Good question! It is access to books, zines, prints, programming through our interactive website. Visitors can make their own profile, visit exhibitor tables, chat and create community. (Hopefully you managed to check out VABF 2020 which would given you some idea.)
VABF is back in 2021 with an improved interactive digital fair experience, based on exhibitor and community feedback.
The fair portion of VABF 2021 will only be available for viewing from October 18–26, 2021. Exhibitors will be online throughout the week based on their availability and timezone. Keep an eye out for the “online” marker on exhibitor tables to see who is currently active on the site.
The best way to experience the website is by creating a profile so that you can chat with exhibitors, save events and books, and make discoveries!
Yes! VABF is and always will be free and open to the public. Program content and exhibitor tables can be accessed during the fair dates only.
Check out the Support Us page for information on how you can help keep VABF free and open to the public. Or check out the Fair to support artists and publishers.
You don’t need a user profile to attend the fair and make purchases, but creating one will make it possible to schedule events, chat with exhibitors and save publications. Our website will keep track of your stats while you navigate the fair and you may even get a super high score! 😉
Go to the top lefthand corner of the website click the “Register/Login” button. Then you will be prompted to enter information into several fields. (Scroll to the bottom of the form to find privacy settings info.) Profiles may be set at public or private (to share with your friends if you wish!). If you have already registered you can login here with your previous details.
Yes, another sign-up form and profile *eye roll* but Disqus is the best way for us to create an interactive experience on a budget for attendees and exhibitors!
Disqus is the plug-in used for chatting with exhibitors. You can use the feature anonymously without creating a profile, but if you want to interact more or be notified of replies, it’s best to follow the prompts and sign up for a profile. That way we’ll know who we are chatting with (even if it’s just a nickname), making it a more personal experience for all.
Are you having issues making a profile or navigating the website? Please email [email protected] and we will do our best to help.
Alternatively, if you need troubleshooting assistance from October 18–26 you can visit the VABF Info Table (smiley face logo on the Fair page) and our volunteers will be in the chat box ready to help!
Each exhibitor is responsible for their own sales and shipping. Some may opt for local pickup while others will charge for shipping. Through your purchase, you should be put in touch with the exhibitor to arrange. Most exhibitors will be using PayPal or an e-commerce option to process payments.
Each year, VABF strives to improve the accessibility of its programming. Due to COVID-19, we decided to move the event online in 2020-21 to ensure continuation of the fair in the safest way possible. Going digital has opened up resources for us to improve accessibility of the fair by allowing us to provide ALT text, live captioning and ASL interpretation for all programming, which will remain in future years.
If you are experiencing difficulty with any content on our website or VABF’s Program or YouTube channel, or require any assistance accessing VABF 2021, please contact us at [email protected] and we will be happy to assist.
Art Book Month is a parallel series of events hosted throughout the month of October by a variety of artists, curators, collectives and institutions who are actively creating and presenting work in this medium.
**There will be no Art Book Month in 2021, it has been postponed until 2022.**
Have an idea for an Art Book Month event? Interested in offering space to an artist for an Art Book Month event? Contact: [email protected].
VABF Members are part of an engaged community that is passionate about art publishing. In addition to annual perks, Members contribute to the sustainability and growth of the annual fair—keeping the event free, while also allowing us to invite international artists and pay fair fees to presenters and arts workers. Your support helps to fund the production of VABF, and demonstrates your commitment to fostering Vancouver’s art publishing communities and establishing Vancouver as a centre for artists’ publishing.
Vist the Support Us page for more info!
After the digital fair ends at midnight on October 26 the interactive component of the website will no longer be active which means you won’t be able to chat with or purchase publications from exhibitors unless you’ve saved their shop links and info.
Your profile page will remain accessible throughout the year, however saved books will now link directly to exhibitor web shops.
The Program page and Youtube channel will stay active; VABF Memberships will be organized and sent in the mail; guests and exhibitors will be surveyed; and (after a brief rest) the VABF Team begins prepping for 2022!
Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada
VABF gratefully acknowledges that our annual activities take place on the unceded and traditional territories of the xʷməθkwəy̓əm (Musqueam), Skwxwú7mesh (Squamish) and Səl̓ílwətaʔ/Selilwitulh (Tsleil-Waututh) Nations.
The 2018–2019 Fairs took place at the Emily Carr University of Art + Design (520 East 1st Avenue, Vancouver BC, Map).
As of 2018, VABF runs programming nomadically, utilizing various locations in the city to create a platform for artists and publishers working in or at an intersection with artists’ publishing. VABF also partners with events in various capacities. Contact us if you are interested in partnership options. You can help us create this space for artists’ to present and self-direct the presentation of their work by becoming a member.
Follow our Facebook page or newsletter for updates on events, news and other happenings.
Registration for VABF 2021 is now closed. Applications for VABF 2022 will open in the spring. Artists, publishers, collectives, artist-run centres and art book distributors are welcome to apply. Sign up for our Newsletter to be notified of all VABF calls.
In order to make this process transparent and fair, our committee will be reviewing all applications using the following set of criteria.
- Exhibitors must focus on art books, zines or printed matter.
- Exhibitors must display at least 60% of books/printed matter during the fair. Please include in your application what you are planning to exhibit.
- Ineligible applications include those that primarily intend to exhibit merch, catalogues, children’s books, graphic novels, comics, paintings or artwork (please refer to VABF’s definition of an art book).
- Selection will be based on the images, text and information you provide in your application. Please be accurate and as detailed as possible with the information you provide.
- Exhibitors must have a working website, as well as a detailed plan on how products will be sold online.
We acknowledge that there are varying interpretations of what constitutes an art book. VABF defines an art book as a work of art that utilizes the form of a book. An art book is interactive, portable, movable and easily shared. It focuses on publishing as an artistic medium, often produced in small editions or as one-of-a-kind objects.
Participate! October 18–26, 2021
Similar to VABF’s previous community initiatives (Zine Zone and zine swap) and inspired by the 2020 Quaranzine Fest, for the 2021 Fair we will again be inviting anyone to post and promote their zine/publication work on Instagram during the fair weekend using the hashtag #VABFvirtual, which will be a rotating feature on the website as well as the Program slides.
You can support exhibitors by visiting their pages, engaging in the chat box, purchasing publications, visiting their online shops and following them on social media.
By becoming an official partner of the Vancouver Art Book Fair, your brand, organization or business will gain print and media access to thousands of cultural enthusiasts and supporters of the arts. You will be identifying your business with a non-profit arts festival that is committed to yearly growth and continually expanding its year-round presence in the Vancouver art and publishing scene.
Please contact us directly to discuss a comprehensive partnership package tailored especially to your organization.
Yes! What does that mean? Well, according to the Societies Act of British Columbia, “Not all organizations are driven by profit. British Columbia is home to a diverse range of not-for-profit organizations – also known as societies. In B.C., a not-for-profit organization may choose to incorporate as a “society” under the Societies Act. An incorporated society may be formed for any lawful purpose or purposes, including agricultural, artistic, benevolent, charitable, educational, environmental, patriotic, philanthropic, political, professional, recreational, religious, scientific, social or sporting purposes.”
Our vision is for Vancouver Art Book Fair to lead the development of the international community of art book publishers, makers and appreciators, furthering art literacy as well as the establishment of art books as an artistically and socially relevant medium.
Vancouver Art Book Fair is a non-profit organization committed to the advancement, appreciation and circulation of artists’ publishing. Through community-focused public programming, we provide inclusive platforms to deepen engagement with artists’ books and connect local and international communities.
The Guest Curator is a rotating role with the purpose of programming dynamic, diverse and interesting presentations to take place during the fair weekend. Check out our About page for info on this year’s Guest Curator.
