Weaving Cultural Identities National Tour


The Weaving Cultural Identities is phase one of a multipart project by the Vancouver Biennale that brings together Indigenous and Islamic communities in a collaborative exploration of weaving traditions and histories, thereby unpacking uneasy issues of belonging, displacement, diaspora, the land, and identity.

This phase features a collaboration between 10 Coast Salish Indigenous artists and 8 Muslim artists to create 10 woven prayer rugs. The project is a visual manifest of prominent, national dialogues surrounding the reconciliation of heritage, and the sharing and celebration of cultural knowledge, symbolism, and self-identification through textile traditions.

The Weaving Cultural Identities project was inspired by Saudi Arabian artist, Ajlan Gharem’s public installation Paradise Has Many Gates, a chain-link mosque installed in Sen̓áḵw – Vanier Park, Vancouver BC as part of the 2018-2020 Vancouver Biennale curatorial theme: “re-IMAGE-n”. By reimagining Vancouver’s Indigenous and migrant communities’ loss of identity and sacred traditions through displacement, we can work towards reintroducing traditional practices that reflect spiritual healing and cultural restoration.

Phase two of this project is to be exhibited to national and international audiences: Weaving Cultural Identities: Threads Through Time.

In this first phase of the National tour, Weaving Cultural Identities will tour Canada stopping at 5 cultural institutions in 4 provinces, beginning June 2020 through March 2021.

More venues to come! Please keep checking back for tour updates.

August 28 – October 23, 2020
Artist talk and workshop TBA

November 6 – December 20, 2020
Artist talk and workshop TBA

January 16 – March 13, 2021
Artist talk and workshop TBA

May 8 – Aug 22, 2021
Artist talk and workshop TBA

Weaving Cultural Identities National Tour has been featured in…

Galleries West

Winnipeg Free Press

We look forward to Weaving Cultural Identities coming to your province or territory, and invite you to submit a proposal to be a host venue.

Please email Lori at lori@vancouverbiennale.com

Are you an educator, interested in teaching students K-12 about Weaving Cultural Identities? Check out our downloadable Teachers Guide


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Funded by Canada Council for the Arts, Heritage BC, Government of Canada, Celebrate Canada, Buschlen Mowatt Nichol Foundation, Gearbase Vancouver

Partners: Mauro Vescera, Chief Executive Officer, Museum of Vancouver Sharon M. Fortney, PhD, Curator of Indigenous Collections and Engagement, Mike Mallen, Chief Operating Officer, Museum of Vancouver, Aslam Bubulia, Community Engagement Initiatives, Centre for the Comparative Study of Muslim Cultures and Civilizations, SFU, Voices of Muslim Women, The Canadian Sweater Company, The Sisters Project