Community Arts Council of Vancouver


The Community Arts Council of Vancouver (CACV) was the first arts council in North America. Since its beginning in 1946, the Community Arts Council of Vancouver has been a contributor to shaping the cultural life of Vancouver. CACV has been a powerful force in creating and advocating for many of the institutions, traditions, and policies in Vancouver that we benefit from today.

CACV was instrumental in the creation of the Queen Elizabeth Theatre, the Vancouver Museum and Planetarium, the UBC School of Music, the first Vancouver Film Festival, and many other of Vancouver’scultural institutions and events.


CACV’s vision is of a socially-engaged, inclusive, and vibrant city alive with community arts. CACV’s mission is to further the development of community arts throughout Vancouver.

Our Work Now - We advance our vision in Vancouver through community arts programs that address social exclusion and accessibility to creative opportunities, Indigenous and non-Indigenous relationships, sustainability in the arts sector, and our collective resilience in the face of growing social and environmental challenges.


Community Arts Council of Vancouver presents the annual Vancouver Outsider Arts Festival (VOAF), offering visual and performing artists facing social exclusion and other barriers opportunities for exhibitionand sales, performance and participation, connection and learning. VOAF is Canada’s first and only festivalfor Outsider Art, which is represented by significant fairs and museums globally. The artists may beself-taught or trained: they are all devoted to their creative practices, and come from a point of view that isoutside the mainstream art world trends. In October 2023, VOAF attracted over 2,400 attendees at theRoundhouse Community Centre, generating $21,600 in art sales with over 100 artists and 750 artworks displayed. Additionally, from December 2022 to August 2023, a VOAF Touring exhibition reached variousvenues.

While the Reframing Relations Program is currently on pause, it is slated for revival in 2024. The Community Arts Fund (CAF) program (an endowment fund held at Vancouver Foundation) distributed $23,000 to support community arts groups, fostering initiatives such as podcast series, artistic exhibits, and workshops.

OTHER PROGRAMS - In 2023, CACV also hosted 2 performances at the Annex Theatre (with Vancouver Civic Theatres Grant): "Outsiders at the Annex" in Oct 2022 and "Music as Medicine" in Feb 2023 with UWIDO Music. In March 2023, CACV organized the CiTR x CACV Masterclass, offering five free workshops on topics related to music and performing arts. Our last project is the Neurodivergent Arts Collective (NAC) project, where we are hosting 13 artists, providing a platform for neurodivergent individuals to navigate and challenge inequities in contemporary art spaces.

Legal status:

Non profit charity

Permanent address:

440-111 W Hastings Street

Vancouver BC V6B 1H4

Phone number:


Email address:


Year of foundation: 1946

Number of permanent staff:

Full time: 3

Part time: 16

Type of organisation:

Art council