Art in Vancouver on a student budget

Most students have a limited budget especially at the end of the school year. Though it may feel like there is no way to leave home without spending you last dime there are still a few great ways to get out of the house and get cultured for free (or close to it).

The Vancouver Art Gallery


Every Tuesday evening from 5-9 p.m. is pay what you can at the Vancouver Art Gallery, so everyone can afford to go. I have see people pay triple the regular fee or just waltz in after paying mere pennies. It is up to you. Needless to say, these evenings are usually very busy but still a lot of fun.

To avoid the crowds without breaking the bank I opted for a student membership, which is just $45. It gives me unlimited access to the gallery for a year, invitations to show openings and two free tickets to bring friends with you. I like to go back to shows more than once and the gallery often has quiet places to sit and chat or just reflect. Current exhibitions include WE: Vancouver, Ken Lum, and Unreal.

The Equinox Gallery on South Granville Street

Looking is free

South Granville Street is loaded with galleries that range from cozy and quaint to so snooty you have to be buzzed in. Either way they are a great adventure. The art sold in these galleries goes for more money than I can imagine. But it’s fun to look and there is no temptation to buy like there might be at the nearby Granville Island.

Equinox Gallery is one of my favourite stops along South Granville. The artists shown here are usually quite prolific. A collection of works by abstract painter Jack Shadbolt will be showing at the Equinox Gallery from March 11 to April 9.


Art around us

Sure, Vancouverites love to walk the seawall, but why not do a self-guided tour of the art that peppers the shoreline as you walk. The City of Vancouver has put together a printable map of public art in the city including architectural, historic, and cultural landmarks. What a great excuse to get out and explore!

One of Myfanwy MacLeod’s birds; public art at the Olympic Village.


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