Creative Mornings Vancouver With Barrie Mowatt

Tuesday June 14th, 2016


Guest Post Written By Keleigh C. Asbury, Director of Career Services at The Art Institute of Vancouver


If you haven’t had the luck of winning a lottery ticket to a Vancouver Creative Mornings event, you’ve definitely been missing out. June’s talk with Barrie Mowatt of the Vancouver Biennale was thrilling as he took us down a vibrant memory lane from his days working in Vancouver’s public school system to how he became the founder of one of our region’s most significant arts organizations. Attending on behalf of The Art Institute of Vancouver as the supporting partner, I was truly inspired by why we were all in the room: a collaborative vision for creating a more inclusive yet forward-thinking creative community in Vancouver. In under two hours it seemed to all come together under the wit of Barrie Mowatt.


Under the theme of “Broken”, I was engaged by Barrie’s wisdom and cut-throat humor. Barrie the self-proclaimed adventurer, innovator, epicurean, aesthete (of which I can attest), reminded us that it was ok to “break some rules while realizing your vision”. He was the first person to help integrate our local, public school system for persons with disabilities. He opened up Vancouver to the international art market when Parisians could barely find us on the map. He demonstrated that a career path can be steered by its own creative ingenuity. He shared through his stories that continually doing the right thing can and does lead to long-term success. He joked that “liking them young” was really a metaphor for keeping his creative energy flowing. If you attended that event and weren’t inspired to do something original, take a chance, or break a rule for a higher purpose you must have gone back to get a coffee refill like 9 times.


Creative Mornings is one of the best community-building engines for introspective, intellectual and creative conversation in our city – and there are 148 just like them around the world. The Biennale was the vehicle for this month’s inspiration in Vancouver. It’s important that we support these collaborations because without our community coming together to share our creative visions, voices, challenges and opportunities, “broken” under the traditional interpretation is what we would stay. According to Barrie, broken is ok. Being broken is what fuels change for the good [insert your own Breaking Bad pun here]. So glad I got up early on June 3rd, but of course the morning coffee really helped.

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