Pedestrian Protest

In a new commission for the Vancouver Art Gallery's Offsite, Vancouver based artists Evann Siebens and Keith Doyle explore how a moving body, whether in solitude or en masse, can become a political act. Pedestrian Protest includes 24 media performances, created by collaborators, that reference histories of protest, current and past. The individuals and collectives were filmed and edited by Evann Siebens and combined into a collage of photo, media and movement. Each location, chosen by a project collaborator, is uniquely emblematic and linked to specific histories or present places of demonstration and activism. Keith Doyle responds to this mapping of the city through his sculptural intervention, referring to the precarious and temporary conditions of Vancouver’s constantly changing built environment.


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Katie Cassady


Katie Cassady is a Japanese-Canadian teacher, performer, and choreographer based in Vancouver, BC, the unceded territories of the Squamish, Musqueam and Tsleil-Waututh Nations. Katie completed her training at Simon Fraser University and the San Francisco Conservatory of Dance. Katie currently performs with Kokoro Dance, Amber Funk Barton/the response., and TWObigsteps Collective, and has previously performed for Julianne Chapple and Donald Sales. As an independent creator, her work has been presented in Vancouver at the Contemporary Art Gallery’s Dance Week 2019, the Shooting Gallery Performance Series, BC Buds at the Firehall Arts Centre, 12 Minutes Max #42 at the Dance Centre, and Vines Art Festival. Katie is currently participating in Made in BC’s Re-centering/Margins 2020 residency with support from the Canada Council for the Arts. Katie holds a BA in Art History with a focus in Asian Art from the University of British Columbia.

Artist’s Statement

For Pedestrian Protest I chose to focus on the 1907 Vancouver Riots, also known as the Anti-Immigration Riots or the Anti-Asiatic Riots. These riots began as a parade organized by the Asiatic Exclusion League of British Columbia to protest immigration from Asia, thought to have been in response to concerns that new immigrants were taking employment opportunities from white Canadians. As a result of this parade, which subsequently became a violent riot, the Canadian government implemented a number of restrictions on immigration from China, Japan, and India; including maintaining the head tax on Asian immigrants, limiting the number of immigrants from Japan, and requiring immigrants to take a continuous journey by boat from their country of origin to Canada.

As a fourth generation Japanese Canadian, I was interested in these riots as I wonder what the impacts of these government mandates were on the Japanese community in Canada, and what impacts they may have had on my family. As these protests map directly onto the streets of the city I live in now, I wonder how they map more ephemerally on the realities of my family and community.


Artist's Website: Katie Cassady
PDF: 1907: Anti-Asian Riots in Vancouver
Wayback Archive: The Chinese Experience in British Columbia: 1850 – 1950

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