Here and There art installation at Sunset Community Centre

How the Artists in Communities residencies work

The Artists in Communities Program is a collaboration between artists, community centre associations, and the Vancouver Park Board.

Each year, several community centres profile local issues and interests, and host selected artists to carry out projects in work-only residencies that respond to these profiles.

Enter your project as an individual artist or artist team to one or more community centres.

Community centre associations and Park Board staff, with the support of artists experienced in community-engagement, select artists for the residencies. An artist or artist team can only be awarded one residency per year, and no more than two residencies in a four year period.

If your project is awarded a residency, you will devote around 300 hours to research and develop your project, complete it with community members, and publish a blog and final report. Along the way, you will work with Park Board community arts programmers, community centre staff, the public, and local partners.

Community centre profiles

When you apply for a residency, address the community centre's goals, interests, issues, and neighbourhood context using the community centre profile.

View the profiles of community centres with residency opportunities:

Community cultural development principles

Successful project proposals apply the principles of community cultural development:

  • Supporting artists working in community contexts
  • Encouraging the development of a wide variety of interactions between artists and community members
  • Providing a framework for creative collaboration between artist and communities
  • Encouraging and supporting artistic projects that leave a physical or social legacy in the community
  • Making our communities more vibrant
  • Inspiring participation and relationship-building
  • Engaging communities and people – even those who don't see themselves as artists – as creators, producers, performers, and active audiences

Creekside stroller dance

Drawdown at Cambie

Eligibility, budget, and timeline


Open to artists and artist teams working in any and all discipline and living in Metro Vancouver

 Our funding will no longer support murals, tile mosaics, or banners given that there are alternative funding avenues for these.


Artist fee: $10,000

Materials: $2,000

Timeline for 2017/2018 residencies

Date Event
July 20, 2017 Applications open
September 12, 2017 Information session
September 30, 2017 Applications due
November 2017 Jury selection and interviews
January 2018 Finalists announced
December 30, 2018 Residencies complete and final reports due

Flax harvest at Trillium Park North

Julie Chapple and Elisa Thorn at Coal Harbour Community Centre

Preparing your application

Prepare the required materials

  1. A current CV
    • Length: up to 2 pages for individual artists, up to 1 page per artist for artist teams
    • File format: PDF or Word
  2. A project description outline
    • Length: up to 1 page per community centre you apply to
    • File format: PDF or Word
    • Describe your project and how it addresses the community centre profile, supports the principles of community cultural development, and engages the local community
  3. Examples of your works (within the last 5 years)
    • Number: Up to 10 items (photos, video, audio)
    • Images:
      • File format: JPG or TIFF
      • File size: less than 3 MB
      • Resolution: less than 300 dpi
      • Dimensions: less than 5 inches wide
    • Video:
      • File format: QuickTime or Windows Media Player
      • Length: less than 5 minutes
    • Audio:
      • File format: MP3
      • Length: less than 3 minutes
  4. A documentation list of your works and their viewing order
    • File format: PDF or DOC
    • Include your name and for each work, its title, media, dimensions (if applicable), location, and date.

Name your files

Please use the template ArtistName_01 where the number indicates the intended viewing order.

Archive or compress your files

Add your files to a ZIP file and use the template

Selection process

1. Shortlist

The jury of arts professionals and community centre representatives reviews each project with advice from Park Board staff.

Next, the jury shortlists artists who:

  • Meet the program criteria:
    • Artistic merit and experience in relevant disciplines
    • Experience, inventiveness, and attitude about working collaboratively with community members
    • Knowledge and skills required to facilitate, coordinate, and administrate the project
    • Interest in the issues outlined in the community centre profile
  • Submit projects that directly relate to the issues and interests outlined in the profiles of participating community centres

2. Interviews

Community association representatives and community centre staff interview each shortlisted artist or team.

3. Final selection

Community association representatives and community centre staff award the residency to an artist or team based on how their project will:

  • Complement the community centre profile
  • Demonstrate new and creative ways to approach community engagement as they relate to the community centre profile

Program in-depth

To generate interest, feedback, and participation from members of the community in the creative process, artists can:

  • Work with their community centre programmer to attract user groups
  • Present their project at special events hosted at the community centre or connect to existing programming, cultural celebrations, or events already happening around the community
  • Develop promotional materials that describe their project and workshop, or include their workshop details and description in the community centre’s brochure
  • Use and regularly update a bulletin board at the community centre
  • Develop a blog dedicated to the project (see blog examples of past residencies)
  • Set-up a studio space in the community centre lobby
  • Connect with local schools, libraries, and other community organizations to increase involvement
  • Invite the community to celebrate their accomplishments

The Vancouver Park Board community arts programmer's role

  1. Post the artist call, develop the jury process, and ensure completion of the residency contract
  2. Consult with centre programmer and artists to develop their community cultural development plan
  3. Provide support throughout the residency
  4. Problem-solve and liaise with other Park Board staff and artists as needed
  5. Provide partial funding for each residency
  6. Post a short description of each project and link to the project blog on this website
  7. Share joint copyright of the project with the Vancouver Park Board, City of Vancouver, and community centre association

The community centre association's role

  1. Participate in the artist selection process
  2. Provide a lead staff person as primary support for the artist, ensuring that all staff and board members are updated and aware of the project
  3. Book spaces and related permits as needed by artist (like dance studios, multipurpose rooms, community centre lobbies)
  4. Consult with the community centre programmer and artists to develop their community cultural development plan
  5. Assist with promotion, including posters, social media, bulletin boards, and more
  6. Create opportunities for community networking and access through schools and user groups
  7. Provide materials and equipment when available, including photocopies, Wi-Fi, and more
  8. Provide partial funding for residency
  9. Manage the financial administration of the residency

The artist's role

  1. Establish a presence at the community centre and in the community for 300 hours
  2. Develop a program framework based on a community consultation process
  3. Provide regular updates on the project process to the community centre programmer
  4. Consult with the community centre programmer and community arts programmer to develop their community cultural development plan
  5. Develop a project that can be completed using the agreed-upon artist’s fee and materials budget
  6. Work with Park Board staff to plan for permanent installation of their artwork and provides a maintenance plan for the installation
  7. Develop and maintain a project blog as ethical documentation
  8. Complete the project and provide a final report within one year