Access

What follows is The Bows’ most up-to-date accessibility information. We endeavor to make the gallery as accessible as possible for Disabled people, parents, and other people who experience barriers to accessing arts spaces, for myriad reasons. This is a living document; improving accessibility will be a continuous, ongoing process and The Bows is committed to continuing to learn how to best welcome diverse audiences into our space. We would like to thank our 2021 Research Fellow, Molly Caldwell, for helping us start to develop our accessibility policies, outline goals, and encouraging us to create this document.

Location and parking

The Bows is located on the corner of 10th Avenue SW and 19th Street. There are two designated parking spots for visitors to The Bows and one accessible parking space shared by visitors to the building. Street parking is available on residential streets nearby.

The gallery is a 7 minute walk from the Sunalta CTrain Station, and a 2 minute walk to a Westbound and Southbound #90 bus stop.

Accessibility

The Bows has one accessible parking space on the East side of the building and a wheelchair ramp leading up to our front doors. During the winter, access to the accessible parking spot is sometimes partially obstructed by snow. We are working with the building manager to resolve this issue. In the meantime, we ask that able-bodied visitors and staff use the designated parking spot further away from 10th Avenue and leave the parking spot closest to the gallery clear for our disabled visitors. If the spot is occupied and you need to park there, please phone 825.994.3366 and we will ask the occupant of the space to move their car.

The front doors do not have an automatic door opener. Please also call us at 825.994.3366 if you need assistance with the doors, or to inquire about the accessible parking spot.


There is one completely accessible, gender neutral washroom with a grab bar, and one partially accessible, gender neutral washroom . There are no stairs in our unit.

Inside the gallery

When you arrive, staff will meet you at the door to check your vaccination status with the barcode verification app, and offer your hand sanitizer.  A proof of vaccine exemption or a negative covid-19 test within 72 hours are also accepted for entry into the gallery. If you are not wearing a mask, staff will offer you one. Masks are required inside the gallery at all times. You will also be asked if you’d like to sign our visitor sign in sheet. This is optional, and we use it to track attendance and undergo any contact tracing if you elect to leave an email address. You will also be invited to join our mailing list.

The gallery is the first room you will encounter in your visit, with the entrance to the office on the right. The washrooms are located in a hallway between the gallery and office.

Staff are available to answer any questions you may have while you’re visiting. Staff are happy to talk with you about our programming, however there is no expectation that you chat with us during your visit.

Please ask staff for a stool or a chair with arms if you’d like to sit while in the gallery.

Sounds & sights

The Bows is located underneath a dental lab, which can be a bit noisy at times. You can expect to hear walking and talking from above when you visit. There is also an extractor fan in our office that periodically activates, and a portable HEPA filter. At times, the HEPA will be moved into the gallery to filter the air between visitors.

10th Street SW is a busy throughfare, so you can expect to hear traffic sounds. We are also located near a railway crossing and a CTrain line, so there is a possibility of hearing a freight train or a CTrain.

Most exhibitions are relatively quiet. Sound works and video works are typically set at reasonable volume, or are played back on headphones. If an exhibition will be loud, or have flashing lights, or other potential sensory barriers, The Bows will indicate that in our exhibition marketing. Visitors are always free to ask staff to adjust the volume or lighting conditions.

The gallery and office are brightly lit, except when darkness or low light is required for the artwork, for example projected video works. All tripping hazards are clearly marked.

For parents

You are more than welcome to bring children to the gallery.

Visitors may use our break room, which has a door, to breastfeed or change children. It is located at the end of the hall between the gallery and office, past the two washrooms. Visitors with children are also welcome to use the break room for other purposes.

In cases when exhibition content may be inappropriate, scary, or harmful to children, we will let visitors entering the gallery with children know.

Works of art are generally not interactive, but in the cases that they are, this will be communicated clearly at the front of the gallery. Children are welcome to spend time in our open concept office while visitors are enjoying the exhibition. Please don’t hesitate to ask the staff on site for paper and pens for children to draw with. We may also have age-appropriate books on hand.

Anyone wanting to attend our on-site events is welcome to request childcare on site. We can guarantee on-site childcare for requests five days or more before the event date and will do everything we can to honour requests made within five days of the event. We will advertise this service in our event announcements.

If you have any specific accessibility concerns, please contact kaylee[at]thebows.org