The Vancouver Institute

Since 1916, the Vancouver Institute has brought the University of British Columbia and Vancouver community together through free public lectures and discussions. Driven by volunteer membership and donations, the Institute hosts influential academics and political leaders from around the world. The Global Reporting centre is proud to partner with The Vancouver Institute. In collaboration, both organizations support interdisciplinary ideas and a strong, community-driven culture at UBC.

To contact us, please email or leave us a message at 604-822-8061 and we will call you back.

About the Vancouver Institute

A Short History

The Vancouver Institution was established in February 1916, just five months after the opening of UBC. At this time, the Institute was known for its “town and gown” concept—local citizens could join with academics at UBC to organize, promote, sponsor, host, and present various lectures.

Behind this bridging model were three influential individuals: Lemuel Robertson, Associate Professor of Classics at UBC and Chairman of the Archaeological Institute; Frank Wesbrook, the University’s first president; and S.D. Scott, editor of the Vancouver News-Advertiser.

The Institute holds its lectures at UBC during the fall and spring academic terms, increasing community engagement with each year. Recently, the Institute has been fortunate enough to cosponsor speakers with several lectureship committees, such as Cecil and Ida Green, Leon and Thea Koerner, Dal Grauer, J.V. Clyne, E.S. Woodward, The Vancouver Sun, and External Affairs Canada.

The most celebrated speaker at the Institute was the Dalai Lama, who attracted around 10,000 people. Other notable past presenters include French academician Claude Levi-Strauss, Prime Minister of Singapore Lee Kuan Yew, and several Nobel Laureates.


Please note: Given the COVID-19 situation lectures are not taken place at UBC campus at this time.

Frequently Asked Questions

Where do the VI lectures take place?

Given the COVID-19 situation, lectures are not taking place on UBC campus. Lectures are delivered via Zoom Webinar. The link to the lecture is:

(1) delivered to you via email if you are a member,

(2) posted here and the Institute Facebook page

Do I need a VI membership if I want to attend the lectures?

You do not need to be a member of the Vancouver Institute; however, as an all-volunteer organization, we greatly appreciate your financial support. The cost of your membership and any donations are tax-deductible. Please direct all questions on how to apply for membership to

Can I pay for my membership when I attend the VI lecture?

We are not taking payment in person at this time. You can pay online here.

Memberships and Donations

We invite you to use our online platform: to become or renew your annual membership with The Vancouver Institute. A single membership is $25, $35 for a family, and $10 for a student.

If you would like to provide a donation, and be recognized in the brochure, you can find the donation form here:

Your membership and donation are tax deductible.

Because we are working remotely due to COVID-19 safety measures, our capabilities to speedily process memberships/donations received by mail is limited. Nevertheless, if your only option is to pay by cheque, you can download this membership form and mail it to:

The Vancouver Institute
c/o Global Reporting Centre
6388 Crescent Road, Vancouver, BC V6T 1Z2

Become a sponsor

The Vancouver Institute is a volunteer-led organization that has been running since 1916 on with the help of voluntary yearly subscriptions and welcome donations from public-minded citizens. You are invited to contribute to the sustainability of The Institute and support its lecture series by becoming a sponsor of the institute on an annual basis. All donations are tax-deductible. To learn more about how to become a sponsor please download our sponsorship guide here or become a sponsor online here.

Download our 2021 Spring Program

Follow the link to download a PDF copy of our program.

Archive of Past Lectures

Click here to access the video archive of past lectures.

Contact Us

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Phone: (604) 822-8061