Vancouver Outsider Arts Festival 2021

Welcome to the 5th Vancouver Outsider Arts Festival.

It is still hard for me to believe this is happening. It was just a proposal to the Community art
council some 7 years ago. I must first thank the Council, its president Valerie Smaller and its
board and staff, Kristin, Shannon, Oin and all our volunteers for making this possible year after
year.

But mostly I want to thank all the artists who are part of this festival for your generosity in
sharing your work. I will repeat what I have said in previous years, Outsider artists have been
the engine, the source of change in contemporary arts for decades and continue to be
underrepresented and undervalued. Your work is critical to maintaining our well-being for
individuals of all ages and for our communities.

Today, I will leave you with new consideration about the necessity of your art for our survival.
Art creates change by giving emotions to our thoughts and today I believe we need more art
that is beautiful and brings joy. There is an important place and need for art that challenges our
social-political order, and the damage to our environment but if we are to work to reconnect
with each other as one family on one fragile planet, we as artists should also celebrate the
beauty in ourselves and our world to strengthen our will to heal it.

This year we are also inaugurating a Touring Show to bring awareness about outsider artists to
more communities.

Pierre Leichner

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