Nominations now open for Mayor’s Arts Awards

April 4, 2013 | Arts and Culture

Mayor Gregor Robertson is putting out the call for the best of Vancouver’s arts and culture community, with nominations for the Mayor’s Arts Awards now open.

“Vancouver’s arts and culture scene is making a name for itself on the world stage, attracting attention and recognition from around the globe while at the same time bringing new energy, entertainment and jobs to our neighbourhoods,” said Mayor Gregor Robertson. “At City Hall, we celebrate our artistic community with pride, and The Mayor’s Arts Awards are a great opportunity to showcase the talent that exists right here in our city.

The Mayor’s Arts Awards recognize established and emerging artists in a wide array of disciplines that make up our creative sector – from literary to culinary arts, and visual to performing arts, as well as four unique awards for contributions to our community and a special award for Lifetime Achievement.

Honourees are chosen each year by a jury of peers, with nominations from the community, for having made a significant contribution to their respective disciplines, and for showing leadership, innovation and support for Vancouver’s cultural community over the course of their careers. Juries, in most cases, consist of an arts category's award winners for the previous three years.

The 2013 Mayor’s Arts Awards presentations will take place on Thursday, September 19 in the Exhibition Hall at the Roundhouse Community Arts & Recreation Centre. The public can nominate people online until April 15th at

The City of Vancouver has recently taken a number of significant steps to support the arts in Vancouver, including:

  • Creating the City of Vancouver's Arts Event program, an initiative that is the first of its kind in Canada and makes it easier for artists to hold events, show case their work, and perform in Vancouver;
  • Changing zoning to allow artist studios in industrial districts, increasing the permitted space from 2 million to 28 million square feet;
  • Indexing arts funding and providing the highest grant funding per capita to arts groups of any city in Canada;
  • Council’s recent motion to formally identify and provide stronger protection for key Vancouver arts and cultural spaces;
  • The launch of the Arts Factory, a new 21,000 square foot artist space at 281 Industrial, which will provide up to 40 new studio spaces in a City-owned building;
  • The creation of a citizen-led Arts and Culture Policy Council;
  • Over 20,000 square feet of new artist space approved in 2012;
  • 44,500 square feet of space approved at the Wall Centre at 160 West 1st Avenue, designed to accommodate a new 250-seat theatre and a rehearsal hall;
  • The Park Board offering nine previously vacant field houses rent-free to artists in exchange for community-engaged arts projects and programming; and
  • Approval for restoring the historic York Theatre on Commercial Drive, to be operated by the Vancouver East Cultural Centre.