See our Location page for more information.
Members Preview, Friday October 13, 2017 6–8pm
Become a Member online or at the door
VABF Opening & After Parties
Free and open to the public, VABF is a multi-day festival of artists’ publishing featuring over one hundred local, national and international publishers, as well as a diverse line-up of programs, performances and artists’ projects.
Featured artists travel to Vancouver from across Canada and the globe, and produce everything from books, magazines, zines and printed ephemera to digital, performative or other experimental forms of publication.
Canada’s first art book fair, VABF is the longest-running international art book fair in the country. In 2017 the event is anticipated to attract more than 5,000 visitors from across the Greater Vancouver Area and beyond.
The seeds of VABF were planted in 2006 when Tracy Stefanucci (our current Artistic Director) and Ken Yong founded one cool word, an art and literary magazine that included a CD compilation of local music and exclusively featured work by Vancouverites.
In 2010, Stefanucci registered the organization as the non-profit Society OCW Arts & Publishing Foundation and, with the help of Jaz Halloran, the magazine was relaunched as the artists’ publication OCW Magazine. One year later, the bookshop/gallery Project Space was opened at 222 East Georgia Street in Chinatown.
From 2011 to 2013, Project Space presented many curatorial projects, including: Arte Factum, an exhibition of poetry chapbooks curated by Daniel Zomparelli of Poetry Is Dead; Party Foreverer, accompanying an artist’s book by Jeffry Lee of Hard Drugs; Summer School, a socially based work by New York–based artists Erin Jane Nelson and Ming Lin; Money is Just Paperwork by collage artist Randy Grskovic; and The Wandering Art Metropole Publication and Ephemera Archive, co-presented with Art Metropole and featuring work by Julia Feyrer and leannej. It also served as a community hub and venue for a variety of art and literary events, readings and workshops.
After observing the building energy around art publishing in Vancouver, Stefanucci founded the first annual Vancouver Art/Book Fair in 2012 at the Vancouver Art Gallery. In 2013, the Project Space storefront was closed in order to focus on the art book fair, but the organization continued to go by the name Project Space for a few years. In 2016 the backslash in the VABF name was dropped and the name “Vancouver Art Book Fair” began being used to refer to the organization as well as the annual event.
Today, VABF is proud to operate the first international art book fair in Canada, while also serving the local art publishing community year-round through various curatorial events and activities. The organization is run by a dedicated team of independent contractors, volunteers and Board Members, and seeks to establish Vancouver as an international centre for artists’ publishing.
Artists’ Books Week
VABF is the culmination of Artists’ Books Week, a parallel series of events hosted in spaces across Vancouver by a variety of artists, curators, collectives and institutions who are actively creating and presenting work in this medium.
Register your event: [email protected]
Join the Volunteer Leadership Team
VABF relies on dozens of volunteers to effectively deliver our event and run the organization year round. To register to help out, please contact [email protected].
VABF has a wonderful team of volunteers without which VABF event would not be possible. Thank you to our current team: Olivia Chaber, Simone Adams, Rob Anderson, Emma Novotny, Marta Riba Ortiz, Bridgette Badowich, Helen Nguyen, Emilia Kalka, Stephanie Gagne, Natasha Habedus, Elizabeth Holliday, Liz Ellis, Jackie To, Yihan Wang, Marina Sulmona, Megan Low, Alistair Henning, Danni Jia and Gracelle Mesina.
Become an Event Partner
Donate to the VABF Library & Archive
Publishers who can’t attend the fair but would still like to share their books with our visitors can donate two copies of any books, magazines, zines or printed ephemera to the VABF Library & Archive project and their books will be placed in a reference library that is incorporated into an artist project at the fair each year. To participate, please contact [email protected].
Register as an Exhibitor
Registration is now full. Please join our newsletter to receive the next call-out in early 2018. Artists, collectives, publishers, artist-run centres and art book distributors are welcome to apply to participate as exhibitors by sending a brief introductory email to [email protected].
Tracy Stefanucci, Artistic Director
Emma Walter, Fair & Development Coordinator
Helen Wong, Assistant Fair Coordinator
Sarah Ellis Clark, Curatorial Assistant
Erica Wilk, Marketing & Publicity
Pete Florentini, Identity Design
Christy Nyiri, Website
Sylvana d’Angelo, Design
Current Board of Directors
Lisa Curry, Chair
Vinny Gibson, Vice-chair
Beth Howe, Treasurer
Aili Meutzner, Secretary
Since its inception over a decade ago, VABF has operated as a volunteer-run, grassroots endeavour. It has paid CARFAC-rate fees to presenters since 2013, was able to pay its first modest honorariums to fair organizers in 2014 and managed to create a few independent contractor fees as of 2016—and the organization continues to grow and mature.
Countless people have dedicated an immeasurable number of hours to shaping and building the organization and its projects since 2006. While it would be impossible to name everyone, we’d like to express immense gratitude to some of the volunteers who shaped and built the organization through its various incarnations: Kristin Cheung, Sarah Ellis Clark, Lisa Curry, Sylvana d’Angelo, Sarah Davidson, Jake Tobin Garrett, Jaz Halloran, Asia Harvey, Julia Dahee Hong, Sarah Husain, Jeff Khonsary, Michael Lee, Jessie McNeil, Jen Neale, Shannon Rayne, Jenny Shipper, Tracy Stefanucci, cheyanne tourions, Melanie Trojkovic, Lauren Wetmore, Erica Wilk and Ken Yong.