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BMO Theatre Centre

Making space for arts and culture

Cultural spaces and cultural facilities are essential to any community, and they are key to the economic health of our city.

Our cultural spaces serve residents, attract tourists, maintain businesses, and enhance our quality of life, yet ensuring access to appropriate and affordable cultural spaces is challenging.

To ensure that artists and arts organizations are able to create and express their artistic endeavours in Vancouver, we work to sustain and enhance the city's cultural infrastructure.

Cultural Infrastructure Plan 2018

In July 2018, Making Space for Arts and Culture: Cultural Infrastructure Plan 2018 was approved by Council. The plan's priority recommendations optimize City policies, tools, programs, and investment priorities to secure, enhance, and develop vibrant, affordable, and accessible arts and cultural spaces in Vancouver.

The plan is informed by consultant findings in the Key Gaps in Vancouver's Cultural Infrastructure report by AMS Research and Planning that identifies community issues, needs, and space priorities. See Appendix A for the AMS report  (6 MB).

Help us map cultural spaces

Cultural spaces are places where people express themselves through art and culture. We are sharing information on cultural spaces and we need your help.

Many valuable cultural spaces are currently not on our list. Help us identify spaces we have missed.

Add to the map

Creating cultural spaces: Part of a larger strategy

Cultural space programs

Cultural Infrastructure Grants

Cultural Infrastructure Grant Program

Provides support for arts and culture organizations to plan, buy, build, renovate, or expand cultural spaces in Vancouver.

Fire in building

Critical Assistance Grant

The Critical Assistance Grant helps pay for costs associated with emergency repairs or safety upgrades for your arts and cultural space after a facility emergency or urgent life-safety issue.

Apply for permit fee assistance for your cultural space construction and renovation permits

Permit fee assistance for cultural spaces

Apply for up to $1,500 in funding for permit fees to build, renovate, or adapt the use of your non-profit cultural space, like a performance space or studio space, with our Permit Fee Assistance Program.

Artist live-work studio on East 4th Avenue and Scotia Street

Artist Studio Award Program

The Artist Studio Award Program provides Vancouver-based professional artists who have financial need with live-work or work-only artist studios that are low-cost or free for up to three years.

Theatre Rental Grants

Theatre Rental Grant Program

Provides non-cash subsidy to cultural non-profits to assist with the costs of renting space and Vancouver Civic Theatres facilities.

City planning

We work to ensure arts and culture are integrated into city area and community planning processes and projects.

Learn more about planning projects.

Major projects through rezoning

We often partner with developers and non-profit cultural organizations to build and expand arts and cultural facilities through community amenities sought during major rezoning processes.

These spaces often result in City owned or leased spaces available to non-profit arts and culture organizations for low cost or nominal rent. There are currently 137 arts and cultural non-profit tenants in 80 City owned or leased spaces.  Several  new cultural spaces that are underway or recently completed include:

Main and 2nd Artist Housing

Thirty units of low-income artist housing and 4000 sq. ft. of artist production space in a new development is currently underway.

Howe St Studios

Over 10,000 sq. ft of artist production studios will be subleased to artists at low rent. Request for proposals are now open for a non-profit arts and culture organizations operator.

  • View our request for proposals

801 Pacific Cultural Facility

A 7-story, 21,000 sq. ft. cultural facility downtown with spaces for community arts, cultural programming and non-profit arts administration is currently underway.

BMO Theatre Centre

Completed in 2015, the 48,000 sq. ft. facility in South East False Creek is shared by Arts Club and bard on the beach. It includes a 260 seat theatre, 4 rehearsal halls, costume shops, and offices also available for other cultural groups to use.

Studies underway

Making space for art

Making Space for Art is a study currently underway that will inform our partnerships with the community to retain, expand and develop vibrant, affordable, sustainable arts and cultural spaces. The study will be one of a number of initiatives that will inform our new Creative City Strategy. To find out more, please contact Cultural Planner, Kristen Lambertson.

Regulatory review to support artist production and rehearsal space in industrial lands

Strategies to secure affordable arts and culture production space in industrial lands is underway and expected to be completed in the fall of 2017.

Council reports and presentations

Commissioned reports

Resources to evaluate cultural facility projects

Cultural Services provides regulatory assistance for arts and culture organizations in dealing with City regulations and looks for opportunities to streamline regulations to make it easier for arts and cultural activities to happen.

Have questions about our regulations related to arts and cultural spaces?

Contact Cultural Planner James O'Neill.

Arts events licences

The Arts Events Licence makes it easier to host live artistic and cultural performances such as music, dance, or multimedia in artist studios, warehouses or factory spaces, art galleries, shops, and other unconventional spaces.

Learn how to apply

Permit Fee Assistance grants

Cash grants help alleviate costs associated with development and building permit fees for capital cultural space projects.

Learn more

Contact us about cultural spaces

Alix Sales
Senior Cultural Planner


Kristen Lambertson
Cultural Planner


Debra Bodner
Cultural Planner


James O'Neill
Cultural Planner


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

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