Vancouver's best off-the-beaten-track art galleries

While both the Vancouver Art Gallery and the Museum of Anthropology are stunning art institutions, there exists as well an impressive array of independent commercial galleries, all free to enter and showcasing some of the best in contemporary work, from Vancouver and around the world. Get off the beaten track and indulge in some new art therapy.

Catriona Jeffries Gallery

950 Cordova St E, Vancouver, BC V6A 1M6

You’d be forgiven for overlooking the squat, grey box on East 1st that is the Catriona Jeffries gallery. But you’d be missing a chance to see some of the best of the Vancouver conceptual art movement at this independent gallery. Staging exhibits from renowned local artists like Ian Wallace and Myfanwy MacLeod to Canadian superstar Brian Jungen, the commercial space is big on contemporary art. Pop in for ongoing exhibitions or pick up a catalogue of essays through CJ Press, a dedicated publishing program for the gallery.

Gallery Gachet

88 Cordova St E, Vancouver, BC V6A 1K2

This one-room gallery on East Cordova is more than just a showcase for art; it’s a safe gathering place and studio space for those struggling with mental illness and marginalization to express their creative side. Entirely artist-run, the centre not only provides a much-needed artistic outlet for those who may consider themselves outsiders, but it also hangs some very impressive exhibits — up to 12 per year. A worthy, important space that is a testament to the power of art to heal.

Winsor Gallery

2-258 1st Ave E, Vancouver, BC V5T 1A6

Known for its large portfolio of contemporary Canadian artists, Winsor Gallery, formerly on South Granville, is now at home on East 1st among other galleries and cultural institutions in the area known as The Flats. Their new, much larger space allows for large-scale works to be admired by curious visitors or purchased by the most discerning collectors. Their exhibition openings are free to the public and always an excellent way to peruse new works and even meet the artist. Cheese and wine are a bonus too.

Bau-Xi Gallery

3045 Granville St, Vancouver, BC V6H 3J9

Before even stepping into South Granville’s Bau-Xi, you’re treated to the serene scene you’ll likely face on the inside. A horseshoe of windows envelops you and you’re face to face with a sampling of the current artist’s work, displayed simply on white walls and removed from the busy street. Vancouver’s oldest contemporary gallery, Bau-Xi has been representing emerging and established Canadian artists since 1965. From Canadian legend Ken Lochhead to West Van’s lovely Bobbie Burgers, expect a rejuvenating and thoughtful stroll through this pristine space.

Equinox Gallery

525 Great Northern Way, Vancouver, BC V5T 1E1

Arguably the most prestigious gallery in town, Equinox was the first to establish itself in its massive new space in The Flats, the area fast becoming the city’s hub for contemporary art. Representing such acclaimed artists as Fred Herzog, Gathie Falk, Gordon Smith, Takao Tanabe and Mary Pratt, as well as up-and-comers Sonny Assu and Etienne Zack, the catalogue reads like a who’s-who of the scene. And while only the wealthiest can afford to hang these originals in our homes, consider their rental program for your own personal gallery.

Lattimer Gallery

1590 W 2nd Ave, Vancouver, BC V6J 1H2

Step into another world at West 2nd’s Lattimer Gallery. The space has been transformed to look and feel like a traditional northwest longhouse, all warm wood and dim lighting. The gallery showcases the best in contemporary Northwest Coast First Nations art, as well as collections from earlier periods collected by husband-and-wife team Leona and David Lattimer through their years discovering and meeting aboriginal artists along BC’s coast. Now run by their son Peter who has brought a decidedly contemporary feel to the collection, this is an impressive showcase of First Nations artistic achievement.

Raincouver, the Wet Coast — there’s no denying that our beautiful city sees its share of rain in the winter. When it’s been pouring for days and you’re damp down to you bones, consider an afternoon at one of these escapes that will leave winter as a distant memory – if only for a few hours. [Photo © Yellow Pages / Pages Jaunes]
Who says you have to go on holiday to get away from it all? There are many ways to indulge in a little self-care close to home that will leave you feeling fresh, rejuvenated and utterly relaxed. Spoil yourself with pampering treatments from any one of these local Vancouver spas and enjoy the escape for a few blissful hours. You deserve it. [Image courtesy of CHI The Spa]
In our damp and dark climate on display many months of the year, it’s always handy to have a few indoor activities in your back pocket to get the kids out of the rain and into something fun — whether it’s active, educational or creative. Here are a few great places to take shelter and have fun.
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