Community Arts Grant Program

COVID-19 (Coronavirus) update: program work continues

September 1, 2020: Council approved 2020 Cultural Grants (570 KB) (Community Arts, Theatre Rental, Cultural Spaces, Grants to Artists, Indigenous Grants, and COVID-19 Recovery).

2020 Community Arts Grant recipients: options for scheduled events or activities

If you have events scheduled to the end of September 2020, you have a few options:

  • Cancel the event and decline the grant if no costs have been incurred and there is no possibility to postpone the event to another time or modify the event. If you make this hard decision, please be assured that these funds will contribute to addressing critical needs arising from the pandemic. You have the option to make another application for 2021 funding.
  • Postpone the event or activities to a date later in 2020 or in 2021. 
  • Change the event or apply the funds to another project that still fulfills the intent of the initial project and mission of the organization.

We'll try to be as flexible as possible with the use of the grant that has been allocated. Please call your program staff lead to discuss the option that makes sense for you.

Under normal circumstances, all previously funded projects must be complete prior to the next deadline for Community Arts Grant funding.

If you need to postpone your project or event until after your next scheduled grant application deadline, we'll consider the following options:

  • If the previously funded event is confirmed, we can consider an application for a different project for 2021 funding.
  • If the event is unconfirmed, we may still consider an application for a separate project. If funding for a separate project for 2021 is approved, it may be made conditional upon confirmation of the event going forward in 2021 before funding can be released.

What to do if you receive funding but your plans change

We'll aim to help you find creative and flexible approaches to uphold the original intention of your funded project, even if that means adapting timeline or scope, or doing work in the community by virtual means. Please contact your program staff lead to discuss significant changes, such as cancellations, adjustments in scope, or date changes beyond the original project end date.

For minor changes to your plans, you don't need to contact us. Just mention the changes in your final report.

Is your group planning a community-based art project or event? Your group may be eligible for funding to plan, produce, or promote the event or project.

The Community Arts program prioritizes opportunities that meaningfully reflect the diversity of Vancouver and these unceded lands, as well as opportunities to enrich cultural life in neighbourhoods and public spaces.

The Community Arts Grant program is intended to:

  • Support communities to experience and create artistic and cultural work
  • Expand equity-seeking communities access to culturally relevant work
  • Increase opportunities for equity-seeking groups to explore and share their cultural heritage
  • Offer co-creative projects between communities and artists or cultural practitioners
  • Amplify cultural life throughout Vancouver neighbourhoods, communities and public spaces
  • Build and strengthen connections across and between diverse communities

The Community Arts Grant program supports a variety of activities including: 

  • Community-engaged art projects
  • Events, festivals, celebrations, and parades
  • Artist residency within a neighbourhood or community
  • Small-scale public art projects
Applications closed  
Council approval To be confirmed
Grant amounts $1,000 - $15,000

   Applicants with a disability needing support to complete their grant applications may access support to cover the costs of assistance from service providers.


You can apply for this grant if your organization is a Vancouver based:

  • Non-profit society
  • Community service co-op legally registered with BC Registry Services
  • Registered charity with the Canadian Revenue Agency (CRA)
  • Local First Nation Band Council

Partnerships to support unincorporated groups may be eligible. 

To receive funding, your organization must:

  • Have an active presence, programs, and services delivered within the City of Vancouver, or if led by xʷməθkʷəy̓ʷəm (Musqueam), Sḵwx̱wú7mesh (Squamish) or səl̓əilwətaɁɬ (Tsleil-Waututh) Nations, held in their unceded homelands upon which Vancouver sits
  • Have an active Board of Directors comprised of volunteers that are representative of the mission and people served and whose members must not be remunerated for services in their capacity as a Director (but may be reimbursed for reasonable expenses incurred); under normal circumstance board directors should not hold board and permanent staff positions at the same time and should not be paid in their capacity as board members
  • Be in a healthy financial position with the capacity and other revenue sources (earned, private, or public) to support the project
  • Provide equitable access to programs and services to a broad diverse public
  • Have skilled leadership, and be working with artists and creative collaborators with the relevant lived experience, permission, knowledge, skills, and expertise to lead and contribute to the work
  • Provide financial statements for the most recently completed fiscal year, including a balance sheet and income expense statement, signed by two Board members. Independently prepared financial statements are preferred over Review Engagement or Notice to Reader.
  • Have completed all previous projects funded through Cultural Services or, if the project is incomplete, have written approval from Cultural Services staff to apply

It is strongly recommended that organizations compensate professional artists at minimum standard industry rates.

   Organizations are not eligible if they already receive funds for their programming through City of Vancouver Cultural Operating, Annual Assistance, or Project grants programs. 

Additional eligibility criteria apply. To learn more read the information guide and see the How to apply section.

Eligible projects

Projects can range from small to large-scale, in any artistic discipline, in which communities and artists are actively engaged. 

Some examples include:

  • Community-engaged art projects led by professional artists or cultural practitioners to engage or collaborate with communities
  • Free, public festivals including celebrations of cultural heritage, arts festivals in any creative discipline, and major parades with a strong arts or cultural focus/theme
  • Neighbourhood-based projects that offer opportunities to participate in cultural life or produce creative work
  • Small-scale public art projects in the public realm

Ineligible projects

  • Projects where the central focus or theme is not artistic or cultural
  • Activity taking place before the application deadline
  • Non-Indigenous-led organizations and activity outside Vancouver city limits 
  • Sporting events
  • Core artistic training and in-class activity
  • Ongoing operations, deficit reduction or capital projects
  • Fundraising or commercially-oriented activity
  • Demonstrations, marches, rallies, award shows or competitions
  • Bursaries or scholarships

How to apply

  1. Read the Community Arts Grants information guide  (365 KB)

    This information guide has details about:

    • Program objectives
    • Grant amounts and activities
    • Eligible applicants and projects
    • Assessment process and criteria
    • Terms and conditions of assistance
    • Confidentiality 
    • Additional City resources
    • Public Art Projects (details)
  2. Contact a cultural planner to discuss your eligibility, access the online application form, and benefit from valuable advice:

Miko Hoffman

If your group and project are eligible, we'll email you a link to the online application form for you to complete.

What's happening

On September 11, 2019, Vancouver City Council unanimously approved Culture|Shift: Blanketing the City in Arts and Culture Vancouver Culture Plan 2020-2029.

Read the plan (12 MB)

Grant recipients

Grant recipients from previous years (391 KB)

View previous recipients of Vancouver's Community Arts Grants: who received grants, how much the grant was, and what the grant will be used for.

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