EATa III | Women In Focus: The First Decade | 1974-1984

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Wednesday, December 2, 2015
Wednesday, December 2, 2015

The EVENING AT THE ARCHIVE SERIES (EATa) is an intimate and interactive dinner fundraiser in support of the conservation programs at the Crista Dahl Media Library & Archive (CDMLA). This intimate and interactive series brings together materials unique to our Archive around a specific fond, and provides a rare opportunity for you to engage in a collegial conversation with the artists, activists, and cultural workers who were critical players in that historical moment.

In this third iteration of the series, we look at the first decade of  Women in Focus (WIF) – Vancouver’s original feminist media centre, distributor and galleryfrom its inception as part of the Women’s Office at the University of British Columbia in 1974 to the end of Marion Barling’s term as director in 1984.

WIF’s aim was to provide training and tools to women to create positive images of women and validate their life experiences. Through our exhibit of original publications, photographic materials, video and film produced by Women In Focus, we’ll reflect on Second Wave Feminism, activist media strategies, and Vancouver women artists in the 1970s and 1980s.

WIF Alumni in Attendance

VIVO is honoured to have worked closely with Marion Barling throughout her years at WIF, and in organizing the WIF files these last few years. Marion,  contributed her memories to the evening along with production alumni, directors,  and those involved in WIF’s Vancouver Women’s Video & Film Festival (1979).

Marion Barling: Founder & Director of WIF; film and videomaker.
Marion Dodds
Suzanne Perrault
Mickey McCaffrey
Shawn Preus

Videos Digitized

Thanks to your donations, we were able to digitize 10 videos from the Women In Focus Fond for this event. The videos were selected by Marion Barling.


Our dinner was an Italian buffet, expertly prepared by the brilliant chefs at Il Centro Italian Cultural Centre, our neighbours and cultural partners in Renfrew-Collingwood.


Curator | Karen Knights

Archivist | Crista Dahl

Video Selection | Marion Barling

Exhibit text | Stephane Bernard

Graphic Designer | Ciaron Fitzpatrick

Technician | Alex Muir and Sebnam Ozpeta (digitization)

Special Thanks | Marion Barling, Ciaron Fitzpatrick, Stephane Bernard who donated their time and talents to the event.

Missed getting a ticket for EATa?  Please consider making a donation to our Digitization Programs.

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 
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About the 

Karen previously worked at VIVO as Librarian, Distributor, and Programming Coordinator (1984-1999) and as an independent curator and critic. She has a special passion for artist-run centre archives and has been commissioned to create historical surveys and touring exhibitions for EM Media (Calgary) and ED Video (Guelph), and writings based on the Western Front and VIVO collections. Her essay “Abundant Harvest: The Recordings of Calgary Video Artists and Independents” was recently included in EM Media’s 30th anniversary publication “Expanded Standard Time”.