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Vancouver Plan Arts and Culture Policy

Vancouver is home to world-renowned artists, diverse cultural traditions and industries, and a flourishing music scene. We are also at the centre of an Indigenous cultural resurgence. The xʷməθkʷəy̓ əm (Musqueam), Sḵwx̱wú7mesh (Squamish), and səlilwətaɬ  (Tsleil-Waututh) Nations (the Nations) and urban Indigenous Peoples, as well as people from around the world, have instilled Vancouver with qualities, stories, heritage and character that make the city unlike any other.

Theatres, studios, cultural centres, public art and plazas enliven Vancouver, while our architectural forms and monuments reflect our identities and histories. The city’s heritage—from oral traditions and rituals to archeological sites and buildings— tells a rich and complex story that is Vancouver.

Directions and Policies

Direction 8.1: Arts and Culture Focus

Embed arts and culture in city building.

Arts and culture contribute to neighbourhood vitality and help define Vancouver’s identity. Including a focus on art and culture approaches within infrastructure and community planning can support many of the city’s goals. We will support arts and culture by making it a core civic priority, considering appropriate investments, and ensuring it is a focus in land use planning processes and policies.

Policies

8.1.1 Ensure cultural vitality is integrated into Vancouver’s sustainable development, identity, livability, and economic prosperity, by including arts and culture in land use planning processes and policies.
8.1.2 Consider and support, where possible, artist- and community-led priorities and practices in land use planning processes and policies.

Direction 8.2: Arts and Cultural Spaces

Expand and support spaces to produce, present and experience arts and culture.

A thriving arts scene, and the people who make it, require spaces for production, performance, and practicing. We will support the creation of new, affordable, and diverse spaces, while seeking to protect existing arts and culture spaces. Making Space for Arts and Culture identifies 10-year targets of “no net loss” of Vancouver’s cultural spaces and 650,000 square feet of new or repurposed space for professional and community arts and cultural activities. This includes art and rehearsal studios, outdoor performance venues, museums, and galleries.

Policies

8.2.1 Prioritize, support and make visible the Nations’ cultural spaces, places, and areas of cultural significance, as led by the Nations.
8.2.2 Identify Arts and Cultural Districts where there exists a high concentration of arts and culture production or presentation spaces, and develop tools for their protection.
8.2.3 Remove regulatory barriers and update policies and guidelines to reduce displacement and protect arts, cultural, and music spaces.
8.2.4 Support the growth of diverse, affordable, accessible non-profit arts and culture spaces city- wide.
8.2.5 Include public art and space for arts and culture in new community and civic facilities, such as libraries, fire halls, community centres, and City Hall.
8.2.6 Develop outdoor music and performance spaces in city parks and other public space.
8.2.7 Support innovations in ownership and operations such as land trust models, funding models, shared spaces, and community-owned assets.

Direction 8.3: Inclusive Community Identity

Integrate Indigenous and equity-denied groups’ perspectives and approaches into arts, culture and heritage policy and projects.

Arts, culture and heritage can expand and deepen our understanding of the city’s remarkable diversity, past and present. We must recognize and celebrate the many cultural communities that comprise the city. We will advance our understanding of cultural heritage and cultural landscapes, and address historic and current discrimination, erasure, and loss experienced by many communities.

Policies

8.3.1 Prioritize and support the Nations’ visibility, voice and cultural practices across the city through public art, revitalization of hən̓q̓əmin̓əm and Sḵwx̱wú7mesh languages, cultural spaces and programming, educational initiatives, and design, as led by the Nations. Explore  and expand tools and methods to protect cultural heritage sites (archaeology) and culturally important places.
8.3.2 Explore methods and expand planning tools to protect cultural heritage assets, heritage values, and historic places with a focus on ethno-cultural community areas and cultural redress areas.
8.3.3 Ensure the Vancouver Heritage Program furthers an understanding of the Nations’ cultural heritage and historic places, and those of equity-denied groups. This will include additions to Vancouver Heritage Register and continued conservation support through existing and new incentive programs.
8.3.4 Require historic context statements, statements of significance, heritage value statements, and cultural asset impact assessments for area plans and major projects, with an emphasis on the living histories of the Nations and equity-denied groups.
8.3.5 Apply equity and accessibility approaches when planning for cultural spaces and programs, addressing how different equity-denied groups may experience physical, social, cultural, linguistic, spatial or financial barriers to participation.