How many of us really take time to look around an airport? We’re usually more concerned with checking-in, grabbing a bite to eat before the flight, or buying gifts from Canada in the Duty Free stores. Have you ever thought of an airport as an opportunity to visit an art gallery? Several of our major airports in Canada have art and culture programs, offering an alternative way to pass the time while you wait for your flight.
Vancouver’s YVR airport features an award-winning collection that shows off British Columbia’s art, culture and heritage at its best. The Level 3 Departures area of the International Terminal houses the magnificent The Spirit of Haida Gwaii: The Jade Canoe, by Haida artist Bill Reid. Totem Poles, Welcome Figures and other carvings and sculptures are located at key points around the terminals. YVR has put together a Self-Guided Art & Architecture Tour to help you get the most out of your visit.
Toronto Pearson airport commissioned eight pieces by Canadian and international artists in 2000 for its Permanent Collection. These great works include an aerial installation by US artist Jonathan Borofsky on Level 2, dazzlingly bright wall paintings, huge neon signage and water tanks filled with acrylic shapes. It also has several changing exhibition spaces. An impressive Art Catalogue is available to download.
As well as a collection of permanent works, Montreal’s Trudeau airport uses lights and photography to create a visual impression. An integrated lighting installation by Axel Morgenthaler graces the corridors of the airport, seasonally changing its program throughout the year. Several photo exhibitions are mounted on lighting columns throughout the departures level and international arrivals hall.
Ottawa’s Macdonald-Cartier airport has two large exhibition spaces that are available to local artists, free of charge. The airport’s Facebook page carries updates and images from their ever-evolving exhibits, which mainly concentrate on paintings and photographic work.
And here at SeaChange we’re proud of our own connection with BC arts and culture, through renowned Haida artist Don Yeomans. Don, whose work can be found in the University of British Columbia’s Museum of Anthropology, as well as at YVR, designed the salmon graphic that features on our packaging of smoked salmon products. You can find these miniature works of art in the Duty Free stores of all of these airports.