Collage of Arts and cultural events and projects in Vancouver

Cultural Services

We recognize the importance of sharing who we are and the projects and initiatives that we work on at Cultural Services. Currently, we have three work areas within our office: Grants and Awards, Public Art, and Cultural Spaces and Infrastructure. 

Arts and Culture: what we do

Snapshot 2017

Cultural grants to non-profits
Grant funds awarded compared to funds requested
Square feet of space provided by Cultural Services
Cultural grants awarded
Additional funds raised for every dollar granted
Invested in new City-owned Public Art

2008-2018 Cultural Plan achievements

Grants and awards

  • $1.9 M increase in grants funding from $5.9M (2007) to $7.8M (2017)
  • Revised grant streams to better align with organizational scope, capacity, and scale
  • Established a new operating stream - Annual Assistance
  • Streamlined grant processes with a new Biennial stream
  • Established online grant application process
  • Introduced a new Individual Artist Fund to support emerging artists
  • Established capacity building support programs for organizational and leadership development 

Public art

  • Commissioned 58 permanent works from local and international artists, 21 new temporary projects, and over 100 new murals since 2016
  • 6 new works by Indigenous artists for Canada 150+ 
  • Developed the Public Art Registry online in 2017
  • Oversees planning and commissioning of public art by developers of major rezoned properties, bringing 40 new public artworks to the city over the past 10 years
  • Consult on major civic projects to plan for public art integration and commissioning

Cultural spaces and infrastructure 

  • Awarded $9.36M in Cultural Infrastructure and Critical Assistance Grants to 135 non-profit arts and cultural organizations to plan for, buy, build, renovate or expand cultural space. 236 projects leveraged 1:6 rate of return on City investment
  • Working with community to integrate arts and culture into City planning and development
  • Partnered to develop 12 new cultural spaces totaling over 150,000 square feet to support over 30 local non-profits. 52,000 square feet of new cultural space is currently underway.
    • Woodwards, BMO Theatre, The Post (CBC), Arts Factory, Annex, VSO Music School, York Theatre,  šxʷqʷeləwən ct carving pavilion, and 4 City award studios
  • Supported emerging artists with financial need through provision of low-rent Award Studios for 3 year terms. Added 4 new studios since 2008, and expanded program criteria to include members of the Musqueam, Squamish, and Tsleil-Waututh First Nations
  • Protecting existing cultural spaces such as St. James Community Square and Historic Joy Kogawa House. Provided partnership funding for two established artist-run centres to own
  • Reduce regulatory barriers by providing technical assistance for artists and cultural organizations navigating City regulatory processes. Developed the Arts Events Licence and Permit Fee Assistance Grant, and conducted the Live Performance Venue Regulatory Review and Artist Studio Guidelines

Culture Plan 2008-2018

Read about our last culture plan, including our strategic themes, directions, and background. 

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