Vancouver City Council supports 82 community arts projects

ABOVE: The All Bodies Dance Project is one of over 80 community arts projects recommended for grants covering a wide gamut of diversity, and reflecting the unique characteristics of our neighbourhoods and varied communities of interest found in Vancouver.

On June 1, 2016, Vancouver City Council approved grant allocations totalling $464,650 to a record 82 organizations representing the full spectrum of amateur to professional art practices.

Through the Community Arts Grants program the Council-adopted Culture Plan vision to invest in Vancouver’s vibrant and creative neighbourhoods is clearly accomplished. Additionally, it delivers on the City’s Health City Strategy goals of supporting creative expression, cultivating social connections and lifelong learning through unique artist and community collaborations, leading to healthier communities.

Reviewing a record number of applications would not have been possible without peer members from the arts and cultural community who are nominated to participate with staff in making grant recommendations. We appreciate our Peer Assessment Committee for providing valuable input throughout the process. This year’s committees consisted of practicing artists, executive leaders and technical/production staff:

  • Kate Armstrong – Writer, interdisciplinary community-engaged artist, independent curator
  • Josef Chung – Production Manager with Vancouver New Music, DanceHouse
  • Mike Dangeli – Artist, carver, singer, songwriter, and dancer with Git Hayetsk Dancers
  • Germaine Koh – Visual artist and independent curator
  • Navida Nuraney – Executive Director, ArtStarts in Schools




For convenience, these are presented in alphabetical order by organization. Click through to the Council Report for additional detail.

The All Bodies Dance Project is a nine-month, collaborative creation project by the All Bodies Dance Society for dancers of all abilities, leading to the production of a full evening performance at the Roundhouse Performance Centre in May 2017.

EMMA Talks by Arts in Action Society brings important stories by women-identified cultural producers from the periphery to the public by connecting a women’s speaker’s series, community engaged art events and a digital archive with high quality videos, creating a broad multi-platform audience for creative community building.

Each year the Asian-Canadian Special Events Association presents TAIWANfest. It engages Vancouver’s diverse communities in downtown Vancouver through free and multi-disciplinary arts and cultural programs highlighting both professional and emerging artists with a focus on the Mandarin and Chinese speaking communities.

The BC Metis Federation hosts the Louis Riel Day Celebration on November 16th, 2016 to celebrate and educate the public about the life of Louis Riel.

BOLDFest is a safe space created by Bold Old(er) Lesbians & Dykes Society for older lesbian participants to meet, engage with, and be inspired by a diversified group of local artists from a wide selection of Vancouver’s art and cultural communities.

Mobilizing Commercial Drive and Grandview area residents in a grassroots community theatre project, The Fly on the Wall Project showcases the diversity and richness of everyday life at Britannia Services Centre.

This second annual Façade Festival is a monumental projection mapping project and outdoor architectural intervention organized by the Burrard Arts Foundation in partnership with the Vancouver Art Gallery. Five artists will be invited to create projections which will be displayed on the VAG for the public.

Car Free Day celebrates the vibrancy of Vancouver’s diverse neighbourhoods by organizing an annual multi-day, multi-site arts and culture festival hosted by the Car Free Vancouver Society that reclaims traffic thoroughfares as community focused public spaces.

The Endless Summer Festival held in Oppenheimer Park is an annual community celebration hosted by Carnegie Community Centre Association focused on families and children with entertainment, games and other activities.

In February 2017, the Centre of Integration for African Immigrants returns with the annual Black History Market & Cultural Showcase which brings together artists from various genres to educate, promote and celebrate African/Black culture and build awareness of the presence and contributions of African/Blacks to Canadian society.

Open Stage Youth is a year-long after-school theatre program offered to inner-city children and youth by Children’s Arts Umbrella Association in Vancouver’s Grandview-Woodlands, Kensington-Cedar Cottage and Strathcona neighbourhoods.

The Chinese Cultural Centre of Vancouver presents a two-day Chinese Opera Summer Festival in August 2016. It will feature three local Chinese opera artists and one scholar who will demonstrate the similarities and differences between Peking Opera and Cantonese Opera through make-up demonstrations, performances, hands-on sessions and a lecture.

