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Art on Granville Island

Galleries, Studios, and Shops for Artists on False Creek


Potters, painters, photographers, carvers, and jewelers are among the dozens of artists on Granville Island. But the neighborhood's arts scene also encompasses wooden boat-builders, a sake-maker, and weavers. Whether you're just curious or looking for inspiration, the galleries and working studios on Granville Island will tempt your creative side.

Here's where to find Granville Island's famous arts scene:

Artist Studios

Walk down the small streets on Granville Island and you'll find artisans at work. Creative shopfronts have lovely window displays, but when you step inside there's a different energy. Artisans make their fine art and crafts right on-site. Products range from decorative to edible, with goldsmiths, carvers, and even a sake-maker.

You can see finished art and perhaps fine pieces in-the-making at:

  • Aurum Argentum, 1321 Railspur Alley, 604-692-2522
  • Fibre Art Studio, 1610 Johnston St., 604-688-3047
  • Forge & Form, 1334 Cartwright St., 604-684-6298
  • Geza Burghardt Luthiery, 1645 Duranleau St., 604-683-1135
  • New-Small and Sterling Glass Studio, 1440 Old Bridge St., 604-681-6730
  • John Nutter Glass Studio, 1659 Duranleau St., 604-685-9565
  • Textile Context Studio, 1420 Old Bridge Rd., 604-684-6661

Granville Island Art Galleries

© Chloë Ernst

You can find art galleries throughout Granville Island, but most notably at the arts university. There's a working-artist atmosphere at Emily Carr University of Art and Design, with metal work areas and students toting canvases through the neighborhood. To see finished works, stop by the Charles H. Scott Gallery (1399 Johnston St.; 604-844-3809) for contemporary exhibits, or the Concourse Gallery for regularly changing student work.

The island is also a destination to see First Nations art. Island galleries include:

  • Inukshuk Gallery, 3 – 1551 Johnston St., 604-681-5016
  • The Raven and the Bear, 1528 Duranleau St., 604-669-3990
  • Wickaninnish Gallery, 1666 Johnston St., 604-681-1057

Ocean Art Works

© Chloë Ernst
This open-air carving studio on Granville Island can be a busy spot, especially as it is so close the public market. Thick totems support the structure where First Nations artists might be caving a pole or boat-builders constructing a vessel. This is a favorite photo stop for many visitors.

Arts Festivals

Granville Island hosts a number of vibrant festivals and many have an artistic bent. The Vancouver Writers and Readers Festival focuses on the written word with literary events, while an annual Garbage Can Art Contest draws on the creativity of locals.

The end-of-summer Vancouver International Fringe Festival brings hundreds of theatrical works to the city, and especially Granville Island venues.

But the performing arts are a fixture on the island, whether it's the summertime buskers or the multiple theaters. The Arts Club is the premiere Granville Island venue, staging a full season of original comedies, quirky musicals, and seasonal shows.

Shopping for Artists

© Chloë Ernst

Granville Island is also where artists come to shop -- whether it is for ready-made pieces or supplies. Favorite supply shops on Granville Island include:

  • KROMA Artist's Acrylics, 1649 Duranleau St., 604-669-4030
  • Maiwa Supply, 1663 Duranleau St., 604-669-3939
  • Opus Art Supplies for professional quality paints, brushes, and supplies. 1360 Johnston St., 604-736-7028
  • Paper Ya for fine paper goods. 1666 Johnston St., 604-684-2531
  • Kids Market for beautiful but kid-friendly crafts and scrap-booking supplies. 1496 Cartwright St.

And the Granville Island Public Market can certainly be called a work of art itself. Stalls sell finely crafted foods, hand-made items, and flower arrangements. And the bustling, colorful atmosphere is a muse for photographers.

Kinetic Sculptures

© Chloë Ernst
Cool kinetic sculptures are moving works of art, and a favorite with kids. Balls move through the mechanical structures. The kinetic sculpture outside Ocean Construction is the island's largest and shows a mini-scene with cement mixers. There's a smaller sculpture in a studio window at the corner of Railspur Alley and Old Bridge Street.
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