British Columbia

Vancouver approves CBC cultural centre for artists

Vancouver city council has voted to approve a unique partnership that will secure a cultural space for local artists at CBC for the next 30 years.

The "unique" partnership will provide affordable cultural space for local artists

Vancouver city council has approved affordable cultural space for local artists at the CBC Broadcast Centre. (CBC)

Vancouver city council has voted to approve a unique partnership that will secure a cultural space for local artists at CBC for the next 30 years. 

The City and CBC are welcoming the PuSh International Performing Arts Festival Society and partners — Touchstone Theatre, the Documentary Media Society (DOXA Documentary Film Festival), and Music on Main Society — to a community amenity at the CBC Vancouver Broadcast Centre.

Vancouver mayor Gregor Robertson says it makes both cultural and economic sense.

“The city is proud to support affordable spaces for artists, and the community cultural hub in the CBC building is a great fit for groups like the PuSh Festival,” said the mayor.

“Investing in the arts supports our economy and makes Vancouver a more creative, dynamic city."

Robertson says the announcement has been in the works since 2006. That's when the city secured 8,477 square feet of ground floor space at CBC at a nominal rent for 99 years.

CBC and arts 'a natural fit'

Johnny Michel, senior managing director at CBC B.C. and Alberta, says it's a natural fit.

“With a long history of a thriving arts scene at CBC Vancouver, we are proud to welcome these organizations to the Vancouver Broadcast Centre,” Michel said. 

"The arts preserve unique culture and heritage, spurring innovation and creating cultural character and traditions for future generations. This new relationship aligns with the mandate of Canada’s public broadcaster and CBC’s values and are a natural fit.”

In August 2013, the City sought expressions of interest from Vancouver-based non-profit cultural organizations qualified to lease and operate the space. A selection committee of representatives from the City, CBC and the cultural community was formed to evaluate submissions.

It was determined that the submission from PuSh best met the selection criteria.

PuSh, as the lead sub-tenant, will develop, occupy, govern and manage the space at #110 – 750 Hamilton Street as a performing and media arts cultural hub.

Norman Armour, Artistic and Executive Director of the PuSh Festival, says it's a game changer.

"Establishing a permanent foothold in the city's downtown core for our four organizations will set the course of the next 10 years and beyond,”  Armour said.

The PuSh Festival and Touchstone Theatre have been working on securing a co-located space for well over two years.