Culture|Shift: Blanketing the city in arts and culture

COVID-19 Cultural Impact Critical Assistance grants 

The COVID-19 Cultural Impact Critical Assistance grants provided $2.05 million in critical support to 103 arts and culture organizations that have been impacted by COVID-19 comprising one-time funding, and in-kind access to Vancouver Civic Theatres facilities, to support their restart planning and equity initiatives.

Read the news release

Culture|Shift (previously known as the Creative City Strategy), Vancouver’s new Culture Plan for 2020-2029, provides a framework with strategic directions and actions to align and increase:

  • Support for art and culture
  • Champion creators
  • Build on our commitments to Reconciliation and Equity
  • Introduce bold moves to advance community-led cultural infrastructure
  • Position Vancouver as a thriving hub for music

The traditional, unceded territories of the xʷməθkʷəy̓ əm (Musqueam), Sḵwx̱wú7mesh (Squamish), and səl̓ilwətaɁɬ (Tsleil-Waututh) peoples make this place unlike any in the world. Diverse people from across the world have imbued Vancouver’s cultural landscape with the qualities, landmarks, and stories that make our city recognizable and distinct. Culture|Shift acknowledges that this landscape is critical to our shared economic prosperity, social cohesion, and sense of environmental responsibility.


Culture|Shift represents the voices of a diverse cross-section of people, and places a particular focus on the voices of historically underrepresented communities (including Indigenous, racialized, disabled, deaf, low income, and LGBTQ2+ groups who organized City-funded Host Your Own Engagement meetups) to achieve a more accurate and inclusive representation of Vancouver. 

From 2017-2019, Staff engaged with 3,000 Vancouverites in-person and had approximately 4,000 virtual touchpoints. Partnerships with the local Nations helped to develop leading-edge work to prioritize and advance their cultural presence across the city.

Learn more about our Culture|Shift collaborations and partnerships

Read the news release Vancouver amplifies support for arts and culture through new 10-year plan

Strategic directions and goals

Blanketing the City in Arts and Culture

The subtitle Blanketing the City in Art and Culture is a concept generously bestowed by Musqueam weaver and graphic designer Debra Sparrow to reflect these Musqueam, Squamish, and Tsleil-Waututh lands and waters. In her own work, Debra is dedicated to blanketing the city with the beauty and strength of Salish culture, of which blankets are the foundation.

The subtitle underscores the critical importance of telling the truth about Vancouver’s colonial history and working with the local Nations to address colonial erasure and ensure that their voice and presence are woven throughout Vancouver’s cultural ecology.

It is an inclusive vision illuminating the role culture plays in shaping place and a shared sense of belonging for all people on these Musqueam, Squamish, and Tsleil-Waututh lands. 

Community engagement

Involving Vancouver residents and members of the arts and cultural community is was key to the Culture|Shift engagement process.

What we do

Learn more about our highlights since the last culture plan and what we do at Cultural Services.

Collaborations and partnerships

Find out who we are collaborating with to make the strategy process possible.

Share your photos

Showcase your arts and cultural activities on our platforms.

Vancouver arts and culture landscape

The arts and cultural community is an ecology made up of different stakeholders, sectors, and infrastructure.

Arts and culture

We have a vibrant arts and culture scene from public to performance art, and more.

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