The Organization

The Vancouver Biennale is a non-profit charitable organization that exhibits great art in public space, creating a catalyst for learning, community engagement, dialogue, and social action. Our mission is to make Public Art accessible, engaging, and motivating to create vibrant and inspired communities.

Our exhibitions are unique in the world in that we feature sculpture, new media, film, music and performance. We transform the urban landscape into an Open Air Museum, creating unexpected and globally inspired cultural experiences where people live, play, work and transit. With each exhibition, we demonstrate that great public art is an economic driver by creating magnetic cultural attractions for visitors, and foundational to creating livable, creatively inspired communities where installations become a social bridge for people of all ages, cultural backgrounds, educational levels and financial wherewithal to come together as neighbours to explore, learn, dialogue and imagine.

The Vancouver Biennale (Vancouver International Sculpture Biennale/Biennale Internationale de la Sculpture de Vancouver) is funded through grants, corporate sponsorship, gifts in-kind, philanthropic donations and supplemented by the sale of art after each exhibition. 100% of the net profits from the sale of Biennale artworks are used to fund the exhibitions and programs. The Vancouver Biennale charitable registration number is 85193 4273 RR0001.

We are committed to building the cultural assets of our partnering communities for the benefit of generations to come. To date, the Biennale has facilitated the acquisition of over $3M worth of public art donated to our host cities as a lasting legacy of the Vancouver Biennale exhibitions. Artworks include the iconic A-maze-ing Laughter, the only public art installation in the country nominated as one of the Great Places in Canada.


Open Air Museum

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The Vancouver Biennale flagship, curated international art exhibition in public spaces that are accessible to local communities and visitors. The exhibition creates livable, creatively inspired communities and inviting gathering places by local and international artists, such as Ai Weiwei (China), Dennis Oppenheim (USA), OSGEMEOS (Brazil), and Michel Goulet (Canada).
International Artist Residency Program

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A cultural exchange of creativity between nations and artistic disciplines. 92 breakthrough artists of merit from North America, Asia, Northern Europe, North Africa, the Middle East and Latin speaking countries participated in this program. Each residency will run over 4 to 6 weeks period (from March to October 2014 and 2015) with 4 to 6 artists facilitated by a coordinator. Participating artists will create public installations and social interventions, deliver public lectures and open house workshops, providing opportunities for local communities and artists to benefit from reciprocal sharing of ideas, technique and professional network.
Biennale CineFest Live

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The Vancouver Biennale hosts events, screenings, masterclasses and education series dedicated to curated art documentaries from around the world celebrating master filmmakers and provocative artists, such as Oliver Stone and Ai Weiwei.

BIG IDEAS Education

A key Biennale community outreach program that is socially inclusive providing resources to all grades and schools within British Columbia. BIG IDEAS is an art-inspired program integrates the Vancouver Biennale, current and legacy Biennale exhibitions, and the B.C. Curriculum. Through an annual BIG IDEAS in-School artist collaborator grant, the program brings local artists to collaborate with teachers in the delivery of art-infused inquiry learning sessions to foster creative, critical and reflective learning opportunities.
Vancouver Tour de Biennale and Bikennale

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Tour de Biennale is a charity bike ride that combines recreation cycling with arts and culture. Bikennale is a family outdoor sports event that is held in Biennale host communities.

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A program that builds cultural assets of our partnering communities for the benefit of future generations. To date, the Biennale has successfully facilitated over $3 M donation in public art to our host cities.


Our History

The Vancouver Biennale has its early roots in a 1998 collaboration with the Vancouver Parks Board, which brought leading names in international sculpture to Vancouver for a 4-month exhibition along a stretch of public parkland at English Bay. Over seven million viewers experienced this unprecedented display, resulting in excellent public feedback, a second public exhibition in 2000, and the incorporation of the Vancouver Biennale as a non-profit charitable organization in 2004.

