The Venice Biennale was created in 1895 as a celebration of the 25th wedding anniversary of King Umberto and Queen Margherita of Italy. At the time the mayor of Venice, Riccardo Selvatico had the ambition to create an institution of “public benefit and good” that would always recall this particular event.

Who could have imagined then that the Venice Biennale would continue to be the exhibition where every country wishes to be, and to which the world of artists and architects, contemporary musicians, dancers, actors and directors continues to look as a stage to showcase their best work?

Since its inception in 1980 the 16th edition of the Venice Architecture Biennale is the most important and prestigious exhibition in contemporary architecture. Two historical locations, the Giardini and the Arsenale, will host the international curated exhibitions.

The 29 historic national pavilions in the Giardini create an open-air museum of 20th Century architecture having themselves been commissioned at each nation’s entry into the Biennale. The countries who have joined the Biennale since 1985 will be showing in the Arsenale and in buildings throughout Venice. Canada’s national pavilion in the Giardini will be celebrating its 60th birthday with a full restoration. Therefore, Canada’s 2018 participation at the Venice Biennale will be showing in the unique and wonderful Isolotto space in the 12th Century Arsenale complex

Over and above the international and national exhibitions, there are series of conferences and events organized by the Biennale called Meetings in Architecture. A meeting place for architects, artists, designers, planners, builders, politicians, students, teachers and cultural leaders, the 2018 edition expects 70 countries to participate, and more than 300,000 visitors to experience the cutting edge of architecture and architectural discourse.