VIVO Media Arts Centre

Identity area



Authorized form of name

VIVO Media Arts Centre

Parallel form(s) of name

Other form(s) of name

  • Satellite Video Exchange Society


  • Arts Organization

Contact area


Archivist Primary contact



Street address

2625 Kaslo Street





Country name


Postal code

V5M 3G9







Description area


The Satellite Video Exchange Society (SVES) was incorporated on July 23, 1973 as a non-profit organization under the Societies Act of British Columbia. Growing out of a broad interest in the use of new video technology for aesthetic, documentary, and activist purposes along with the publication of a Video Exchange Directory in 1971 and Matrix symposium in January 1973, its goals were to promote the non-commercial use of video technology through education and international video tape exchange. SVES was conceived from the beginning as an artist-run centre, with business decisions being made through a Management Collective. The initial functions of SVES included tape and print library services, equipment rental, workshops and screenings. In 1978 activities expanded to include a new serial publication, Video Guide (which continued through 1992), and the introduction of a video tape distribution service, Video Out Distribution, in 1979. The centre operated by SVES was the "Video Inn" at 261 Powell Street in Vancouver. In 1988 a move was made to 1102 Homer Street and a third move was made in 1993 to 1965 Main Street. Founding members were Renee Baert, Michael Goldberg, Patricia Hardman, Charles Keast, Ann McDonald, Janet Miller, Shawn Preus, Paula Wainberg, Richard Ward, and Paul Wong. The SVES operates under the name VIVO Media Arts Centre.

Geographical and cultural context

SVES is located in Vancouver. The collection is international in scope, however, 65% of the media collection was produced in B.C. and all Special Collections originated in Greater Vancouver. The collection grew out of the Canadian artist-run centre movement and reflect social justice movements that have impacted the media and Canada since 1968. We have extensive feminist and LGBTQ2S collections.

Mandates/Sources of authority

Administrative structure

Records management and collecting policies

The Crista Dahl Media Library and Archive (CDMLA) at the VIVO Media Arts Centre houses approximately 7300 videotapes of artist and activist work dating back to 1968. It acquires work on an ongoing basis through Video Out Distribution as well as through specific donations to the society. The CDMLA also acquires, preserves and makes accessible the records of the SVES. The society was originally established as a collective to promote the non-commercial use of video technology through education and video tape exchange, and has expanded to include audio, electronics, and new media.



Total Volume: ca. 100 m of textual records, ca. 5000 photographs, ca. 600 prints: posters, 7300 video tapes, and 54 audio cassettes<br /> Inclusive Dates: 1968 to present

Finding aids, guides and publications

Access area

Opening times

Tuesday - Friday 11AM-6PM. Contact the Archivist to make appointments for other times.

Access conditions and requirements


Wheelchair ramp: The ramp has two runs: the first run is 20 feet long, and the second run is 26 feet. The ramp is 60 inches wide. The slope is 1:12. The ramp itself is concrete and has handrails on both sides.
Door: 8 feet width (advance notice required)
Washroom: Door: 33 inch width
Toilet: 11 inch clearance on left side
The washroom has a handrail
Washroom is all genders
Most areas of the archive are inaccessible in wheelchairs. Services of the archivist are available at no charge.

Services area

Research services

Research services available in English. Contact In-person research can be arranged with the Archivist.

Reproduction services

Obsolete media may be digitized upon request for a fee (dependent on format, length of work, condition of work). Scanner and photocopier available for use. Access varies.

Public areas

Desk space for researchers, free Wi-Fi.

Control area

Description identifier

Institution identifier

Rules and/or conventions used



Level of detail

Dates of creation, revision and deletion

Revised by BCANS Coordinator, March 20, 2011; October 25, 2012 (per VIVO Media Arts Centre); December 13, 2014 (per VIVO Media Arts Centre).




Maintenance notes

Access points

Access Points

  • Aboriginal Peoples (Thematic area)
  • Arts and Culture (Thematic area)
  • Communication (Thematic area)
  • Environment (Thematic area)
  • Labour (Thematic area)
  • Law and Justice (Thematic area)
  • Politics and Government (Thematic area)
  • Recreation / Leisure / Sports (Thematic area)
  • Science and Technology (Thematic area)
  • Clipboard

Primary contact

2625 Kaslo Street
Vancouver, BC
CA V5M 3G9