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A Sign for the City: the city of Vancouver Public Art Program

Date uploaded: August 15, 2011

A Sign for the City, a year-long public art project by Sabine Bitter/Helmut Weber, continues in transit shelters from August 15th.

The regular nightly boom of Vancouver's Nine O'clock Gun is a familiar sound to those within hearing range of Stanley Park's historic cannon.

From May 2011 to April 2012, A Sign for the City appropriates this marker of time, dedicating the sound of the blast each day to a particular cultural, social or political figure or event in Vancouver and B.C.'s history as a reminder of complex cultural histories of this place as well as a marker of time to measure our own lives.

Each day's auditory punctuation is explained in a calendar of events that appears in the Georgia Straight and posted in bus shelters scattered throughout Vancouver. The transit shelter poster locations for August 15th-September 4th are:

  • Cordova Street: 30 metres east of Main Street on the south side
  • West 4th Avenue:  20 metres east of Arbutus on the south side
  • Dunbar Street: north of 18th Avenue on the east side
  • Commercial Drive: 20 metres south of East 14th Street on the west side
  • Dunbar: 32 metres north of West 30th Avenue on the east side
  • East 41st Street: 22 metres east of Kerr on the south side
  • Kingsway: 20 metres east of McKinnon on the south side
  • Pacific Boulevard: 20 metres north of Drake Street on the west side
  • Rupert: 20 metres south of East Broadway on the east
  • West 49th Avenue: 20 metres west of Alberta on the north side

A free printed booklet is also available that is a daily calendar listing the people and events to whom the 365 cannon reports are dedicated.  The calendar booklet for A Sign for the City is available at:

* Audain Gallery, Simon Fraser University Woodward's, 149 West Hastings

Hours: Tuesday to Saturday, 12noon to 6pm; Closed August 16 - September 16, 2011

* Charles H. Scott Gallery / READ Books, Emily Carr University of Art + Design, 1399 Johnston Street, Granville Island

Hours: Monday to Friday,  12noon to 5pm; Saturday to Sunday 10am to 5pm

Sabine Bitter & Helmut Weber have collaborated since 1994, working between Vancouver and Vienna. Their work is based in research and addresses cities, modernist architecture and the politics of representation and space. They have exhibited extensively in Europe and Canada. Recent projects include Learning from Vancouver, with Urban Subjects and Bik van der Pol, at the Western Front, Vancouver, and Communitas: The Unrepresentable Community at Camera Austria, Graz, Austria, among others.

A Sign for the City is commissioned by the City of Vancouver Public Art Program with support of Vancouver 125 and the participation of the Government of Canada and the assistance of the British Columbia Arts Council. The project was commissioned as part of Changing Times, a request for proposals from artists to address the city, its histories and its times, in honour of the anniversary year.

Visit www.celebratevancouver125.ca/2011/05/public-artwork-launch-a-sign-for-the-city-by-bitter-weber/

A Sign for the City Poster(1,476 KB)

A Sign for the City - Sabine Bitter/Helmut Weber

A Sign for the City - Sabine Bitter/Helmut Weber