“The arts are a great equalizer; no matter your station in life, everyone needs some aspect of the arts to grow and develop as a contributing member of society.”
Yulanda M. Faris (1937 – 2015)
Yulanda Faris was inspired by the arts as a child growing up in Jamaica, a passion that fuelled her throughout her life. For over 40 years, she worked on behalf of the Vancouver arts community supporting opera, dance, the visual arts and literature. She held board positions with the Vancouver Opera, Vancouver Symphony Orchestra, Vancouver Writers Festival, Judith Marcuse Projects, and the National Arts Centre. In 2010, Yulanda and Mohammed Faris were recipients of Canada’s highest lifetime achievement in the performing arts, the Roman John Hnatyshyn Award for Volunteerism in the Performing Arts awarded at the annual Governor General Performing Arts Awards in Ottawa.
Her accomplishments are vast and varied, and the Community Arts Council was fortunate to have Yulanda engaged in its reorganization. She was Co-Chair, along with John Montalbano, of the Community Arts Fund (CAF) managed by the Vancouver Foundation. The CAF was established in 2011 with an initial sum of $125,000 donated by 2010 Legacies Now and a goal to create a $1 million endowment fund, using interest earned to support programming. Faris and Montalbano were also Co-Chairs of CACV’s annual fundraising event SWITCH which has raised over $180,000 since its inception in 2012.
Faris’ involvement reached far beyond philanthropy as a generous benefactor. Ultimately she was a true admirer of the arts in its many forms. She consistently showed up to performances and shared her passion for the arts with those around her.
Yulanda Faris leaves a lasting legacy in the Vancouver arts community and her absence presents a gap for others to follow in her path. The CACV is particularity grateful for her enormous support of our work to engage people in community arts, to build community, and improve individual’s quality of life.
The 4th Annual SWITCH will be held on November 17, 2015 in tribute to Yulanda Faris.