Kudos to Bob Rennie for giving us another spectacular reason to love Vancouver.
FREE & SPECTACULAR | Vancouver real estate marketing mogul Bob Rennie’s private art gallery in the Wing Sang Building on East Pender Street has been open to the public just over two years now. I had been putting off seeing it for a completely irrational reason—you need to sign up in advance to get in. Lucky for me, friends added my name to their group of four planning a visit, and we all went for a free one-hour guided tour last week.
What a treat, and not just because the Damian Moppett show on view is provocative—the art is only one part of what makes this place a must see—but because the Wing Sang building itself is absolutely fascinating. Walter Francl’s renovation of the Wing Sang, the oldest building in Chinatown (actually the project consists of two buildings, one behind the other) is cool enough for architecture hipsters, sensitive enough for preservation buffs and a dead easy visual read for anyone remotely intrigued with local history or culture.
Another great thing about visiting the Wing Sang is that the art intern who shows you around explains the significance of and meaning behind the art you’re looking at, and she also answers questions about the renovation and how the two buildings were used back in 1901 when the project was first completed (construction began in 1889).
A free tour of the Wing Sang really should be on everyone’s Things-To-Do-In-Vancouver list.—Olivia Pittman
In Vancouver, the Rennie Collection at the Wing Sang is located at 51 East Pender Street, 604-682-2088. To book a free guided tour, visit www.renniecollection.org. For a closer look at the gorgeous Wing Sang renovation, visit www.wfrancl.com.
Photos: Rennie Collection