The Community Arts Council of Vancouver (CACV) stands in solidarity with Black communities in Vancouver, across Canada and the U.S. and around the world in strongly asserting that systemic racism and violence against Black people must end. We recognize that Indigenous people, People of Colour, LGBTQ+, and people living with disabilities are also especially susceptible to violence in society.
Justice and equity are critically important as we shape our common future. CACV is committed to increasing our efforts for positive social transformation. As the first arts council in North America, CACV was instrumental in building the cultural infrastructure of Vancouver along European and Western models of what art is, who makes it, and who benefits. For the past few decades, CACV has been focused on grassroots community arts as our field of practice. Community-engaged art has deep roots in Black and other marginalized communities, and we need to acknowledge these connections and honour that reality through our current and future work.
The Community Arts Council of Vancouver’s Board of Directors and staff are committed to developing rigorous anti-oppression policies that require action towards increasing equity through the assistance of paid external consultants and input from our communities. We recognize additional and ongoing training is needed, and that QTBIPOC [Queer Trans Black Indigenous People of Colour] individuals are too often tasked with the labour, often unpaid, to educate others.
CACV commits to:
- compensating people for their time and shared expertise
- continuing our own personal and organizational education on these issues
- supporting and including more QTBIPOC artists, volunteers, staff, and Board members
- acknowledging failures on the path to doing better
- reviewing processes annually, including feedback from communities we serve and adjusting our practices in response.
Art and storytelling are a reflection of society. Artists challenge the status quo, documenting the past and present while manifesting future possibilities. We want to elevate necessary voices to support collective resilience and positive social change. We will continue to work with and amplify QTBIPOC and differently-abled voices, and support equity-seeking organizations. Our Community Arts Fund (CAF) program exists to build capacity in the community arts sector, and as part of its renewal we commit to making equity a central part of its mandate.
BC Alliance for Arts & Culture list of other local organizations doing related work: click here.
Dismantle Collective list of resources for becoming a better ally: click here.
Canadian Women resource on ending anti-Black racism: click here.
City of Vancouver equity resources: click here.
Vancouver’s Cicely Blain Consulting works with organizations on diversity and inclusion and hosts the Strategem conference. Click here for her list of resources.
Donate to Black Lives Matter Vancouver here.