Renfrew-Collingwood Community News

News stories from the Renfrew-Collingwood community in East Vancouver

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What’s up at VIVO Media Arts Centre – Digital archives, exhibits and more

From VIVO’s poster collection exhibition, Videographics, curated by Paul Wong. Photo: VIVO Media Arts Centre

From VIVO’s poster collection exhibition, Videographics, curated by Paul Wong. Photo: VIVO Media Arts Centre

VIVO Media Arts Centre is one of Canada’s leading artist-run centres dedicated to the exploration, creation and dissemination of media arts. Since moving to Renfrew-Collingwood a year ago it’s become an integral part of our cultural community. In addition to its educational programs, artist-in-residence series, production support services and regular media art programming, it has brought some of Vancouver’s most innovative cultural events to the neighbourhood, including the International Symposium of Electronic Arts, LIVE Biennale of Performance Art and Vancouver New Music Festival.

What you may not know is that VIVO is also home of the Crista Dahl Media Library & Archive (CDMLA) – Western Canada’s largest collection of media art and independently produced documentaries. Its collection dates back to 1968 when Vancouver artists first got their hands on Sony’s revolutionary portable video recorders. The collection includes more than 6,000 video titles in addition to publications, documents, photographs, film and almost five decades of video technology.

Whether originally recorded on open-reel videotape or the latest digital technologies, the CDMLA makes rare works accessible to academics, curators, historians and the public through in-house research and curated exhibitions and events. There are several in the coming months you should check out.

Inside VIVO’s video archive. The display monitor was part of a larger exhibition by On Main Gallery entitled The Long Time: 21st Century Art of Steele + Tomczak. Photo: On Main Gallery

Inside VIVO’s video archive. The display monitor was part of an exhibit by On Main Gallery entitled The Long Time: 21st Century Art of Steele + Tomczak. Photo: On Main Gallery

From November 22 to 28, VIVO joins grunt gallery and Western Front in presenting the inaugural Vancouver Independent Archives Week, a diverse series of free public events illustrating the unique value of artist-based archives and the vibrant history they contain.

VIVO’s exhibition will provide an overview of the archive’s history, highlight recent creative research projects, and immerse visitors in new media art incorporating or working with archival material including sound pieces, experimental video and installations. It will also feature an evening screening of newly digitized video by Gayblevision, Canada’s first TV series produced by and for the LGBT community. This historic series documents the people, places, events and ideas that defined Vancouver’s LGBT scene in the 1980s. Gayblevision alumni will be in attendance.

December features two events. On Wednesday, December 2, Vancouver’s first feminist film and video production centre, Women in Focus, will be featured at CDMLA’s popular annual dinner fundraiser, EATa: Evening at the Archive. This intimate and interactive series invites guests to view materials unique to the archive around a specific theme and to engage in a collegial conversation with the artists and others who were critical players in that historical moment.

On Friday, December 4, the volume is raised as local punk legends donate their talent for a one-of-a-kind musical extravaganza in aid of the collection of artist, provocateur and punk videographer, Lenore Herb.

VIVO Media Arts Centre is located at 2625 Kaslo Street. For information on all VIVO programs visit their website at or their Facebook page. Want to know more about the events above or the Crista Dahl Media Library & Archive? Email

Copyright (c) 2015 Renfrew-Collingwood Community News