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The 14th Annual Downtown Eastside Heart of the City Festival (Vancouver)

“14th Annual
Downtown Eastside Heart of the City Festival
Wednesday October 25 to Sunday November 5, 2017

Over 100 events at over 50 venues throughout the Downtown Eastside

The Downtown Eastside Heart of the City Festival serves as a high impact, bridge building force that gives voice to the Downtown Eastside and its low income residents, cultural communities and neighbourhoods.

The theme of the 2017 Festival, Honouring Women of the Downtown Eastside, pays tribute to women from all walks of life in the Downtown Eastside past and present.”

For more information, please visit

-from Heart of the City website

NFB & imagineNATIVE Seek Innovative Interactive Project Proposals by Indigenous Artists in Canada

“The NFB, in partnership with imagineNATIVE, is proud to continue supporting Indigenous artists in Canada’s interactive-media field.

The NFB/imagineNATIVE Interactive Partnership returns in 2017 to support both the development and production phases of one (1) selected project, with a focus on artistic cultural experiences for mobile phone, tablet and virtual reality technologies. The project will premiere to the diverse range of audiences reached through the NFB and imagineNATIVE networks.

An Indigenous Canadian (or international Indigenous artist with Canadian citizenship), working with the NFB Digital Studio in Vancouver, will develop the project during the course of one year starting in October 2017. The NFB Digital Studio will have the option to produce or co-produce the project, with a target launch date of October 2018 at the imagineNATIVE Film + Media Arts Festival. The budget for the development phase will consist of cash and in-kind support of up to $50,000, while the final budget for the production phase will be determined by the overall scope of the project.

An NFB and imagineNATIVE selection committee will choose the project through a call for submissions that encourages proposals with culturally, creatively and technologically daring vision.

This initiative will build upon the selected artist’s creative and technical skills through the following:

  • Intensive development for the artist and their project with a minimum of two (2) visits to the NFB Digital Studio in Vancouver;
  • As part of the residency, the artist would not only work on their own project but would be invited to observe and liaise with the NFB team on the production and development of other projects, furthering cross collaboration, skill building and knowledge sharing;
  • The NFB’s Digital Studio in Vancouver would produce the development phase of the project: from idea through conception, interactive design, visual/graphic design, and proof of concept and/or prototyping;
  • The development phase will include a DigiLab; this two-day development lab will bring together a small team of key creative thinkers and will be tailored to the needs of the project, in order to support the evolution of the project idea;
  • Work to complete the project in the production phase will be determined by the unique requirements of the selected project.

The NFB would have first right (but no obligation) to produce or co-produce the work; imagineNATIVE will coordinate the submission and selection process and highlight the artist as well as the project premiere at the 2018 festival through engagement with the industry and the arts community.

Over the past five years, the NFB and imagineNATIVE have collaborated on a digital partnership that aims to support new forms of Indigenous artistic expression and offers Canadian Indigenous artists an opportunity to create audacious, innovative and socially relevant new-media works. It has resulted in the release of three captivating interactive projects that demonstrate the spirit and heart of Indigenous experiences in Canada today: De Nort (2012) by the ITWÉ Collective, Similkameen Crossroads (2013) by Tyler Hagan, and the 2015 Venice Biennale-selected Ice Fishing (2014) by Jordan Bennett. In 2016, Cara Mumford’s Red Card went through a development residency to further hone her idea.

“We’re thrilled to continue to develop, produce and present the latest work in our partnership with the NFB, and for artists to explore Indigenous storytelling using the newest cutting-edge technologies available,” remarked Daniel Northway-Frank, imagineNATIVE’s Industry Director. Robert McLaughlin, Executive Producer of the National Film Board of Canada’s Digital Studio, added, “Supporting new and underrepresented voices within the Canadian cultural landscape is a key creative criterion of the National Film Board of Canada, and the partnership with imagineNATIVE has been crucial to meeting this mandate.”

The selected artist and proposal will be announced at the 2017 imagineNATIVE festival on October 19, 2017.

Applications for the NFB/imagineNATIVE Interactive Digital Residency will be accepted as of August 22, 2017, at, with a submission deadline of September 18, 2017.”

-from imagineNATIVE website

Profile Highlight: Instruments of Change (Vancouver)

As ArtBridges’ Community-Engaged Arts Directory grows, we realize that it’s a bit overwhelming to read through all of the profiles. We’re hoping that by occasionally highlighting some profiles on our blog, you may learn about an initiative that you may not have initially seen in the directory. Also, if you know of a Canadian community-engaged arts for social change initiative that isn’t in our directory, but should be, please let us know! We love and need your input/feedback in building this resource! -Lisa, Content Coordinator at ArtBridges.

