Explore the Art of Not forgetting at the 2010 Memory Festival

Ten days of readings, tales, workshops and exhibitions exploring the nature of memory and forgetting.

Credit: Flickr / Victor Bezrukov

Workshops and exhibits at Vancouver Memory Festival look at art of memory and forgetting

Memory Festival looks at the art of memory.

Ten-day event explores the nature of memory and forgetting through workshops, tales, readings and exhibitions at Yaletown’s Roundhouse Community Centre


“Memory is a way of holding on to the things you love, the things you are, the things you never want to lose.”
Kevin Arnold, The Wonder Years



The Vancouver Memory Festival began in 2006 as a series of public events that focused on public and private memory, raising questions about remembering, forgetting and the nature of memory itself and exploring aspects of memory, place and imagination.


2010 Memory Festival


November 10–19, 2010

Roundhouse Community Centre

181 Roundhouse Mews, Vancouver

Map | Site 



For those who love to keep the brain cogs well-oiled, this year’s Memory Festival runs from November 10–19 and includes a wide variety of memory-themed events ranging from workshops, talks, readings and exhibitions. Presenters include Sarah Leavitt, cartoonist; Christopher Grabowski, photographer; Goran Basaric, photographer; Charles Demers, comedian/author; and Hal Wake; former broadcaster.


The topics run the gamut of graphic memoir, family legend, ageing and Alzheimer’s, memory through landscape and the creation of false memory. I have a feeling I won’t be the only eternal student-at-heart taking a break from the 9-to-5 to delve into the netherworld of our ticking memories… I mean really, graphic memoir? Wickedness!


The Memory Festival is a collaboration between the Roundhouse Community Centre, the Simon Fraser University Writing and Publishing Program and Geist magazine.



“I was trying to figure out what a memory feels like.” Charlie Kaufman



Vancouver Memory Festival: One-day memory workshops

Four one-day workshops during the Memory Festival address family legend, graphic memoir, the sentence and writing through the senses. The two and half hour sessions focus on recalling memories and putting them to print. All workshops cost $55. Register online at Roundhouse Community Centre.


Family Legend as Public Poem

Instructor: Rachel Rose
Saturday, November 13, 2–4:30 p.m.


Graphic Memoir: Snapshot Version

Instructor: Sarah Leavitt
Saturday, November 13, 11–1:30 p.m.


The Art of the Sentence

Instructor: Stephen Osborne
Sunday, November 14, 11:30–2 p.m.


Writing Through the Senses

Instructor: Mette Bach
Sunday, November 14, 2:30–5 p.m.



“Yesterday’s just a memory, tomorrow is never what it’s supposed to be.” Bob Dylan



Photography captures a moment in time. It can help recall a memory, but it can also become the memory.


Vancouver Memory Festival: Talks & Readings

A series of free talks through the festival offer a fantastic chance to listen to some of Canada’s top photographers, writers and performers as they dissect their art and the ways it can capture moments in history and preserve memories. Knowing that we all age, a recurring theme in these conversations is the deterioration of memories over time or due to conditions like Alzheimer’s. For more details on talks and readings visit the 2010 Memory Festival.


Photography Panel with Goran Basaric, David Campion and Christopher Grabowski. Moderated by Stephen Osborne

Panel members describe how they use photography to grapple with history, memory and the acts of remembering and forgetting.


Wednesday, November 10, 78 p.m.
Exhibition Hall, Roundhouse Community Centre


Talk with Hal Wake and Faith Moosang

Informal interview with Hal Wake, Artistic Director of the Vancouver International Writers Festival, on her process of collecting abandoned photo albums, home movies, slides and other ephemera related to the remembrance of the family.


Friday, November 12, 7–7:45 p.m.
Exhibition Hall, Roundhouse Community Centre


Reading and discussion by Lee Henderson, Hiromi Goto and Sarah Leavitt. Hosted by Charles Demers

Storybook-style reading of ingenious fabrications of memory, poignant reminiscences and more.


Saturday, November 13, 89:45 p.m.
Exhibition Hall, Roundhouse Community Centre

Marcus Youssef Remembers

Multimedia performance about aging, family and how Alzheimer’s disease affects forgetting and remembering.


Saturday, November 13, 77:45 p.m.
Exhibition Hall, Roundhouse Community Centre

Rewind: Memory on Film by Thursdays Writing Collective

Explosive live readings and official launch of four short video memoirs by Downtown Eastside writers.  


Friday, November 12, 89 p.m.
Exhibition Hall, Roundhouse Community Centre



“The existence of forgetting has never been proved:  We only know that some things don’t come to mind when we want them.”  —Friedrich Nietzsche


What does it mean to know (or not to know) what once lay here? The Memory Festival hosts an exhibit looking at the ways in which memory persists in landscape.


Vancouver Memory Festival: Exhibitions

Discover memory through landscapes, immigration and emigration and the development of false memories. These free exhibitions will run throughout the festival in the Exhibition Hall at Roundhouse Community Centre from November 10–19.


Memory and the Valley

Photographs and Text by David Campion and Sandra Shields

Explore the ways in which memory persists in the landscape: What does it mean to know (or not to know) that a longhouse once stood where the railway tracks now run? What is the nature of knowledge and remembering, and how is the past visible in our lives today?


Emigrant and Immigrant

Photography by Goran Basaric

Basaric travelled to Belgrade to photograph the memory places from his own childhood, resulting in a display of new yet familiar, imposed onto the landscape of Basaric’s memories.


Constructing Memories

Photographs by Christopher Grabowski

Explore the way false memories are created and documented, and how those who construct the false memories inhabit them; yet how these constructions (the elaborate frame, the scene never visited) project a sense of individuality that transcends artifice.



Storytelling by Thursdays Writers Collective and Bladerunners

Four separate short films on memory featuring unforgettable Downtown Eastside writers Irit Shimrat, Antonette Rea, Joan Morelli and Muriel Marjorie.