City renews investments in arts and culture sector with $7.1 million in grant funding

May 29 2024 –

Today, Vancouver City Council approved more than $7.1 million in grant funding to support Vancouver’s non-profit arts and culture sector.

The funding will contribute towards a new Cultural Tourism Event Fund Partnership, new and ongoing cultural projects and facility support for Vancouver’s cultural spaces, and will provide rental relief for cultural groups that use the Vancouver Civic Theatres. 

The funding advances key Council priorities related to arts and culture, including directives of Vancouver’s 10-year culture plan, Culture|Shift, and the Making Space for Arts and Culture infrastructure plan. It also aligns with the City’s Reconciliation, Cultural Equity and Accessibility goals and follows through on Council’s priority to enhance and streamline support to cultural destination festivals and events. 

“The most critical challenge facing arts and culture in Vancouver is finding affordable and accessible spaces,” said Mayor Ken Sim. “In addition to the $7.5M that Council invested in the cultural sector earlier this year, a good portion of the $7.1M we approved today will help our cultural community maintain, renovate, acquire or access local spaces for performances or exhibitions. We also made significant contributions to those artists, producers, and communities who bring arts and culture to life in our city.”

The 254 grant awards were the result of a rigorous staff and peer-driven assessment process. They include: 

  • 72 Communities and Artists Shifting Culture Grants totalling $520,000 that support a wide range of short-term, one-time, or limited series arts, cultural, and creative projects.
  • 14 Cultural Learning and Sharing Grants totalling $100,920 to help artists and cultural organizations access or deliver learning opportunities that will build and strengthen skills, knowledge, and relationships.
  • 18 Affordable Spaces Grants totalling $305,000 to support facility operating costs for local non-profit space operators who provide subsidized affordable space for Vancouver-based artists and/or cultural organizations.
  • 111 Theatre Rental Grants totalling $3,142,269 to support users of Vancouver’s four civic theatres (Orpheum, Queen Elizabeth Theatre, Vancouver Playhouse, and Annex).
  • 38 Cultural Spaces Capital Grants totalling $2.9 million which support cultural building-based projects including space planning, purchase, renovation, or expansion of an arts and cultural facility. 

Building on significant success of the Sport Hosting Vancouver partnership, the City is once again partnering with Destination Vancouver, the Vancouver Hotel Destination Association and PAVCO to contribute to the new Cultural Tourism Event Fund, established in 2023 by the aforementioned destination marketing partners.

Administered by Destination Vancouver, the aim of the Cultural Tourism Event Fund is to support destination events and festivals in the October to April timeframe that elevate Vancouver’s profile as a globally-renowned cultural destination as well as create jobs, encourage spending at Vancouver hotels and hospitality establishments, and make Vancouver a more vibrant and exciting place to live and visit. Vancouver City Council approved a grant of $150,000 for this fund which will be augmented by more than $1.7M in partner cash contributions for a total of $1,875,000.

Grant recipients also include:

The I.E. Artspeak Gallery Society

Granted $13,500 for their sponsored project for AFROQUEER YVR supporting Vancouver’s Black Pride Party centring on joy, inclusion and accessibility during 2024 Pride Week in Vancouver.

Holy Crow Arts Society

Granted $8,500 for the 2024 world premiere of the theatre project Keepers of the Salish Sea which will centre a new work by a Squamish Nation theatre artist.

KCH Collective

Granted $10,000 for Kamayan Fest 2024. A first-time applicant, KCH brings a bold vision of building towards a large-scale, intergenerational, and artist-centered celebration of Filipinx culture.

Aeriosa Dance Society

Granted $7,000 for a capacity-building project called Learning about Deaf Culture, Sharing Dance with Deaf Artists.

Wongs’ Benevolent Association

Awarded a capital grant of $100,000 to support improvements to the Hon Hsing building in Chinatown.

The grants recommendations are outlined in three reports to council: