2017 performance by Guadalupe Martinez at the, CDMLA, thirstDays No.12. Photographer: Alisha Weng.

The CDMLA Collection

The CDMLA at VIVO Media Arts Centre houses Western Canada’s foremost repository of videotapes by artists, activists, and independent producers. Spanning over 50 years of production, its 8000 video titles reflect the history of video art in Canada and abroad, and social and political movements. Media genres include art, documentary, experimental documentary, narrative, synaesthetic, animation, event documentation.

Visit: Origins of the Crista Dahl Media Library & Archive


Scope of materials

The collection includes videos (multiple formats), film (16mm, Super 8), audio tapes, books, periodicals, directories, technology manuals, photographs, legacy technology, media artists & activists files, and the operational records and program documentation of the Satellite Video Exchange Society (legal name) since our 1973 incorporation. While the primary focus is on Canadian artists, international artists and organizations are well represented.

You will find contemporary and historical materials produced by and about media artists, artist-run centres, media organizations, ad-hoc cultural and activist groups, cultural organizations, community television, government agencies, and other artistic disciplines.



Subjects include Video Art, Media Art, Media Theory, Communications, Media Literacy, Electroacoustic and Sound Art, Feminism, LGBTQ2S+, Indigenous Rights, Labour, Immigration, Performance Art, Dance, Punk, Environmentalism, Poverty, Urban Planning.

How to access the collection

See Fonds & Collection  for finding aids,  online fonds, in-house fonds and collection information.


Crista Dahl Media Library & Archive, VIVO Media Arts Centre

In-person at VIVO, Tuesday-Friday, 11-6pm or by appointment.

Our Services

Research (remote and in-person assistance)
Remote access to media content
Exhibition support
Media digitization
Rentals and licensing

Contact Us

For all enquiries or to make an in-person appointment:

For information on how to donate your archive:

Want to learn about VIVO’s other programs & services?

VIVO’s mission is to nurture past, present and future media arts discourses and communities through equitable and public access to resources for preservation, production and dissemination. Follow the link to our main site for more information.