Home > Parks, recreation, and culture > Arts and culture > Culture Plan 2008-2018
Vancouver's Culture Plan 2008-2018

Culture Plan for Vancouver 2008-2018

Envisioning a future with culture at the centre

The vibrancy of Vancouver's arts and culture scene is a priceless benefit to its citizens and visitors.

In 2008, City Council affirmed its commitment to a diverse and healthy creative sector through the adoption of the Cultural Plan for Vancouver 2008 – 2018.

Created through an inclusive community process, it is our guide for the City's ongoing and future role in arts and culture.

Vancouver's Culture Plan vision is to develop, enliven, enhance, and promote arts, culture, and cultural diversity in our city in ways that benefit our citizens, creative community, businesses, and visitors.

Current status

Phase 2 Implementation

Related projects

February 3, 2017 - Help shape the future of Vancouver's arts and culture spaces. Take the Making Space for Art Survey.

We have commissioned a study on arts and cultural spaces in Vancouver. As part of the research, we need input from arts and cultural organizations and individual artists to understand current and future programming activity, space use and facility needs. This information will be used to help inform future support for arts and cultural spaces in Vancouver. It is critical that we gather meaningful input from the arts and culture community.

The survey takes about 15 minutes, and is being conducted by AMS Planning and Research. (If your organization receives support from us, you may have already received an invitation to participate.)

Deadline: Friday, February 24, 2017

If you have any questions about the survey, please contact Kristen Lambertson, Cultural Planner at kristen.lambertson@vancouver.ca or Bill Blake, AMS Planning and Research at bblake@ams-online.com.

Take the Making Space for Art Survey

Public art update and signature opportunities

June 1, 2016 – Vancouver's Public Art Program is celebrating it's 25th Anniversary in 2016. The program has enabled over 400 pieces of public art and community art installations in the city.

As reported to City Council, this year the program will launch over 25 temporary and permanent artworks to be built and installed over the next several years.

In addition, the program plans to launch three signature public artworks with substantive budgets in key Vancouver locations. These will include:

  • Major artworks by local First Nations
  • A contemporary City of Reconciliation artwork
  • A commission in which an artist of international calibre will be invited to create a major artwork for Vancouver

View the staff presentation to Council PDF file (3.5 MB) and meeting video

Read the 25th Anniversary Retrospective blog External website

Community Arts Grants 2016

June 1, 2016 – Vancouver City Council approved grant allocations totalling $464,650 to a record 82 organizations representing the full spectrum of amateur to professional art practices.

Through the Community Arts Grants program, the Council-adopted Culture Plan vision to invest in Vancouver's vibrant and creative neighbourhoods is clearly accomplished. Additionally, it delivers on the City's Health City Strategy goals of supporting creative expression, cultivating social connections, and lifelong learning through unique artist and community collaborations, leading to healthier communities.

Read the Council report PDF file (900 KB)

Add to our cultural spaces map

June 1, 2016 - Cultural spaces are where people come together to express themselves through art and culture. We're looking to those who know the landscape to be a part of the illustrating Vancouver's evolving cultural spaces story. Now until the end of June 2016, we're opening up a simple online survey for adding spaces and providing updates. The goal of this ongoing open data project is to improve the information we publish and make it available in fall 2016 for anyone to use.

Are the cultural spaces you value on the map? Help make sure that the data is correct and complete.

View and add to the map External website

Cultural spaces update

June 1, 2016 - We updated Vancouver City Council on the six ways we're working to support the local facility needs of artists:

  1. Partner to develop new spaces
  2. Major capital funding to acquire and renovate
  3. Renting out City of Vancouver spaces (both nominal and market rates)
  4. Infrastructure grants
  5. Regulatory assistance
  6. Capacity-building

View the staff presentation to Council PDF file (2.5 MB)

Vancouver Civic Theatres update

June 1, 2016 - Vancouver Civic Theatres oversees five City-owned performance venues: The Orpheum, The Annex, Vancouver Playhouse, Queen Elizabeth Theatre and Queen Elizabeth Plaza.

This report to Vancouver City Council presents an update on priorities, business planning, and a study underway to identify gaps in performing arts space in the city.

View the presentation PDF file (1.1 MB)

Giving public art a boost

May 31, 2016 - The City of Vancouver unanimously adopted a motion that recommends significantly expanding the City's Public Art Program through a "public art boost".

Read the Council motion PDF file (20 KB)

Help us map Vancouver's cultural spaces

June 3, 2014 – Cultural spaces are places where people express themselves through art and culture. The City is sharing information on cultural spaces and we need your help. We know there are many valuable cultural spaces not currently on our list, and we’re checking with you to identify those which we may have missed.

Use Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, or Safari to follow this link:

Add to the map

Culture Plan strategic directions presented

October 23, 2013 – Council received the new Culture Plan strategic directions that will guide cultural planning in Vancouver over the next five years.

Read the Culture Plan strategic directions  (1.6 MB)

Creative SpaceMaking Vancouver

May 9, 2013 – On June 12 and 13, join artists, architects, art and cultural organizations, business and community leaders, in a series of workshops and events on creative space in Vancouver. Creative SpaceMaking Vancouver is part celebration, part learning and part crafting a new roadmap for the sustainable creation and operation of cultural spaces in our city.

Learn more about Creative SpaceMaking and sign up

Civic Theatres Business Review and Strategic Planning

May 15, 2012 – Following the renovation and renewal of Vancouver’s Civic Theatres and the implementation of Vancouver’s Culture Plan, the City is undertaking a comprehensive review of our Civic Theatre operations.

