Agenda Index City of Vancouver


Date: November 3, 1997

Author/Local: AN/6007

CC File No. 2052


Standing Committee on City Services and Budgets


Director of the Office of Cultural Affairs


1997 Cross-Cultural Initiatives Grant Allocations


THAT Council approve Cross-Cultural Initiatives Grants totalling $32,500 to the following seven organizations, the source of funds being the $50,000 designated for Cross-Cultural grants in the 1997 Cultural Grants Budget:

(1) Art Starts in Schools $4,500

(2) Firehall Theatre $5,000

(3) I.E. Artspeak Gallery $2,500

(4) Kokoro Dance Theatre $4,000

(5) Vancouver Art Gallery $6,000

(6) Vancouver Int’l Writers Festival $4,500

(7) Western Front $6,000


The General Manager of Community Services submits the foregoing for CONSIDERATION.


Approval of grant recommendations requires eight affirmative votes.


This report recommends grants to seven of the 14 organizations requesting grants for cross-cultural initiatives in the arts.


On March 13, 1997 Council approved a budget of $50,000 for the Cross-Cultural Initiatives component of the 1997 Cultural Grants budget. The City of Vancouver set up the Cross-Cultural Initiatives fund in 1990 to encourage and support initiatives in the arts that promote understanding and interaction between members of distinct communities, including those defined by ethnicity, race, disability or sexual orientation. Detailed guidelines are provided in Appendix B.

Over the past seven years, projects funded through the program have expanded the information and resources available to artists and members of various communities interested in working together, promoted broader awareness and understanding of diverse cultural traditions, facilitated new employment opportunities through training, and fostered new artistic partnerships.


As in previous years, the applications received for 1997 have been reviewed by a committee of three Office of Cultural Affairs staff and two advisors knowledgeable about the multicultural community. In making these recommendations, the focus has been on projects that:

·530·represent a new or recent step in cross-cultural development for the applicant, additional to the organization’s ongoing activities and operating costs; ·530

·530·have a clear and well-developed plan of action and budget;·530

·530·are relevant and accessible to the communities involved, and have their support; and·530

·530·demonstrate a potential for long-term benefits for those involved and the community at large.·530

As detailed in Appendix A, and listed in Table 1, grants are recommended for seven of the 14 applications received.

Table 1





Art Starts In Schools

$ 4,500

$ 4,500

Atish Network

$ 9,650

$ 0

Battery Opera Performing Arts Society

$ 1,450

$ 0

Canadian Int’l Dragon Boat Society


$ 0

Carousel Theatre Society


$ 0

Firehall Theatre

$ 5,000

$ 5,000

First Pacific Theatre Society

$ 3,000

$ 0

I.E. Artspeak Society

$ 2,825

$ 2,500

Kokoro Dance Theatre Society

$ 5,000

$ 4,000


$ 2,000

$ 0

Vancouver Art Gallery

$ 6,000

$ 6,000

Vancouver Int’l Writers Festival

$ 5,000

$ 4,500*

Western Front

$ 7,500

$ 6,000

Yorick Theatre


$ 0




* This grant is conditional, as indicated in Appendix A.


While the Cross-Cultural program continues to receive well-conceived proposals from a variety of organizations, it was last evaluated in 1993, and the context for cross-cultural activities has changed since that time. Staff, therefore, are proposing to undertake an evaluation of the program’s current effectiveness, with a view to reporting back to Council when the Cultural Grants budget is considered next year.

* * *



Art Starts in Schools

Staff recommend a grant towards the cost of producing a series of workshops for artists from distinct communities who want to understand and access employment opportunities in the school system. The training will include orientation on how the Canadian and Vancouver system works, identifying relevant curriculum links, developing educational resource materials, and techniques for working in a school setting.

Requested: $ 4,500

Recommended: $ 4,500

Artspeak Gallery Society

A grant is recommended to assist with the gallery’s artist in residence/outreach program aimed at introducing the work of two First Nations artists to students in Vancouver schools. Access by students in First Nations programs at Vancouver Tech, Britannia, Templeton, and others schools would be given priority, with additional performances or discussions being held at the Native Education Centre.

Requested: $ 2,825

Recommended: $ 2,500

Firehall Theatre Society

The Firehall proposes to work with Asian-Canadian writers groups, the Japanese Canadian Studies Society and other non-mainstream groups to locate existing play scripts and to develop these sufficiently to present up to six staged readings. Actors and a director will be hired to ensure the readings explore the potential of the work, with the longer-term objective of identifying which scripts might be developed for their first full production.

Requested: $ 5,000

Recommended: $ 5,000

Kokoro Dance Theatre Society

The Society proposes to bring two experts in Japanese Butoh dance to Vancouver for a series of daytime workshops and evening performances. A grant would assist Vancouver dancers to train with experts otherwise unavailable to them, and give the Vancouver public access to this rarely performed type of dance.

