“The biggest inspiration is working directly with the artists and helping them realize their ideas, their vision, and supporting their careers and their ability to continue their work.”
Raj has been dedicated to Open Space and Victoria’s artist community for much of his life. Starting out as a student volunteer and taking on the role of Executive Director years later, Raj has watched the city change. Still, the artist community continues to thrive in Victoria. Under Raj’s direction, Open Space lives up to its name, providing opportunities for artists from many disciplines to share their craft. The spacious gallery has housed poetry readings, live music debuts, visual art installations, and countless other projects. The gallery is also free to attend. Raj encourages the public to stop in any time to see a show and meet the staff.
Open Space is one of the original artist-run centres in Canada. It was begun in 1972 in the same building that it remains in today. Raj works with the business community downtown, hosting events and securing sponsorships to build a supportive relationship. The team at Open Space also tries to shop locally for the supplies they need.
Read Raj’s full interview.