunny days, the exterior steps became the favourite spot to relax and host fun activities and peaceful demonstrations of all stripes. 

What’s Inside the Walls?

What’s Inside the Walls

The Vancouver Gallery occupies an entire district in the heart of downtown and draws the attraction of art lovers, tourists and locals to experience the indigenous world of art and culture. The gallery is home to an expansive collection of 12,000 artworks, including the significant collection by famed British Columbia painter Emily Carr, known for her bold style and modern art. It also houses photographic collections by icons such as Ansel Adams, Cindy Sherman, Diane Arbus, and Eadweard Muybridge. Plus, the repository of works by Vancouverites Jeff Wall, Stan Douglas, and Roy Arden. today, the this Art Gallery is home to a significant collection of paintings, sketches, ceramics, photographs and letters by one of British Columbia’s most ground-breaking artists.

Exhibitions and Art Shows Vancouver 

Exhibitions and Art Shows Vancouver 

The Vancouver Art Gallery is open seven days a week and the exhibitions and art shows are spread across four floors attracting over 300,000 visitors annually from around the world. 

  • Tours

The Vancouver Art gallery offers two types of tours of the permanent and rotating exhibits: 

    • A 45-minute tour that provides a general overview of exhibitions.
    •  A 30-minute highlight tour that focuses on the essential work pieces.  
  • Lectures

Other than exhibition tours each month, artists, critics and curators held workshops in the galleries, giving visitors and students the chance to learn more about the cultural and social context of art. Most talks are complimentary with the admission rates but few require prior bookings with renowned artists and scholars. 

Vancouver Art Gallery Hours and Admission Rates

Vancouver Art Gallery is located at 750 Hornby Street, Vancouver, BC, and is open seven days a week for visitors to explore the exhibition in the sphere of visual culture, design, and architecture. Check below the Vancouver art gallery Hours and Ticket Prices:

    • Monday, Wednesday, Thursday, Saturday and Sunday – 10:00 AM to 5:00 PM.
    • Tuesday – 12:00 PM to 8:00 PM (with 5:00 PM to 8:00 PM by donation)
    • Friday – 12:00 PM to 8:00 PM

Vancouver Ticket Prices are about $29 for adults and free for everyone under 18 years. 

The Gallery’s Store and Cafe
The Vancouver Art Gallery Store and Cafe

The gallery store is an art lover’s paradise, with a unique collection of paintings, books on contemporary art and history, limited-edition prints, puzzles, handmade jewellery, ceramics, toys and activity books. Enjoy the authentic and organic bistro-style cuisine at the Gallery Cafe, the best in the downtown area. Soups, salads, and sandwiches round out a menu that includes mouth-watering delicacies. 

Future Gallery- A Revitalised Vision

Since its inception, the Vancouver Art gallery has experienced unprecedented growth in its artistic and educational programs. However, due to space constraints, the current location needs more exhibit area. Therefore, planning for a new purpose-built gallery is in motion developed by international firm Herzog and de Meuron. The proposed building will include a new education centre, an auditorium, workshops, a research centre, a library, a theatre, and artist archives. The new museum facilitates touching the lives of individuals through the insightful power of art.

Things to Know Before You Visit Vancouver Art Gallery

Things to Know before You Visit Vancouver Art Gallery

    • Vancouver Art Gallery is housed in a historic landmark building that has been extensively updated.
    • The gallery is wheelchair accessible with street-level access through the Hornby and Robson street entrances.
    • Plan ahead to take a guided tour, held several times on selected days with a limited capacity of up to 15 visitors per tour to ensure physical distancing. 
    • Gallery offers coat check services and includes cafes and gifts shops. 

Avant – Garde Vancouver Art Gallery

Vancouver Art Gallery

Vancouver art gallery celebrates the indigenous culture and provides thought-provoking experiences for thousands of visitors annually. Through visual arts, the gallery seeks to spark curiosity, motivate,  build and engage communities and shape our collective future together. The gallery hosts international exhibitions, innovative workshops and educational programs curated by renowned artists for art lovers, tourists, schoolchildren and families.

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Frequently Asked Question (FAQs)

Can I buy the tickets at the venue instead of buying them online?

Yes, you can buy them at the venue, the Vancouver Art Gallery ticket price is $29 for adults and free for everyone under eighteen years old.

Is photography allowed inside the Gallery?

General photography is allowed inside the museum but certain works of art say ‘no photography.

Where is Vancouver Fine Arts Gallery located?

Vancouver Art Gallery is located in the hustle-bustle of Robson and Hornby Streets, is the largest public art museum in Western Canada.

Where will the new Vancouver Art Gallery be located?

The new Vancouver Art Gallery will be known as Chan Centre for the Visual Arts at Larwill Park at the intersections of West Georgia, Cambie- just seven blocks east of the Gallery's current location.

Why is the Vancouver Art Gallery moving?

The museum is being relocated because of space constraints, as the current location can only exhibit three percent of the gallery’s collection at a time. Therefore, after the huge funding from the developers, a new museum is being proposed by VAG officials to accommodate the growing art collection and enhance the visitor’s experience.