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Archival description
Western Front Society fonds
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General Programming

This series consists of administrative and program files from 1973-1983. This includes music, performance, dance, video, and exhibition grants and projects. After 1983, New Music, Performance Arts, dance, Media and Video, and Exhibition Program and General Administrative records are filed with their respective program series (Administrative, Exhibitions, Front Magazine, Luminous Sites, Media Arts and Video Art Program, New Music, Performance Art, Publicity and Promotional Materials).


This series consists of administrative files, grant and funding applications, correspondence, minutes, project information, and promotional materials mostly from 1983-2013. There is some material from the 1970s, as the general programming administration umbrella covered what became the individual Programs until the early 1980s, and the separation between general programming administrative records and administrative records for the Western Front as an organization were less distinct.

Project files include: Electronic Arts Festivals, Art Auctions, and other fundraising events, and the Art Fair. Operating grants and funding applications include correspondence with funding bodies and fully or partially filled out application forms. The Western Front regularly applied for funding from the Canada Council for the Arts (often shortened to CC in file titles), the BC Arts Council (BCAC), the Society of Composers, Authors and Music Publishers of Canada (SOCAN), the BC Lottery Corporation (BCLC), and the City of Vancouver. Special project and supplemental operating funding applications and grants also came from non-government sources, including the Hamber Foundation and Imperial Tobacco.

Front Magazine

This series consists of back issues of Front Magazine (1985-1996) and funding and administrative records related to the Front Magazine. Front Magazine started as a program guide to Western Front events in April 1985 and has since developed into a literary and arts magazine. Several files include correspondence and agreements between Front Magazine and the Flying Squad and correspondence between Front Magazine and various national magazine distributors. A significant percentage of the series is dedicated to Front Magazine applications to the Writing and Publishing Section of the Canada Council for the Arts (shortened to CC in file titles).

Luminous Sites

Luminous Sites was a large exhibition of Canadian video installations focusing on social forms of representation, curated by Daina Augaitis of the Western Front Gallery and Karen Henry of Video Inn. Works by ten artists were installed at galleries and public sites throughout the city. The exhibition was accompanied by Luminous Performance, curated by Glenn Lewis.

Media Arts and Video Art Program

This series contains the records of the Media Arts and Video Art Program, including records from when the Media Arts Program was called the Video Program. Contents include administrative, funding, and grant application records (including operating grants), equipment purchasing records, artist files, project and organization files, and press clippings and promotional materials. The Western Front collaborated with many like-minded video organizations, particularly in the 1970s and 1980s, and catalogues of Western Front Video Program and later Media Arts and Video Art Program holdings are included. Project files include, but are not limited to, Telecommunications Art projects from 1982-1991, The World in 24 Hours (1982), Text, Bombs and Video Tape (1991), and Infermental VI, VII, and VIII. Also in this series are records pertaining to the Media Arts and Video Art Program’s relationship with Vancouver Community Television Association.

New Music Program

This series consists of artist and project files, correspondence, grant and other funding applications, box office reports, festival files, records of visiting artists and artist residencies, artist and project files, and administrative records. Deborah “DB” Boyko was the Curator and Director/Curator of the New Music Program between 1990 and 2018, and much of the correspondence with funding entities and artists was directed to or sent by her. Concerts and events include jazz festivals (Fake Jazz, Du Maurier Jazz) and collaborations with the New Orchestra Workshop (NOW). The New Music Program also regularly offered student volunteer and work positions, coordinating with North Burnaby high schools.

Performance Art Program

This series consists of general administrative records, correspondence between artists, guest curators, and Performance Art Program staff, grant and financial reporting files, and curatorial files from the Performance Art Program, including photographs, drawings, and files related to the Living Arts Performance Festival (1979). Eric Metcalfe, co-founder of the Western Front Society, was the Curator of the Performance Art Program from 1989-2001; he features prominently in correspondence between artists and the Performance Art Program. Project, performance, and artist descriptions, resumes, and guest curator files, including those for Natalie Loveless, are also included.

Publicity and Promotional Materials

This series consists of posters, brochures, press clippings, and press releases related to all other Western Front programs (Exhibitions, Media Arts and Video Art, New Music, and Performance Art). Western Front Anniversary (20th and 30th) and Block Party promotional materials are also included in this series.


This series consists of small and medium prints, negatives, and slides of artists (headshots and portraits), staff, exhibitions, events, and Western Front programs separated from the files of all other series. VHS tapes contain artist exhibition or concert recordings.

Exhibitions Program

This series consists of artist and project files, promotional materials, administrative files, and correspondence related to the Western Front Exhibition Program. Jonathan Middleton was the Director/Curator of the Exhibition Program between 1999 and 2005, and he features prominently in administrative, artist, and organization correspondence. Exhibitions generally take place in the Western Front Society’s Front Gallery, though Exhibition Program records include agreements with other gallery spaces around Vancouver. The majority of records in this series are artist/exhibition files. The Exhibition Program is also responsible for most Western Front publications other than the Front Magazine, including books and catalogues.

Exhibition Program applications to the Canada Council of Arts (shortened to CC) Visual Arts Section and other grant funding sources are also included in this series.

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