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Carole Itter awarded Audain Prize for lifetime achievement in visual arts

Ceremony set for The Great Hall in BC Law Courts building on April 19

Vancouver Art Gallery presents Visual Arts Prizes on April 19: Audain Prize goes to Carole Itter; VIVA Award to Lyse Lemieux and Balkind Prize to Grant Arnold. A free and open to the public ceremony honouring the recipients will be held at 7 p.m. in The Great Hall of the BC Law Courts building (

Carole Itter, a longtime resident of Dollarton on the North Vancouver waterfront, will receive the Audain Prize for Lifetime Achievement in the Visual Arts, in The Great Hall of the BC Law Courts building on Wednesday, April 19 at 7 p.m.

According to the gallery, “An interdisciplinary artist, writer, performer and filmmaker, Itter was born in Vancouver in 1939 and studied at the University of British Columbia, the Vancouver School of Art and at L’Accademia di Belle Arti in Rome, Italy. Her sculptures, collages and performances, as well as the large-scale assemblages/installations which she is probably best known for, are strongly influenced by the people and places where she has lived and frequently reflect social and political issues.”

Although long associated with Vancouver’s Strathcona neighbourhood, Itter for decades also spent at least part of each year living in the “Blue Cabin” with her companion Al Neil on the North Vancouver waterfront (, The area surrounding the cabin was like an outdoor gallery with their art in situ.

"Itter has incorporated discarded domestic and industrial items found in attics and basements, lanes and thrift shops, and received objects from friends into her assemblages. These assemblages, such as the one featured in Paved with Gold: A Tribute to a Canadian Immigrant Neighbourhood (Vancouver Art Gallery, 1991), have also addressed issues of historical and contemporary immigration to Canada.

Other solo exhibitions include Rattles (Western Front, 1984), The Float (Or Gallery, 1995), The Pink Room (Grunt Gallery, 2000), and Metallic: A Fish Film (Grunt Gallery, 2007). Her work was also included in WACK! Art and the Feminist Revolution at the Vancouver Art Gallery in 2008. Along with Daphne Marlatt, she compiled and edited Opening Doors (1979), an archive of oral history about Vancouver’s East End as part of the Sound Heritage Series for the British Columbia Provincial Archives.

She has also produced a number of short stories and prose pieces, including Whistle Daughter Whistle and The Log’s Log. Itter’s work is included in the collections of The Canada Council Art Bank, the Vancouver Public Library and the Vancouver Art Gallery.

Established in 2004, the Audain Prize for Lifetime Achievement in the Visual Arts grants $30,000 annually to a senior British Columbia artist who has been selected by an independent jury. Previous winners include Paul Wong (2016), Michael Morris (2015), Fred Herzog (2014), Marian Penner Bancroft (2012), Rodney Graham (2011), Jeff Wall (2008), and Gordon Smith (2007)."

Also at the April 19 ceremony Lyse Lemieux will receive the 2017 VIVA Award, granted annually by the Jack and Doris Shadbolt Foundation for the Visual Arts and Grant Arnold, Audain Curator of British Columbia at the Vancouver Art Gallery, will be awarded the second biannual Alvin Balkind Curator’s Prize.

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