Artists in Communities program

Building community by making art together

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.

Learn how the residencies work and apply

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.

2024 residencies

From March 2024 to December 2025

Mapwork Quilt Project
Toni-Leah Yake and Helena Krobath, Vascular Trace AVA (Audio-visual artists)

Mount Pleasant Community Centre

What does it mean to make records, and how can we explore links between mapping, memory, our senses, and our social bonds? Toni-Leah Yake and Helena Krobath of Vascular Trace AVA (Audio-Visual Artists) will be creating artworks around ideas of experimental mapping, mark-making, and memory. Youth will develop their own unique stories by layering art and fieldwork gathered from the community to become a moving image and sound projection.

Helena Krobath (they/s/he) was born in Matsqui and grew up in Mission and Abbotsford, BC. Their family immigrated from various parts of Eastern Europe to Manitoba and British Columbia in the 1930s and 1950s. They live in unceded territories known as Vancouver, where they work with sound and visual media, transforming field recordings and homemade instruments. Their interest lies in experimenting with narratives and how they can be constructed with words as well as with our senses and use of space. Helena also does freelance sound design for podcasts and teaches in the field of communication. 

Toni-Leah C. Yake (European; Kanien’kehá:ka, Six Nations of the Grand River Territory, Turtle Clan) resides on xʷməθkʷəy̓ əm, Sḵwx̱ wú7mesh, and səlilwətaɬ territories. As a composer-performer, she is informed by kanyen’keha (Mohawk language), her embodied response to the land, and both conscious and unconscious realms. Guided by dreaming and Kanien’kehá:ka (Mohawk) epistemology her work engages with liminality and spatialization, illuminated with archival recordings, synthesis, and noise. Toni-Leah is a recent recipient of the First Peoples Cultural Council Individual Artist Award.

Learn more about this project

Aaron Friend Lettner Makes Unusual BooksNathaniel Marchand at Create! Arts Festival

Dunbar Community Centre

Working primarily with photography, Aaron Friend Lettner traverses the crossways of culture, memory, and place. His work is distinguished by its esoteric flair and he sees bookmaking as a ritual act, where seen and unseen worlds elide. He has a natural ability to make artmaking approachable for all ages, creating excitement and curiosity though storytelling in unique ways.

Aaron received the inaugural Burtynsky Grant in 2016 for Doorway. In 2022, he won a Canadian national book design award for his work on anglepoise, which toured in Canada, Japan, and Germany. His books are held in special collections at the National Library of Germany and Simon Fraser University.

With over a decade of experience in various forms of storytelling, as well as a plethora of public works and arts-based programming, Aaron will now work alongside older and younger generations at the Dunbar Community Centre for the next 2 years. Through a series of community-based workshops and longer-term projects, Dunbar residents will have an opportunity to learn new creative languages, specifically related to hand-binding books, weaving, and ritual theatre.

Learn more about this project

Previous residencies