November 2, 2018

Today, Arts Umbrella was thrilled to host the Honourable Pablo Rodriguez, Minister of Canadian Heritage and Multiculturalism for his first visit to its nationally renowned arts education centre for young people. The Minister had the opportunity to tour the pre-renovation Arts Umbrella facility and meet with students from the Arts Umbrella Professional Dance Program.

In November 2017, the Province of British Columbia announced the transfer of the former Emily Carr University of Art + Design (ECUAD) South Building on Granville Island to Arts Umbrella, followed by an additional $1.4-million contribution. In March 2018, the Department of Canadian Heritage announced a historic $7-million contribution to Arts Umbrella through the Canada Cultural Spaces Fund. The Department of Canadian Heritage also provides annual funding to Arts Umbrella’s Professional Training Program through the Canada Arts Training Fund. The City of Vancouver has contributed $100,000 though a Cultural Infrastructure Grant.

“The Government of Canada, through the Canada Cultural Spaces Fund, is proud of our contribution to Arts Umbrella’s new home and also to their dance program through the Canada Arts Training Fund,” said the Honourable Pablo Rodriquez, Minister of Canadian Heritage and Multiculturalism. “The thousands of children and youth in the Arts Umbrella community will benefit not just now, but throughout their lives, as we know the very positive and tangible effect an arts education can have. The wonderful thing about this project is that it will serve as a community for many generations of British Columbians.”

A private sector capital campaign was launched in March 2018 to raise an additional $20 million to realize this transformative project. The campaign has already raised more than $10 million, including a $1.5-million donation from the Richardson Family Foundation, as well as several $1-million gifts from donors including the Audain Foundation, John and Nina Cassils, Goldcorp Inc., Richard and Carol Henriquez, David and Darrell Mindell, Barry and Drinda Scott, along with generous gifts from BMO, Dana and John Montalbano, and the Christopher Foundation.

“Arts Umbrella is constantly pushing boundaries,” said Paul Larocque, President & CEO of Arts Umbrella. “This new building will allow us to keep our forward momentum and provide young people with limitless opportunities. We are incredibly grateful to the Government of Canada for their generous support, not only with its historic contribution through the Canada Cultural Spaces Fund, but increased funding for Arts Umbrella Dance from the Canada Arts Training Fund.”

The move to the former ECUAD South Building could not be more timely. Arts Umbrella’s current facility on Granville Island—a converted 1930s nail factory—is in poor condition from overuse, does not allow for state-of-the-art technologies, and is bursting at the seams due to high demand. The new building will more than double Arts Umbrella’s net square footage, ensuring innovative spaces and technologies, increased access to arts education programs for children and youth, and expanding our significant and ongoing contribution to the creative economy.

Arts Umbrella provides the highest quality performing and visual arts programming for young people and, for nearly 40 years, we have helped more than half a million children and youth explore their potential and build community. Each year, we serve more than 20,000 young people, reaching close to 80% of our students through donor-funded community programs, bursaries, and scholarships across Metro Vancouver.

Arts Umbrella’s New Location

  • The 50,000 net-square-foot building is located directly across from Arts Umbrella’s current core facility on Granville Island, at 1400 Johnston Street.
  • Award-winning architect Richard Henriquez, O.C. of Henriquez Partners Architects (HPA) will lead the renewal of this Patkau-designed building which was built in the early 1990s.
  • Renovations will create a purpose-built arts education facility that will include: 6 dance studios; 4 theatre and music studios; 8 visual, applied, and media arts studios; a 160-seat professional theatre; a publicly accessible exhibition gallery; and new workshop spaces.
  • We are projecting to open our doors and begin programming in late 2019.
  • Granville Island is managed by the Canadian Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC)



For more information (media only), please contact:

Ariane Fleischmann
Content & Communications Specialist
Arts Umbrella
604-681-5268 x102
778-846-5293 (cell)