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City of Vancouver Invests More than $1 million in Grants to Support Local Cultural Organizations
November 21, 2022, 11:31 am

City of Vancouver Invests More than $1 million in Grants to Support Local Cultural Organizations

City of Vancouver
VANCOUVER - Vancouver Council approved $1,055,010 in grants for 46 cultural organizations to increase stability through the lasting economic challenges of the pandemic, invest in making space for arts and culture in Vancouver, and provide targeted support for equity-denied artists.

Grant recommendations approved by Vancouver City Council were based on Culture|Shift, our 10-year culture plan, which encapsulates the aspirations of thousands of people who lent their expertise to co-create an inclusive, ambitious vision for Vancouver’s cultural fabric. Culture|Shift recognizes that barriers faced by equity-seeking communities, including Indigenous, Black, people of colour, and people with disabilities, have historically resulted in underrepresentation in the creation of arts and cultural works and experiences in the city, including those supported by our grants.

In alignment with our Reconciliation Framework and UNDRIP strategy, included in this funding announcement is $280,000 in Cultural Indigenous Grants. This program provides annual funding to xʷməθkʷəy̓ əm (Musqueam), Sḵwx̱wú7mesh (Squamish), and səlilwətaɬ (Tsleil-Waututh) Nations for self-determined cultural projects, and to Indigenous-led organizations with a mission to develop, create, and present Indigenous arts and culture.
 
Funding will support events including Indigenous Fashion Week, an Elder and Matriarch in Residence at Carnegie Community Centre, traditional and contemporary Métis jigging dance performances, and more. 

This investment is funded through several programs that advance our cultural goals. Below is a selection of key highlights. Review the complete report (241 KB)

 
  • Black Arts Vancouver Society External website, opens in new tab received $15,000 in cultural equity and accessibility grants to build a residency program for Black creatives and arts programming for Black youth.  
  • Dumb Instrument Dance Society External website, opens in new tab received $40,000 in cultural equity grants to support their work providing low-barrier creation space and residencies for Indigenous, Black, and people of colour artists of mixed abilities from across disciplines at their venue, Morrow. 
  • The Art Starts in Schools Society External website, opens in new tab received  $60,000 from the 2022 cultural grants operating budget for the renewal and delivery of the Creative Spark Vancouver program, which supports diverse artists working with youth.  
  • Normie Event Society received $15,000 to create a viability plan for a 250+ capacity venue, led by and prioritizing queer, Trans, Black, Indigenous, and people of colour members, performers, and audiences. 

Along with Culture|Shift, this investment supports key civic policy and strategic directions including the Vancouver Music StrategyMaking space for arts and culture, the COVID-19 economic and business recovery program, the Reconciliation Framework PDF file (150 KB), the UNDRIP Strategy PDF file (1.4 MB), the Equity Framework PDF file (4 MB), and the Accessibility Strategy PDF file (2.5 MB)

Mayor Ken Sim

“A vibrant arts and culture sector that all Vancouverites can access and participate in, is essential to creating a liveable city,” said Mayor Ken Sim. “With this investment, we are proud to support and showcase Vancouver artists from a diverse set of backgrounds. Our hope is that these grants will help showcase Vancouver’s arts and culture with a greater focus on supporting Indigenous Reconciliation.”

Branislav Henselmann, managing director of Cultural Services

“As part of our dedicated efforts to deliver on Council-directed Culture|Shift actions, we continue to actively apply an intersectional, decolonial, racial justice, and systemic equity lens to our entire grant program portfolio,” said Branislav Henselmann, managing director of Cultural Services for the City of Vancouver. “These Council-approved investments reflect our ongoing commitment to uplift the contributions and the multitude of cultural expressions of a broader range of artists and organizations who make Vancouver a vibrant, world-renowned cultural hub.”   

Ziyian Kwan, artistic director, Dumb Instrument Dance

“City of Vancouver funding is instrumental in supporting the practice and public outreach of equity-deserving artists and organizations,” says Ziyian Kwan, artistic director, Dumb Instrument Dance. “By way of example, since July 2020 at our cultural space Morrow, Dumb Instrument Dance has hosted over 100 live events, provided 24 well-paid residencies and offered free and subsidized venue use, always prioritizing access and benefit for marginalized artists and communities. We are immensely grateful for the City’s ongoing support of an inclusive and vibrant cultural ecology.”

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