City of Nations Society presents the HeArt of Europe Festival is a family-friendly festival, where everyone can experience and enjoy the rich and diverse cultures of Central European countries, through arts, music, folk dance, theatre, film and more.

Audiences are invited to join multi award-winning producer Obediya Jones-Darrell during an interactive live radio drama broadcast at SFU Woodward’s campus. CJSF Radio 90.1 FM (Simon Fraser Campus Radio Society) brings together musical theatre, sound design, and storytelling, this project centres on the story of Sir James Douglas.

Collingwood Days is a week-long intercultural community festival presented by Collingwood Neighbourhood House that reflects the diversity of the Renfrew-Collingwood neighbourhood. Programming includes art making, music, performances, storytelling, artists’ markets, games, food, and environmental awareness.

Crab – Water for Life Society presents an annual free community event celebrates Canada Day and Crab Park at Portside with live music and free food.

True Voice Theatre project by Creativa International is a series of free, community engaged performance and creation workshops involving individuals from Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside, targeted towards those who have experienced homelessness or are currently vulnerably housed.

Diwali Fest is an annual multidisciplinary multicultural celebration of the South Asian festival of lights presented by the Diwali Celebration Society. The celebration showcases diverse emerging and established performing artists through music, dance, theatre and delivers educational workshops on the spirit of Diwali and South Asian culture.

The DTES Neighbourhood House open its doors for the third time to join the Eastside Culture Crawl this November with a weekend of arts and cultural programming including a Salmon Feast, Healing Circle, Artist Show, Drumming, and children’s art.

Led by local artists and Aboriginal elders, the Downtown Eastside Women’s Centre Association (DEWC) is proposing a 10-month project of cultural activities and artistic expression focused on healing through arts and culture for marginalized Aboriginal women around multiple issues including residential school recovery, substance use, cultural isolation, and violence.

The Year of the Rooster Temple Fair at the Dr. Sun Yat-Sen Classical Chinese Garden celebrates Chinese culture, community inclusiveness, inter-cultural understanding, and cultural exploration through accessible and dynamic performances of traditional Chinese artists, performers, and musicians with traditional Chinese New Year customs, games, and lively activities.

The Canadian International Dragon Boat Festival Society’s World Beat cultural program reflects community through the presentation of activities that celebrate the performing, visual and culinary arts, and dragon boat racing at the annual Dragon Boat Festival.

Dusty Flowerpot Cabaret Society’s Parade of Lost Souls is a free outdoor arts festival that consists of a series of community building, artist-driven workshops, and a parade involving over 250 artists and performers and audience participants from across the city.

As part of Canadian Music week, the East Vancouver Community Music School Society presents Celebrate Canadian Music Day event engages the public in the creation, performance, and appreciation of Canadian music with workshops, a student recital, and a professional concert.

The annual Eastside Culture Crawl is a visual art, design and crafts festival that recognizes and strengthens the role of 475+ professional artists; increases public participation and engagement in arts by engaging 25,000 attendees; and activates Vancouver’s Eastside and with an event embraced by the community.

The Environmental Youth Alliance collaborates with Theatre on Earth in creating Connect the Plots—Wild Mind, a performance based upon the learnings and experiences garnered from the re-wilding of the south-east corner of Strathcona Community Garden.

The Frog Hollow Arts Harvest Exhibition will exhibit art produced by Frog Hollow Neighbourhood House and community residents under the tutelage of local artists at our annual Pumpkin Patch in the City event. With the aid of a local artist/curator, the residents will determine the process and exhibit format.

Gathering Place Community Centre Association – The Gathering Festival is a community arts festival that engages and connects Vancouver’s wide-ranging and mixed inner-city populations with 4 weeks of art, music, dance, history and literary activities and workshops culminating in a large outdoor community celebration in Emery Barnes Park.

Girls Rock Camp Vancouver is a summer camp for marginalized and at-risk female youth that builds self-esteem through music creation and performance

The annual Big Draw Vancouver, a citywide day of free, drop-in drawing workshops joins the worldwide Big Draw program. This year’s program, hosted by Grandview Community Centre Association involves major drawing projects at four anchor Community Centers and 8 parks across the city.

Once again, the Hellenic Canadian Congress of B.C will present Greek Day on Broadway. This family oriented neighbourhood street festival consists of cultural and educational activities that attract approximately 100,000 attendees annually.

The Hapa-palooza Festival by Hybrid Ancestry Public Arts Society celebrates mixed ancestry and cultural heritage through fostering community engagement with diverse cultural public programming featuring local multi-disciplinary artists.

IMAPON (Interdisciplinary Media Artist’s Association/Population of Noise) looks to present a series of electronic visual and computer generated installations, including interactive and immersive works, which will be placed at various locations at the Vancouver Folk Festival and surrounding area, including works by several artists selected from an open submission.

Conceived to bring together the highest standards of contemporary music, community-engaged arts, and art for social change, the Binners Symphony Community Music project by Instruments of Change Society will consist of a large-scale, 20-minute composition, created in collaboration with and for members of Vancouver’s binner community, professional performers and the community-at-large.

Il Centro Italian Cultural Centre Society presents the 2016 Italian Heritage Month festival, directing city support to pay artist and presenter fees for the month long festival.

Italian Day on the Drive kicks off summer in Little Italy celebrating Vancouver’s culturally rich Italian Heritage including food and culture. This annual citizen favorite is presented by the Italian Day Festival Society.

The annual Kitsilano Neighbourhood House Autumn Fair connects neighbours through an annual fun and vibrant seasonal festival that celebrates local artists and contributes to the building of a healthy and safe neighbourhood.

Kol Halev Performance Society mounts an original musical play, Sylvia’s Hotel, about the original family who built the iconic Vancouver hotel and changed the landscape of Vancouver in 1912, one brick at a time, while fighting for their larger than life dream.

The Korean Senior Citizens’ Society’s Seniors Arts Festival showcases the artistic skills of local Korean Canadian seniors in music, singing, dancing, painting, etc. to the wider Vancouver population.

Latin American Week in Vancouver is topped off by the Carnaval Del Sol Fiesta, produced by Latincouver Business & Cultural Society providing a unique experience celebrating the best of Latin culture, arts and music.

Leave Out Violence (LOVE) hosts an annual youth performance stage at the Main Street Car Free Day location. This year’s theme will showcase the diverse work of youth artists in our community.

PROX:IMITY RE:MIX is a community engaged youth project by MACHiNENOiSY Dance Society that involves queer and allied youth. In an exploration of identity, gender and community through improvisation, contact dance and new media, a new media dance performance will be created and produced.

Made in BC (Dance on Tour Society) will be working in partnership with Vancouver Board of Parks and Recreation, on Leading from Beside. This celebration of current, community-engaged dance practice includes an exhibition, panel discussions, workshops/presentations and dialogue circles. Participants include Vancouver current and potential community dance participants, dance artists, social/recreation professionals, and the general public.

The Maker Foundation’s Vancouver Mini Maker Faire is a family-friendly festival celebrating the creativity and resourcefulness of Vancouver’s Maker community, and showcasing artists and Makers from many different disciplines, including painters, metal artists, performers, roboticists, textile artists, 3D printing gurus, and more.

A group of predominantly Chinese and Japanese speaking older adults embark on an investigation of community mapping through photography with Maraya Cultural Projects Society. The project experiments with various approaches to accentuate unique and invisible aspects of neighbourhoods. Culminating in an exhibition, the projects aims to discover new modes of self-expression and build connections to community

A collaboration between the Mount Pleasant Business Improvement Area, artists and students at Emily Carr University and the community of Mount Pleasant to develop a unique 5 year community art plan reflecting the needs and wants of the community, highlighting public art projects that embrace the neighbourhood and our city.

The Mount Pleasant Neighbourhood House hosts a weekly Friday night café Beats on Broadway Squared to showcase local music talent.

The Native Daughters of BC, Post No. 1, owners of Vancouver’s oldest building and the stewards of its museum collection, present a perspective of Vancouver’s history through permanent displays of early Pioneer and First Nations artifacts; enhanced by tours, talks, musical performances, a retro-fashion show and traditional teas.

Four Vancouver artists will work with students at East Vancouver schools to create Danielle, an interactive story about a girl who is sexually exploited by a fellow student. The programme presented by Network of Inner City Community Services Society will be delivered in schools and community centres across Vancouver starting in the fall.

A community-led, Vancouver-based campaign of 3 public events, focused on celebrating diversity and inclusion in Arts, Culture, Community and Employment from September to December 2016.  Through Project EveryBODY Open Door Social Services Society celebrates the achievements and talents of persons with disabilities, particularly artists and performers, by engaging the larger community to participate in the three events.

Big Rock Candy Mountain is a multi-phased public art project with artists Helen Reed and Hannah Jickling, and produced by Other Sights for Artists’ Projects, in conjunction with Queen Alexandra Elementary School.

Pacific Community Resources Society’s VietFest celebrates the achievements of Vietnamese settlement in Vancouver through multicultural activities performed by youth from the diverse communities, promoting participation and integration of youth in Vancouver.

The SECRETS issue is a double-length (84-page) special issue of SAD Magazine Publishing Society celebrating little-known Vancouver places, events, histories, and creatives with events and activities throughout the city.

The Society of Graphic Designers of Canada, BC Chapter presents Interesting Vancouver, an annual program that showcases the unexpected expressions of creativity that make Vancouver unique and celebrates the extraordinary pursuits, obsessions and passions of seemingly ordinary Vancouverites, ultimately inspiring attendees to discover interesting new creative pursuits they can apply in their own lives and community.

India Live is a free festival by the South Asian Family Association (SAFA) with performances & cultural activities, celebrating South Asian culture. Programming includes performances, makeovers, yoga, bhangra classes, dhol, henna, sari & turban tying, roti making, gatka, and Indian food.

Working with a core team of theatre and film professionals made up of seniors and non-seniors, the Seniors Create project by South Granville Friendship Seniors Centre engages seniors in a meaningful and thoughtful creation project. The project will include creative workshops and discussions, with the end goal of creating a theatrical presentation with and for seniors.

Streetrich Hip Hop Society – This free event invites the general public to participate and explore the four artistic elements of Hip Hop culture (rap, dj, dance and art) in a safe and respectful environment with local recognized artists.

Teatr Polski-Polish Theatre Canadian-Polish Arts Society’s project involves multiple presentations of a translated adaptation of Polish children’s author’s Every Dragon knows the story at the BC Children’s Hospital, community centres and schools around Vancouver.

The Last Door Recovery SocietyClean, Sober and Proud is a celebration of Vancouver’s GLBTQ2+ diversity where local sober professional artists collaborate to perform in public in the Davie Village, promoting healthy choices during Pride weekend in July 2016.

Tides Canada Initiatives Society – With mentorship from professional writers and photographers, 20 of the City’s most vulnerable kids ages 8-13 will explore new places in Vancouver and will share their impressions through storytelling and photography. This Writers’ Exchange project will result in a published book about unique Vancouver experiences through the eyes of children.

Tsleil-Waututh Nation – This project supports Vancouver’s cultural sector with workshops on Coast Salish protocols and the publication of a reader on critical issues in Coast Salish history, culture and reconciliation issues. Through 2016 the Anthology and community engagement activities will increase the public’s knowledge of the traditional lands of the Musqueam, Squamish and Tsleil-Waututh.

United Black Canadians Community Association (UBCCA) – The African Music Festival is a cultural event that enables Canadians to enjoy and learn about different African cultures and black communities present here in Vancouver. The festival includes storytelling, African arts and crafts sessions, food and displays.

The Vancouver Aboriginal Friendship Centre Society hosts Vancouver’s 2016 celebration of National Aboriginal Day in Canada at John Hendry Park. This free one-day event celebrates Aboriginal People’s unique heritage, culture and outstanding achievements and invites the entire community to attend.

Vancouver Adapted Music Society – The Involvers project develops performance opportunities for musicians with a disability, and partners with the Realwheels Society to include presentations from various live performers with a disability (comedians, poets, etc.) in a series of shows to be performed at live performance venues throughout the city.

