2015 Cultural Space Development Mentorship & Coaching Program Participants

BC Artscape Announces Local Participant Organizations to Receive Support in Cultural Space Development Projects

VANCOUVER—BC Artscape, the non-profit organization established December 2014 to make space for creativity and transform communities, has announced the six non-profit organizations to receive support through the first instance of the new BC Artscape Cultural Space Development Mentorship & Coaching Program, a program funded by the City of Vancouver and Vancity Community Foundation for three years. Art Space Action, The Association of Book Publishers of BC, Contemporary Art Matters, MakerLabs, the Powell Street Festival Society and the Vancouver Independent Music Centre Society will benefit from a free-of-charge year-long program designed to build their capacity to advance their own creative placemaking projects that will benefit local communities.

BC Artscape announced its inaugural program for not-for-profit organizations and groups in the Metro Vancouver area with a call for applications at the start of 2015. In total, 40 organizations and groups submitted applications outlining their projects and goals to develop cultural spaces and/or a cultural space development organization. These were evaluated by a committee of representatives from the City of Vancouver, Vancity Community Foundation and Toronto-based Artscape.

A total of 17 organizations and groups will receive support through the 2015 program. In addition to the six organizations named above that will be participating fully in the program, 11 groups have been selected to receive support via one-time consultations.

The program’s six full participants will receive support over the course of one year that will consist of targeted consultation sessions with Artscape senior executives Tim Jones (CEO, Artscape) and Pru Robey(Vice President and Creative Placemaking Lab Director). These sessions will focus on building strategic, financial, real estate, community engagement and partnership-building skills, as well as project-specific support in key areas including the leadership, vision, planning, operations and programming of arts and cultural facilities, based on Artscape’s nearly 30 years of experience in the practice of creative placemaking.

“We are very pleased to be able to offer our mentorship and coaching at no cost to groups in Metro Vancouver thanks to the support of our funders,” said Pru Robey. “We were all impressed by the level of interest in this program, and we received many remarkable applications. We’re looking forward to meeting each participant organization and delving deep into their projects in development, and helping to bring to life new cultural spaces and capacities in cultural space development in the region.”

Artscape has become recognized as an international leader in creative placemaking, a practice that leverages the power of art, culture and creativity to catalyze change, growth and transformation in communities. Artscape achieves its mission through developing and managing unique cultural facilities, where currently 2,400+ artists and non-profit organizations work and live—including community cultural hubs, multi-purpose creative spaces and artist live/work projects —and delivering programs and services that promote creativity and cultural space development. Its mentorship and coaching program is run out of Artscape’s Creative Placemaking Lab, which spearheads the organization’s research and development, and shares Artscape’s knowledge and practice via workshops, webinars, online tools and resources, events, publications and more. To date Artscape’s mentorship and coaching program has helped many organizations—from large municipalities to small non-profit organizations—in cities such as Vancouver, Halifax, Kingston, Edmonton, Melbourne (AU), New York City (USA) and Manchester (UK) develop plans and projects in cultural space development with services tailored to meet their specific needs and objectives.

BC Artscape is an independent not-for-profit organization based in Vancouver that is affiliated with Toronto-based Artscape. In May 2015, BC Artscape announced its inaugural Board of Directors along with its first President, Genevieve Bucher. The BC Artscape Cultural Space Development Mentorship & Coaching Program will continue in 2016—the next call for applications will be issued in January 2016.

About the Participant Organizations

Contemporary Art Matters

Based in Surrey, Contemporary Art Matters (Surrey) began as a group of artists responding to a citywide call for new art space proposals in 2011. Their mandate is to support the realization of an animated and engaging dedicated space for contemporary art in their community. To date, Contemporary Art Matters has facilitated several social/informational events involving artists, stakeholders, the cultural community, developers, business community members and politicians. In 2013, they received cultural grant monies to produce a short film to support the contemporary art space project. A major activity focus has been ongoing direct consultation with the City, its hired consultants, property developers and architects.

Association of Book Publishers of BC

The Association of Book Publishers of BC (ABPBC) is a trade association representing BC–owned and controlled book publishing companies. They are a member-driven organization that provides advocacy, marketing, promotion, professional development and information. The ABPBC believes that a healthy book publishing industry is essential to the educational, social, cultural and economic life of the province.

Vancouver Independent Music Centre Society

The Vancouver Independent Music Centre Society (the Society) supports the development of Vancouver’s first music centre, the VIM House, designed and operated as a place of music learning and development, and for the presentation and enjoyment of music of diverse genres and cultures. The Society supports innovative music programs such as the presentation of concerts by young and emerging music curators.

Art Space Action

The mandate of Art Space Action is to critically engage with and develop urban cultural space. The organization’s critical engagement has two current thrusts: building a curatorial program to explore gentrification, and a forthcoming panel presentation on youth arts. Art Space Action’s development work includes feasibility plans for an all-ages music venue and a forthcoming city-owned art studio facility, and starting up a new arts studio space with the Eastside Culture Crawl and a private developer.


MakerLabs is a 26,000-square-foot makerspace that brings together makers of all kinds and provides training and access to traditional and cutting-edge tools. The mission of MakerLabs is to increase tool literacy and to foster creative and entrepreneurial endeavours in a shared space.

Powell Street Festival Society

The main activity of the Powell Street Festival Society (PSFS) is producing the annual Powell Street Festival in Vancouver’s historic Japanese Canadian neighbourhood, but the organization also produces an annual season of programming. The PSFS guides their activities by adhering to values of community engagement, artistic excellence, accessibility, heritage and financial sustainability. They provide opportunities for artistic exploration and engagement, and for maximizing societal and cultural interconnections. As a socially responsible organization, the Powell Street Festival Society also participates in ongoing outreach and advocacy initiatives relevant to the Japanese Canadian, Asian Canadian and Downtown Eastside (DTES) communities. The Festival is free of charge and is accessible to everyone.