After just over 10 years (2009-2019) in its present location at 555 Hamilton Street, Or Gallery is moving to 236 East Pender Street. We will reopen our gallery and bookstore in our new location this October.
Support the next phase of the Or Gallery's history by giving to the Or Gallery moving campaign! Funds will contribute to gallery improvements and help with the long term sustainability of the organization at this critical juncture.
Or Gallery has benefited for many years from the low rental cost of 555 Hamilton, a space that has nurtured several gallery spaces over the years, including Bau Xi, Contemporary Art Gallery, and the Belkin Satellite as well as the Or Gallery. While we have been served well over the years by our current location, it is important to acknowledge the long history the Or Gallery has had throughout Vancouver since 1983. Each phase of growth has significantly contributed to the Or Gallery’s role within the Vancouver arts community. We want to thank all of the previous directors, staff and volunteers for the many hours spent making Or Gallery what it is today.
Our move comes as economic realities have shifted around us. Or Gallery makes this strategic decision to move to a new location at a moment when local real estate costs have elevated well beyond any typical cycle of gentrification. Today’s market speculation has reconfigured the reality of being part of the Vancouver community, a fact that impacts all organizations and individuals living and working here. As the Or moves forward, we will continue to balance the need for a tightly budgeted operation, fair compensation for our staff and artists, and free programming for our public. This move is another step in our continued commitment to fulfill our mandate as a critical yet accessible forum for contemporary art and ideas, provided in a clean and safe environment.
Or Gallery joins the thriving arts community in Vancouver’s Chinatown by transforming our ground floor site on East Pender (formerly Unit Pitt Gallery) to serve as an excellent exhibition space, bookstore, community hub, and centre for discourse. We look forward to our new home in a shared complex of artist studios managed by fellow artist-run centre 221A, and neighboured by a community of studio artists, with close proximity to a number of arts organizations. We are excited about the potential for concurrently planned openings, cross-pollination of curatorial exploration, and sharing strategies for survival and solidarity as Vancouver art institutions.
We have greatly benefited from the support of donors and sponsors over the decades of the Or Gallery's history. Thank you so much to everyone who has supported the gallery to date. We hope you will join us in celebrating the new space later this year at the Or Gallery annual winter fundraiser and members’ drive party this December. Details to be announced!
The Or Gallery Staff and Board
Allison Collins, Cissie Fu, Yasmine Haiboub, Mark Harris, Karina Irvine, Asia Jong, Denise Ryner, Krista Belle Stewart, Michelle Weinstein & Laurie White