“Through Instruments of Change’s arts-based community development projects, which serve schools, hospices, shelters, community centres and prisons, they create synergetic experiences that give both their facilitating artists and their participants a means of expression to find their authentic voice using a variety of artistic modes.

Our objectives are:
-To bring music and art to the broadest possible demographic, allowing people the chance to experience, make and do art themselves.
-To connect and impact the creators and audience of our art by enabling participants to become agents of change in their own lives through the act of collective art making.
-To advocate for the value of the arts by illustrating their broad-reaching benefits through our projects, performances, and stories.
-To create a sustainable organization, using diversified funding strategies and by developing numerous community partnerships.”

To read more about Instruments of Change, please see their profile in ArtBridges’ Community-Engaged Arts Directory and Map

Call for Artists: Vancouver Outsider Arts Festival (Community Arts Council of Vancouver)


“Attention artists who practice outside the mainstream – this festival is for YOU!

The Community Arts Council of Vancouver is very excited to share that we will be hosting the first-ever Vancouver Outsider Arts Festival, August 11-12, 2017.

Once known as Art Brut, Outsider Art refers to the work of any artist who has little or no contact with the mainstream art world, often including low-income, visionary, folk, and aboriginal artists, and artists with mental health diagnoses.

Major cities around the world hold outsider art fairs and festivals, and the CACV team feels that Vancouver outsider artists are ready to join them on the global stage.

We are seeking applications for this first-ever festival by mail or by email until May 1, 2017.

We are proud to say that 100% of sales from this festival will go to exhibiting artists, and performing artists will receive fees for showcasing their work.

Artists facing visible or invisible barriers are invited to apply.

Organizations working with socially excluded artists are encouraged to contact us about group exhibition space.

Application requirements include a 500-word description about you, your practice, and how you view yourself as an artist. There are also specific requirements for the two artist categories: visual artists and performing artists.

CACV will also be hosting four outreach workshops to provide guidance to artists about their applications.

Click here to view the full details about the festival, the outreach workshops, and the application requirements.”

-from CACV website
Read Community Arts Council of Vancouver’s profile on ArtBridges’ Community-Engaged Arts Directory & Map

Call for Tenants: BC Artscape at the Sun Wah Centre (Vancouver)


bcartscape-logoBC Artscape is excited to launch the Call for Tenants for BC Artscape at the Sun Wah Centre at 268 Keefer Street.

The Call for Tenants explains explains how professional artists, not-for profit arts, cultural and community organizations, and community groups can apply to rent  at the BC Artscape space at 268 Keefer Street. BC Artscape is offering units on the lower level, 3rd floor and 4th floor for, but not limited to: production, exhibition, education, social service provision, programming and administrative space. BC Artscape will also have the rooftop available for programming and parking. Occupancy is expected for October 2017. 

For those that submitted an Expression of Interest, the Call for Tenants process will confirm your interest and ideas.

For new applicants, the Call for Tenants application confirms the amount of space you need, what you want to do in the space, and what you need to make that happen.

The deadline for applications is Friday, March 24th at 3PM. BC Artscape’s goal is to inform applicants by March 31st if they have been selected as tenants, and have lease agreements signed by May 15th, 2017.

Read the Call for Tenants document & submit your application!

Chinese version of the Call for Tenants document

Please visit for more information.”

-from BC Artscape newsletter and website

Call for Expressions of Interest: BC Artscape space in DTES Vancouver


Need Space for Creativity? 

BC Artscape is currently seeking expressions of interest from individual artists, arts groups, and not-for-profit arts, cultural and community organizations who see themselves as potential Tenants or Program Providers for 268 Keefer Street. We would like to understand your space needs, the scope of your operations and programming, and the ways in which you anticipate contributing to the Chinatown community.”

Deadline for Responses for 268 Keefer is December 23rd!

BC Artscape’s first project in Vancouver is a community cultural hub in Chinatown. We are leasing approximately 48,000 square feet of vacant space at the Sun Wah Centre at 268 Keefer Street. Our plan for the space is a dynamic, multi-tenant creative hub that meets the need of artists and cultural organizations and responds to the unique neighbourhood around 268 Keefer Street.

Chinatown has a rich tangible and intangible heritage articulated in its buildings, businesses, cultural activities, artists and organizations. Chinatown and the surrounding Downtown East Side (DTES) neighbourhoods are undergoing tremendous change that threatens the existing character and sense of place. Our goal is to provide a platform for the arts that complements the existing cultural assets and organizations, and supports the evolving cultural fabric.

