The Art Memberships Every Cultural Traveler Needs in Vancouver

The Polygon Gallery's impressive location | © Hayley Simpson
The Polygon Gallery's impressive location | © Hayley Simpson
Photo of Hayley Simpson
Writer25 October 2017

Vancouver is full of art spaces highlighting local, national, and international artists. Any culture-loving person will enjoy visiting the city’s many galleries, theaters, performance art spaces, and museums. Here are the city’s six best art memberships to get the most out of your visits.

Vancouver Art Gallery

The biggest art gallery in the city—and Western Canada—is the Vancouver Art Gallery. It sits inside a neo-classical building that was Vancouver’s former main courthouse. The art institution has several membership options. There are one- and two-year memberships, which vary in price depending on your circumstance. Then there is a Young Associate and Associate tier; the Friend membership; the Young Leadership Circle option; and a Steward Membership. For students, membership prices start a reasonable $48. The gallery says that it is only thanks to its members that it’s able to present such “exciting world-class exhibitions.”

Vancouver Art Gallery | © Mark Pegrum / Flickr

Access Gallery

The Access Gallery is an artist-run establishment founded in 1991. The gallery’s team is proud of the fact that it has been able to collaborate and provide exhibition space to many emerging Canadian contemporary artists. Access Gallery offers both membership and patronage opportunities for people looking to support the gallery’s growth and continued success. Memberships range from individual to advocate, which start at $25. Meanwhile, the first patronage tier is the exhibition benefactor, which begins at $1,000.

Contemporary Art Gallery

A public art gallery, people can visit the Contemporary Art Gallery in Vancouver’s Yaletown neighborhood for free. The gallery is, in fact, the longest-standing public art institution in Vancouver that specializes in exhibiting contemporary visual art. It organizes between 10 and 20 exhibitions and off-site projects annually. Memberships at the CAG range from individual to the prestigious Director’s Circle. Individual and family memberships start at $50 and include special exhibition invitations, discounts on merchandise, and members-only emails.

Inside Contemporary Art Gallery | © VFS Digital Design / Flickr

Richmond Art Gallery

Founded in 1980, the Richmond Art Gallery is the only public art gallery in Richmond. It curates exhibitions featuring local, national, and international artists; is home to permanent displays; and hosts educational programs for children, teenagers, and adults. Its vision is to be one of Canada’s most important public art galleries. Every membership helps the gallery take a step in this direction. Richmond Art Gallery members receive advance notice of new programs, free admission to selected events, discounts on programs, events and catalogues, and Annual General Meeting voting rights.

The Polygon Gallery

The Polygon Gallery is opening on November 18, 2017, in North Vancouver. Located in the former Presentation House Gallery building on the waterfront at Lonsdale Quay, the public art gallery will focus on photography and media-based arts. Its first exhibition is titled N. Vancouver, which asks “how a specific locale can be reflected through existing and newly commissioned artworks by artists from Vancouver and beyond.” The Polygon Gallery currently has three membership levels: first members, corporate members, and founding leadership members.

The Polygon Gallery’s impressive location | © Hayley Simpson

The Beaumont Gallery

“The Beaumont Gallery is committed to programming exhibitions and events showcasing emerging and mid-career artists of all media, who combine artistic [endeavor] with informed critical discourse.” The Beaumont Gallery welcomes both local and international artists who specialize in media such as painting, printmaking, photography, sculpture, and digital art. Memberships at The Beaumont begin from a very reasonable $20 (for The Socialite). Members receive benefits such as access to members-only spaces and guest passes for special events.

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