About the Gallery

BAG–serving artists and our community for over 50 years

We're dedicated to collecting, preserving and presenting a contemporary and historical visual art program by local, national, and internationally recognized artists–a mission that began in 1967. The Burnaby Art Gallery is the only public art museum in Canada dedicated to works of art on paper; representing a variety of techniques and practices from artists of diverse backgrounds. Our gallery cares for and manages more than 6,000 works of art in the City of Burnaby Permanent Art Collection, as well as the City of Burnaby Public Art Collection.

There's so much to offer at BAG, as it's affectionately known–more than 100 programs presented by supportive, experienced instructors who work hard to balance skill development with personal expression and creative thinking in students of all ages.

BAG also offers tours, summer camps, family and adult workshops and artist talks that accompany the exhibitions.

Established as an art association in 1967, Burnaby Art Gallery continues to grow in its sixth decade, guided by its vision, mission and history.

The Burnaby Art Gallery operates as an art museum, gallery, and community forum to explore and advance knowledge, appreciation and understanding of contemporary and historical visual art through exhibition, programming and collection services in traditional and innovative contexts both in and outside of the City of Burnaby.

Provide experiences for art museum visitors and program participants that challenge their creativity, ideas, norms, values, identity and beliefs in order to create greater understanding of the ideas behind contemporary and historical art, and the artists that create work.

Act as a leader in the collection, preservation and exhibition of artists who choose to work on paper – the Burnaby Art Gallery is the only public art museum in Canada dedicated to works of art on paper.

Foster a diverse and inclusive community gathering place for the dissemination of ideas. This is accomplished through free public talks, symposia, and community outreach projects related to exhibition and public art events.

Henry and Grace Ceperley purchased a strawberry farm on the north shore of Deer Lake from George Clayton in 1909. Over the next two years they built Fairacres, their retirement home–designed by the English architect, R.P.S. Twizell. With its river rock veranda, beautiful hand-crafted woodwork, stained-glass and tile, it remains one of the finest examples of Edwardian architecture in the Lower Mainland.

In 1912, the local paper described Burnaby's grandest Burnaby residence at the time as,

Fairacres, Mr. H.T. Ceperley’s palatial home with its fine lawns, terraces, rockeries, greenhouses, pumping station for irrigation, lodge stables and outhouses, costing $150,000 is alone worth a visit to Deer Lake. The estate comprises twenty acres, ten of which are landscaped. Much credit is due to Mr. Legge, the landscape gardener, for his artistic temperament. A fine glimpse of Deer Lake is to be had from the grounds.

Grace Ceperley died in 1917, leaving Fairacres to her husband Henry, stipulating that when he sold it the proceeds should be used to build a playground for the children of Vancouver in Stanley Park. Following Mrs. Ceperley’ wish, the home was sold in 1922 to Frederick Buscombe, a former Vancouver mayor.

In 1939, a community of five Benedictine monks emigrated from Mount Angel, Oregon to establish a priory in BC. They purchased the Ceperley property and added a large gymnasium–which later became the James Cowan Theatre when the City bought the property in 1966. For a brief time before the City purchase, the house was as a fraternity for some of the first students to attend Simon Fraser University.

Ceperley House transformed into an art museum in the 1960s.

The Burnaby Art Gallery began as an association in 1967, collecting and presenting contemporary art. The City assumed management of the gallery, its collection, staff and governance in 1998. That same year, the City began restoring the exterior of Ceperley House and upgraded the building for improved public use. The renovations were completed in 2000, and Ceperley House was restored to its 1911 appearance.

Burnaby's Parks, Recreation and Cultural Services Department is proud to showcase Burnaby Art Gallery, along with the City's other cultural landmarks–Shadbolt Centre for the Arts and the Burnaby Village Museum in beautiful Deer Lake Park–as Burnaby's cultural centre, open to all who appreciate, create and want to learn about art.

If you would like to learn more about Burnaby Art Gallery's architectural past and view images of Ceperley Mansion, please visit City of Burnaby Archives.

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