Organizational and Leadership Development

March 30, 2012 – Partnering with Vantage Point to further learning and capacity within the arts and cultural sector the City is offering creative learning opportunities for leaders in the non-profit community.

Arts and culture grants

Arts and Culture Policy Council

February 28, 2012 – City Council has established an Arts and Culture Policy Council which will advise Council and staff on civic arts and cultural issues, programs, and services.

Arts and Culture Policy Council

Cultural Grants

November 21, 2011 – Changes to cultural grants have included streamlining programs, increased grant budget, and expanded eligibility requirements, which include artist residencies, mentorships, and convergences.

Arts and culture grants

2011 Mayor's Arts Awards

October 6, 2011 – Since 2008, in partnership with the Alliance for Arts and Culture, the City honours local artists and community members for making significant contributions to the creative life of Vancouver.

Mayor's Arts Awards

Artist Studio Regulatory Review

June 29, 2011 – The City has been conducting roundtables with artists and City staff to improve opportunities for artist studio creation, presentation and operation.

Public Art Program

April 11, 2012 – The City has expanded the Private Sector Program, appointed an artist to the Urban Design Panel, developed artist-initiated projects, created opportunities for temporary 2D artwork, partnered with the Canada Line, and developed Art Plans for South East False Creek, Knight Street, and Carroll Street.

Public Art Program

Live Performance Venue Regulatory Review

January 15, 2011 – The City is working to improve the regulations to enable live performance venues for music, theatre, dance, media, interdisciplinary, festival, performance arts events and activities.

Great Beginnings in the Downtown Eastside

December 17, 2010 – Art and culture activities, celebrations and street festivals are just the beginning.

Great Beginnings: Old Streets, New Pride

Culture Plan for Vancouver 2008 – 2018

The central vision of this ten-year Culture Plan is to promote and enhance the culture and creative diversity of the City of Vancouver to the benefit of our citizens, our creative community, and our visitors. We will build upon Vancouver’s current diverse and plentiful artistic and entertainment offerings to create a new dynamism and pride in our cultural life.

1. Innovation


Recognize Vancouver – locally, nationally and internationally – as a city of creative ideas and innovation, with unique, diverse and authentic voices, and a young and growing cultural community on the leading edge.


Collaborate with community partners to realize our full creative potential by fostering innovation in our cultural policies, programs and services to support cultural ideas and expression

2. Learning


Build on Vancouver's reputation as a city of learning that embeds cultural exchange, curiosity and development as part of lifelong learning.  Ensure that all citizens have the opportunity to engage with and participate in cultural education throughout their lives and to develop his or her expressive capacities.


Support lifelong learning for all Vancouver citizens by collaborating with community partners to embed cultural awareness, instruction and programming within all our institutions and systems.

3. Connecting People, Ideas and Communities


Take advantage of Vancouver's position as a creative city where connectivity is a hallmark of our cultural system – artists, creative industries, institutions, communities, and neighbourhoods. It is a city engaged in a dynamic ongoing dialogue and exploration that connects people, communities, innovative ideas and programs.


Play a leadership role. With our partners, find practical ways to support a collaborative environment and opportunities for dialogue. Invite citizens to engage and participate in cultural activities.

4. Neighbourhoods


Highlight Vancouver as a city of vibrant creative neighbourhoods by showcasing the talent, enterprise and diversity of our artists, communities and neighbourhoods. Build on the unique identity of our neighbourhoods – engaging local residents, artists and businesses – to ensure that the rich culture, creativity, diversity and innovation of Vancouver lives on and is accessible to all.


Support neighbourhoods to develop cultural plans and seek new partnerships and collaborations. Encourage new initiatives and activities that support neighbourhood cultures as a central facet of Vancouver's cultural life.

5. Valued and Valuable


Ensure that citizens and taxpayers of Vancouver experience in real and concrete ways the value that arts and culture bring to the city and their lives, families and businesses. Promote Vancouver's growing reputation as an international cultural tourism and entertainment destination where culture is vibrant and happening and where we value and celebrate the rich multicultural and intercultural expression that is unique to Vancouver.


Increased public participation means increased financial viability for quality cultural experiences. Work with the non-profit arts and cultural sector, cultural industries, business and public sectors to develop new and innovative ways to highlight and profile the creative sector to the citizens of Vancouver and promote Vancouver's reputation as a Creative City.

Vancouver is poised to establish itself as a city on the cutting edge of art, culture, education, entertainment, and support of the creative industries. The vision and strategy articulated in the Culture Plan provides momentum for the City to move forward over the next ten years by harnessing this creativity for the benefit of all.

July 2005

City Council approved the terms of reference for the Creative City Task Force, comprised of Councillors, community representatives, and City staff. Their mandate was to consult with stakeholders to identify strategic goals and directions for the City's long-term role in support of arts and culture.

April 2007

Creative City Conversation: the City's first forum on the power of culture, creativity, and community.


Creation of a long-term Culture Plan to guide the City's role in arts and culture in Vancouver for the next decade.

Contact Cultural Services

Woodward's Heritage Building
501 - 111 West Hastings St
Vancouver, BC V6B 1H4

Mailing address
Cultural Services
453 West 12th Ave
Vancouver, BC V5Y 1V4

Fax: 604-871-6005

Phone: 604-871-6434


Get arts and culture news

What mailing lists do you want to subscribe to? *


Public Art

Hastings Park/PNE

* Indicates required fields

Find a performance or exhibit spaceMaking space for arts and culture