January 15, 2005



Sue Harvey


Phone No.:



RTS No.:



CC File No.:



Meeting Date:

February 1, 2005


Vancouver City Council


Director Office of Cultural Affairs


Vancouver Arts Awards - 2005



The City Manager RECOMMENDS the foregoing, noting the success of the first Vancouver Arts Awards in 2004, including a television broadcast of the awards gala, and supports the City's ongoing role in celebrating the achievements of our creative community.


Approval of a grant requires eight affirmative votes.

The Cultural Grants program, approved by Council in 1978, provides for grants to non-profit cultural organizations that produce arts and cultural festivals and celebrations.

In October 2002 Council approved an "Opportunities" policy framework for considering funding of new cultural development initiatives. Recognizing the need for sufficient time to develop and stabilize new events, provision was made for up to three years' initial support.

In October 2002 Council also conditionally approved two celebrations including initiation of the Vancouver Arts Awards as part of the Cultural Capital of Canada application, which was awarded to the City in 2003.

In December 2003 Council approved funding for the first Vancouver Arts Awards.


This report seeks Council approval of a grant to the Society to Bridge Arts and Community (the Bridge Society) for the planning, development, and production of the second annual Vancouver Arts Awards (VAA 2005).


In October, 2002, Council conditionally approved two celebrations as part of an application to the Cultural Capitals of Canada program, and up to $250,000 in funding for these events should the application be successful. The celebrations proposed in the application were the Vancouver Arts Awards to highlight excellence in the creative talent that drives our local culture, and a waterfront festival to celebrate Vancouver's multi-faceted relationships to the sea.

In May, 2003, the Minister of Canadian Heritage announced that Vancouver had been selected the first Cultural Capital of Canada (large City category). Accompanying the designation were up to $500,000 in matching funds toward the two proposed celebrations.

Vancouver Arts Awards:

In December, 2003, Council approved $83,000 civic funds plus $167,000 of federal funding toward research and planning and production of the Vancouver Arts Awards. This funding was almost doubled again through other project partners and sponsors.

In March, 2004, the first Vancouver Arts Awards were produced in partnership with the Vancouver Society to Bridge Arts and Community, DCH/Cultural Capitals, and the CBC, in a televised event at the Vancouver Public Library. Bell Canada was the lead corporate sponsor. The awards were produced on budget and widely regarded as a success.

The Awards are intended to promote awareness and participation in the Vancouver creative community by recognizing the creative excellence residing locally. Nominations were open to the public. Selection was determined by peer review.

The Awards have an additional special provision. Each winner is given the opportunity to identify a young emerging talent to whom a $5,000 commission is presented.

The 2004 Awards and Commissions were presented to:



Arthur Erickson - Design;

Stephanie A. Gerbrandt

Bruno Marti - Culinary Arts;

Culinary Team British Columbia

Bill Richardson - Media and Recording Arts;

Samantha Parton

John Alleyne - Performing Arts;

Simone Orlando

Gathie Falk - Visual Arts;

Jason McLean

Stephen Osborne - Writing and Publication;

Brad Cran

Martha Lou Henley - Philanthropy

Ramona Luengen


The second Vancouver Arts Awards will be produced in the fall of 2005. The program concept is similar to the initial Arts Awards recognizing established artists and commissioning their chosen emerging artist. The nomination process will be open to the public, awards will be made by peer review, and the public will be invited to celebrate the honourees at an awards ceremony to be held in September 2005.

While much work has already been done to conceptualize the event, detailed planning work must now take place to develop a creative vision and harness both community and funding support. Additional planning resources will contribute to development of the artistic vision, development of the live and television perspectives of the program, assessment of logistical requirements and determination of the costs of production. It will also provide organizers with the detailed information required for discussions with prospective partners and other private sector sponsors.

The estimated project budget is $260,000 with anticipated funding from all levels of government, significant private sector sponsorships and ticket revenues. Staff have reviewed the budget and believe that while substantial, it is reasonable if fund-raising begins immediately. To provide the event organizers with the maximum leverage for fundraising purposes, staff recommend that the City make the first commitment of $75,000 to the Bridge Society.


The first Vancouver Arts Awards were produced as part of the City's Cultural Capital of Canada program. This meant that in addition to the City's own commitment of $83,000 from the Opportunities fund, the event benefited from the federal government matching funding of $167,000 secured as part of the Cultural Capital of Canada award. The Bridge Society believes that this one-time funding can be replaced by funding from other regular federal programs and increased corporate sponsorship.

The Opportunities policy framework for considering funding of new cultural initiatives recognizes the need for sufficient time to develop and establish new events. Provision is made for up to three years' initial support. This is the second year for the Vancouver Arts Awards. A grant of $75,000 is recommended, leaving $325,000 for consideration of other Opportunities in 2005.


Staff support the City's continued role in the Vancouver Arts Awards, and recommend a grant to the Society to Bridge Arts and Community in the amount of $75,000 for the planning, implementation and production of the awards in the fall of 2005. These Awards, produced by the community in partnership with public and private supporters, celebrate and build on the achievements of the City's artistic leaders and at the same time, recognize the next generation of creative talent.

* * * * *