Join Us! We are looking for Tenants and Partners

Opening in October 2017, we’re looking for partners now to help inform the project vision, design, and operation of the space and potential tenancies.

We want to hear from partners within the local community, as well as artists, and arts,cultural and community organizations from across Vancouver’s arts community who are looking for space or to provide programs.”

For more information and applications, please visit BC Artscape’s website

-from BC Artscape newsletter and website

Youth Engagement Project: Mine (Vancouver)


“Time: Fridays 4pm-5:30pm
Dates: January 20 – March 10
Place: Trout Lake Community Centre
Cost: FREE with snacks provided

The program will be co-facilitated by Kelly McInnes and Rianne Svelnis with live music by Alex Mah. It is intended for youth ages 14-18 who are interested in dance, performance, music, theatre, story-telling, textiles and visual art! The workshop will be a collaborative creation process focusing on Kelly’s project ‘mine’, which is an interactive, multi-disciplinary work that uses a large collection of second-hand clothing to create imagery and stories surrounding our experience of consumption, materialism, and identity. It explores fast fashion, body image, history and memory, using clothing as the common thread between us.

More about the facilitators:

Kelly McInnes is a Vancouver based dance artist whose intention with her work is to magnify, comment on and create dialogue around, important socio-political issues within our society. Kelly’s work is often multi-disciplinary and includes long duration, installation, community engagement and guerrilla performance.

Rianne Svelnis is a Vancouver-based dance and recent graduate of the Modus Operandi Contemporary Dance Program. She celebrates dance as a primal language of expression; sacred, playful, political and transformative.”

-submitted by Deborah Gordon

Heart of the City Festival (Downtown Eastside Vancouver)


13th Annual Downtown Eastside
Heart of the City Festival
Wednesday October 26 to Sunday November 6, 2016

Over 100 events at over 40 venues throughout the Downtown Eastside

“Welcome to the 13th Downtown Eastside Heart of the City Festival and twelve days of music, stories, songs, poetry, cultural celebrations, films, theatre, dance, processions, spoken word, forums, workshops, discussions, gallery exhibits, public art, mixed media, art talks, history talks and history walks.

The theme of this year’s Festival, Living on Shared Territorypays tribute to the Downtown Eastside’s founding peoples, cultures and diverse neighbourhoods as we live, learn and create together on unceded Coast Salish territories under the long shadow of our colonial past and present.

A special feature this year is the installation of the 27 ft. Survivors Totem Pole in Pigeon Park at Hastings and Carrall. This grass roots initiative led by Sacred Circle Society, in the words of carver Skundaal Bernie Williams (Haida/Coast Salish), “honours the many people who have arrived and lived in the Downtown Eastside as survivors”.

Other Festival highlights include:

Realms of Refuge, a participatory evolving gallery project produced in partnership with Jumblies Theatre (Ontario) that brings to life miniature worlds and explores different ways we find refuge in the places where we live; Metamorphose, a community-engaged dance production and premiere by Karen Jamieson Dance and the Carnegie Dance Troupe that explores transformation, creation and imagination through dance; Richard Tetrault’s stunning and dynamic three-piece mural/banner (11.5’high x18’wide) featuring local activists and artists past and present.”

For more information on the Heart of the City Festival, please visit!

-from Heart of the City Festival’s website

#callresponse – to support the work of Indigenous North American women and artists (Oct 28 – Dec 10, Grunt Gallery, Vancouver)


“grunt gallery presents a new exhibition titled #callresponse featuring a remarkable lineup of artists, performers, and curators.

OPENING RECEPTION: October 28, 7 PM – 10 PM
EXHIBITION: October 29 – December 10, 2016
LOCATION: grunt gallery #116 – 350 East 2 Avenue, Vancouver BC

Christi Belcourt | Maria Hupfield | Ursula Johnson | Tania Willard | Laakkuluk Williamson-Bathory

Isaac Murdoch | Esther Neff & IV Castellanos | Cheryl L’Hirondelle | Marcia Crosby | Tanya Tagaq

Tarah Hogue | Maria Hupfield | Tania Willard
in partnership with grunt gallery


1 – 4 PM: Maria Hupfield, IV Castellanos and Esther Neff
Location: Motion Capture Studio, ECUAD (Room 285e, 1399 Johnston St, Granville Island)

4 – 7 PM: Ursula Johnson with Charlene Aleck, Audrey Siegl and Cease Wyss
Location: community park behind grunt gallery (E 5th Ave @ Brunswick)

8:30 PM: Laakkuluk Williamson-Bathory and Tanya Tagaq
Location: Native Education College (285 E 5th Ave @ Scotia)

To support the work of Indigenous North American women and artists through local art commissions that incite dialogue and catalyze action between individuals, communities, territories and institutions. To stand together across sovereign territories as accomplices in awakened solidarity with all our relations both human and non.

