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Tag-Archive for ◊ culture ◊

A new grant program supporting critical upgrades to preserve and protect buildings owned by Chinese Family Clan and Benevolent Societies has been approved by Vancouver City Council.

The Chinese Society Buildings Matching Grant Program will provide matching grants for maintenance and upgrades to buildings owned by the societies. Heritage buildings and those with affordable and social housing units will get priority consideration.

“This grant program recognizes the importance of maintaining these buildings as cultural anchors in our city, and shows how we can use new development to support and strengthen local heritage,” said Mayor Gregor Robertson. “The society buildings play a key role in preserving Chinatown’s unique heritage and identity, providing affordable housing, and contributing to the revitalization of Chinatown and the Downtown Eastside.”

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The City is set to invest a record $4.5 million in arts and culture in Mount Pleasant on Wednesday, as well as a start-up grant to launch a Vancouver version of Artscape, a non-profit dedicated to developing and building affordable creative space.

“These strategic investments demonstrate that City Council is committed to ensuring that new development benefits local neighbourhoods, and that we want to enable and expand new cultural spaces in Vancouver,” said Mayor Gregor Robertson. “Both of these investments will support our creative economy and allow local artists to put down deeper roots in Vancouver.”

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Total of Five MOUs Signed During first days of Vancouver-China Business Mission 2013

Five memorandums of understanding (MOU) were signed in Beijing during the initial days of the largest ever Vancouver-led business and cultural mission to China. These MOUs formed between the VEC, the City of Vancouver, delegate companies and Chinese-based organizations establish the foundations to develop new partnerships and opportunities for trade and investment in sectors ranging from manufacturing to arts and culture and technology.

“This is the largest Vancouver-led business and cultural mission to China in our city’s history, and we are already seeing remarkable interest both in Vancouver’s growing economy and our vibrant arts and cultural community,” said Mayor Gregor Robertson. “It’s encouraging to see such strong connections being forged between Vancouver businesses and cultural organizations and their counterparts in China, presenting important opportunities for significant new investment and job creation in our city.”

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After an extensive review process involving city staff and an expert panel of local and international arts leaders, Mayor Gregor Robertson is announcing his support for a new, innovative and expanded Vancouver Art Gallery on the City-owned site at 688 Cambie, formerly known as Larwill Park.

“A new, expanded art gallery at Larwill Park is a huge opportunity to bolster our creative sector, showcase local artists from Vancouver and across BC, and make a clear statement that Vancouver makes arts and culture a priority,” said Mayor Gregor Robertson.

“We’ve done a lot of work to support the arts in recent years, but this has the potential to really elevate our creative economy to the next level. I hope that all of City Council will support the recommendation.”

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Ahead of a City Council vote on Wednesday, the Mayor is urging unanimous support from Council on plans to invest over $7.45 million in Vancouver’s vibrant arts and culture sector.

The City is recommending awarding the 2013 Cultural operating and project grants to 165 Vancouver organizations supporting dance, film, music, visual arts, literary arts and more, selected from a pool of 191 applications. This year’s grants span an impressive range, from the Arts Club Theatre (celebrating its 50th year), Bard on the Beach, the Vancouver International Writers Festival, and the DOXA Film Festival, to the Raven Spirit Dance Society and Vancouver Theatre Sports.

“The City of Vancouver is committed to using every tool at our disposal to support our vibrant local arts and cultural community, understanding that Vancouver’s leading creative sector is a substantial contributor to the strength of our local economy,” said Mayor Gregor Robertson. “The grants recommended to 165 organizations demonstrate the breadth of support the city shows for our local arts and culture groups, and I hope all of Council will join me in supporting them.”

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City Council has approved a new program for indoor arts events, as part of ongoing work to make it easier for artists to hold events, showcase their work, and perform in Vancouver. The city is now the first in Canada to allow arts performances as a temporary use in warehouse and retail buildings.

>> Click here to apply now

“This is another solid boost for Vancouver’s arts scene and one that we’re going to keep building on,” said Mayor Gregor Robertson. “Vancouver’s artistic community is a major economic driver and we want to do all we can to ensure local performers thrive and people have more opportunities to enjoy music and dance in our city.”

The pilot program is the latest step by City Council to modernize and streamline regulations for artists and to make it easier to hold events. The new program, approved unanimously by City Council, will:

  • Change the City’s zoning to permit indoor arts or cultural events in commercial and industrial areas;
  • Exempt arts events from requiring a development permit, reducing excessive costs;
  • Create a single-point of contact for event organizers when seeking approvals, avoiding costly delays.

“These changes will make it easier for artists to perform in Vancouver, and bring our by-laws into the 21st century,” added the Mayor. “Now, if people want to hold events in galleries, warehouses, or studios, it’s far easier to do so.”

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