Home > People and programs > Grants and awards > Arts and culture grants > Artists in Communities program

Artists in Communities program

Building community by making art together

The Vancouver Park Board Artists in Communities program builds community by making art together using principles of community cultural development.

We host artist residencies each year in participating community centres to support artists working in neighbourhoods and encourage a wide variety of interactions between artists and residents.

Artists collaborate with community members (who may not see themselves as artists) as creators, producers, performers, and active audiences.

The residency projects leave lasting physical or social legacies in the community, such as learning new creative processes, developing collaborative skills, creating an artwork.

The Artists in Communities program makes our neighbourhoods more vibrant. We use art as a catalyst for engaging individuals and communities, inspiring participation, and building relationships.

Apply for residencies

The call for artist applications open July 20, 2018.

Learn how the residencies work and apply

2018 residencies

Super Bloomers sunflowerSuper Bloomers 

Renfrew Community Centre / Renfrew Ravine

Join this dynamic team of artists as they explore, make, and grow through the seasons in actions inspired by the Renfrew Ravine. They'll be hosting picnics, pop-up pollinator gardens, ravine walks, and hands-on art-making with natural materials.

Superbloom aim is to create a web of deep connections among people and plants that make the neighborhood resilient and beautiful. Consider this residency a collective love-letter to the Renfrew Ravine: its ferns, flowers, bees, butterflies, birds, frogs, fungi and more!

Our motto is "be brave, be kind, be green!"  Led by artist Lori Wiedenhammer who on occasion likes to dress up in silly costumes and talk to bees!

Learn more and join us for workshops


Beat a path

West Point Grey Community Centre / Jericho

Explore the West Point Grey Community Centre and surrounding geography in unique and unexpected ways with artist, educator, and curator, Holly Schmidt.

This project will explore the social, cultural and historical forces shaping the West Point Grey community of tomorrow through dialogue and exchange.

Community members will practice the art of taking notice through a year of exciting and inviting events including workshops, walks, momentary exchanges and communal eating as a way to see the urban landscape of our everyday lives anew.

Find out more about this project 



wayfinding // wandering

Sunset Community Centre / Sunset Rink / Moberly Arts Centre

Using the senses, wayfinding // wandering will get curious about the spaces between and within Sunset Community Centre, Sunset Ice Rink, and Moberly Arts and Cultural Centre.

With a pop-up approach, artists Matthew Ariaratnam and Julie Hammond invite community members of all ages to investigate how spaces shape us as individuals and as a community.

This project uses a de-skilled and re-skilled approach to creating physical and ephemeral artworks.

Together we will walk, play, listen, see, read, touch, smell, taste and share!

Learn more and join us for workshops 


Birds in Residence

Coal Harbour / West End Community Centre / Barclay Manor

Birds in Residence celebrates our winged relatives, from songbirds to birds of prey to waterfowl in Coal Harbour and the West End. Artists Paula Jardine, Carmen Rosin, Cathy Stubington, and Robi Smith invite community to explore the birds who live in and fly through our neighbourhoods, reflecting on ideas of home and migration. 

Along the way we'll deepen our relationship with the birds we live with, through nature walks, drawing, mapping, listening, movement, and song, and more, combining the insights and talents of artists, biologists, ornithologists and amateur bird enthusiasts!

This project will connect to broader community as part of the grand parade opening the 27th International Ornithological Congress and Vancouver International Bird Festival, August 19 - 26, 2018.

Learn more and join us for workshops 

Previous residencies


Roundhouse Community Centre (2017)

Explore the intersection of dance, yarn and collective narratives all over the Roundhouse Community Centre. This curious project will have all ages investigate, play and move using brightly colored yarn to animate railings, chairs, shrubs, and landscape architecture.

Community members will create, invent and share impromptu performances in ways that will surprise and delight you as a participant and audience member. Join us.

This artist in community project is led by Foolish Operations External website in collaboration with artists Julie Lebel, Carolina Bergonzoni External website and Diane Park External website.

For more information on how to get involved visit the Yarn-Around website. External website

Kerrisdale Arena Rock! 

Kerrisdale Arena (2016/2017)

Rocking and rolling through November 2016 to June 2017, artists Lisa g Nielsen and Rene Cherrie will fuse sound and image to explore the exciting history of Kerrisdale Arena. 

Community members will be invited to collaborate with stories, visions, music, art, and more to create an immersive video and sound installation within the arena itself.

Find Rene and Lisa creating real-time in the arena's "living room" or in their mobile projection/sound studio at other locations in the community.

Connect with and track the progress of this project 

Box of Light: An artistic community inquiry at Britannia 

Britannia Community Centre (2016/2017)

We see the collective consciousness of the community to be like a box of light. 

