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Burnaby Art Gallery
Fairacres Mansion 04.JPG
Exterior facade of Burnaby Art Gallery in 2012
Established 1967 (1967)
Location 6344 Deer Lake Avenue
Burnaby, British Columbia,
Type Art museum
Architect Robert Percival Sterling Twizell
Owner City of Burnaby

The Burnaby Art Gallery (abbreviated as BAG) is an art museum in Burnaby, British Columbia, Canada. The museum is located on the northern periphery of Deer Lake Park, situated off of Deer Lake Avenue. The museum occupies Fairacres Mansion, a historic residence designated as a historic site by the provincial government.

The institution was established through a private association in 1967, who used the publicly owned Fairacres Mansion to exhibit its collection. The association continued to manage the museum until 1998, when the municipal government of Burnaby assumed control of the museum's collections, and governance.

The museum's permanent collection holds more that 6,000 artworks. It is the only public art collection in Canada dedicated to works on paper.

Scope of operation

Established in 1967, the Burnaby Art Gallery has been dedicated to collecting, preserving and presenting a contemporary and historical visual art program by local, national and internationally recognized artists. The Burnaby Art Gallery cares for and manages over 6,000 works of art in the City of Burnaby's Permanent Art Collection. Located at 6344 Deer Lake Avenue, the Burnaby Art Gallery is operated by the City of Burnaby.

Building history

The Burnaby Art Gallery is located in Fairacres Mansion, which was designed by Robert Percival Sterling Twizell (1875-1964). Fairacres Mansion, also called Ceperley House, for its original owners, was built in 1910 at an estimated cost of C$150,000.00, making it the largest and most expensive house in Burnaby, BC of its time. It was constructed in the Edwardian Arts and Crafts style with handmade fixtures, carpentry and tiled fireplaces. The grounds included horse stables, an aviary, gazebo and pergola, lagoons, strawberry fields, greenhouses, a steam plant and a gardener's cottage. The tiles throughout the house were imported from England, fabricated by Conrad Dressler and his Medmenham Pottery. In the former billiards room and parlour, a grand oak mantelpiece, hand-carved by George Selkirk Gibson, bears a quote by Ralph Waldo Emerson: "The ornament of a house is the friends who frequent it." On the death of the original owner, Grace Ceperley, the house was sold to a series of private owners. In 1939, it was acquired by Benedictine monks, and became an Abbey in 1953. The Order vacated the house in 1954 when it moved to Westminster Abbey (British Columbia) in Mission. After the Benedictines sold the property, it was used by the Canadian Temple of More Abundant Life and as a fraternity house for Simon Fraser University's Delta Upsilon Fraternity. In 1966, the Burnaby Art Society, led by Jack Hardman, Sheila Kincaid and Winifred Denny, among others, worked with the City of Burnaby to purchase the 3.4 hectares (8.4 acres) site for C$166,000.00. The Burnaby Art Gallery opened its doors in June 1967.

Permanent collection

The Burnaby Art Gallery manages a collection of over 6,000 works on paper, primarily created by Canadian artists. Highlights include substantial holdings by Ernest Lumsden, Jack Shadbolt, Takao Tanabe, Susan Point, BC Binning, Roy Henry Vickers, Laurence Hyde, Gathie Falk, Sylvia Tait, Ann Kipling, and Alistair Bell.

Select exhibitions since 1967

The Burnaby Art Gallery has organized and hosted a number of temporary, and travelling exhibitions. A select list of exhibitions held at the museum since 1967 include:

  • 4th National Print Show (1967)
  • Feather Power (1971)
  • Due West (1972)
  • Mystic Circle (1973)
  • Traces: Claude Breeze, Gathie Falk, Brian Fisher, D'arcy Henderson, Reg Holmes, Glenn Lewis, David Mayrs, Michael Morris, Gary Lee-Nova, Bodo Pfeifer, N.E.Thing Co. (1973)
  • Douglas J. Cardinal: Architect (1978)
  • Northwest Renaissance (1980)
  • In the Beginning was the Word: Dutch, Prussian and Russian Mennonite Manuscripts in North American Collections (1983)
  • Northern Exposure: Inuit Images of Travel (1986)
  • A Quarter Century of Collecting (1992)
  • Counterpoint: The Prints of Jack Shadbolt (1996)
  • New Media: Artwork from the 60s and 70s in Vancouver (2002)
  • Ernest S. Lumsden (2003)
  • Shirley Bear: Wibhun (2007)
  • Aganetha Dyck: Collaborations (2009)
  • The Solitudes of Place: Recent Drawings by Ann Kipling (2011)
  • Micah Lexier: Working as a Drawing (2012)
  • Terrance Houle: National Indian Leg Wrestling League of North America (2012)
  • Gathie Falk: Paperworks (2014)
  • Eli Bornowsky: All is Unmentionable, Up in the Air (2014)
  • Tania Willard: dissimulation (2017)
  • The Ornament of a House: 50 Years of Collecting (2017)
  • Sylvia Tait: Journey (2018)
  • Anna Wong: Traveller on Two Roads (2018-2021, touring)
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