Responding to requests from a number of teachers, we have extended the deadline for this year’s Jean Coulthard String Quartet Readings to May 1.

Dr. Jennifer Butler

Led by Composer-Mentor Dr. Jennifer Butler and supported by CMC BC Librarian and composer Jordan Nobles, emerging composers are asked to submit drafts of five-minute quartets for consideration by the jury.

Ten quartets will be selected for the free seminar, then read and performed by Vancouver’s internationally-celebrated Borealis String Quartet. In addition to a free performance for friends and family in the CMC’s Murray Adaskin Salon on Saturday, June 15, the quartets will also be performed in world premieres at the Rennie Museum on Monday, June 17, 2019 at 7pm, surrounded by the artworks which inspired the compositions. (All proceeds benefit CMC BC.)

In addition to the two readings and two performances of the works selected, one participant each year is also selected to receive a music video of their work produced by Video Project Leader and CMC Associate Composer Thomas Beckman. Click here to see Angela So’s music video Ice Drifter, directed by Darko Sikman.

For submission details regarding this year’s seminar, please click here.

This year’s readings ask emerging composers to find inspiration for their compositions from Spring 2019: Collected Works, a new exhibition of painting and photography at Chinatown’s Rennie Museum in the historic Wing Sang Building, or from the Wing Sang Building itself. 

Free guided tours are available for this seminar by prior arrangement through bcregion at

Tuesday, April 23, 4:00 pm
Thursday, April 25, 5:00 pm
Saturday, April 27, 4:30 pm

A portraiture of the collecting spirit, the works exhibited invite exploration of what collected objects, and both the considered and unintentional ways they are displayed, tell us. Featuring the works of four artists—Andrew Grassie, William E. Jones, Louise Lawler and Catherine Opie—the exhibition runs from February 16 to June 15, 2019.

BC Director touring the Rennie Museum Exhibition with Gavin & Sarah Topnik

Scottish painter Andrew Grassie’s carefully constructed, hyper-realistic images detail the home and private storage space of a major art collector, providing a peek at how the passionately devoted integrates and accommodates the physical embodiments of such commitment into daily life.

Images by American photographer Louise Lawler depicting art installed in various private and public settings. Lawler is known for photographing portraits of other internationally-known artists’ work, giving special attention to the spaces in which they are placed and methods used to make them, raising issues of appropriation and celebrity in addition to asking questions about what happens when the collector and the collected are no longer immediately connected.

700 Nimes Road
is American photographer Catherine Opie’s portrait of legendary actress Elizabeth Taylor. There is a fascinating contrast between Opie, a self-declared butch leather dyke, creating a portrait for one of the most iconic, glamorized, and feminine women of all time. Opie did not directly photograph Taylor for any of the fifty images in the expansive portfolio. Instead, she focused on Taylor’s home and the objects within, inviting viewers to see—then see beyond— the façade of fame and consider how both treasures and trinkets act as vignettes to the stories of a life. Glamorous images of jewels and trophies juxtapose with mundane shots of a printer and the remote-control user manual.

passed away part way through Opie’s project. The subsequent photos include Taylor’s mementos heading off to auction, raising the question, “Once the collections that help to define someone are disbursed, will our image of that person lose focus?”

Villa Iolas
(1982/2017), by American artist and filmmaker William E. Jones, depict the Athens home of iconic art dealer and collector Alexander Iolas, who gave Andy Warhol his first solo exhibition, helped discover Man Ray, one of the greatest surrealists, and built the careers of Max Ernst, Yves Klein and Giorgio de Chirico among other great artists.

The first half of the exhibition are photographs of the magnificent marble villa, that is filled with works by these great titans of modern art. Left in a gift to the city of Athens as a modern art museum, he was so reviled as a gay man that the magnificent home was left by the government to rot, the artworks were all looted and the photographer visited again to photograph the graffiti-filled burnt ruin left behind.

These are tales of loss, of magnificent things found, of the transient nature of the lives of those that collect art, of destruction, of love and hate, of the passing nature of wealth and celebrity, of the value and worth of art itself.


rennie museum opened in October 2009 in the historic Wing Sang Building, the oldest structure in Vancouver’s Chinatown, to feature dynamic exhibitions comprising art drawn from the rennie collection. Showcasing works by emerging and established international artists, the exhibits, accompanied by supporting catalogues, are open free to the public through engaging guided tours on Saturdays. The museum’s commitment to providing access to arts and culture is also expressed through its education program, which offers free age-appropriate tours and customized workshops to children of all ages.

rennie collection is a globally recognized collection of contemporary art that focuses on works that tackle issues related to identity, social commentary and injustice, appropriation, and the nature of painting, photography, sculpture and film. Currently the collection includes works by over 370 emerging and established artists including the largest private collection of work by African-American artists in North America, with over fifty artists collected in depth. The Vancouver based collection engages actively with numerous museums globally through a robust, artist- centric, lending policy.