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The Cheaper Show celebrates 10 year milestone

Photo: Handout

Published on on June 24, 2011

The sidewalks surrounding The Cheaper Show’s East Vancouver venue are currently empty. But on June 26, the annual one-night event saw line-ups close to 10,000 visitors strong – many of them eager to lose their visual art virginity.

This year marks The Cheaper Show’s 10th anniversary. As the tagline “Blood, Sweat & Ten Years” suggests, founder and creative director Graeme Berglund has spent the past decade knocking down the barriers between emerging artists, buyers, curators and gallery directors. Featuring 200 artists and 400 pieces of work at the singular price of $200 each, Berglund hopes The Cheaper Show will continue to have a “trickle up effect” by exposing new buyers and gallery heads to emerging artists.

“The show itself is an eclipse,” Berglund says. “It exists for a single night, and it does cause a great amount of excitement for both the artists and the patrons in the city. It’s kind of like this temporary injection of excitement based on not just our show, but 200 local and international artists. A lot of people—your average person in the city—may not be accustomed or maybe even interested in going to a gallery on, say, South Granville, because they find the experience is generally off-putting because it’s not necessarily an accessible feeling environment. Here, the show is based on accessibility.”

“[The Cheaper Show] has more feelings in the air of a party, and there’s a lot of excited discussion,” explains Berglund. “People come down in droves. You come down with 15 best friends, you grab a drink and you are walking around, intimately checking out this artwork. You also have this ability, if you’ve got 200 in your back pocket, to buy artwork, and in a lot of cases, it’s the first piece of artwork they’ve ever bought.”

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