To ground art in responsible action, value lived experience, and demonstrate ongoing commitment to accountability and community building. To respond to re/conciliation as a present day negotiation and the reconstruction of communities in the aftermath of colonial trauma.

ABOUT #callresponse

Strategically centering Indigenous women as vital presences across multiple platforms, #callresponse is a multifaceted project that includes a website, social media platform, touring exhibition and catalogue (forthcoming in 2017).

Five site-specific art commissions have been taking place across Canada and into the United States throughout 2016 in dialogue with various publics. The exhibition will include selected representations of each project. Each artist has invited a guest to respond to their work and these contributions will also be included in the exhibition.

Moving between specific sites, online space and grunt gallery, #callresponse focuses on forms of performance, process and translation. An online platform utilizing the hashtag #callresponse on social media (FacebookInstagramTwitter) connects the geographically diverse sites and provides opportunities for networked exchanges.

A dedicated project website includes artist statements, documentation, contributions from guest respondents, and integrated social media, including a series of interviews with the lead artists and their respondents on the Broken Boxes Podcast.

Use the hashtag #callresponse to get involved in the conversation!


#callresponse is produced in partnership with grunt gallery and generously supported by the {Re}conciliation initiative of the Canada Council for the Arts, the J.W. McConnell Family Foundation and The Circle on Philanthropy and Aboriginal Peoples in Canada. Additional funding support from the British Columbia Arts Council. Presentation partners include BUSH Gallery, Emily Carr University of Art + Design, FADO Performance Art Centre, Kamloops Art Gallery, OFFTA live art festival, the National Arts Centre, and the Native Education College.

-For more information and Artist bios, please visit
-RSVP to the Facebook event here.
-Watch a video teaser here.”

-from grunt gallery press release
Read grunt gallery’s profile on ArtBridges’ Community-Engaged Arts Directory and Map

Vancouver Mural Festival: 35+ new murals, music & community events, Aug. 20 (Vancouver)


“July 6, 2016 (Vancouver, BC) – Create Vancouver Society is excited to announce Vancouver Mural Festival on Saturday August 20, 2016. In partnership with The City of Vancouver, Mount Pleasant Business Improvement Area and the Burrard Arts Foundation, the inaugural event is expecting close to 100,000 people to join in the celebration of 35+ brand new murals around Main Street in the Mount Pleasant and False Creek Flats communities. The ambitious initiative hopes to transform the way art is seen in the city and already garnered serious community support over the past year culminating in a $200,000 matching grant from the City of Vancouver’s Innovation Fund as part of Mayor Gregor Robertson’s Public Art Boost.

The VMF art exhibition will include 35+ artists installing murals throughout the festival, with international highlights including Kashink (France), Bicicleta Sem Freio (Brazil,) LowBros (Germany) and NeverCrew (Switzerland.) Additionally, renowned locals like Ola Volo, DEDOS, Tim Barnard, Andrew Young, and Corey Bulpitt will also be taking part. The festival’s largest single mural will be painted on the front of Hootsuite’s HQ by local legend Scott Sueme. Burrard Arts Foundation will host a gallery show of participating artists July 14-Aug 27. For more details visit:

The daytime programming will mean street closures along Main Street between 7th Ave and 12th Ave for performances, interactive art exhibits, community projects, markets and more. Thornton Park will also host a market, art installations and a lounge for festivalgoers to relax and take break from the sun. Music and art’s deep connection will be reinforced with 5 free outdoor stages, the two biggest being the famous Red Bull Tour Bus and the Truckstop Tailgate Party at the Red Truck Brewery on East 1st Ave.

Lastly, VMF is proud to launch their one-of-a-kind club music series, Underplay. Presented by 102.7 The PEAK, these evening shows will feature renowned artists playing intimate shows at Mount Pleasant’s top local venues like The Biltmore, The Fox Cabaret, and The Cobalt. The line-up includes Shad, Andrew WK, Hey Ocean!, Timber Timbre, Chapel Sound, Dralms, WILLA, and more.

To see a full list of artists and performers visit:”

Connect with Vancouver Mural Festival on Facebook.

Posted with permission from Jelissa Classics