“A board is made up of individual board members acting together as a whole. Any board determines and communicates the purpose and scope of the organization. This is called the organization’s vision. The vision defines the boundaries within which the organization operates. VABF has a Policy Governing Board, meaning: The board hires a senior staff person such as an executive director to implement the organization’s vision and to manage the day-to-day business of the organization. The board has no part in the organization’s programming.”*
As a small grassroots organization VABF board members are still needed to help in hands-on ways such as volunteering as general labour at events, helping to move and pack and support the actual event of the Fair, helping with grant writing and keeping track of finances in a detailed way.
*Description quoted from Volunteer Alberta’s “Board Development: A Self-Guided Workbook”
The history of print, publications and zines is deeply rooted in political and resistance movements. As a platform for the dissemination of such publications, VABF’s mandate is to provide accessible community-focused public programming and inclusive platforms to deepen engagement with artists’ books, and to connect local and international communities.
VABF operates as a guest on the unceded and traditional territories of the xʷməθkwəy̓əm (Musqueam), Skwxwú7mesh (Squamish) and Səl̓ílwətaʔ/Selilwitulh (Tsleil-Waututh) Nations. We live within a society built by white supremacy at the immeasurable expense of the pain, loss and marginalization of BIPOC lives. At this current time VABF is predominantly white-led and as a non-profit, we are heavily reliant on municipal, provincial, federal and corporate funders who have traditionally favoured white-led initiatives and institutions. VABF has an anti-discrimination policy, listed below. However, it applies primarily to operations and we do not yet have fully formed policies to ensure that equity-seeking communities are better represented within the organization and its activities.
VABF is committed to providing a welcoming environment, free of discrimination and harassment, where all individuals are treated with respect and dignity, can contribute fully and have equal opportunities. VABF expects exhibitors, attendees, volunteers and staff to abide by these policies and reserves the right to take appropriate action if they are not upheld.
Recognizing our roles within the current landscape of systemic racism is vital to unlearning and dismantling it. As an organization and as individuals we are committed to self-reflection, organizational reforms and utilizing our platform to do more to elevate BIPOC voices and enact anti-racist initiatives. We greatly encourage submissions from people who identify as BIPOC, LGBTQIA2S+, disabled and/or a member of other marginalized communities.
The Action Plan listed is a beginning step in the work VABF will do to initiate organizational reform. We commit to regularly revisit, revise and report on these reforms to ensure accountability and longevity, as well as additional action. Should you have questions about our Action Plan, please do not hesitate to contact VABF’s Executive Director, Lisa Curry, at [email protected].
1. VABF’s Board Members and Staff commit to ongoing education and training, beginning with attending the Stratagem Conference hosted by Cicely Blain Consulting throughout July, 2020;
2. VABF’s Board and Executive Director commit to enhancing equity, inclusivity and accessibility across governance practices and improving infrastructure to better support underrepresented communities within the organization and its activities:
a. VABF’s Board will form a new Governance Committee to create a governance policy manual that reflects these commitments across organization procedures and protocols. As a first step, the committee will work with the existing Board-led HR Committee and Executive Director to introduce a comprehensive HR Policy to ensure equitable, inclusive and accessible hiring practices, and to revisit these practices regularly;
b. The new Governance Committee will guide the Board’s commitment to diversifying the make-up of the Board;
3. VABF commits to elevating the voices of, and prioritizing support for, BIPOC, LGBTQIA2S+ and all underrepresented exhibitors, presenters and artists in all programs and activities. This includes curation of programs, VABF’s current Subsidized Table Program and a new Exhibitor Application Mentorship initiative.
4. VABF commits to holding our community—exhibitors, presenters, guest curators and volunteers—accountable to action as well as adhering to our anti-discrimination and anti-racism policies and goals.
Last updated: September 2020
Pete Florentini designed VABF’s brand identity from 2012 to 2017. Florentini also designed our iconic smiley face logo. Subsequent brand identities were designed by Lyndsey Hampton (2018), Martin Gnadt (2019), Cristian Hernandez (2020), Cora Yiu (2021). Each year we endeavour to work with a local illustrator/designer to create VABF’s brand.