The 2005-2007 exhibition was the first under the name Vancouver Biennale, and consisted of an 18-month exhibition of 22 international public installations over a larger geographical footprint along oceanfront walkways, in public parks and in major intersections throughout Vancouver. The 2009-2011 Biennale experienced another wave of explosive growth, recognition and media attention, featuring 37 artworks in Vancouver, Richmond, Port Moody and West Vancouver.

In total, the Vancouver Biennale has featured 91 outdoor sculptures and new media works by 78 participating artists from 25 countries and 4 continents. Along the way, the Biennale has established strong municipal partnerships, relationships and alliances with other arts organizations, international biennales, curators, auction houses and media, extending our audience and promotional impact globally. The Vancouver Biennale has increasingly become an exhibition of record, helping transform Metro Vancouver into a major cultural destination and centre of artistic vibrancy. By any international standard, our alumni are an impressive and influential group of contemporary artists.

Board of Directors

  • Barrie Mowatt

    Founder and President

    Barrie Mowatt has a long and accomplished history as an educator, philanthropist, and entrepreneur opening the Buschlen Mowatt Fine Art gallery in 1979. Barrie is the visionary behind the Vancouver Biennale Open Air Museum, where he combines his passion for art, education and community service in exhibitions that bring great art to public spaces where people live, work, play and transit, free for all to enjoy, explore and be inspired by. Barrie is also the founder of the Celebration of Hope Foundation, co-founder of Taste the Nation, and the Buschlen Mowatt Scholarship Program at Arts Umbrella. Barrie received the Vancouver Business in Arts Award from the Vancouver Board of Trade, and the Ethics in Action Award, presented by Vancouver City Savings and the BC Work Ministry. He has twice been nominated for Western Canada’s Entrepreneur of the Year in the category of socially responsible businesses.

  • John Harrison


    John Harrison is currently the President of Inter-City Gas Ltd. John, who retired in 2009 from his position of elementary school principal with the Burnaby School District, began his education career as an upper intermediate teacher.  He has also worked with the UBC Faculty of Education as a Faculty Associate and Social Studies Curriculum Instructor, and with Simon Fraser University as a Faculty Associate. During his tenure as an educator, John developed learning resources for teachers in literature and critical thinking.   He also presented workshops for educators in conflict resolution, creating cohesive and caring school communities, and building leadership capacity. A member of UBC’s Faculty of Education’s External Advisory Board, John recently completed a diploma in Sustainable Community Development at SFU City Program.

  • Murray Nichol


    Murray Nichol is a director of the Buschlen Mowatt Nichol Foundation, a philanthropic foundation whose focus is on lifelong learning, education and the arts. He is a pianist, educator, and music-education advocate. He works as a senior examiner for Royal Conservatory Examinations in Canada and the Music Development Program in the United States. As an educational advisor and arts advocate he has been integrally involved in outreach and the development of the Biennale’s International Residency Program, expanding the integration of this with the Biennale’s BIG IDEAS education program. He has been a Biennale Ambassador on his many travels, including South America, Southeast Asia, Africa and Europe and holds the responsibility as a Director of the Board overseeing archives, inventory management, and administration.

  • Linda Naiman


    Linda Naiman is founder of Creativity at Work and helps organizations develop creativity, innovation, and leadership capabilities, through coaching, training and consulting. As a corporate educator and coach, Linda brings a multi-disciplinary approach to learning and development based on her background as an artist and designer: She leverages arts-based practices to spark creative inspiration, and design thinking to manage the creative process for innovation. Organizations that have sought out Linda for her expertise include the US Navy, GE, BASF, American Express, RBC, UBC, and Intel. Linda is co-author of Orchestrating Collaboration at Work: Using Music, Improv, Storytelling, and Other Arts to Improve Teamwork (Wiley 2003). She holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts from California College of the Arts and is a graduate of Emily Carr Institute of Art + Design. Her mission is to liberate creativity at work, and make life, and work, a work of art.


