The WALL: A Public Art Initiative

photo credit: John Fukushima

The WALL, located at the CBC Vancouver Broadcast Centre Plaza at 700 Hamilton Street, is a Vancouver Heritage Foundation public art initiative. Made possible by a unique partnership between Vancouver Heritage Foundation and CBC Radio-Canada, with support from JJ Bean Coffee Roasters, and the City of Vancouver Public Art Program, the WALL features a new artist every year.


Proposals for the next WALL art project to be installed fall 2015 are now closed. Thank you to everyone who has submitted a proposal, the new artist will be announced soon.

The newest WALL art installation was officially launched March 27th, 2014 with artist Laiwan speaking about the work, music from Andrew Lee, and free coffee courtesy of JJ Bean Coffee Roasters. Feature image photo credit: John Fukushima.

The WALL exhibits offer artists an opportunity to interpret the theme of "Vancouver's built environment". The current exhibit by Laiwan is entitled "Fountain: the source or origin of anything" and was installed on March 18th, 2014.


Installed on March 18th, 2014 The WALL's current exhibit is by Vancouver based interdisciplinary artist, writer and educator Laiwan. The project is curated by independent curator and writer Joni Low with the support of  Centre A participating arts organization for the 2014 WALL installation.

From the curator:

“Chosen from the CBC’s analogue media archives, the image is a frame from the 16mm film Summer Afternoon (1956), which follows the adventures of two children near Keefer and Columbia Streets along the northern shores of False Creek – areas that have since been filled in as land. The openness of this moment – of easy access to water, sightlines to a distant shore, and reflection of boats floating beneath the Old Georgia Viaduct – mirrors a space of extended imagination, a fluidity of consciousness.

Laiwan has also created a parallel web project that extends the exploration of fluidity throughout the city, bringing together the oral and natural histories of nearby communities. This virtual public space, a communal archive, is open for all to contribute, to create a shared flow of ideas over time.”

Visit the web project here.


"“the people are the city …” relies on a vernacular experience of architecture and is composed of two distinct elements: an archival image and a text component, both retrieved from the CBC archives.  The image is from the CBC Archive’s collection of photographs by Franz Lindner and shows an instructor with his students at the Vancouver Vocational Institute in 1963.  The text "The people are the city" was a headline taken from a copy of the CBC Times, a weekly programming guide published during the 1960's.  "The people are the city" was the title of a radio program covering a winter conference which aired on January 28, 1966 about the practice of local democracy and was a joint venture between the CBC and the Canadian Institute on Public Affairs....“the people are the city …” comments on architecture’s social responsibility, that architecture and social spaces are fundamentally conceived and built from personal and vernacular histories that ultimately builds communities and contributes toward collective and official historical memories."

"the people are the city..." is the work of Vancouver based artist Paul de Guzman and was displayed from March 22nd, 2013 to March 18, 2014.


Barbara Cole                    Colin Preston

Leah Macfarlane              Joost Bakker

Judith Mosley, Executive Director, VHF

Back to Top