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The City of Vancouver Approves Investments in Arts and Culture through Grant Programs

July 12 2017 $1.2 million in Cultural Infrastructure Grants and $2.9 million in Theatre Rental Grants support growth in cultural activity in the City

“Vancouver is now a global creative capitol, with our arts, culture, and creative industries helping drive the strong growth of our nation-leading economy,” says Mayor Gregor Robertson.

Vancouver's Culture Plan 2008-2018

Continuing its support of a diverse and robust cultural ecology across Vancouver, the City announced today its annual investments in Cultural Infrastructure Grants and Theatre Rental Grants. 

City’s ongoing investment in arts and culture

31 organizations will receive a total of $1,252,300 in Cultural Infrastructure Grants for 2017, and 58 organizations will receive $2,892,058 in Theatre Rental Grants for use of Vancouver Civic Theatre spaces in the 2017/18 season. 

These grants are part of the City’s ongoing investment in arts and culture. 

This year, the City allocated $12.9 million in grant funds and programs through eight cash, in-kind and capital grant programs.

These funding allocations enable both new and established community and professional non-profit arts and cultural groups to expand their infrastructure, audiences, and artistic programming, offering more arts and cultural opportunities to residents, and visitors to the City of Vancouver.


Mayor Gregor Robertson

“Vancouver is now a global creative capitol, with our arts, culture and creative industries helping drive the strong growth of our nation-leading economy,” says Mayor Gregor Robertson. “By approving $4 million in grants, the City continues to use all of our tools to support our inspiring and exceptional arts and culture community.”

Cultural Infrastructure Grants

Cultural Infrastructure Grants allow arts and cultural not-for-profit organizations to create, maintain, and improve local cultural spaces that are vital for the creation, production, and presentation of arts activity and Vancouver’s cultural economy.  

Since its inception in 2009, the Cultural Infrastructure Grants have provided over $8.3 million in funding for 226 local projects by 126 different organizations. 

This year, the program saw an 83% increase in the total grant amounts requested.

Funded projects range from supporting youth music programs, to making art galleries accessible, to creating new multi-functional space in cultural hubs.

Work this funding will support

The Bill Reid Foundation, $200,000

The Bill Reid Foundation preserves the art and legacy of Bill Reid.  The Foundation seeks to deepen appreciation of Northwest Coast Aboriginal art and work in partnership with the Haida, host Coast Salish Nations, and Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal cultural and educational institutions. The $200,000 grant will help the organization undertake renovations to the Gallery to improve accessibility and to improve the gallery and educational spaces.

Vancouver Adapted Music Society, $45,000

The Vancouver Adapted Music Society supports and promotes musicians with physical disabilities in the Metro Vancouver area. The organization will use funding from the City to renovate a new space within the GF Strong Rehabilitation Centre to create an expanded wheelchair-accessible music studio.

Joy Kogawa House, $25,000

This unique live/work space for writers, and public events, was the home of acclaimed author Joy Kogawa and is an ongoing symbol of racial discrimination experienced by Japanese Canadians during the Second World War.  The Land Conservancy of BC, which owned Joy Kogawa House since 2006, underwent organizational restructuring, and began transferring properties to non-profits and government agencies in order to ensure the properties’ continued stewardship and protection. A $25,000 grant previously awarded to the Land Conservatory of BC will be transferred to the society to undertake planning and capital upgrades to the house.

Kwi Awt Stelmexw (KAS Cultural Society), $13,000

Kwi Awt Stelmexw actively provides programs and initiatives to strengthen Sḵwx̱wú7mesh artistic, cultural, language, and heritage practices. This grant will help the organization undertake a planning study on the potential development of a Sḵwx̱wú7mesh (Squamish) Cultural Centre in Vancouver.

View a full list of grant recipients  (461 KB)

Theatre Rental Grants

Theatre Rental Grants are non-cash grants that provide partial subsidy towards theatre rental costs and technical costs for cultural non-profit organizations’ use of the City’s four Civic Theatres:

  • Queen Elizabeth Theatre
  • Orpheum
  • Vancouver Playhouse
  • Annex

With a high demand for professional live performance and event venues, the Theatre Rental Grant program saw an increase of more than 20% in funding requests over the 2017/18 available budget.

To meet the increasing demand, the Vancouver Civic Theatres will enhance the annual budget for Theatre Rental Grants by investing some of its net revenues to support 84 additional events in 2017/18.

In addition to the three largest companies that call the civic theatres home – Vancouver Symphony Orchestra, Ballet BC and Vancouver Opera, the Theatre Rental Grants for 2017/18 will support internationally renowned festivals such as:

  • Vancouver International Jazz Festival
  • PuSh International Performing Arts Festival
  • Vancouver International Dance Festival
  • Vancouver Asian Film Festival

The grant program will also support many new professional and grass-roots organizations looking to grow their audiences and performance opportunities in downtown Vancouver.

Events planned by new applicants for 2017/18.

Music on Main Music - International Contemporary New Music Festival, $13,215

In November 2017, Music on Main, in collaboration with the Canadian League of Composers, will host more than 50 countries to Vancouver for a 7-day celebration of new ideas and collaborations at the ISCM World New Music Days.

Golden Panda International Short Film Festival, $12,447

This first-time applicant provides a platform for local and emerging filmmakers to showcase their vision and talents in both short and feature-length films, while fostering new collaborations in film production between China and the West.

Post Modern Camerata Society, $2,486

Grant support for this new group will allow audiences to hear an unusual performance of narrative storytelling, Canadiana folk, electronica, and classical music at the Annex.

Society for the Museum of Original Costume, $1,243

An example of new types of events hosted in civic theatres, the society will present 150 Years of Fashion in the Annex in November 2017

View a full list of Theatre Rental grant recipients (188 KB)