Vtape was established in 1980 by artists Lisa Steele, Susan Britton, Rodney Werden, Clive Robertson and Colin Campbell. In 1982, co-founders Kim Tomczak and Lisa Steele undertook an international research study to determine how best to improve the distribution and dissemination of artists’ video, and in 1983 Vtape was incorporated as a not-for-profit organization.

Since the beginning of its distribution activity, under the continued leadership of Tomczak and Steele, Vtape set numerous precedents, including:

1991 – Vtape launches the Fresh Looks: Anti-Racist Film and Video series and study guides

1994 – Vtape co-founds the Centre for Aboriginal Media, which launches the  imagineNATIVE Film + Media Arts Festival in 1998

1996 – Vtape and Art Metropole publish VIDEO re/VIEW, a critical anthology on Canadian artists’ video

1999 – Vtape co-founds TRANZ<–>TECH: Toronto International Media Art Biennial (three editions: 1999, 2001 and 2003)

2002 – Vtape develops its Critical Writing Index, a landmark on-line bibliographic resource for print materials about the media arts

2004 – The Curatorial Incubator, a mentoring exhibition program for emerging curators, is launched

2005 – Co-founders Kim Tomczak and Lisa Steele win the Governor General’s Award in Visual and Media Arts

2006 – Vtape launches the Video Art in Canada website

2007 – Vtape presents Analogue: Pioneering Video from the UK, Canada and Poland (1968-88), which tours worldwide, and publishes an accompanying catalogue

2010 – Vtape wins the prestigious Ontario Premier’s Award for Excellence in the Arts

2012 – Co-founder Kim Tomczak receives the Ontario Association of Art Galleries’ Lifetime Achievement Award

2013 – Development Director Deirdre Logue receives the Images Festival/LIFT-sponsored Tom Berner Award

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