Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts


Visual Arts


Dr. Kirsty Robertson


This thesis examines the way in which Vancouver art is positioned in terms of its geographical origin, “Vancouver Art,” by “Vancouver Artists” in three case studies, Baja to Vancouver (2003-2005), Intertidal (2005-2006) and Vancouver’s Cultural Olympiad (2007-2010) that accompanied the 2010 Winter Olympic Games. It is my contention that the three case studies taken up in this thesis embraced place-promotion through the arts and culture, the Floridian language of economic instrumentalization of art and creativity, and the global projection of Vancouver art through the geographical positioning of arts and culture. I consider how the city-centric positioning of Vancouver art has antecedents in Vancouver art history but has lately acquired an increasingly promotional significance as major cities are looking to the work of urban-planning theorists such as Richard Florida whose work champions economic instrumentalization of culture and the branding of cities globally through the arts. In each of the case studies the curatorial positioning stressed the local or regional engagement of the work and simultaneously championed its global relevance. Not only a curatorial endeavor, the surrounding catalogue, critical and

journalistic writing on Vancouver art presents the city and its art production in the same manner. While the artistic practices and works represented in the exhibitions may critique and comment on Vancouver’s global condition, much of the writing and curatorial theses remain optimistic in tone in the pursuit of global visibility.



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