Beyond the Archive

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Friday, April 28, 2023
Friday, April 28, 2023

Join us for “Beyond the Archive,” a presentation of video and audio works that share stories of community, labour, culture, and living social memory rooted in Musqueam, Squamish, and Tsleil-Waututh land and water. These works use documentary forms in ways that transcend the physical and discursive truth-claims of today’s metropolis, challenging conventional approaches to archiving, history, and meaning formation. Open discussion to follow. Stay tuned for introductions to the evening’s speakers.

“Beyond the Archive” is presented in the context of Crossing Fonds (2023-2024), a project that explores digital tools for community archival research across institutions. Fonds within the project’s case studies include intersections of labour histories, social and gender activism, extensive media, photographic and image archives, and Indigenous and Black art and social histories. The research team includes media arts archivists, leaders and staff of institutional, municipal, and not-for-profit archives, as well as Indigenous, Black, racialized, and gender diverse researchers, curators, and artists.


Indigenous Longshoremen and the IWW, podcast produced by BC Labour Heritage Centre, 2023, 22m
An audio work documenting the contributions of Indigenous longshoremen and lumber workers to the formation of the city port and waterfront before the incorporation of Vancouver.

Future Ancestors, Cease Wyss, 2010, 2:59m
A video work honouring the persistence of tradition, as youth are “returning to the old ways and finding a deeper respect for the natural world through canoe journeys, community gardens and learning their traditional languages and protocols.”

Everything Has Meaning, Ruthie Speck, Tuskonne Blais, Amanda Sioui, and Zainab Aazehda Raja, 2022, 6:09m
A documentary short reflecting on the practice of Musqueam canoe pulling.

Message Sent, Terry Haines, 2012, 4:49m
Shot at Iona Beach, an homage to the wind, water, and wings of existence.

Hogan’s Alley, Andrea Fatona and Cornelia Wyngaarden, 1994, 32m
Documenting the previously unrecorded history of Vancouver’s Black community, specifically Hogan’s Alley, between 1930 and the late 1960s, through stories of the lives of three Black women: Thelma Gibson, Pearl Brown, and Leah Curtis.

Accessibility Information:
Transcriptions of the audio documentary will be available courtesy of the BC Labour Heritage Centre.
Hogan's Alley and Everything Has Meaning have captions (located at the bottom of the image)

Photo credit: Video still from Future Ancestors (2010) by Cease Wyss.

Venue Accessibility

VIVO is located in the homelands of the xʷməθkʷəy̓əm (Musqueam) Sḵwx̱wú7mesh (Squamish), and səl̓ílwətaɬ (Tsleil-Waututh) peoples in a warehouse space at 2625 Kaslo Street south of East Broadway at the end of E 10th. Transit line 9 stops at Kaslo Street on Broadway. From the bus stop, the path is paved, curbless, and on a slight decline. The closest skytrain station is Renfrew Station, which is three blocks south-east of VIVO and has an elevator. From there, the path is paved, curbless, and on a slight incline. There is parking available at VIVO, including wheelchair access parking. There is a bike rack at the entrance. The front entrance leads indoors to a set of 7 stairs to the lobby.

Wheelchair/Walker Access

A wheelchair ramp is located at the west side of the main entrance. The ramp has two runs: the first run is 20 feet long, and the second run is 26 feet. The ramp is 60 inches wide. The slope is 1:12. The ramp itself is concrete and has handrails on both sides. There is an outward swinging door (34 inch width) at the top of the ramp leading to a vestibule. A second outward swinging door (33 inch width) opens into the exhibition space. Buzzers and intercoms are located at both doors to notify staff during regular office hours or events to unlock the doors. Once unlocked, visitors can use automatic operators to open the doors.


There are two all-gender washrooms. One has a stall and is not wheelchair accessible. The other is a single room with a urinal and is wheelchair accessible: the door is 33 inches wide and inward swinging, without automation. The toilet has 11 inch clearance on the left side and a handrail.

To reach the bathrooms from the studio, exit through the double doors and proceed straight through the lobby and down the hall . Turn left, and the two bathrooms will be on your right side. The closest one has a stall and is not wheelchair accessible. The far bathroom is accessible.

About the 

The BC Labour Heritage Centre Society preserves, documents and presents the rich history of working people in British Columbia. The Society engages in partnerships and projects that help define and express the role that work and workers have played in the evolution of social policy and its impact on the present and future shaping of the province.


Dr T’uy’t’tanat Cease Wyss is an Indigenous Matriarch of the Skwxwu7mesh, Sto:lo and Hawaiian people. Through her work as an ethnobotanist, artist, activist and community-based educator, she strives to share Indigenous customs, teachings, and futures and to connect with other Indigenous peoples. Wyss’s thirty-year career encompasses a vast array of practices, from weaving, developing traditional indigenous remedies, medicine  and cultural walks to the realm of Indigi Digital Futurisms. T’uy’t’tanat’s interactive, community-based work is insightful and informative of their contemporary conditions. Wyss is a collaborator, deeply involved in community building, and finds dialogue with communities crucial in exchanging knowledge and critical in preserving Indigenous understanding of the land and ecosystems. Wyss has shared these teachings in public institutions and organizations and has participated in creative and collaborative projects that share the many different methods of indigenous cultures in stewarding this effort in preservation.


Terry Haines was a multi-disciplinary artist of Secwepemc/Welsh- Tsilhqot'in/French ancestry. His practice, rooted in storytelling, addresses social and cultural issues impacting First Nations as well as our treatment of the environment. His short videos and installations have been exhibited and screened across Canada, the USA, Scotland, the Czech Republic, Romania, Germany and Mexico. Terry passed away on March 2, 2013.


Andrea Fatona is an assistant professor in the Criticism and Curatorial program at OCAD University in Toronto. She was the former curator of contemporary art at the Ottawa Art Gallery, and has worked as the programme director at Video In, Vancouver, Co-Director of Artspeak Gallery, Vancouver, and Artistic Director of Artspace Gallery, Peterborough. Fatona is equally concerned with the pedagogical possibilities of art works produced by ‘other’ Canadians in articulating broader perspectives of Canadian identities. At its core, her curatorial practice is concerned with creating spaces of engagement – inside and outside of the gallery walls. Some examples of her curatorial projects are: Queer Collaborations (1993), Across Borders (1995/6), Cadboro Bay: Index to an Incomplete History (1999), The Attack of the Sandwich Men (2001), a national touring exhibition entitled, Reading the Image: Poetics of the Black Diaspora (2006-2008), Fibred Optics (2009-10), Will Work for Food (2011), and Land Marks (2013-14).


A well known cultural dissident and important voice of Canadian feminism, Cornelia Wyngaarden has been a pioneering force in the development and institutionalization of new media in Vancouver. Along with producing theoretically complex and formally compelling works of video and sculpture, Wyngaarden rallied, fought and forged for years at both Video In and Western Front to lay the ground rock on which much of the Vancouver’s media community flourished.

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