WE ARE OCEAN – Vancouver


Commissioned by the Vancouver Biennale to the international arts organization ARTPORT_making waves, WE ARE OCEAN – Vancouver is a brand new project we are launching for Vancouver-area students. This exciting project is an artistic contribution to the Preparatory Phase of the UN Decade Of Ocean Science for Sustainable Development (2021-2030), and is part of the global program ARTPORT_WE ARE OCEAN with young people around the world.


Join this new education initiative, led by artists T’uy’t’tanat Cease Wyss and Olivier Salvas


Participants: Students in grades 5-9, teachers and parents in the Vancouver area (open to the public).

When: November 2020 until Summer 2021. Join anytime.

Registration: Free to participate. Teachers can email Jessa at learning@vancouverbiennale.com with your name, the name of your school, grade, number of students, and school to enrol your class.


WE ARE OCEAN-Vancouver is an interactive journey created by ARTPORT_making waves, commissioned by the Vancouver Biennale and delivered by the Vancouver artists T’uy’t’tanat Cease Wyss and Olivier Salvas. Through this program’s multi-media, cross-curricular learning modules, students of British-Columbia will reflect on and learn about the effects of climate change on the ocean and the impact this has on ecosystems and the Indigenous culture of the land of the Squamish, Tsleil-Waututh & Musqueam First Nations. They will learn through diverse activities based on the First People Principles of learning and on STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, Mathematics) principles. Modules are self-paced and easily adaptable by teachers for the needs of their class.


Throughout the modules, students will explore such topics as:

  • the relationship of local Indigenous peoples with the ocean
  • the diversity of life and the ecosystems of the Pacific Northwest
  • climate change, ocean health and shorelines
  • and more

The four learning modules can be experienced in the classroom and at home, while also engaging students through our free We Are Ocean – Vancouver student app. This program easily adapts for both in-class and remote learning.

Beyond the Classroom

T’uy’t’tanat Cease Wyss and Olivier Salvas will be hosting a podcast (available on the app, online and on all streaming platforms) throughout the program where they further explore the topics in each module and will connect with the participating students and classrooms. Students and teachers are encouraged to submit work samples that will be added to the app and discussed in the podcast, creating a virtual community of learners amongst all participants. In the spring of 2021, all participants will take part in a year-end art project in Vancouver on the theme of giving back to the ocean inspired by local Indigenous practices.

Part of a Global Initiative

WE ARE OCEAN – Vancouver is part of the international program WE ARE OCEAN curated by ARTPORT_making waves’s Anne-Marie Melster which aims at reflecting upon important questions regarding the cause and effects of the man-made alteration of the ocean. It will illustrate how we all, citizens of every country, both cause and are impacted by the state of the ocean but are also potential contributors to positive change. WE ARE OCEAN will act in an inclusive way by actively integrating visitors and participants in the discussions to search for bottom-up initiatives towards political change.

Questions? Ready to enrol your class?

Email Jessa at learning@vancouverbiennale.com with the teacher name, school and grade to register and we’ll help to get you started with WE ARE OCEAN – Vancouver.


Curated by: