Venues: SOMA (a coffee shop), Monsoon (a bistro), Video In Studios (now VIVO Media Arts Centre), LUGS, The Whip (restaurant), Naked, Sugar Refinery, The Alibi Room (restaurant)
In 1999, Vancouver artists and industry professionals Malcolm Levy and Jarrett Martineau, former classmates who previously hosted events in Montreal, took up shop in an office in the Old Dominion building on Hastings Street. Along with Rachel Flood (who helped out admin), they founded New Forms as an artist-run festival interested in the praxis of contemporary art at the intersection of music, media, technology and performance. Within a few years, Flood moved on to create Sistahood and Martineau went to work for CBC, but Levy and an evolving team of curators and directors carried on the New Forms vision into the new millennium.
2001 was the first year of the actual festival. Having no major sponsorships at this time, NFF01 was a community-based event in multiple venues. Working under the theme of “new forms,” about 50 local artists utilized unusual spaces such as restaurants and coffee shops all along Main Street.