Special Events

*TICKETED EVENT | All programming is in the Gallery and free with Gallery Admission unless otherwise indicated.
Dates and times are subject to change. Please check back for complete up-to-date listings.

MAY 15
ANNEX Theatre
823 Seymour Street
Heller Lecture:
Vivek Shraya

Moving Still: Performative Photography in India

Join artist, writer and musician Vivek Shraya for the annual Heller Lecture, where she will delve into how personal narrative relates to image-making, visibility, gender identity and cultural tradition. During her lecture, Shraya will move in and out of autobiography, song and storytelling as she shares recent bodies of work that provide a glimpse into her multi-faceted practice.

Shraya’s work centres around an expansive conceptualization of “gender,” cultural belonging and tradition. It also serves as an offering to anyone who has been misgendered, made to feel not feminine enough, or struggles to find home in a language that resists complexity.

The 2019 Heller Lecture is presented in conjunction with the exhibition Moving Still: Performative Photography in India, which features artists who participate in their own photo-narratives, positioning themselves at the centre of social and political inquiry.

About the Artist

Vivek Shraya is an artist whose body of work crosses the boundaries of music, literature, visual art and film. Her best-selling new book, I’m Afraid of Men, was heralded by Vanity Fair as “cultural rocket fuel,” and her album with Queer Songbook Orchestra, Part-Time Woman, was included in CBC’s list of Best Canadian Albums of 2017. She is one half of the music duo Too Attached and the founder of the publishing imprint VS. Books. A Polaris Music Prize nominee and four-time Lambda Literary Award finalist, Vivek was a 2016 Pride Toronto Grand Marshal, was featured on The Globe and Mail’s Best Dressed list, and has received honours from The Writers’ Trust of Canada and The Publishing Triangle. She is currently a director on the board of the Tegan and Sara Foundation and an Assistant Professor of Creative Writing at the University of Calgary.

About the Heller Lecture

The Heller Lecture has been one of the Vancouver Art Gallery’s most important public events since its inception in 2002. This program has enabled us to provide audiences with thought-provoking and engaging presentations by an impressive list of guest speakers, including American feminist artist Judy Chicago; renowned scholar of surrealism Dawn Ades; the Senior Curator of Prints and Drawings at the Royal Collection Martin Clayton; celebrated historian and bestselling author Ross King; and Pulitzer Prize-winning comic artist Art Spiegelman, to name just a few.

Generously supported by Paul and Edwina Heller in memory of Kitty Heller.

This project is supported by

Tickets: $35 Member | $40 General Admission


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In the Gallery and
Annex Workshop
BC Access Awareness Day

As part of an ongoing effort to welcome visitors living with different abilities, the Gallery is pleased to present a day of programming designed for the low vision community. Visit us to discover diverse facets of human experience in our current exhibitions, and explore opportunities for advancing accessibility and inclusion within cultural institutions.

In-Gallery Activities

10:30 AM
Described Tour

Moving Still: Performative Photography in India

Join us for our regular monthly Described Tour, offered on the first Saturday of every month. Led by specially trained Art Educators, these exhibition tours include visual description to make the art on display more accessible. Each tour lasts approximately 1 hour. Please meet in the Gallery Lobby at 10:30 AM. The Described Tour will begin at 11 AM.

Sighted visitors are welcome to attend; however, priority will be given to those who are blind or partially sighted. Spaces are limited. Find out more »

Registration is required. To register, please contact VocalEye Volunteer Coordinator Donna at least 72 hours in advance of the tour date by emailing buddies@vocaleye.ca.

12-3 PM
Open House: Sensory Tours and Reception

Annex Workshop

Take part in engaging tactile activities facilitated by the Gallery's Art Educators, while enjoying light refreshments and mingling with guests. Activities will include an introduction to a selection of sculptural materials, as well as a discussion about how these materials are used by artists and conserved by museums.

Free and open to the public.

2-3 PM
Sandeep Johal In Conversation with Sirish Rao

Moving Still: Performative Photography in India
3rd Floor Rotunda

In conjunction with the exhibition Moving Still: Performative Photography in India, the Vancouver Art Gallery has collaborated with a number of community and research partners—including the Indian Summer Festival, Capture Photography Festival and the Asia Art Archive—to develop a rich picture of India’s art ecology in the 3rd Floor Rotunda.

In this interpretive and interactive space, visitors are invited to sit, consider and expand on the themes in the exhibition. The Rotunda’s walls feature vibrant murals by Vancouver-based artist Sandeep Johal and literary quotes selected by local writer and co-founder of the Indian Summer Festival, Sirish Rao.

Join Johal and Rao for a descriptive tour and discussion of the space to conclude the Gallery's BC Access Awareness Day celebrations.

Free for Members or with Gallery admission.

Not a member? Become one today!


Sandeep Johal is a Canadian visual artist whose colourful geometric forms and intricate black and white line work is aesthetically and conceptually inspired by her South Asian heritage. Johal believes in the power of art to create awareness around issues related to cultural identity, gender equality and human rights. Her art practice is an expression of her social and cultural concerns, particularly gender justice.

Sirish Rao is a writer, producer, cultural curator with deep connections to the international cultural world. He spent a decade as Director of one of India’s most respected publishing houses and has worked in event production in India, the United Kingdom and Europe. Rao has authored twenty books, from commentaries on street art to children’s books to re-tellings of Greek plays. His books have been translated into seventeen languages and won several international awards.

The Vancouver Art Gallery is wheelchair accessible. Street-level access is available through our Hornby and Robson street entrances, open during all public hours. Wheelchairs are available to visitors on a first-come first-served basis or may be reserved in advance of your visit by calling 604.662.4700. A Service Animal may accompany a visitor to all public areas of the Vancouver Art Gallery. Please ask our admissions staff for the locations of washrooms on each floor.