Requested: $ 5,000

Recommended: $ 4,000

Vancouver Art Gallery

As part of the extensive programming planned in conjunction with its June to October 1998 exhibition, "Down from the Shimmering Sky: Masks of the Northwest Coast," the VAG’s Public Programs division will be working with First Nations groups to host a related symposium. The Gallery has requested a grant towards this public event, which will be open to people from all cultures. The symposium is intended to raise awareness of current cultural and social issues faced by Native people, and to help develop new connections between mainstream and regionally based First Nations groups.

Requested: $ 6,000

Recommended: $ 6,000

Vancouver Int’l Writers Festival

The Festival is proposing a three-week residency program with a writer from the Canadian Black community that will be oriented around family history, memoir and personal essay, relevant to members of various communities. The program will offer consultations for aspiring and emerging writers, as well as public workshops. VIWF expects this initiative to be a first step in reaching outside its core audiences. A $4,500 grant is recommended, subject to confirmation of an appropriate venue.

Requested: $5,000

Recommended: $4,500

Western Front

The Western Front and Chinese Cultural Centre are organizing a series of bilingual (Chinese and English) lecture/discussion events on Chinese art in conjunction with "Jiang Nan: Modern and Contemporary Art from South of the Yangzi River," a city-wide event featuring exhibitions in 12 local venues, including the Front, Chinese Cultural Centre, and Contemporary Art Gallery. The six-lecture series is intended to strengthen intercultural communication and build audience appreciation and understanding for "Jiang Nan." Staff recommend a grant of $6,000 towards the bilingual co-ordinator’s fee and the costs of advertising the lecture series.

Requested: $ 7,500

Recommended: $ 6,000


Atish Network Society

The Society is seeking support for a film and video festival that would address homophobia in the South Asian and Middle Eastern communities and would also target racial stereotyping of South Asian and Middle Eastern gay and lesbian persons within the gay and lesbian community.

A grant is not recommended. New funding to film festivals is contrary to the City’s policy and practice of focusing support for film presentations on organizations that already provide a wide variety of film programs to a diversity of publics on a reasonably regular basis. As a priority, funds have been devoted to the work of the Pacific Cinematheque, Cineworks, Satellite Video In, and the Vancouver International Film Festival.

Requested: $ 9,650

Recommended $ 0

Battery Opera

The Society has applied for a grant to bring together a small number of contact improvisation and tai chi "push hands" instructors and their senior students to learn from each other. The proposed activity does not meet the current criteria for the Cross-Cultural Initiatives program (which relate to artistic partnerships, community outreach, new training and organizational access), and staff do not recommend a grant.

Requested: $ 1,450

Recommended: $ 0

Canadian International Dragon Boat Festival Society

The Society is seeking funds to continue delivering an existing education program in Vancouver schools. This request does not meet the Cross-Cultural program’s objective of supporting activity which is a new or recent departure for the organization requiring incentive funds to deliver successfully.

Requested: $ 10,000

Recommended $ 0

Carousel Theatre

Staff commend the theatre company for its proposal to work with the First Nations community; however, concerns were raised around providing sufficient lead time to developmeaningful partnerships in the community prior to a February production. Staff are, therefore, not recommending a grant at this time.

Requested: $10,000

Recommended: $ 0

First Pacific Theatre: Building Bridges Equity Co-op

Pacific Theatre, working with a group of Asian-Canadian theatre professionals, has applied for assistance with the costs of presenting Arthur Miller’s "A View from the

Bridge", with key roles played by Asian-Canadian actors. In view of the timing of the play, which runs from Nov. 7 to Nov. 22, prior to Council’s consideration of a grant, staff do not recommend funding.

Requested: $ 3,000

Recommended $ 0


Staff are supportive of the work that SUCCESS continues to do with Headlines Theatre. Both organizations receive significant operating support through the City’s social service and cultural grant programs. This proposal is for the Vancouver portion of "Wildest Dreams", a series of youth workshops and public performances dealing with issues of cultural diversity and violence, which are to be held in Vancouver, Fraser Valley and Prince George. The Vancouver events are already being supported by the City through a theatre rental subsidy from the Roundhouse Community Centre, and staff are, therefore, not recommending a Cross-Cultural grant.

Requested: $ 2,000

Recommended: $ 0

Yorick Theatre: Cultural Metaphors

Having reviewed the proposal from the Cultural Metaphors group, submitted under the auspices of Yorick Theatre, staff are not recommending a grant. Not only have the details of performing dates and venues not been confirmed, but the project is not a departure fromthe group’s regular activities, since Cultural Metaphor’s mandate is to present cross-cultural work. Staff suggest that Project grants would be a more appropriate category for the group to apply to.

Requested: $ 5,000

Recommended: $ 0

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