Balcone is a nonprofit society that presents contemporary art projects in a variety of situations & spaces throughout Vancouver. Without a permanent location, we operate with mobile offices & flexible programs that are reactive to social, political & economic challenges within the local arts community. Our mission is to create a unique context – outside of traditional frameworks – for the practice, curation & exhibition of contemporary art in Vancouver and beyond. Our purposes are to advance education by establishing & maintaining artistic programs for the benefit of the community; to increase the public's understanding & appreciation of the arts by presenting exhibitions & performances of an artistic nature & by providing forums related to such exhibitions/performances; & to engage with audiences in public & private spaces & expand popular perceptions as to where & how art should be exhibited.
In early 2006, five emerging artists, curators & art historians were invited by Justin Muir to form an organization that would present contemporary art projects throughout various spaces in Vancouver. By programming a spectrum of events & exhibitions, their intention was to facilitate an engagement between contemporary artists & a diverse audience – local & national – & secure a more prominent place for art in the everyday. Balcone was incorporated under the Province of British Columbia’s Society Act on August 18, 2006 & was registered as a charity with the Canada Revenue Agency on December 1, 2009. The English word balcony comes from the Italian word balcone. Balcone was named for its play on words & space. A balcony is a space that hinges between private & public, interior & exterior, a space from which to view & be viewed. Balcone mimics biennial art festivals that appropriate the Italian word biennale. Mispronunciations of Balcone reinforce the playfulness in the name.