Finding Unexpected Culture

There are many reasons to love New Westminster. The history, the fabulous local businesses, the amazing people. And, of course, the art and culture.

New Westminster is home to thousands of artists of all genres and disciplines. We have amazing galleries, performing spaces, arts schools and more. But we are also home to some fantastic works of art that are found off the beaten path in places you just might not expect.

Vancouver Biennale

It’s hard to miss the giant W in Pier Park. This iconic art piece, titled Wow Westminster, was created by Brazilian artist Jose Recende. This piece is the third in a series of spectacular outdoor art around New West. The other two pieces, The Blue Trees- New Westminster and Public Furniture/Urban Trees-New Westminster, found around City Hall and Pier Park and on the Waterfront Esplanade respectively.

Mosaic Art Tiles

All around the City are mosaic tiles, each handcrafted and unique. The City says they have a goal to have dozens, perhaps hundreds, of mosaic art tiles that tell the history of New Westminster. For now, keep your eyes open for them in all neighbourhoods – look down!

Amelia Douglas Art Gallery and the Plaskett Gallery

While most people in New West are familiar with Douglas College and the Massey Theatre, not everyone knows that two fabulous galleries are hosted within these venerable institutions. Nestled on the fourth floor of Douglas College is the Amelia Douglas Art Gallery. The Amelia Douglas Gallery is run by members of the Arts Exhibition Committee at Douglas College. The gallery is named after the Cree wife of James Douglas, Governor of both the Colony of British Columbia and the Colony of Vancouver Island in 1858. Amelia’s animated storytelling wove the Douglas generations together.

The Plaskett Gallery was named after Joseph Plaskett. Plaskett was born in New Westminster in 1918 and raised in Sapperton. His formal training in the visual arts began when he studied at night at the Vancouver School of Art under the supervision of Ustinoff, Amess, Shadbolt and Binning. These galleries both seek to remember the inspired artistry of their namesakes with insightful and evocative shows.

Community Arts Space at Vancity Uptown Branch

The Arts Council of New Westminster administers this new public art space as a satellite gallery of our Queen’s Park home. The current exhibition by Gillian Wright will run until the end of January. Stay tuned for more ACNW administered satellite galleries around town!

VanDop off site gallery at Wild Rice Restaurant

Glorious food, a spectacular view and a rotating gallery of fabulous art curated by the indomitable Trudy Van Dop. This gallery space features two artists for a monthly exhibit space. This month, enjoy the artistic musings of Iris Low and Carole Arnston.

Arts at One at the Laura C Muir Performing Arts Theatre at Douglas College

The Arts at One series is held most Thursdays during the Fall and Winter semesters, starting at 1pm. This series features professional musicians and outstanding Douglas College music students.

Landscape “Sculptures” in the City

All around the city, workers have made what would normally be bland, boring gardens full of tulips or primulas into much more interesting and imaginative displays. Near the Rose Garden in Queens Park, at City Hall, and out front of Canada Games Pool are three great examples, but there are more around the City.

New Westminster Pier Park Memory Band

One of the most informative and interesting art installations done by the city is the memory band at the Pier Park. This long, plasma-cut steel band, installed between the sidewalk and the boardwalk, features words that represent many parts of New Westminster’s history. Check out the link for descriptions of the significance of those words.


This list is by no means exhaustive. From our Arts Gallery in Queen’s Park to the weekend buskers at River Market to the local art on the walls at our many restaurants and coffee shops, arts and culture are everywhere in New Westminster, you just need to look.