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Vancouver’s outstanding creative talents, who represent disciplines ranging from performing and visual arts to literary and culinary arts, will be recognized for their achievements with the 2013 Mayor’s Arts Awards and the City of Vancouver Book Award.

Mayor Gregor Robertson will present the awards at a special ceremony on November 22 at Telus World of Science. Honourees will be recognized in the categories of studio arts, performing arts and support of the arts (philanthropy, volunteerism, business support and arts board member of the year). The winner of the Vancouver Book Award will be announced at the event.

“This year’s Mayor’s Arts Awards honourees and emerging artists exemplify the tremendous depth and diversity of talent we have in Vancouver,” said Mayor Gregor Robertson. “Our creative community bolsters our city’s cultural vitality and economic well-being, and support for local arts and culture is a top priority of our work at City Hall. On behalf of my colleagues on Vancouver City Council and the citizens of Vancouver, I would like to congratulate these artists and thank them wholeheartedly for their leadership in making this such a creative and vibrant city.”


Mayor Gregor Robertson officially launched VIVA Vancouver 2013 today, announcing a new, expanded lineup of music, dance, art and creative space-making that will take place in Downtown Vancouver and around the city this summer.

Stop, sit, and relax with friends and neighbours:

VIVA Vancouver capitalizes on citizens’ love of the outdoors by inviting people to stop, sit, and relax with friends and neighbours in vibrant urban settings across the city. The announcement took place at the Corduroy Road seating installation, located at 800 Robson, which features a bright, deck-like structure dotted with umbrellas.

“Building on the success and popularity of last year’s family-friendly program, VIVA Vancouver is once again re-imagining our streets in innovative new ways,” said Mayor Gregor Robertson. “We’ve got a great line-up this year for people to enjoy, and some new activations in Yaletown, Marpole, and the West End that will strengthen our public spaces in fun and creative ways. I want to thank all of our partner organizations who are teaming up with the City to help bring our streets to life this summer.”


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.”


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.”


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.


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.”