Bracken Hanuse Corlett

2020 Artists in Communities: Engaging neighbours with fungi, Indigenous plants, and community history

For more than a quarter of a century, Artists in Communities has been creating physical and social legacies and making our neighbourhoods more vibrant.

Vancouver Park Board Chair Camil Dumont

February 12 2020 –

Three new Artists in Communities projects offer Vancouver residents an opportunity to co-create with local artists-in-residence at community centres—with the first free public event scheduled for February 15.

Launched in 1994, the Artists in Communities program is a unique collaboration between the Vancouver Park Band and community centre associations, embedding artists in neighbourhoods for year-long projects that unleash creativity as they built community.

In 2020, artists will work out of Kitsilano, Ray-Cam, and Hastings community centres. Projects will focus on creating artwork inspired by fungi, the history and future plans for Ray-Cam Community Centre, and Indigenous plants. 

Vibrant neighbourhoods

“For more than a quarter of a century, Artists in Communities has been creating physical and social legacies and making our neighbourhoods more vibrant,” said Vancouver Park Board Chair Camil Dumont. 

“Culture is critical to building social connection and strong economies so we’re delighted to be co-hosting three inspiring new projects with community centre associations.”

Artists and projects were chosen from 24 applications by a selection committee made up of artists, Park Board staff, and residents. Artists receive funding from the Park Board and community centre associations. The program provides a $10,000 artist fee and $2,000 in materials to successful applicants. 

A call for next year’s Artists in Communities residencies opens in July 2020. Artists awarded a residency will devote about 300 hours to a project co-created with community members. The work of the Artists in Communities will be featured in blog posts and published reports.

2020 Artists in Communities

Willoughby Arevelo and Isabelle Kirouac at Kitsilano Community Centre 

Join the Art & Fungi Project, a living laboratory where everyone is invited to participate in fun activities and create artwork inspired by fungi and their many ecological roles that help to shape and connect our world. This project is led by Willoughby Arevalo, a mycologist, visual artist and kitchen wizard, and Isabelle Kirouac, an interdisciplinary choreographer and movement educator. The artists and participants will use their senses to connect with each other and with nature by walking, cooking, moving, drawing, writing, talking, mapping, gardening, and playing. Through creating art that emerges from encounters with fungal life, everyone can strive to be an active participant in the ecosystem, learning, listening, and responding to it. 

Bracken Hanuse Corlett at Ray-Cam Co-operative Centre

Explore the history of the Ray-Cam building and the space that surrounds it with interdisciplinary artist Bracken Hanuse Corlett who hails from the Wuikinuxv and Klahoose Nations. Unveil neighbourhood history with community members and create art that speaks to the future plans for the community. Learning that the formation of Ray-Cam was a grassroots response to the railway has piqued Bracken’s interest in working with the community to create work that speaks back to the railways history and imposition on the land. Bracken will facilitate workshops to create art that includes digital design, animation, performance and projection mapping that will be shown both inside and outside of the centre.

Lori Snyder and Laura Cisneros at Hastings Community Centre

Build relationships to this land, and learn about Indigenous plants, foods and medicines with Indigenous herbalist Lori Snyder and art historian/writer Laura Cisneros. Through plant walks, art workshops and gatherings, participants will explore the land around Hastings Community Centre, New Brighton Beach (aka Khanahmoot), Hastings Community Park, and the Hasting Park Sanctuary. Throughout the season, participants will be invited to creatively investigate various plant life through painting, plant dyes, collage, photography, video and poetry. Learn which plants are native flora and those that are edible and can be used to make medicines, dyes, and tools, or simply enjoyed for their beauty. Preserve and expand this knowledge in collaboration and solidarity with different species, cultures and generations.

Find more information about Artists in Communities