Free admission for 18 years old and under at Vancouver Art Gallery over the next five years

Jun 1 2022, 2:01 pm

For five years starting on July 1, 2022, Canada Day, all children and youth 18 years old and under will be able to enjoy free admission anytime into the Vancouver Art Gallery (VAG).

The program was announced today and is made possible by a $1 million donation from the April 1 Foundation of Vancouver. The donation goes towards subsidizing the forecasted lost revenue from providing youth with free admission.

“The Gallery is a place to meet and share ideas. With the support of the April 1 Foundation of Vancouver, thousands of children and youth 18 years old and under will have the opportunity to engage with art and foster their own creativity,” said Anthony Kiendl, Director and CEO of the Vancouver Art Gallery, in a statement.

“Learning and Community are among our core priorities. With this initiative and the launch of our new exhibit Kids Take Over, the Gallery is playing an active role in improving accessibility and fostering creative thinking and problem solving for all ages and backgrounds. We can’t wait to welcome even more of our youngest visitors to the Gallery.”

Free admission for youth also coincides with VAG’s recently launched exhibition, Kids Take Over, which runs until September 11, 2022. This exhibition showcases artworks from the gallery’s collection alongside texts and drawings by local students, with the rotunda and alcoves transformed into dynamic interactive spaces that feature regular programming for families and kids, including a workshop for teens led by artist Chantal Gibson.

Currently, children ages 6 to 12 pay $6.50 to enter the VAG, while students (including post-secondary students) pay $18. Admission is already free for kids five years old and under.

The new free youth admission program is in addition to the VAG’s ongoing “admission by donation” period every Tuesday from 5 pm to 8 pm for all visitors.

The five-year free youth admission initiative spans over the VAG’s timeline for preparing to move to its new purpose-designed building a few blocks to the east along West Georgia Street, next to Queen Elizabeth Theatre. Construction on the $400 million facility could begin as early as later this year for a planned opening in 2027.

The new building offers significantly added exhibition and programming spaces. Upon opening, it is expected to see over one million visitors each year, including 100,000 youth in educational programming.

The project gained much new momentum in November 2021, when real estate developer and art philanthropist Michael Audain announced a historic donation of $100 million towards the new building. At the time, the VAG indicated it still needed to raise the remaining $160 million, with a goal of receiving $80 million from the federal government and other community partners, and a further $80 million from philanthropy.

A development permit application for the VAG’s new building, designed by internationally renowned architectural firm Herzog de Meuron, was submitted to the City of Vancouver earlier this year.

vancouver art gallery new design 2021

Revised 2021 design of the new building for the Vancouver Art Gallery at Larwill Park. (Vancouver Art Gallery)

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