Cultural grants approved for the Cultch, Maritime Museum and organizational development program

December 15, 2011 | Arts and Culture

Vancouver City Council approved more than $2 million in cultural funding Tuesday that will help the Vancouver East Cultural Centre and Vancouver Maritime Museum upgrade their facilities and provide development support for non-profit cultural organizations.

"The arts community plays an important social and economic role in our city," said Mayor Gregor Robertson. "Investing in our creative economy not only provides our residents and visitors opportunities to enjoy and participate in cultural activities, but also showcases local talent and generates jobs and revenue for Vancouver."

The Vancouver East Cultural Centre (the Cultch) received a $1 million grant which will go toward the final phase of its redevelopment which began in 2005. The final phase will replace the Green House, an older building on the site, with a new two-storey building with rehearsal halls and office space.

The Cultch, which is housed on City-owned property, led a $9 million capital campaign that has financed the renovation of the historic theatre and the creation of the new Culture Lab, lobby, and meeting and office spaces. The City previously contributed $1.5 million to provide initial support which the Cultch used to leverage additional funding from the public and private sector.

The Vancouver Maritime Museum (VMM) is the recipient of a $902,000 grant for upgrades to the building that houses the St. Roch vessel. The St. Roch is the premier attraction at the museum which holds the City's collection of maritime art. The upgrades will address fire safety, mechanical and structural issues to ensure the St. Roch is protected and accessible. The boat was an RCMP vessel that crossed the Northwest Passage in 1940 and is a federally designated national historic site. The VMM operates as an independent non-profit in a City-owned building and will be starting a new strategic planning process for the site.

A development grant of $124,000 was approved for Vantage Point, with the funds being directed at leadership and organizational programs for non-profit cultural organizations. Cultural organizations will have access to Vantage Point's training courses and labs and benefit from peer learning and networking opportunities. The funding is part of the City's Arts Partners in Organizational Development program which supports the non-profit cultural sector in development and strategic planning.