DTES Community Arts Fund Program

Downtown Eastside Community Arts Fund Program 2016/2017

Submission Deadline: Monday, March 21, 2016

Once again we are accepting applications for collaborative community arts projects from Downtown Eastside organizations! Below you will find the 2016 guidelines and program description, the application cover page, a step-by-step guide to the application package, and budget template. Please read all documents carefully and be in touch with the Program Coordinator, Kelty McKerracher, at kelty@cacv.ca if you are thinking about submitting a proposal. I look forward to hearing from you!

Prospective applicants are also encouraged to attend one of two Info Sessions/Grant-Writing Workshops to learn more about the program. The workshops will include tips on writing a strong proposal and developing a good budget. Space is limited, RSVP now to reserve your spot!

Session 1: Wednesday February 3, 5pm – 7pm  RSVP

Location: 5th Floor Meeting Room, Woodward’s Building, Vancouver
Session 2: Tuesday February 16, 5pm – 7pm  RSVP

Location: 4th Floor Meeting Room, Woodward’s Building, Vancouver


Note: This program is funded directly by the Community Arts Fund, and supported by our annual SWITCH fundraiser concert.

Application Package:

DTES Guidelines-Program Description 2016-2017

DTES CAF Application Form 2016-2017

CAF Guide to the Application 2016-2017

CAF Budget Template 2016-2017

Instructions to add text to the PDF application


Who Can Apply?

Proposals are invited from:

  1. Downtown Eastside-serving organizations registered to an address within the geographic boundaries of the neighbourhood (for the purposes of this program: Waterfront to Terminal, Clark to Cambie).
  2. Organization(s) working collaboratively with an artist.
  3. Organizations that are incorporated as a society in good standing with the Province of British Columbia and have operated as an incorporated society for at least one fiscal year prior to the application date.

More details to consider:

  1. Projects must take place between July 1, 2016 and June 30, 2017.
  2. While the project must be a community-engaged arts project, the organizations do not need to be primarily arts organizations.
  3. Projects should demonstrate primary impact within the Downtown Eastside community, although activities taking place outside of the neighbourhood can be included.
  4. Although not a requirement, projects involving meaningful collaboration with another organization (DTES or non-DTES) will be preferred.


  1. Individuals are not eligible to apply for funding.
  2. On-going programs are not eligible for funding.
  3. Capital expenditures, fundraising projects and organizational operating expenses are not eligible.

The mandate of the CACV DTES Community Arts Fund is to facilitate community-led renewal through the arts, with the following priorities in mind:

1.  Promote health and wellbeing through involvement with the arts including opportunities for involvement in the arts as a potential vehicle for employment and income generation for local artists.

2. Promote social transformation through the arts by speaking to social issues and social change in ways that inform and create understanding within and across groups.

3. Build bridges by involving the diverse communities of the DTES and people from diverse socio-economic, ethnic, and cultural backgrounds in creating shared interests and a shared voice.


Congratulations to our 2015/2016 Grant Recipients:

Thursdays Writing Collective  Sustain and Nourish: Thursdays Writing Collective on Food

Sustain and Nourish will investigate the connection between literature and food considering ideas related to neighbourhood-specific issues. Community writers will create and present new work in response to research, field trips, guest authors, and through food-related Social Creation Nights at local restaurants. Working closely with lead artist, former Vancouver poet laureate Rachel Rose, participants with hold public readings at the Vancouver Food Bank, the Heart of the City Festival, and publish an anthology.

Strathcona Community Centre Association  Take My Word For It

Take My Word For It is a series of spoken word workshops with youth resulting in the creation of a CD and community CD release event. Working with Ronnie Harris of Ostwelve, an established spoken word artist, youth at four identified sites (Strathcona CC., RayCam, Hastings CC and Britannia/VPL) will be mentored in the art of spoken word and in building a “voice” to comment on issues affecting their lives.

Raincity Housing and Support Society  Hooker Monologues

The Hooker Monologues will create and stage an original theatrical production featuring the voices of people of all genders and social locations, including their allies, as they share a myriad of experience in and about the sex industry. Working closely with director Mindy Parfitt, author Maggie deVries, and advocate Raven Bowen, the production will workshop for a Raincity audience in June 2015 and is planned to open March 2016 at the Firehall Theatre.
Chinese Cultural Centre of Greater Vancouver  Underwater Chinatown: Digital Stories
Underwater Chinatown: Digital Stories includes a set of three 5-week, artist-facilitated community digital storytelling workshops focused on the space and the subaltern histories of Vancouver’s Chinatown. Participants in these workshops will learn basic skills for creating their own PodPlay (site-specific audio play) and completed works will be showcased as part of the Underwater Chinatown Website Launch in January 2016.


