Vancouver creative economy set to grow with new investments from City Council

June 8, 2014 | Arts and Culture

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."

The $4.5 million for Mount Pleasant arts and culture comes from the community amenity contribution from a rezoning at Kingsway and Broadway in 2012. The Mayor and Council directed $4.5 million of the CAC to be reinvested into local arts organizations, and following an open call for submissions, staff are recommending it be invested in the Arts Factory, Western Front and grunt gallery to help them secure and expand their operations, as well as for VIVO and C-Space to purchase a new space to form the Centre for Arts Innovation.

In a separate report coming to Council on Wednesday, staff recommend investing $300,000 to launch BC Artscape, in partnership with the Vancity Community Foundation and the McConnell Foundation. Based on the successful Toronto model, BC Artscape will facilitate the creation of new creative and cultural spaces.

"BC Artscape is the type of organization we need in Vancouver to help facilitate new creative spaces," added the Mayor. "We want this kind of innovation taking place in our city, and I'm pleased that the City is a founding partner of a non-profit that will focus on delivering real estate projects that create affordable spaces for local artists and creative entrepreneurs."

The City of Vancouver is the highest per capita funder of arts of any city in Canada.