Western Front is one of Canada’s leading artist-run centres for contemporary art and new music. We produce and present visual art exhibitions, new music concerts and workshops, media art residencies, performance art and other artist-driven initiatives. Western Front currently maintains programs in Exhibitions, Media Art, and New Music, as well as an extensive archive of audio-visual materials. Through this diverse programming we continue to be a crucial platform for interdisciplinary, experimental art practices in Canada and internationally.
Western Front was founded in 1973 by eight artists (Martin Bartlett, Mo van Nostrand, Kate Craig, Henry Greenhow, Glenn Lewis, Eric Metcalfe, Michael Morris, and Vincent Trasov) who wanted to create a space for the exploration and creation of new art forms. It quickly became a centre for poets, dancers, musicians, and visual artists interested in exploring interdisciplinary practices. As a focal point of experimental art practice through the 1970’s and 80’s, Western Front, in connection with other centres like it, played a major role in the development of electronic and networked art forms in a national and international context.
Over its 46-year history, Western Front has promoted critical investigations into and surrounding interdisciplinary, media-based, anti-object, and ephemeral practices with particular attention to the contexts and economies in which art is produced. While general curatorial priorities have remained dedicated to these practices, Western Front’s internal structure has continued to evolve and a number of distinct programs have been established and retired over the years including Performance Art, Movement Arts, Literary Arts, and Front Magazine. Western Front still continues to program events and exhibitions related to these genres, but no longer supports fully dedicated departments.
Western Front is located on the unceded, ancestral, and occupied, traditional lands of the xʷməθkʷəy̓əm (Musqueam), Səl̓ílwətaʔ (Tsleil-Waututh), and Skwxwú7mesh (Squamish) Nations of the Coast Salish peoples.