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City hits play on music grants and renews investments in local arts and culture

"Music is and has been an important part of my life whether I am listening or playing, and it's a critical part of what makes Vancouver so vibrant and creative."

Mayor Kennedy Stewart

January 29 2019 –

City Council today approved one-time music grants totaling $300,000 to support Vancouver-based artists and initiatives, and a total of almost $2.9 million in funding to 131 local arts and culture organizations.

New cultural planner

The music grants are in addition to the hiring of music industry expert and Indigenous cultural producer Jarrett Martineau as the City's new cultural planner for music.

In this new role, Martineau will lead the policy development of Vancouver's Music Strategy and coordinate administration of the Music Fund in partnership with Creative BC and Music BC Industry Association.

"Music is and has been an important part of my life whether I am listening or playing, and it's a critical part of what makes Vancouver so vibrant and creative," said Mayor Kennedy Stewart. "The grants approved today will mean hearing from more local creators and producers in more places more often - benefiting residents and visitors alike."

"The City is committed to investing in local arts and culture," said Branislav Henselmann, Managing Director, Cultural Services. "Through ongoing support for local art and cultural organizations, the new, one-time music grants initiative, and development of a new Creative City Strategy, we are working towards our goal of strengthening Vancouver's cultural ecology."

Allocation of funds

As part of Vancouver's ongoing investment in arts and culture, the grants support a range of cultural organizations and artistic disciplines:

  •  $1,531,120 are advance grants to 123 organizations from visual and performing arts  to supporting festivals and artist-run centres
  •  $990,850 are the first instalment grants to five major institutions in Vancouver including the Vancouver Art Gallery and the Vancouver Maritime Museum
  •  $300,000 will support the growth the development of the music industry and support Indigenous and underrepresented musicians to create and perform
  •  $20,000 will support arts capacity development in the sector

Creative City Strategy

Through the Creative City Strategy, the City is currently developing a reset of cultural priorities and directions with a comprehensive new plan and vision for art, culture and creativity.

The Creative City Strategy will reflect:

  • The City's commitment to reconciliation and equity
  • Include previously under-represented voices and communities
  • Build partnerships across communities
  • Develop strategies to strengthen arts and culture

The music grants are also in alignment with recommendations from the interim Vancouver Music Strategy report  (8.8 MB) approved by Council last July.

Read the the full list of grant recipients

Each year through Cultural Services, the City of Vancouver invests more than $12 million through grant streams including operating, annual assistance, project, community arts, theatre rental grants, arts capacity and the independent artists' fund.