In 2014, families with young children will have more reason than ever to visit theVancouver Art Gallery.
Starting Jan. 5, the gallery – Western Canada’s largest art museum – is offering free admission every Sunday for kids 12 and under.
That means free access to more than 10,000 works of art spanning several centuries, from masterpieces by Canada’s Group of Seven landscape painters to contemporary photography and an extensive collection of paintings by British Columbia’s own Emily Carr.
The offer complements the gallery’s existing Weekly Family Programs, a series of child-friendly tours and hands-on sessions held each Sunday. Activities include Art Agents (whimsical art experts who help kids explore the galleries), Art Tracks (interactive tours led by artists, dancers, musicians and others) and The Making Place (collaborative workshops where kids make their own masterpieces).
The free Sunday admission at the gallery is expected to benefit more than 50,000 children and their families each year. The program is supported by the Diamond Foundation, one of Canada’s largest charities and a long-time supporter of the gallery.
Visitors to the gallery in January can enjoy more than a half-dozen blockbuster exhibits. Emily Carr: Deep Forest showcases dozens of rich, mysterious forest landscapes from the 1930s, painted by Carr near her Victoria home. Charles Edenshaw highlights more than 200 pieces of Northwest Coast art from one of the country’s legendary First Nation artists. Muntadas Entre/Between offers a 40-year retrospective of the work of multimedia artist Antoni Muntadas, whose art includes video, photos, web-based projects, performance and more.
Meanwhile, the gallery’s permanent collection highlights the most significant works to come out of the region in the last century, including pieces by Vancouver photoconceptualists Jeff Wall, Stan Douglas, Rodney Graham and others. There’s also an extensive collection of 17th-century Dutch landscapes and a significant repository of photographs from the likes of Ansel Adams, Cindy Sherman and Henri Cartier-Bresson.