LIVE is a Vancouver showcase of international contemporary performance art. The LIVE Biennale of Performance Art Society is a non–profit society with Federal charitable status whose mandate is To advance the public’s appreciation of the arts by producing arts exhibitions and performance arts events for the public, and by providing a forum for qualified artists to perform or display their works through participation in such events.
LIVE began in 1999 as ‘Live at the End of the Century’, a one time festival inviting leading Vancouver art galleries and institutions to celebrate the history of performance art in Vancouver. It brought together the divergent local art community into a new, single vision and purpose and proposed a unique functional model for presenting and celebrating performance art in Vancouver. LIVE has gone on to present seven bi–annual editions that have showcased works by some 300 local, national and international emerging, established and celebrated artists through partnerships with over 30 local and national art galleries and institutions. Although international in scope, LIVE is foremost a Vancouver festival and forum created out of a local, grassroots need and desire. While LIVE explores the cutting edge of global performance art, it remains grounded in our city and community with a vision to promote ongoing dialogue connecting people and community. We want to create meaning in new, real and cohesive ways and to open dialogue between our local artists and what is happening elsewhere. We understand the importance of connecting our community to opportunities nationally and internationally, with intention that introducing artists here and from other regions will seed a network to promote future collaboration between artists and organizers in Vancouver and those elsewhere.
LIVE enjoys a unique national profile. The scale, intensity and degree of cultural diversity are unparalleled across Canada. LIVE is recognized and celebrated internationally and has succeeded to bring attention to Vancouver and Canada as a significant international contemporary art destination. LIVE is now an intrinsic part of our city’s distinctive character, as expressed in its history, and enjoys a special place in the annals of avant-garde Vancouver art making. Forward thinking, experimental, collaborative, multi–media and performance art were first pioneered here in the 1960’s. Many milestones of the performance art lexicon have been created in our city and by artists from here.
LIVE has created opportunity to be a culturally and critically significant international contemporary art venue. As defined by our mandate, reflected through our Board of Directors, consultants, volunteers and partner organizations, and as expressed through our artistic program and outreach projects, LIVE is a celebration of personal identity inclusive of and sensitive to First Nations, visible minorities, sexual orientations and people of different ages and histories.
LIVE optimistically looks towards the future as a sustainable, cohesive international contemporary art forum that attracts the best and brightest practitioners of new, experiential and experimental performance art. We intend to be a culturally significant, comprehensive venue and a critically based node for Vancouver and Canada that examines 21st century art and culture in new, engaging, and diversified ways.