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City launches new public art commissions for the Year of Reconciliation

March 18 2014

Krista Belle Stewart's Her Story mural at the Canada Line City Centre station

Five new projects, ranging from banners and posters to videos and a mural, have joined Vancouver’s public art collection in an exhibition to honour and celebrate the City’s Year of Reconciliation.

The City’s Public Art Program commissioned 10 new artist projects overall. The first five debuted in March 2014, and an additional five will be introduced in April 2014.

View projects around the city

The works will appear:

  • In bus shelters
  • On video screens located in the downtown core
  • As large-scale banners in the atrium of the Vancouver Public Library downtown 
  • As an over-sized photo mural at the Canada Line City Centre Station

On display now

The artworks that recently debuted were created by Canadian artists with backgrounds from Vancouver, Hong Kong, the Okanagan Nation’s Upper Nicola Band, and the Kwakwaka'wakw culture of Quadra Island.

Central Branch Vancouver Public Library

Brian Liu  has created a new set of six banners for the Vancouver Public Library downtown.

The banners depict hands making welcoming gestures on a painterly background of abstract colour. They serve as an invitation to witness the process of understanding, healing, and reconciliation.

The banners will be installed from March through October.

Canada Line City Centre Station

The Granville and Georgia entrance of the Canada Line City Centre Station will host Krista Belle Stewart’s "Her Story", a large photo mural derived from a production still from a 1967 CBC documentary about her mother, the first Aboriginal public health nurse in BC.

The image reflects personal and institutional histories and the complexities of residential school history. It will be on display from March to September.

Robson and Granville

Stewart’s companion video will air on the dual screens at Robson and Granville through March.

This work also draws on the original footage from the CBC documentary about the artist’s mother, "Seraphine: Her Own Story" (1967). It touches on the young woman’s journey from residential school to the University of British Columbia and the city. 

The video will be shown on the CBC Plaza screen in April and on the VanCity Theatre outdoor screen in May and August.

Hamilton and Georgia

A video by Jeremy Borsos will air on the screen at CBC plaza at Hamilton and Georgia in March.

The contemplative video dwells on a hand-written excerpt from the official apology to the Aboriginal Peoples of Canada for the residential schools.

The video will also be on the VanCity outdoor screen in April, and Robson and Granville screens in May. 

Transit shelters around the city

A series of eight transit shelter posters by Sonny Assu will appear in various sites around the city. 

The brightly coloured images pair the word “reconciliation” with “teach”, “honour”, “hope”,  “lead”, “learn”, “rise”.

The posters will appear from early March to early April 2014.

Upcoming artworks

From April to August, new works will premiere from Emilie Crewe (Vancouver), Alexa Hatanaka (Toronto), Tania Willard, Gabrielle Hill and Peter Morin (BC), Bracken Hanuse Corlett (Vancouver), Jeannette Sirois (Surrey), and Dionne Paul (Sechelt).

How the artists were selected

A call to Canadian artists was issued in the fall of 2013. A panel of Aboriginal artists and curators selected the projects to be commissioned from 55 submissions from across Canada. 

The Year of Reconciliation

Vancouver City Council proclaimed June 21, 2013, to June 20, 2014, as a Year of Reconciliation in Vancouver in response to Reconciliation Canada’s national call to action to help build more inclusive communities.

The year-long effort includes gatherings, intercultural dialogue and storytelling workshops, public education, and cultural and arts programs as ways to mend the past, build shared understanding, and to create a legacy for meaningful change in society. 

Learn more about the Year of Reconciliation

Year of Reconciliation

Year of Reconciliation

In partnership with Reconciliation Canada, the City supported a Year of Reconciliation by acknowledging the negative cultural impacts and stereotypes that resulted from Canada’s residential school system.