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Artists in Communities program

Artists in Communities program at Trout Lake Community Centre

Building community by making art together

The Artists in Communities program:

  • Supports artists working in community contexts
  • Encourages the development of a wide variety of interactions between artists and community members
  • Provides a framework for creative collaboration between artists and communities
  • Encourages and supports artistic projects that leave a physical and social legacy in the community where members create art and learn new creative processes and skills

The program uses community-engaged arts practices to:

  • Make our communities more vibrant
  • Inspire participation and relationship-building
  • Engage communities and people – even those who don't see themselves as artists – as creators, producers, performers, and active audiences

2015 call for artists

The following community centres are hosting residencies for 2015:

Attend an artist information session

Before applying for the Artists in Communities program, attend an information session:

When: Thursday, March 26 from 5:00pm - 7:00pm
Where: Roundhouse Community Arts & Recreation Centre, 181 Roundhouse Mews

Submission guidelines and application form

Submissions for the Artists in Communities program are due by Wednesday, April 15, 2015.

Artists should develop their proposal based on both the community cultural development goals and the identified issues and interests defined by each community.

View the other tabs to learn more about the program.

Mail or drop-off completed application to:

Artists in Communities
Arts, Culture & Engagement
The Roundhouse Community Arts & Culture Centre
181 Roundhouse Mews
Vancouver V6Z 2W3

Previous programs


The Artists in Communities program is based on partnerships between community centre associations and the Vancouver Park Board.

Each year, several interested community centres host an Artist in Communities program.

Community centres create community profiles that outline the issues and interests of their community. Artists respond to one or more of the community profiles to develop their project proposal for each centre.

The Park Board and sponsoring community associations review each application and award the programs to artists. Each program offers artist fees and material fees, funded by the Vancouver Park Board and community centre associations.

Selected artists or artist teams begin their work at the host community centre. Artists work with Park Board arts and culture staff, community centre staff, community members, and community partners throughout this cooperative and creative process. 

The program is not a live-in residency. It is open only to artists who live, work, and have a permanent residence in Metro Vancouver.

Ways artists engage the community

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 past blog examples in the Announcements tab, under previous programs.)
  • 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

Each Artists in Communities program is a team effort involving the Vancouver Park Board, community centre associations, and artists. Each team member plays an important role in the program.

The Vancouver Park Board community arts programmer's role

  1. Post the artist call, develops the jury process, and ensures completion of the program contract
  2. Consult with centre programmer and artists to develop their community cultural development plan
  3. Provide support throughout the project
  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 the vancouver.ca 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 update 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 the 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 maintains a project blog, and is responsible for ethical documentation
  8. Complete the project within one year, providing a final report by December 2016

Selecting artists for the Artist in Communities programs is a challenging process that involves two stages:

  1. Initial review of applications
  2. Applicant interviews and final selection

Initial review of applications

During this stage, juries made up of arts professionals and community centre representatives (with Park Board staff as advisors) review and discuss each application. Each jury creates a short list of artists who meet the criteria for the program and whose proposals directly relate to the issues and interests outlined in the community profiles for the program.

The initial review is based on the following 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 program
  • Interest in the issues outlined in the community profile

Applicant interviews and final selection

Community association representatives and community centre staff interview each applicant on the short list and award the program to an artist or an artist team.

The final selection is based on the following criteria:

  • The artist proposal and how it complements the community centre profiles
  • The demonstration of new and creative ways to approach community engagement as it relates to the community profile

Ask. Tell. Connect.

Phone 3-1-1 to ask, tell, and connect with the City

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More ways to contact us

Contact a community arts programmer

Cyndy Chwelos


Lorrie Wager


Integral to everyday life

Download the Vancouver Park Board Arts Policy

Read our mandate, vision, values, and policy statements around the arts.

Vancouver Park Board
Arts Policy

Last modified: Wed, 11 Mar 2015 11:22:55