Public Art on Foot in English – A Recap of the 2015 Culture Days Walking Tours

The 2015 Culture Days Walking Tours were held during the September 25-27 weekend. Each tour was approximately 1 hour and will stopped at approximately 15 artworks. Tours of the artowarks along the Burrard Corridor, Yaletown-False Creek and in Chinatown. For the first time tours were offered in Mandarin and Cantonese. We asked Tour Guide Emilie Crewe to provide us with her perspective on how it went this year. 

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Written by Emilie Crewe, Tour Guide

One of my favourite comments that I get while guiding people on public art walking tours is, “I’ve walked past this many times and never knew it was there!” The City of Vancouver is home to a huge range of artworks that are part of the Public Art program. Many Vancouverites are well-versed with bold works like Douglas Coupland’s Digital Orca, located in a prominent place next to the Convention Centre. It’s a striking piece that draws a lot of visitors.  In fact, it’s the only public artwork that I know of that has Yelp reviews (

I love being able to point out artworks that are lesser known to tour-goers. It always amazes people that there is so much great work in Vancouver, and if you take the time to stop and look, there’s a lot to uncover. An example is Alan Storey’s Passwords piece. It’s a kinetic sculpture that is embedded in a wall along Pacific Boulevard in Yaletown. It’s a little off to the side, and if you didn’t think to look, you might walk right past it. Once people recognize that it’s there, they are amazed that they’d never noticed the spinning aluminum letters. In a busy city, where people are always walking to get somewhere, pieces can be overlooked.

At the end of the weekend of giving tours, I’m pleased to have been able to give locals and visitors some context to the artwork that the city has to offer. A returning tour-goer from last year told me that she points out artwork all the time while walking with friends. It’s great to hear that people are excited about the art. It’s important to take note of the art around you; it’s part of what makes our city and culture so vibrant. With the hundreds of pieces in the City of Vancouver Public Art Registry, there’s always new (and old) works to discover!


Tour the sculptures, reliefs, fountains, and other artworks that enhance our Downtown public spaces. Download our brochures and head out for an hour or two. The links below lead to PDF files under 1MB.


TOUR GUIDE BIO – Emilie Crewe

Emilie holds a BFA from the Nova Scotia College of Art and Design University, and an MFA from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. Recent exhibition history includes the AC Institute in New York, NY, the Governor’s Island Art Fair in New York, NY, the Zhou B. Art Center in Chicago, IL, and the Khyber Institute of Contemporary Art in Halifax, NS.

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