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

Permit fee assistance for cultural spaces

If you’re renovating, constructing, or adapting the use of a non-profit cultural space, you could be eligible for a grant to help pay for development- or building-permit fees.

The Permit Fee Assistance Program is a grant stream that can provide up to $1,500 towards fee costs for your cultural space project.

Funding will be offered on a first-come, first-served basis, until the annual $10,000 budget is spent.

Our goal is to help expand and enhance access to safe and legal arts and cultural spaces in Vancouver.

Current status: now accepting applications

How to apply

  1. Visit the Development and Building Services Centre to:
    • Learn what permits you'll need for your project
    • Get checklists for what documents to submit with your permit applications
  2. Contact Cultural Planner Debra Bodner at debra.bodner@vancouver.ca to apply for permit fee assistance.
  3. If your organization is eligible, you'll receive a permit fee assistance approval letter outlining the grant amount that will offset your permit fee.
    • A maximum grant of $1,500 is available per recipient, subject to how much remains in this program's $10,000 annual budget.
    • If your permit fee exceeds the grant amount, your organization needs to pay the rest.
  4. Submit your permit application, permit fee assistance approval letter, and any remaining permit fee balance to Development and Building Services Centre. Your grant amount will be directly transferred between City departments to offset your permit fee.


To be eligible for assistance, you need to meet all of the following criteria:

  1. You are a Vancouver-based non-profit organization with an arts and culture mandate.
  2. You own your space or have a secure rental tenancy.
  3. You are renovating, constructing, or adapting the use of your cultural space and will be applying for a building/development permit application
    • In-progress or completed projects are not be eligible.
  4. Your project is not already receiving a Cultural Infrastructure Grant.

Learn more

Download the information guide PDF file (50 KB)

On July 8, 2015, Vancouver City Council approved the Permit Fee Assistance Grants as part of the Cultural Infrastructure Grant Program.

The grants were developed in response to the Live Performance Venue and Artist Studio Regulatory Reviews, which Council initiated to identify regulatory challenges for cultural facilities. One of the issues was around the expenses associated with running a cultural facility, including the cost of permit fees.

This initiative will also help in the sustainable creation and operation of cultural spaces, which is a goal of the City’s Culture Plan and Directions for Cultural Spaces (PDF, 1.2 MB) strategies.

Contact us about the Permit Fee Assistance Program

Debra Bodner
Cultural Planner