  • Geoff Cross


    Geoff Cross is the Vice-President of Planning and Policy at TransLink in Metro Vancouver. TransLink is unique among North American transportation agencies in that it has a broad mandate that encompasses the planning, funding, and operating of transit as well as major roads, bridges, and cycling at the regional level. Geoff’s team has been responsible for working with the region’s mayors for the creation and implementation of the Mayors’ Council’s 10-Year Vision that established the investment priorities for transportation investment, strategies, and policies to support a prosperous and liveable region. Geoff has concurrently always been involved in the non-profit sector having founded a cycling advocacy group and a social and environmental film festival. He is currently on the Board of Instruments of Change, a local arts-for-social-change organization. Geoff has a master’s degree in Sustainable Community Planning and a BA in Economics.


  • Miriam Blume


    Miriam Blume is an accomplished marketing and communications consultant with 20-plus years of experience in the profit and non-profit sectors. Her professional career began at TELUS, Canada’s second-largest national communications company, where she learned the discipline of best-in-class brand management and CRM marketing, contributed to the delivery of an annual $25M advertising plan, and managed the high-value consumer-loyalty program. After multiple promotions throughout the organization and two leadership awards, Miriam decided it was time to steer her career in a different direction. Inspired by her love of art, she has spent the past ten years working with independent artists and arts organizations to build their business strategy, brand identity, audience engagement, and funding. She has worked on several high-profile projects, most notably SweaterLodge, the Canadian entry to the 2006 Venice Biennale of Architecture, and the Vancouver Biennale as Director of Marketing. Having recently been a keynote speaker at the Jihlava International Documentary Film Festival, Miriam has attended major art fairs, festivals, and biennale exhibitions worldwide.


  • Christina Leung


    Christina Leung holds the CGA, CA, and American CPA accounting designations. For ten years she worked for Buschlen Mowatt Fine Arts Ltd. as controller responsible for full-cycle accounting. It was in this position that she was first involved with the Vancouver International Sculpture Project (1998), precursor of the not-for-profit arts organization known as the Vancouver Biennale.
    She has seven years’ experience as a senior tax manager at PricewaterhouseCoopers. Currently she is working for the Armstrong Group (owner of the Rocky Mountaineer luxury train company) as a senior tax and finance manager overseeing the financial and tax affairs of Rocky Mountaineer and the Armstrong family.
    Presently living in Burnaby, Christina and her husband, Chris, have two children who are actively involved in arts programs.


  • Jesse Saniuk


    Jesse Saniuk is the Vice President and co-owner of the real-estate brokerage Four Sails Realty Inc. based in West Vancouver. He has a bachelor’s degree in history with a minor in African studies from the University of British Columbia. He is also a collector of contemporary art with a particular interest in sculpture. It is a combination of his passion for real estate, history, and art that led him to his ownership of the B.C Binning House (a National Heritage Site of Canada), which he is currently working to restore with the hopes of preserving it as a private museum with public accessibility. Jesse is a former member of the Vancouver Biennale’s Young Patrons Group.


Curatorial Team

  • Barrie Mowatt

    Artistic Director

    Barrie Mowatt has a long and accomplished history as an entrepreneur and philanthropist, beginning with the establishment of the Buschlen Mowatt fine art gallery in 1979. Barrie is the visionary behind the Vancouver Biennale Open Air Museum, where he combines his passion for art, education and community service in exhibitions that bring great art to public spaces where people live, work, play and transit, free for all to enjoy, explore and be inspired by. Barrie is also the founder of the Celebration of Hope Foundation, Taste the Nation, and the Buschlen Mowatt Scholarship Program at Arts Umbrella. He is the recipient of the Vancouver Business in Arts Award.

