Vancouver Vending Co. is an art vending machine with the goal of providing a way for the public to have a safe, accessible, and affordable way to patronize local art.
Partnering with Downtown Van and Bentall Centre, Vancouver Vending Co. brings the first-ever art vending machine to Vancouver. Instead of the usual junk food, this one-of-a-kind vending machine is fully stocked with prints, pins, stickers, zines, and more from local artists. Located in the food court of Bentall Centre by the Burrard Skytrain station, the machine is now up and running for anyone who wants to stop by and bring something home.
The idea for this initiative came in the height of the COVID-19 pandemic when founder, Crystal Lau, saw local artists experiencing significant setbacks in the form of revenue losses and a lack of ways to promote their work. To address this, Vancouver Vending Co. was created to provide an easy way for artists to sell and display their work outside of art markets, galleries, and retail spaces that can often present challenging obstacles to budding artists. The vending machine format acts as an accessible and affordable entry point for the general public to engage in the arts, especially for those who find traditional art and gallery spaces intimidating.
This is a not-for-profit project emphasizing the need to elevate BIPOC/LGBTQ2S+ communities by prioritizing artists with these marginalized identities and giving back to grassroots arts organizations.
The art vending machine was a project supported by Downtown Van’s Public Space Vibrancy Grant.
You can check out Vancouver Vending Co. on Instagram.