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Vancouver Civic Theatres opens underutilized space to community arts and culture groups

October 19 2016

Orpheum Theatre
Photograph by Lucas Finlay

A successful pilot program allowing community groups to use underutilized spaces at Vancouver Civic Theatres (VCT), led to the unanimous approval by City Council to continue the program for another three years.

The Vancouver Civic Theatres' underutilized spaces grant provides subsidized rents to community arts and culture groups to use spaces such as the Queen Elizabeth Theatre Plaza and ANNEX blackbox theatre. Grants up to $150,000 in 2017 and $200,000 in 2018-2019 were approved yesterday as part of VCT operating budget - pending Council's approval of City of Vancouver annual budget.

2016 grant recipients

Through the one-year pilot project, underused spaces were made accessible to community groups, which may otherwise have been restricted due to the financial costs. Some of the 2016 grant recipients included: 

  • Ballet BC, Caravan World Rhythms Society 
  • Vancouver Farmers Markets
  • Il Centro - Italian Cultural Centre
  • Taiwanfest
  • Downtown Business Improvement Association 
  • Reality Curve Theatre

VCT's goal is to build the momentum created with the pilot program and continue to successfully negotiate short term rental engagements with arts organizations, not-for-profit local community driven groups, as well as community based festivals/events celebrating diversity within the city.

Fostering community engagement

Community engagement at VCT provides opportunities to Vancouverites to engage with their civic spaces through low barrier events, programs, and partnerships. Our goal is to foster community by building ongoing, lasting relationships with community benefit organizations (not-for-profit) and individuals, empowering their collective vision for their community at large.

About Vancouver Civic Theatres

Located in the heart of the Vancouver's downtown core, VCT plays an important role in the city's cultural infrastructure and history. Renowned for their excellent services, technical capabilities, and ability to accommodate a wide range of performances and productions, the performance spaces are home to a variety of arts and entertainment productions, including:

  • Concerts
  • Theatre
  • Opera
  • Classical music
  • Broadway shows
  • Films
  • Lectures

The theatres are also fully equipped to host conferences, film shoots and other events. In 2015 alone, VCT facilities welcomed close to 650,000 Metro Vancouver residents and visitors to a multitude of productions and events.

Learn more about Vancouver Civic Theatres

Groups interested in applying for the grant can contact:

Krista Edwardson 
Senior Manager of Sales
Vancouver Civic Theatres