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Our History

In 2015, VVAF made its debut with Art Vancouver, welcoming over 100 global artists and galleries with approximately 8000 attendees. This foundational event laid the groundwork for our subsequent initiatives. Art Downtown, introduced in 2020, emerged as a bi-weekly 3-month art market that champions public interaction, community bonding, and artists' sales and creation. What sets this initiative apart is its cost-free access for both the public and participating artists. 

Adapting to the challenges of the pandemic, VVAF launched online art classes, resonating with participations globally, even reaching as far as Australia. These sessions, led by accredited BC artists, formed a bridge between artists and enthusiasts during uncertain times. VVAF's collaboration with Kids Up Front, assisting underprivileged kids in BC and Alberta, evolved from providing online classes to delivering art materials and conducting on-site sessions in elementary schools. 


VVAF further expanded its outreach in 2019 with Art Ignites - an initiative empowering youth to curate events that parallel key activities at Art Vancouver. This endeavor not only encourages early engagement with visual arts but also amplifies youth minds' voices within the artistic space. 

Art Masters, a recurring event since 2017, redefines the art competition landscape with its live, public format. Artists receive themes, paint, and unconventional tools instead of brushes, enabling them to craft remarkable artworks within an hour. The events' community-centric approach integrates local businesses, offering prizes as the community partakes in the voting for the winners. 

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Art Downtown began in 2020, as an outdoor summer art festival in the heart of downtown Vancouver in two locations and added 3 more locations in 2021. A space where artists have a chance to create and sell their work in the heart of their community, including live music, brought to you in partnership with the Downtown Vancouver Business Improvement Association (DVBIA). 

VVAF opened an art gallery in the fall of 2020,  Art @Bentall, that exhibits BC artists' in the downtown core of Vancouver. 

Emphasizing the support of emerging and Indigenous artists, VVAF grants Indigenous artists complimentary space at each Art Vancouver festival, fostering growth and representation in the artistic realm. 

The Art @Bentall gallery epitomizes VVAF’s commitment to diversity by showcasing artwork that celebrates and uplifts BIPOC, LGBTQ+, female, and other underrepresented minority artists.


Venturing onto the global stage, VVAF's participation in international exhibitions like Art Asia in South Korea, Bank Art Fair in Singapore, Art Kaohsiung in Taiwan, and PLAS Art Show in South Korea underscores our international recognition and engagement. 

Overall, VVAF'S journey reflects a steadfast dedication to fostering artistry, inclusivity, and international collaboration, as we continually amplify artistic voices and enrich communities across the global. 

Vancouver Visual Art Foundation

Connect. Inspire. Educate.

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