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Events & Activities

Lulu Speaker Series

Join us for this annual spring series of talks about Art in the City and its importance to establishing connections between citizens and their communities.

Location  Richmond City Hall Council Chambers
6911 No. 3 Road
Time  7:00 pm
Admission  Free, Seating is limited

The 2017 Series

Date Speaker

March 9, 2017

David Vertesi, Vancouver Mural Festival (Vancouver, BC)
Collaboration as Innovation

April 6, 2017

John Patkau, Patkau Architects (Vancouver, BC)
Exhibiting Places: Contemporary Museum and Gallery Design

May 4, 2017

Eric and Mia, Artists (Calgary, AB)
Mapping, Napping, and Overlapping: Performance with and in Communities

Each event is preceded by a short performance or presentation by a local artist.
Download the PDF Document 2017 Lulu Series Brochure.

Lulu Series_David Vertesi_smallDavid Vertesi, Vancouver Mural Festival (Vancouver, BC)
Collaboration as Innovation
Thursday, March 9 at 7:00PM
Once viewed as a form of vandalism, graffiti and underground street art have been gaining popularity as a legitimate art form around the globe over the past few decades. Today, street art is finding its place with mainstream audiences. In 2016, the Vancouver Mural Festival brought together thousands of onlookers and in its first year, successfully mobilized more than 150 businesses, organizations and artists to work cooperatively to create a unique public celebration. David Vertesi, Executive Director of Vancouver Mural Festival, oversaw its inaugural year which commissioned more than 50 new large-scale murals in one month.

This talk will be preceded by a short performance by local beatboxer, Shamik.

Lulu Series - John Patkau - cropJohn Patkau, Patkau Architects (Vancouver, BC)
The Changing Nature of Art Galleries and Museums
Thursday, April 6 at 7:00 PM
Today’s art galleries and museums seek to engage, motivate and inspire a 21st century audience that challenges our cultural institutions to become more agile, flexible and creative in the way that they present content. Patkau Architects’ vast portfolio includes the Canadian Clay and Glass Gallery in Ontario, Audain Art Museum in Whistler, Polygon Gallery in North Vancouver and Thunder Bay Art Gallery. John Patkau’s designs over the years reflect the evolution of the art gallery and museum from being spaces for the display and preservation of objects toward new places of cultural commons.

This talk will be preceded by Richmond-based Tar and Setar player, Ali Razmi.

Lulu Series_Eric Mia_smallEric & Mia, Interdisciplinary Artists (Calgary, AB)
Mapping, Napping, and Overlapping: Performance with and in Communities
Thursday, May 4 at 7:00 PM
Having a conversation with a stranger, eating a popsicle made of foraged ingredients, skateboarding in concert or sleeping at the base of a public monument are lived actions- experiences that can precipitate dialogue and affect social or spatial change. Using their collaborative practice as a case study, Calgary-based artists Eric & Mia will share the different ways in which they create community through performance. By combining the playfulness of childhood chums with the scrutiny of ethnographers, they create community-specific, relational and participatory works that invite audiences to become active agents in the creation of community. More at Eric & Mia.

This talk will be preceded by a short performance by spoken-word poet, Dia Davina.

About the Lulu Series: Art in the City
Since 2003, The Lulu Series has presented regional, national and international speakers including acclaimed artists, architects, urban planners and other cultural leaders. From urban planning and place-making to art as community development and urban revitalization, the relationship between art and our urban environment is a rich and lively topic for guest speakers and audiences alike.

The objectives of The Lulu Series are:

  • to educate participants on the importance of art as a means for citizens to establish connections with their communities;
  • establish evidence that as people connect with their communities and the spaces and businesses in them, there will be an enhancement in commerce;
  • create benefits for business leaders and design professionals to proactively incorporate artistic expressions into their places of business and building designs and for politicians to promote and support this; and
  • lay challenges and establish goals for the growth of art in Richmond and other Lower Mainland communities.

