An early incarnation of Bau-Xi, the exterior has changed, but those vitrines still showcase works by gallery artists

Pretty much the eldest contemporary art gallery in Vancouver and one of the longest running galleries in Canada, Bau-Xi will be celebrating their 50th year in operation this May. The celebrations will include an exhibition of works from current artists as well as a specially curated exhibition that reflects on the gallery’s past.

The gallery was founded by Paul Huang in 1965, it has been gallery owned and operated ever since that time. The namesake of the gallery, pronounced phonetically as bow-she, translates to great gift or great fortune in Mandarin. At the time it opened, it truly was a great gift for artists living and working in Vancouver, for, although it is hard to imagine now, back in 1965 there was really only one other gallery that was exhibiting contemporary art. Bau-Xi continues to thrive today, with a robust roster of around 60 local and Canadian artists including: David Burdeny, Bobbie Burgers, Tom Burrows, Andre Petterson, and Virginia Mak.

A still of gallery artists captured at Bau-Xi’s 25th anniversary exhibition in 1990.

Exhibiting painting, drawing, photography, mixed media works and sculpture, Bau-Xi has expanded its operations since its inception, adding a second gallery in Toronto (1976), an additional photography focussed gallery in Toronto (2010) and the Foster/White Gallery in Seattle (2001).

As the gallery has been a part of the contemporary art scene in Western Canada for such a long time, they have worked with many great artists throughout the years, Joseph Plaskett, Maxwell Bates, Jack Shadbolt, Brian Kipping, EJ Hughes, Toni Onley, BC Binning, Peter Aspell, Otto Rogers and Gordon Smith to name a few.  One can only imagine the sheer number of artists who have checked out their exhibitions over the years!

The 50th Anniversary celebration kicks off this evening with an opening reception. Sorry folks the event is sold out! But not to worry as the celebrations will continue, the exhibitions will remain up until the 30th of May. There will also be an exhibition tour on Sunday the 24th of May at 2pm, a great opportunity to learn more about the current works and the history of the gallery.

A toast and celebration is most definitely in order for this Vancouver institution.  VIA wishes the gallery many more years of, well… Bau-Xi! Congratulations!


50 Years and Beyond  – Main Floor Gallery – Group exhibition featuring works by current gallery artists.

A Look Back – Upper Floor Gallery – The Huang Family Collection & Historic Works by gallery artists.

Exhibition Tour – Sunday May 24th – 2pm.

Both exhibitions are on from May 7th – 30th.


Bau-Xi Gallery – 3045 Granville Street, Vancouver |  Open: Monday – Saturday 10am-5:30pm, Sunday 11am-5:30pm

Bau-Xi as it is known today
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