The Cheaper Show Celebrates 10 Years of High-end Art at Bargain Prices

The Cheaper Show is back, with 400 pieces of art on sale for only $200 each.

Credit: Alicia Reyes McNamara

Over 10,000 art enthusiasts are expected to attend the tenth annual Cheaper Show this Saturday 

If you’re looking to get your hands on a bargain-priced piece of art at the tenth annual Cheaper Show, “Blood Sweat and Ten Years,” Saturday, be prepared to wait in line.


Last year, some eager attendees began staking out their spot a remarkable 12 hours before the doors even opened.


“As soon as we open the doors, people sprint into the room. It’s a crazy mayhem of people running around, scanning the walls,” says Cheaper Show founder Graeme Burglund.

The Cheaper Show: Blood, Sweat and Ten Years


Saturday, June 25
6 p.m. – Midnight


188 Kingsway

$10/$7 for students

All art is cash only

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Their excitement is understandable. After all, some of the pieces come from artists whose work usually retails for over $100,000, making the front of the line a coveted spot for any art enthusiast.

From an underground art show to a big-time phenomenon

Berglund’s concept has grown in size since its inception in 2001, but the idea has remained the same; local and international artists sell paintings, photographs, sculptures and more, all for the low price of $200. This year, 400 pieces of art from 200 artists will be up for sale from countries including Kenya, Slovakia and Venezuela.


According to Berglund, the show often marks the first time buyers can afford to purchase works of art.


“We really make an effort to focus on diversity as well as equality. Anyone from any background or interest, chances are you’ll be able to walk in and find at least four or five pieces you really like,” says Burglund.


The tenth anniversary show will also see participating artists receive 100 per cent of the sales. Previously, artists had received only 75 per cent.


Still, Berglund believes his show is best as a one-night venture.


“It would be pretty irresponsible to do this every month,” says Berglund, adding that people may begin to rely on this extremely cheap art. “But it’s nice to stimulate the art economy once every year.”

The Cheaper Show to expand to other cities

While monthly exhibitions may not be in the cards for The Cheaper Show, that does not mean Berglund won’t be expanding his vision. Currently, he is in talks to bring the event to other cities across the world. A number of countries have shown interest, including Turkey, Japan and Sao Paulo, all eager to establish Cheaper Shows of their own.


But although the show may soon be spreading its wings to new locales, Berglund reassures the original Cheaper Show is here to stay—hopefully for another 10 years.


“I think we have proved that the public of Vancouver definitely has an interest in the arts,” says Berglund. “The response has been mind-blowing.”