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This affordability crisis is driving arts and culture organizations away. Local culture is critical to our city’s identity, health, liveability, economy, and well-being. Vancouver has the highest concentration of working artists of any city in the country.

OneCity will work hard to make sure artists and arts and culture spaces can remain here. We will work to eliminate barriers to enjoying these venues and support events of all kinds — from local buskers to music festivals. And we’ll use arts and culture to promote reconciliation, climate resilience and equality.

 

Champion artists and cultural organizations

If Vancouverites want things to do and people to see, we need to support the workers that make it happen. That means it must be possible to make a life here as an artist. It also involves strengthening the places and groups that create culture. OneCity will give Vancouver’s arts and culture workers the conditions they need to thrive.

 

  1. Work with the Province to exempt arts and culture organizations from property taxes, including when they are tenants.
  2. Introduce an empty commercial property tax and offer exemptions to landlords who provide free or subsidized space to artists.
  3. Invest in shared artist studios to provide rehearsal, production or administrative space.
  4. Make a portion of funding to major institutions like the art gallery or space centre dependent on their ability to demonstrate meaningful partnerships with artists or organizations working to advance Indigenous justice and confront the climate emergency.
  5. Invest in peer-to-peer mentorship, prioritizing intercultural collaboration and co-creation, and building capacity among emerging grassroots cultural presenters.
  6. Fund the City’s Cultural Services department to use arts and culture to confront the climate emergency and advance Indigenous justice.
  7. Encourage the work of local artists by diverting a portion of Community Amenity Contributions to studios or exhibition spaces. This avoids developers deciding what art belongs in a community and distributes resources among local artists.
  8. Subsidize human resources, accessibility studies, and hiring services for arts and culture organizations to improve equity, staff retention and long-term financial stability. 
  9. Fund every resident artist to fulfill the necessary time requirements for their position.

Arts and culture everywhere for everyone

What is arts and culture for if nobody can afford it? Or if only huge companies are able to deliver it? Historically, Vancouver has put up high barriers to public culture events. OneCity will make it easier to hold events and actively encourage arts and culture in indoor and outdoor spaces managed by the city.

  1. In addition to strengthening the City’s Arts and Culture Advisory Committee, create a Music Task Force with meaningful decision-making authority, as described in the Vancouver Music Strategy.
  2. Reform noise bylaws to ensure local events like the ones we saw outdoors during the pandemic are not unnecessarily restricted or prohibited.
  3. Make special event licenses more accessible, affordable and equitable. 
  4. Use cultural heritage designations to preserve cultural spaces and create new spaces in every neighbourhood.
  5. Activate busker-friendly spaces all over the city and adjust the rules so culture in public space is a priority — not a problem.
  6. Appoint a music officer to connect musicians with supports, help navigate city processes, and encourage more musical events in public spaces.
  7. Partner with local businesses to find ways to feature local arts and culture in their spaces. 
  8. Allow more flexible programming under cabaret licenses.
  9. Exempt new 2SLGBTQ+ venues from the moratorium on liquor primary licenses on Granville Street to address a lack of cultural spaces for this community. 
  10. Offer indefinite extensions to liquor primary licenses when 2SLGBTQ+ bars and clubs close, provided they are sold to another 2SLGBTQ+ space. 
  11. Provide flexible performance and celebration spaces in parks, plazas and parklets with durable surfaces for gathering and dancing. 

Support our plan for a Vancouver where everyone belongs

OneCity believes there’s room for everyone in our city to thrive. We’ll work together across City Council, School Board and Park Board to make sure you always have a place here.