The federal government has announced a historic $7 million in funding for Arts Umbrella’s new home on Granville Island in Vancouver.
When the building opens in September 2019, it will feature seven dance studios, five theatre and music studios, eight visual and media arts studios, a 160-seat professional theatre, a publicly accessible exhibition gallery, and new workshop spaces.
The currently facility of the renowned non-profit arts education organization 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 50,000 sq. ft 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.
“Our government believes that all children, regardless of age or circumstance, deserve access to artistic and cultural learning activities in their community,” said the Honourable Mélanie Joly, Minister of Canadian Heritage. The funding comes from the Department of Canadian Heritage through the Canada Cultural Spaces Fund.
The building was originally designed by Patkau Architects, but its retrofit will be undertaken by Henriquez Partners Architects. Construction is expected to begin this summer.
“Arts Umbrella is constantly pushing boundaries,” says Paul Larocque, president & CEO of Arts Umbrella. “This new building will allow us to keep this forward momentum and provide young people with limitless opportunities.”
The funding will go towards the $27 million renovation cost of converting Emily Carr University of Art + Design’s old South Building at 1400 Johnston Street into Arts Umbrella’s new purpose-designed facility.