BMO Theatre Centre

Making space for arts and culture

Cultural spaces are essential to any community. Our cultural spaces enable arts and cultural activities and practices that reflect our unique identities and diverse histories.

We work in partnership with the community to secure, enhance, and develop affordable and accessible spaces where artists and cultural workers can live, work, and share their work. 

What's happening

Development and building regulatory review

The ongoing regulatory review provided more flexibility for artists by removing regulations for the two-person resident limit in artist live-work studios and allowing retail without a separating wall in industrial artist studios.

Learn more about the regulatory review.

Small grants for cultural spaces

This new stream of funding provides timely support for small arts and culture space-related projects.

Apply now

Cultural Infrastructure Plan 2018

In July 2018, Council approved the Making Space for Arts and Culture: Cultural Infrastructure Plan 2018. Informing the larger Creative City Strategy, the plan aims to optimize City policies, tools, programs, and investment priorities that enable affordable and accessible space for arts and culture in Vancouver.

Read the full report pdf file (6 MB), including the Key Gaps in Vancouver's Cultural Infrastructure report by AMS Research and Planning that informed the plan (Appendix A).

View the presentation pdf file (1.9 MB)

Objectives and priority recommendations

Position/align arts and culture as a key priority in City building

  • Develop city-wide arts and cultural space targets
  • Review and update Cultural Infrastructure Grants to improve access, partnership opportunities, and funding levels

Expand tools to partner to secure, enhance and develop affordable, accessible cultural spaces

  • Explore policies, zoning, regulatory, and other tools to support cultural spaces
  • Remove regulatory barriers and streamline processes
  • Alleviate real estate pressures:
    • Advocate to the provincial government for "split tax bill" approach
    • Explore a time-limited City stabilization fund to assist nonprofits in crisis

Incorporate equity, access & Reconciliation lenses into programs, policies, and priorities

  • Engage with Musqueam, Squamish, and Tsleil-Waututh Nations and Urban Indigenous community on ways to support improved visibility and self-determined cultural spaces

Expand engagement with community and partners on renewal planning for City-owned spaces and developing new spaces

  • Engage community and partners on planning and feasibility of city-owned spaces, such as Vanier Park institutions, Orpheum, and Firehall Theatre
  • Integrate cultural spaces into City spaces such as community centres, housing projects, social spaces, libraries, and others

Support community led initiatives that build capacity

  • Support knowledge sharing and research including joining the World Cities Culture Forum

Cultural Infrastructure Grant Program

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

Critical Assistance Grant

Helps pay for costs associated with repairs or upgrades for your arts and cultural space after an emergency.

Small grants for cultural spaces

Provides small grants for arts and culture space-related projects, planning, capacity-building and more.

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.

Artist Studio Award Program

Provides Vancouver-based professional emerging artists with low-cost studios for up to three years.

Theatre Rental Grant Program

Provides a non-cash subsidy to cultural non-profits to assist with the costs of renting space at City theatre facilities.


Contact Cultural Services

Location address
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



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