Inside this box are many ideas, understandings, wisdom, stories, and knowledge that light the community from within. Sometimes this box gets messy or we forget what is inside, and we need to open it up.

This collaboration between poet/multi-media artist Ronnie Harris and Expressive Arts Therapist/community artist Kelty McKerracher will open the community box of light through multiple ideation processes with diverse community groups.

Learn more about this project 

Working Holiday Project

Dunbar Community Centre (2015/2016)

A socially oriented art project that aims to engage the Dunbar community in a collaborative exploration into what constitutes a holiday.

Artists Elisa Yon, Leah Weinstein, and Jaspal Marwah bring a diverse range of art practices in: sculpture, textiles, crafts, performance, site specific installations, socially engaged art, and architecture.

Over the course of the fall, winter, spring, and summer, the artists will present a series of "season specific" art interventions, in response to traditional holidays as well as everyday self-made holidays. 

Hands-on crafting activities, artist walks, participatory art installations, pop-up interventions, and food based collaborations are just some of the ways the artists will engage community members in a collective reimagining of what constitutes a holiday.

Follow the Working Holiday project 

UpCYCLED Stories

Mount Pleasant Community Centre (2015/2016)

Join filmmaker, musician, artist, and Emily Carr University instructor, Sarah Van Borek, in the creation of a unique, 3-part movie that has music and dance components and that tells the story of the Mount Pleasant community using a focus on bikes and cycling as artistic inspiration, art materials (recycled bike parts), and public presentations.

Mount Pleasant community members of all ages, backgrounds, and skill levels are invited to explore their neighbourhood while contributing to various aspects of the project, including: storytelling, video/animation, music, dance, and sound. The project will be presented to the public in 4 stages, each at a bike pedal-powered pop-up projection nearby the Mount Pleasant Community Centre.

This project will begin in September 2015 and end with a celebration and premiere screening of the final movie at an outdoor "bike-in" the following September.

Learn more about UpCYCLEd Stories  

Free Imagination

Thunderbird Community Centre (2015/2016)

An art project that invites and unites the Thunderbird community in the creation of a mural that will inspire and celebrate imagination.

The goal of the project is to engage with residents, young and old, and be part of a creative process through participation, informational sessions, and painting workshops. Emily Gray is a muralist and art instructor who is passionate about inspiring individuals and communities. When we are all together making beautiful things life is beautiful.

Emily Gray creates dynamic compositions that allow viewers to flow through the paintings and experience art on a larger scale. With simple and effective application of paint a space can be transformed. The creative possibilities are endless when we connect and set free our imaginations.

Learn more about Free Imagination

Magic Trout Imaginarium

Trout Lake Community Centre (2015/2016)

A project based out of the Tiny Community Center – the first "tiny house" ever used as a community classroom and artist residency.

As a curiosity cabinet with a modern twist, artists Zee Kesler External website, Emily Smith External website, and Françoise Thibault External website will explore art making as a means of self expression in order to create a new understanding and appreciation of Trout Lake's natural ecology, environment, and neighbourhood as a place of wonder and inspiration.

Learn more about the Magic Trout Imaginarium 

Learn about the Tiny Community Centre

Songs for Reconciliation

Hillcrest, Britannia, Hastings, and Trout Lake community centres (2013/2014)

Community members learned about the traditional upbringing of children in Kwakwaka'wakw culture through language, song, dance, art, and history. 

The project culminated in a public community performance at Trout Lake Community Centre on National Aboriginal Day, June 21, 2014.

Visit the project blog

Learn about the City of Vancouver's Year of Reconciliation

Are there trout in Trout Lake

Trout Lake Community Centre (2012)

Anthony involved the Trout Lake community through discussion, play, and stories.

"I don't make 'art objects' but instead prefer to work with people, using art to encourage conversations and develop events that can continue on in myths and stories, linking the diverse community together in shared memories," he explains.

Visit the project blog

Our Footprint

Renfrew Park Community Centre (2012)

Something Collective led an interdisciplinary approach to explore the Renfrew neighbourhood. 

Friends and neighbours created an interactive, map through dance, video, soundscapes, green graffiti, puppetry, and photographs that marked their favorite spots.



Kensington Community Centre (2012)

Dance artists Julia Carr, Meghan Goodman, and puppeteer Maggie Winston created a unique, site-specific performance experience that animated the Kensington Community Centre in an open house celebration.

Community members were invited to participate as performers and audience members to explore what makes a healthy habitat.

Together, the artists and community represented this healthy habitat through puppetry and dance.

Visit the Kensington Art blog 

How the residencies work