Vancouver Municipal Elections 2014


Key Facts

Artist-run centres in Vancouver
PAARC counts 21 active member organizations in Vancouver and connects with a network of a dozen artist-run spaces, studios and galleries in the city.

Artists and economic precarity
- The average earnings of working artists are 37% below the Canadian labour force average.
- The median annual income for artists in Vancouver is $17,400, which is 57% below the median income of the city’s overall labour force.

Artists in BC
- British Columbia is the Canadian province with the highest number of working artists
- Artists comprise 1.8% of the BC’s labour force.
- Together, artists and cultural workers account for 5.45% of the province’s labour force.


On November 15, citizens from across the province will be asked to elect their local government representatives.

Policies set in place by local governments have a direct impact on how communities operate, develop and define themselves. This has particular resonance for artists and arts organizations, which play a key role in moulding the cultural identity of a city. Effectively, the work of artists and arts organizations develops a sense of belonging to a neighbourhood or community, fosters heterogeneous social relations, promotes the meaningful inclusion of diverse voices, and creates opportunities for active participation in civic and public spheres.

PAARC’s values are to advocate for livable incomes for artists and a commitment to the principle that artists deserve to be paid for their endeavours; stand against censorship and for the rights of artists to organize, work and advocate on their own behalf; and promote the meaningful inclusion of diverse voices, origins and abilities in the arts.

Accordingly, we have highlighted key points from the platforms of Vancouver’s 7 main parties in relation to: cultural life in the city, planning and urban development, community life, affordable housing and working conditions.

Vote for the Arts Survey

We have asked to following 3 questions to candidates from Vancouver’s 7 main parties:

Question 1 – arts organizations
With a steady increase in the cost of real estate in the City of Vancouver, one of the biggest challenges facing arts organizations is securing facilities, physical space and property for the presentation and production of the arts.
How will your party address the need for affordable and stable venues and spaces for non-profit arts and culture organizations?
Read collected responses

Question 2 – artists
For the past 40 years, the City of Vancouver has held a very important place in terms of the development of the artist-run centre movement and is recognized as such both within Canada and internationally. This movement has been crucial to the cultivation of emerging artists’ careers and diverse and innovative practices in the arts. As noted in the city’s 2013 Culture Plan Strategic Directions, Vancouver has the highest number of artists per capita in Canada and, according to recent statistics, 48% of these artists have higher education degrees, yet their median yearly earnings are evaluated at $17,400 (Hill Strategies, Mapping Artists and Cultural Workers in Canada’s Large Cities).
What will your party do to ensure that the City of Vancouver continues to be an attractive and accessible place for artists to live and work?
Read collected responses

Question 3 – audiences
Throughout the city, many arts and culture organizations host festivals and public events that broaden visibility for the arts, create partnerships among diverse communities, offer learning opportunities and improve quality of life for audiences and participants.
What specific initiatives will your party implement to support, acknowledge, diversify and enhance public participation in the arts, in keeping with the efforts of local organizations?
Read collected responses