2014/2015 Projects:

Jacob’s Well Nest Community Mural

Jacob’s Well, in collaboration with Mission Possible and Servants, facilitated the creation of a large outdoor mural on the wall space of the Mikado Martial Arts Supplies Building at 701 East Hastings St. The intent of the project was to encourage community participation, beautify the neighbourhood, create employment, discover leaders within the community and guide them in leading volunteers to carry out the project. The design process was led by artists Jenny Hawkinson and Cara Bain and was largely determined through community workshops at Jacob’s Well. The beautiful finished mural depicts cherry blossoms transforming into birds flying toward a nest.


Check out Jacob’s Well’s video of the mural creation process: https://youtu.be/n0zao8qbJa8


RainCity Housing and Support Society Much Ado about SOMETHING!

Raising awareness about homelessness through community theatre.

For Homelessness Action Week 2014, RainCity Housing has partnered with the City of Vancouver, the Community Arts Council of Vancouver and local artist, actress and director Luisa Jojic on an exciting theatre project to stimulate dialogue and new understandings around issues of homelessness.

Under Jojic’s direction and guidance, a diverse group of participants have developed an original script together, using Shakespearean text as a foundation for addressing issues related to home, community, identity and belonging.

We are very excited about the coming together of individuals – folks who are vulnerably housed, formerly homeless or homeless, and those with a higher income and have housing – in order to create, produce and act in ‘Much Ado about Something’!



eartHand Gleaners Society Urban Cloth Project

Collaborating with Environmental Youth Alliance, Moparrc, and Hastings Folk Garden Society.

The project weaves together First Nations gathering traditions, early settler agricultural methods and contemporary environmental practices through shared investigations for urban cloth production. Terroir means a sense of place, and as such the project, led by artists Sharon Kallis, Tracy Williams, and Mirae Rosner, will facilitate community connection with the land. It will involve DTES residents in processing flax and milkweed crop at Hastings Urban Farm; processing the plants into spun fibre that will be dyed with pollinator plant green waste from the farm; and waxing the fibre with beeswax from the neighbouring rooftop hives. The waxed linen thread will be knit and crocheted into markers that will show pollinator corridors in the Downtown Eastside. Meanwhile, dance workshops will lead to the creation of choreography that celebrates agricultural rhythms and is based on the fibre processing movements. The dance performance will be a part of the final multidisciplinary celebration/performance at Hastings Urban Farm in spring 2015.



Past Projects:

The Downtown Eastside Women’s Centre Connecting our Voices will connect professional artist mentors with participating women of the Downtown Eastside Women’s Centre to create in a variety of artistic media, culminating in an participant-led multimedia arts show to be displayed at local galleries. Both Aboriginal and Chinese traditional artistic and crafting practices will be featured in the work to reflect the backgrounds of the women at the Centre, and artists will look for commonalities between the cultural practices throughout the work. The professional artist-mentors are First Nations artists Christine MacKenzie, Chrystal Sparrow, and Anastasia Belokopitov.


Strathcona Community Centre Meeting on Common Ground is a multicultural and intergenerational theatre-based project for seniors and youth. Its purpose is to promote community engagement, foster cultural exchange, and enhance the health and well-being of both seniors and youth. Two professional theatre artists, Sharon Bayly and Maggie Winston, with the help of an English-Chinese translator, will work with participants through the stages of story exchange, creative process, show building (including puppet and costume making), and public performance.


The Only Animal Out On A Limb is an intergenerational collaboration of storytelling workshops, public presentations, and online archives on the theme of growing up and growing older. The project involves diverse participants including both DTES and non-DTES residents. Elements of the project include facilitated storytelling workshops with master storyteller David Roche, public Out On A Limb events in partnership with the 2013 Heart of the City Festival, and screenings of digital stories on the outside wall of the Portland Hotel.


Vancouver Moving Theatre Bread and Salt is performed by a multi-generational cast of over sixty professional and community actors, singers, dancers and musicians. Inspired by stories and memories from the East End’s historic Ukrainian community, this 85th Anniversary tribute interweaves oral history with live theatre and music, haunting choral singing and the driving rhythms of Ukrainian dance.



DTES Community Arts Fund Program Coordinator

Kelty McKerracher

“I’m delighted to be joining the Community Arts Council of Vancouver. From participation as an artist and producer of Barrio Flamenco with the Heart of the City Festival, to adjudicating individual artist grants with the Downtown Eastside Small Arts Grants Program, to teaching flamenco classes at Carnegie Community Centre, I have been a part of the arts community in the Downtown Eastside for four years. Now, in the midst of a Masters in Expressive Arts Therapy, I am learning more about the transformative value of creative collaboration. I look forward to bringing my passion for community arts to my role as Program Coordinator.”