Western Front - Vancouver

Contact :

Name of the responsible structure : Western Front Society
Profile of the initiators of the project: eight artists
Continent : North America
Country : Canada
Address/tel/fax : 303 East 8th Avenue
Vancouver, BC, V5T 1S1
Tel : (604) 876-9343
Fax : (604) 876-4099
Mail : admin@front.bc.ca
Website : www.front.bc.ca
Contact : Gabriel Alden, General Manager


The Western Front Society is an artist run centre that is dedicated to the production, exhibition, and promotion of contemporary electronic/media art. The organization’s facilities are housed in a turn of the century Knights of Pythias Hall - a two and a half storey wooden building that contains an exhibition space, a dance studio, a live performance venue, and a video production and recording studio. Through a variety of programs we commission artists to make presentations and create new work. FRONT magazine is a bi-monthly publication of artist ideas and Western Front program information.

Since our inception in 1973, we have maintained a commitment to the exploration of alternatives to mainstream culture. Performance art, electronic music and video have evolved to accomodate telecommunications and computer interactive works. An interest in non-western cultural traditions has helped us to establish links with contemporary artists in East Asia, India and Latin America. The Western Front is a node on a global network of artist initiated projects.


The Western Front was founded in 1973 by eight artists who wanted to create a space for the exploration and creation of new art and new art forms. It quickly became a focal point for poets, dancers, musicians and visual artists. As a focal point of experimental art practice through the 1970’s and 80’s, the Western Front, and other centres like it, played a major role in the development of the electronic art form. This includes video-art, sound-art, the use of telecommunications to explore a global arts network, and the use of computer-interactive technologies to explore the connection between the art-viewer and the art-space. From the outset, the Western Front has been linked to similar ventures in other countries. Over the years the organization has become the training ground and springboard for many young artists, especially those working outside the commercial art market. With a staff of ten people plus students and volunteers, the centre now produces over 100 events a year. It’s artist-in-residence program invites artists from many different countries to produce new works in media/electronic art.

Foundation year : 1973


- exhibition space
- a dance studio
- a live performance venue
- a video production and recording studio

Social and artistic disciplines

-  music : residencies, jazz, electronics, contemporary and world music (especially from the asia-pacific region), spaces rental for productions

-  contemporary dance : spaces rental for performances

-  visual art: production, exhibition, and promotion of contemporary electronic/media art, artist-in-residence program (to produce new works in media/electronic art),

-  cinema/audiovisual : spaces rental for film/video screenings

-  spaces rental for debates/lecture/conferences

-  literature/poetry :spaces rental for readings and events

-  press : front magazine