  • Zheng Shengtian

    Senior Curator (Asia) Open Air Museum

    Zheng graduated from the China Academy of Art in Hangzhou and then worked as Professor and Chair of the Oil Painting Department. He was a visiting professor at the University of Minnesota and at San Diego State University in the 1980s. In 1993 he was elected Chairman of Chinese Canadian Artists Federation. From 1996 to 2000, he was the Secretary of the Annie Wong Art Foundation and Director of Art Beatus Gallery. In 2002 he co-founded Yishu: Journal of Contemporary Chinese Art and has been the Managing Editor since then. He is a founding member and Board Director of Vancouver International Centre for Contemporary Asian Art and Asia Art Archive in North America. He is also a Trustee of the Vancouver Art Gallery. As an independent curator, he has organized and curated numerous exhibitions including Jiangnan – Modern and Contemporary Chinese Art Exhibition, The Art of Proletarian Cultural Revolution, Shanghai Modern, the 2004 Shanghai Biennale, China Trade, Reincarnation and Art and China Revolution.

  • Marcello Dantas

    Senior Curator (Latin and South America) Open Air Museum

    Marcello Dantas is the mind behind some of the best museums and exhibitions of recent years in Brazil. Museums include Museum of Portuguese Language, Museum of the American Man, Telecommunications Museum, and Museum of Mining and Metal. Dantas’ exhibitions of note include Bossa na Oca, Roberto Carlos – 50 Years of Music, Água na Oca, 50 anos de TV e +, and also exhibitions of renowned foreign artists such as Antony Gormley, Christian Boltanski, Anish Kapoor, Bill Viola and Laurie Anderson. Not to mention his international projects such as the Museum of the Caribbean in Barranquilla (Colombia) and Pelé Station in Berlin, during the World Cup in Germany. He was responsible for innovating the concept of museology in Brazil bringing unprecedented doses of technology, interactivity and multimedia resources to offer the visitor what he called an experience of total immersion.

  • Rakhi Sarkar

    Curatorial Advisor, Open Air Museum and Biennale International Artist Residencies

    Director and founder of the Centre of International Modern Art (CIMA), Kolkata India

  • Luis Camillo Osario

    Curatorial Advisor, Open Air Museum

    Curator, MAM, Museum D’Art Moderna, Rio de Janeiro

  • Jose Roca

    Curatorial Advisor, Open Air Museum and Biennale International Artist Residencies

    Estrellita B. Brodsky Adjunct Curator of Latin American Art at Tate, London, and Artistic Director of FLORA ars+natura, Bogota Colombia

  • Marc Pottier

    Curatorial Advisor, Open Air Museum

    ArtPartners, Rio and Paris

  • Hans Ulrich Obrist

    Curatorial Advisor, Open Air Museum

    Director International Programmes, Serpentine Gallery, London

  • Steve Nash

    Curatorial Advisor, Open Air Museum

    Former Excutive Director of The Palm Springs Art Museum, former Chief Curator Nasher Sculpture Center, Dallas Texas.

  • Adriano Pedrosa

    Curatorial Advisor, Open Air Museum

    Senior Curator for Tate Modern Museums, artistic Director of MASP—Museu de Arte de São Paulo Assis Chateaubriand, São Paulo Brazil

  • Sarah Fillmore

    Curatorial Advisor, Open Air Museum and Biennale International Artist Residencies

    Senior Curator, Art Gallery of Nova Scotia, Co-chair of the Sobey Art Award, Halifax Nova Scotia

  • Mahnaz Fancy

    Curatorial Advisor, Biennale International Artist Residencies

    ArteEast Executive Director – MENA Region Curator (Middle East North Africa), New York City.

  • Aissa H. Deebi

    Curatorial Advisor, Biennale International Artist Residencies

    Abessi, Middle East and North Africa Curator, American University Cairo

    Chair of the Department of Art and Design at Montclair State University, New Jersey.

    Deebi is was a founding member of ArteEast in New York City, where he served as the first Director of the Visual Arts and Director of the Board. He is also a consultant on education for the Birzet University’s Museum in Palestine, and the curator of Mizna, the Arab American Art and Literature Magazine in Minneapolis, USA.

