Year founded: 1998
Organiser: The Vancouver Biennale


The Vancouver Biennale has a mandate to mount a major biannual outdoor art exhibition featuring world-class international sculptures, new media and performance art. In addition, the Vancouver Biennale produces publications, curriculum, professional symposiums and public lecture series.

The Vancouver Biennale (Vancouver International Sculpture Biennale/Biennale Internationale de la Sculpture de Vancouver) is a non-profit corporation created pursuant to Part 2 of the Canada Corporations Act and a registered charity. It is funded primarily through the sale of art after each exhibition by Phillips de Pury & Company’s. 100% of the profits from that sale are used to fund the next exhibition, which covers the majority of the operating budget.


In 1998, Buschlen Mowatt Galleries developed an initiative with the Vancouver Parks Board to bring leading names in international sculpture to Vancouver for a summer long exhibition on a bi-annual basis. For four months along a one-mile stretch of beach in English Bay the inaugural Project, called “Open Spaces” featured the works of such acclaimed artists as Nicki de St. Phalle (France), Lynn Chadwick (England), Ferdinand Botero (Colombia) and Joel Shapiro (USA).

The second project took place in 2000 expanding the number of participants. Interest and support for the project grew and attracted the support of the Federal Government, the City of Vancouver and sponsors

Open Spaces 2005/2007 was the inaugural Biennale for International Sculpture in Vancouver. For a period of 18 months, the communities of Vancouver and its visitors were invited to participate and interact in a community wide program of special events generated through the strategic placement of 22 major International public art pieces along the walkways, waterfront parks, pathways and major public spaces of Vancouver.