Previous speakers have included:

  • Michael Audain, BC developer, art collector, foundation founder, public art supporter and benefactor
  • Glen Murray, former Mayor of Winnipeg, MB
  • Fred Kent, President, Project for Public Spaces, New York
  • William Cleveland, founder and director, Centre for the Study of Art and Community, Washington
  • Erling O. Mork, former CAO, City of Tacoma and urban revitalization expert, Washington
  • Architects Johanna Hurme (5468796 architecture, Winnipeg) William Browne (Ratio Architects, Indiana), Arthur Andersson (Adersson-Wise Architects, Texas) and Chris Doray (Bing Thom, Vancouver), Mark West (Centre for Architectural Structures and Technology (C.A.S.T.), University of Manitoba) and Bing Thom.
  • Milenko Matanovic, executive director of the Pomegranate Centre, Washington
  • Lister Sinclair and Mavor Moore, Canadian cultural icons  
  • Artists Patrick Dougherty (North Carolina), Konstantin Dimopoulos (Melbourne), Buster Simpson (Seattle), Stephanie Robb and Bill Pechet (Vancouver), Dennis Oppenheim (New York), Hema Upadhyay (Mumbai), Instant Coffee Collective (Vancouver) and Connie Watts (Port Alberni)
  • Joanna Sykes, project manager, Chihuly Bridge of Glass, Washington
  • Tim Jones, CEO, Artscape, Toronto
  • Chris Rogers, project manager, Olympic Sculpture Park and Director of Capital Projects and Government Affairs, Seattle Art Museum
  • Barbara Lueke, 4Culture and Sound Transit, Seattle
  • Max Wyman, chair, Metro Vancouver Regional Cultural Task Force
  • Jan Gehl, urban planning expert, Gehl Architects, Copenhagen
  • Cameron Cartiere, Dean of Graduate Studies, Emily Carr University of Art+Design
  • Leanne Prain, yard bombing guru, Vancouver
  • Charles Blanc and Tristan Surtees, Sans facon, Calgary/U.K.
  • Paula Jardine, Community Artist, Victoria
  • Andrew Pask, Vancouver Public Space Network founder, Vancouver
  • Cath Brunner, Director of 4Culture, King County, WA
  • Richard Tetrault, muralist, Vancouver
  • Charles Montgomery, author of Happy City: Transforming our Lives Through Urban Design
  • Norman Armour, artistic and executive director, PuSh International Performing Arts Festival
  • Brian Wakelin, PUBLIC Architecture + Communication
  • Michael Rohd, Center for Performance and Civic Practice
  • Norie Sato, Visual Artist

The History of Lulu
The story of Lulu Sweet is not new to Richmond residents.

In the early years of settlement, the Royal Engineers surveying British Columbia's wilderness erected a theatre in the New Westminster district. The playhouse hosted a variety of visiting entertainers, none of whom was more beloved than Miss Lulu Sweet of San Francisco, California.

Though little is known of Miss Sweet herself, her dancing, singing and acting were revered by newspapers of the day as "chaste and beautiful." During her brief stay, she became a beloved favourite of audiences. One of her most ardent admirers was head engineer Colonel Richard Moody, who accompanied the young actress on her departure voyage from New Westminster to Victoria. As the two stood on deck, gazing at passing landmarks, Miss Sweet inquired as to the name of one large island. After replying absent-mindedly that the island, as yet, had no name, Moody—seized by a flash of inspiration—suddenly exclaimed, "By Jove! I'll name it after you!"

Hopefully, Moody's inspiration made some impression on the migrant Miss Sweet. It certainly made an impression on the island, which has been known as Lulu Island since 1863.

Like the engineer and the actress standing alongside each other, Richmond's commercial and artistic halves have long been viewed as separate entities. Today, the city has a rich opportunity to merge its separate sides, blending art and commerce together and serving as a model for the reinvention of the modern urban environment. The Lulu Series, a collection of dialogues initiated by leading artists, architects and economic developers, hopes to spark this synthesis.