Vancouver Asian Heritage Month Society – The 2016 edition of explorASIAN launches Canada’s second oldest annual Asian Heritage Month festival with live performances and the exhibition Following the Silk Routes and Beyond. Key events and a calendar of events aim to create greater public awareness and appreciation of Vancouver’s rich diversity of Pan-Asian Canadian artistic and cultural communities.

Vancouver Cantonese Opera – The Bamboo Theatre is a showcase of the unique art form Cantonese opera in the City of Vancouver through workshops and performances in February 2017.

Vancouver Cherry Blossom Festival Society – The 11th annual Vancouver Cherry Blossom Festival celebrates spring and cherry blossoms at the neighbourhood level with quality programming and cultural performances, including Celebration Cherry Groves and the expansion of favourite programs including Cherry Jam Downtown and Sakura Days Japan Fair.

The Vancouver Dyke March and Festival is a community walk and festival that engages and celebrates queer women, their families and allies over Pride weekend. This free, child friendly event includes music, dance, and spoken word and community information tables during the Saturday afternoon of Pride weekend.

Vancouver International Bhangra Celebration Society – The 2016 City of Bhangra Festival will take place June 11-18, providing a variety of unique and diverse events in different venues across Vancouver, programmed to engage the entire community and bring them together in celebration and the joy of bhangra.

Vancouver International Halloween Festival Society – The Vancouver Halloween Parade presents a Halloween themed parade in Vancouver’s downtown core. A Service Grant is recommended.

Vancouver Israeli Folk Dance Society – The Festival Ha’Rikud 2017, BeLev Echad – With One Heart, celebrates one of the fundamental building blocks of our community: Friendship. We will explore Friendships between individuals, within the community, and between – Canada and Israel, in celebration of Canada’s 150th birthday.

Vancouver Native Housing Society – The Village Project is a temporary art/culture installation. Within a large (100m by 50m) outline of a map of Canada that will be created with natural materials, a village comprised of iconic housing forms (longhouse, tipi, wikiup) will serve as a performance/cultural space to celebrate the Aboriginal experience.

Vancouver New Year’s Eve Celebration Society – The annual New Year’s Eve public celebrations and festivities in the City of Vancouver foster traditions and instills a sense of shared identity and civic pride within the community.

Vancouver Pride Society – The Davie Street Block Party and Pride Festival at Sunset Beach consists of two large-scale, free to the public, outdoor festival events in downtown Vancouver on Pride weekend featuring free entertainment, activities, markets, and opportunities for the Celebration of Pride in the city.

Vancouver Recovery Through Art Society – Designed and painted off-site with the help of people who have a mental illness or addiction diagnosis, the Trout Lake Murals will ultimately decorate the interior of the Trout Lake Community Centre.

Vancouver Swing SocietyDancing in the Street is a free, outdoor swing dance festival featuring live swing music and free dance lessons for all ages.

Vancouver Taiko Society – The Regional Taiko Gathering presents an opportunity for complete beginners and seasoned players to learn about taiko as an art form and as a means of developing community through public performances and workshops by professional taiko musicians.

Vancouver Wooden Boat Society – The four-day Vancouver Wooden Boat Festival celebrating maritime heritage includes singers, musicians, actors and educators recreating the atmosphere of life at sea, with hands-on activities for kids and youth and master craftsmen sharing traditional skills.

Vines Art Festival SocietyVines Art Festival is Vancouver’s newest, public eco-arts festival – a free community-oriented event where artists, performers and audiences deepen their connections to each other on beautiful Coast Salish landscape with an animated celebration of environmentally inspired art and performance.

West End Senior’s Network Society – Celebrating its 26th year, the Strawberry Festival highlights the diversity, artistic talents and interconnectedness of those living in the West End by showcasing the talents of its eldest residents, while also attracting families, newcomers to Canada and those who love the West End with interactive games, music and food.

Wise Social and Athletic Club – This project supports local artists’ artistic endeavors and projects by providing space and promotional support for performances and workshops, encouraging the community to participate and explore new skills learned from these artists.

World Rhythms for Youth Society – The Vancouver World Music Festival aims to bring artists of diverse cultural backgrounds together to share their music with the community and provide a platform to showcase the wealth of talent we have in this city and beyond.




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