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LINK 2010 community dance performance

Artists in Communities program

Building community by making art together

The Vancouver Park Board Artists in Communities program builds community by making art together using principles of community cultural development.

We host artist residencies each year in participating community centres to support artists working in neighbourhoods and encourage a wide variety of interactions between artists and residents.

Artists collaborate with community members (who may not see themselves as artists) as creators, producers, performers, and active audiences.

The residency projects leave lasting physical or social legacies in the community, such as learning new creative processes, developing collaborative skills, creating an artwork.

The Artists in Communities program makes our neighbourhoods more vibrant. We use art as a catalyst for engaging individuals and communities, inspiring participation, and building relationships.

The next call for applications will be in June 2017.


Yarn Around


Roundhouse Community Centre (2017)

Explore the intersection of dance, yarn and collective narratives all over the Roundhouse Community Centre. This curious project will have all ages investigate, play and move using brightly colored yarn to animate railings, chairs, shrubs, and landscape architecture. Community members will create, invent and share impromptu performances in ways that will surprise and delight you as a participant and audience member. Join us.

This artist in community project is led by Foolish Operations External website in collaboration with artists Julie Lebel, Carolina Bergonzoni External website and Diane Park External website.

For more information on how to get involved visit the Yarn-Around website. External website


Kerrisdale Arena Rock!

Kerrisdale Arena Rock! Rocking and rolling through November 2016 to June 2017, artists Lisa g Nielsen and Rene Cherrie will fuse sound and image to explore the exciting history of Kerrisdale Arena. 

Kerrisdale Arena (2016/2017)

Community members will be invited to collaborate with stories, visions, music, art, and more to create an immersive video and sound installation within the arena itself. Find Rene and Lisa creating real-time in the arena's "living room" or in their mobile projection/sound studio at other locations in the community.

Connect with and track the progress of this project 


Box of Light: An artistic community inquiry at Britannia

A collage including a camp fire, a poster for the Box of Light art project, and a First Nations mask

We see the collective consciousness of the community to be like a box of light. 

Britannia Community Centre (2016/2017)

Inside this box are many ideas, understandings, wisdom, stories, and knowledge that light the community from within. Sometimes this box gets messy or we forget what is inside, and we need to open it up.

This collaboration between poet/multi-media artist Ronnie Harris and Expressive Arts Therapist/community artist Kelty McKerracher will open the community box of light through multiple ideation processes with diverse community groups.

Learn more about this project 


Working Holiday Project

Working Holiday Project

A socially oriented art project that aims to engage the Dunbar community in a collaborative exploration into what constitutes a holiday

Dunbar Community Centre (2015/2016)

Artists Elisa Yon, Leah Weinstein, and Jaspal Marwah bring a diverse range of art practices in: sculpture, textiles, crafts, performance, site specific installations, socially engaged art, and architecture. Over the course of the fall, winter, spring, and summer, the artists will present a series of "season specific" art interventions, in response to traditional holidays as well as everyday self-made holidays. 

Hands-on crafting activities, artist walks, participatory art installations, pop-up interventions, and food based collaborations are just some of the ways the artists will engage community members in a collective reimagining of what constitutes a holiday.

Follow the Working Holiday project 


UpCYCLEd Stories

upCYCLEd Stories

A community bike musical

Mount Pleasant Community Centre (2015/2016)

Join filmmaker, musician, artist, and Emily Carr University instructor, Sarah Van Borek, in the creation of a unique, 3-part movie that has music and dance components and that tells the story of the Mount Pleasant community using a focus on bikes and cycling as artistic inspiration, art materials (recycled bike parts), and public presentations.

Mount Pleasant community members of all ages, backgrounds, and skill levels are invited to explore their neighbourhood while contributing to various aspects of the project, including: storytelling, video/animation, music, dance, and sound. The project will be presented to the public in 4 stages, each at a bike pedal-powered pop-up projection nearby the Mount Pleasant Community Centre.

This project will begin in September 2015 and end with a celebration and premiere screening of the final movie at an outdoor "bike-in" the following September.

Learn more about UpCYCLEd Stories  


Free Imagination

Emily Gray's mural on the Seawall in partnership with City Studio, City of Vancouver and the Spyglass Community

An art project that invites and unites the Thunderbird community in the creation of a mural that will inspire and celebrate imagination

Thunderbird Community Centre (2015/2016)

The goal of the project is to engage with residents, young and old, and be part of a creative process through participation, informational sessions, and painting workshops. Emily Gray is a muralist and art instructor who is passionate about inspiring individuals and communities. When we are all together making beautiful things life is beautiful.

Emily Gray creates dynamic compositions that allow viewers to flow through the paintings and experience art on a larger scale. With simple and effective application of paint a space can be transformed. The creative possibilities are endless when we connect and set free our imaginations.

Learn more about Free Imagination


Magic Trout Imaginarium

Artist Emily Smith hosted a felted mask-making workshop in the Magic Trout Imaginarium

A project based out of the Tiny Community Center – the first "tiny house" ever used as a community classroom and artist residency

Trout Lake Community Centre (2015/2016)

As a curiosity cabinet with a modern twist, artists Zee Kesler External website, Emily Smith External website, and Françoise Thibault External website will explore art making as a means of self expression in order to create a new understanding and appreciation of Trout Lake's natural ecology, environment, and neighbourhood as a place of wonder and inspiration.

Learn more about the Magic Trout Imaginarium 

Learn about the Tiny Community Centre


Songs for Reconciliation

Artist William Wasden, Jr, invited participants to join in the spirit of reconciliation with weekly workshops that worked towards sharing truths about residential school history and First Nations children

Hillcrest, Britannia, Hastings, and Trout Lake community centres (2013/2014)

Community members learned about the traditional upbringing of children in Kwakwaka'wakw culture through language, song, dance, art, and history. The project culminated in a public community performance at Trout Lake Community Centre on National Aboriginal Day, June 21, 2014.

Visit the project blog

Learn about the City of Vancouver's Year of Reconciliation


Are there trout in Trout Lake

Using play, humour, and physicality to make an accessible, enjoyable experience that asks the "right sorts of questions" to a community

Trout Lake Community Centre (2012)

Anthony involved the Trout Lake community through discussion, play, and stories. "I don't make 'art objects' but instead prefer to work with people, using art to encourage conversations and develop events that can continue on in myths and stories, linking the diverse community together in shared memories," he explains.

Visit the project blog


Our Footprint

Our Footprint

Discover the Renfrew area in a whole new way

Renfrew Park Community Centre (2012)

Something Collective led an interdisciplinary approach to explore the Renfrew neighbourhood. Friends and neighbours created an interactive, map through dance, video, soundscapes, green graffiti, puppetry, and photographs that marked their favorite spots.



Explore and discover what makes a healthy habitat

Kensington Community Centre (2012)

Dance artists Julia Carr, Meghan Goodman, and puppeteer Maggie Winston created a unique, site-specific performance experience that animated the Kensington Community Centre in an open house celebration. Community members were invited to participate as performers and audience members to explore what makes a healthy habitat. Together, the artists and community represented this healthy habitat through puppetry and dance.

Visit the Kensington Art blog 


Contact a community arts programmer

Naomi Brand

Danita Noyes

How the residencies work