The Government of Canada is investing $3 million towards establishing two new creative coworking spaces in Vancouver through the government’s Canada Cultural Spaces Fund.
The Canadian government said the investment will support the construction, infrastructure upgrades, and facility expansion activities of the BC Artscape Society and the Vancity Community Foundation, two nonprofit organizations that support and fund art-driven and creative projects throughout Vancouver.
As part of the investment, the BC Artscape Society is receiving $2.5 million in funding. The nonprofit plans to use the funding to renovate three storeys of the Sun Wah Centre in Vancouver’s Chinatown, turning it into a co-working space for creative individuals like artists and cultural organizations. The facility will also offer space for artist production, rehearsals, presentations, and exhibitions.
“This cultural and economic hub will create accessible space for a dynamic community of entrepreneurs, artists and organizations.”
– Ashley Proctor
“The impact of this Canada Cultural Spaces Fund support for BC Artscape cannot be underestimated,” said Genevieve Bucher, president at BC Artscape. “Our vision is space where a diverse mix of artists, cultural producers, community groups and the public come together to create a community asset for Chinatown. The leadership of Canadian Heritage has been instrumental from the earliest conceptions of the project to support this vision, and for this we are tremendously grateful.”
Along with creating a space for artists and cultural groups, the Vancity Community Foundation is receiving $500,000 in funding, which it plans to use to create a coworking space for creative, arts-focused entrepreneurs and artists.
Specifically, the foundation will renovate and convert Vancouver’s former police headquarters located at 312 Main Street into a new community space. The Canadian government said that once renovated, the space will be known as “Vancouver’s Centre for Social and Economic Innovation,” and act as a shared coworking space where cultural entrepreneurs, artists, and nonprofit organizations can collaborate, brainstorm, and execute their ideas.
“At 312 Main, we’re transforming Vancouver’s former police headquarters into a Centre for Social and Economic Innovation,” said Ashley Proctor, executive director at 312 Main. “This cultural and economic hub will create accessible space for a dynamic community of entrepreneurs, artists and organizations that benefit the neighbourhood and beyond.”
The Canadian government said this investment is part of the federal government’s Budget 2017, which aims to support the creation of creative spaces and hubs for the next generation of innovators and artists.