  • Ilko Davidov

    Curator, Biennale CineFest

    Director, Chicago Movies and Music Festival (CIMMFest)

  • Ted Grouya

    Curator, Biennale CineFest

    Director and Founder American Documentary Film Festival (AmDocs)

  • Marek Hovorka

    Curator, Biennale CineFest

    Director and Founder Czech International Film Festival Jilhava , Czech Republic

  • Inti Codera

    Curator, Biennale CineFest

    Director Mexico City International Documentary and Film Festival (DOCSDF)

  • Rene Rozon

    Curator, Biennale CineFest

    Founder and Director Montreal World Festival of Films (FFM)

  • Andre Vaillancourt

    Curator, Biennale CineFest

    Production Director Montreal World Festival of Films (FFM)

  • Helmut Batista

    Advisor, Biennale International Artist Residencies

    Director Capacete International Residency Programme, Rio de Janeiro

  • Alexandre Gabriel

    Advisor, Biennale International Artist Residencies

    Alexandre Gabriel is the artistic director of Galeria Fortes Vilaça since its founding in 2001. He is the manager of both spaces of the gallery, one in Rua Fradique Coutinho 1500 and in Rua James Holland 71, São Paulo, Brazil

  • Guilherme Wisnik

    Advisor, Biennale International Artist Residencies

    Curator of the 10th Biennale De Arquitetura de São Paulo, Brazil

  • Ana Paula Cohen

    Advisor, Biennale International Artist Residencies

    Independent Curator, Co-Curator 2008 São Paulo Biennale, São Paulo, Brazil and San Francisco

  • Dieter Rolstraete

    Advisor, Biennale International Artist Residencies

    Curator, Chicago Contemporary Museum

  • Bruce Johnson

    Advisor, Biennale International Artist Residencies

    Curator of The Rooms Art Gallery, St. John’s, Newfoundland

  • Paul Walde

    Advisor, Biennale International Artist Residencies

    Curator LOLA , London, Ontario, Associate Professor of Contemporary Art, University of Victoria, Canada

  • Richard Ingleby

    Advisor, Biennale International Artist Residencies

    Director Ingleby Gallery, Edinburgh, Scotland

  • Toby Webster

    Advisor, Biennale International Artist Residencies

    Director The Modern Institute, Glasgow, Scotland

  • Pooja Sood

    Advisor, Biennale International Artist Residencies

    Director, KHOJ, New Delhi, India

  • Bose Krishnamachari

    Advisor, Biennale International Artist Residencies

    Co-Founder and Director Kochi-Muziris Biennale, India

  • Basma El Husseiny

    Advisor, Biennale International Artist Residencies

    Managing Director of Cultural Resource (Al Mawred Al Thaqafy), Cairo Egypt


  • Yosef Wosk

    Philanthropist, Scholar, Educator

  • David Watson

    CEO, Craigdarloch Holdings Ltd.

  • Andre Nudelman

    President of LACES – Canadian Education Services Latin America Ltd; President Maple Bear Schools Mexico and Central America; venture capitalist and philanthropist.

  • Fanny Kiefer

    Journalist; Radio and TV Talkshow Host

  • Frank Jones

    Publisher, Palm Springs Life Magazine (Desert Publications Inc)


  • Alessandra Bordon


    Director of Sales, Marketing, and Circulation,  NUVO and MONTECRISTO magazines. Former member of  the Vancouver Biennale Board of Directors.

  • Alannah MacPhail


    Former Faculty of Education Coordinator, sessional instructor at Simon Fraser University, and elementary school principal for Vancouver School District. Former member of the Vancouver Biennale Board of Directors.

  • Joel Solomon


    President of Renewal Partners and Chairman of Renewal Funds. Senior Advisor with RSF Social Finance and a founding member of Social Venture Network (SVN), Business for Social Responsibility (BSR), and the Tides Canada Foundation. Board chair of Hollyhock.

  • David Vogt, Ph.D


    Director of Innovation Strategy for the University of British Columbia MAGIC Lab.  Scientist, innovator, and innovation leader.  Author and instructor of ETEC 522 Ventures in Learning Technology.

  • Blake Bromley


    Humanitarian and international expert on charity law. President of the Benefic Group.

  • Jill Marshall


    President of J. Marshall & Co. Ltd.