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Vancouver Opera Association

Stickboy: a new chamber opera on the bullying cycle

In the Fall of 2014, VOA will commission a new chamber opera on the impact of bullying on youth: Stickboy. With a libretto penned by acclaimed Canadian spoken word artist Shane Koyczan and a score by celebrated BC composer Jordan Nobles, this 90-minute chamber opera will be adapted from Koyczan's 2008 novel chronicling his personal experiences as both a victim and perpetrator of childhood bullying. Workshops of this piece will showcase the Opera's second roster of Young Artists Program participants in principal roles. Following the completion of this phase, Stickboy will see its fully-staged and orchestrated premiere at the Vancouver Playhouse on October 23rd, 2014. It will serve as VOA's second 2014-15 mainstage offering. Supported by a substantial educational program, and utilizing the guidance of an expert advisory committee, Stickboy will subsequently be adapted and toured by way of VOA's 2014-15 Vancouver Opera In Schools (VOIS) program - thereby furthering the life of this commission and expanding its reach to nearly 50,000 province-wide.

VOIS New Production Creation: 'Hansel & Gretel'

For the 2011/12 Vancouver Opera In Schools (VOIS) touring season, Vancouver Opera plans on creating a new production of the classic fairy tale opera Hansel and Gretel. This would include an adaptation of the full length opera to a 45-minute opera in English, a new transportable set and new costumes. In 40 years VOIS has brought opera to over 1.6 million children.

Young Artists Program (YAP) Development

This project focuses on researching and developing the Young Artists Program, which will launch in 2011. The mission of this program is to engage, enrich, mentor and train rising young Canadian opera artists. This program will bridge formal academic educational programs and the professional world in a supportive and encouraging environment. Artists will train in a formalized setting with industry leaders through master classes, one-on-one coaching and performance opportunities.

Vancouver Orphan Kitten Rescue VOKRA

Application & Website Enhancement Project

VOKRA has a custom application and integrated website. This application manages cat intake, foster home management, cat medical care, and adoptions. We have identified a number of enhancements to support our expanding rescue operation’s processes and procedures - such as foster self-service data entry, automated medical treatment reminders, and better search capabilities for adoption matches. Our website ( , which is integrated with the application, needs an overhaul to provide a “fresh face” for VOKRA. This is part of an ongoing strategy to update our brand identity. We would also like to address some useability issues of our current website structure. We are hoping that these improvements will make our site more attractive, drive up the number of cats adopted, increase donations and help us fulfill our mandate of helping the homeless cats and kittens of the Lower Mainland.

Vancouver Out On Screen Film & Video Society

LGBT2Q+-inclusive education through effective policy creation and implementation

We will begin to scale our program by adding capacity within our team and conducting an environmental scan of the provincial education system, including an analysis of strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats that might impact our goals. We will identify both potential champions and laggards at the provincial, district, and school levels, and undertake targeted outreach to build relationships with these key stakeholders. Simultaneously, we will work with others to build political and administrative support at the provincial and district levels for SOGI policy and implementation, as well as the valuable training that Out in Schools provides. With the support of our champions, we will strategically participate in professional development days for teachers and support staff, equipping them with the tools and knowledge necessary to communicate change within their schools. While we currently reach teachers and support staff incidentally as part of our presentations within schools, scaling up will allow us to implement our program more strategically and at the network level across school districts. As we are working to encourage policy and curriculum improvements at the provincial and district levels, we will concurrently support new champions for these changes at the school level by strategically focusing the location of our presentations on districts that have not yet implemented SOGI policies and that we have assessed to have the greatest possibility for change.

Celebrate Queer Vancouver

Celebrate Queer Vancouver will present a multidisciplinary body-of-work Out On Screen commissioned from 18 celebrated Canadian artists and upward of 250 community participants that speaks to the valuable contributions queer people have made to Vancouver’s history and identity. This current request augments funds already received and is directed towards extraordinary production and presentation activities, specifically, those activities outside of our Festival dates.

Vancouver Poetry House Society

The Spoken Word Marquee Series

When Shane Koyczan performed at the 2010 Winter Olympic opening ceremonies, it heralded a new era for spoken word poetry. Koyczan honed his poetic craft as a six-time member of the Vancouver Poetry Slam team. His meteoric rise began with the opportunities he found through Vancouver Poetry House. The current need is to raise the profile of talented local spoken word artists and to highlight voices from underrepresented communities. The Spoken Word Marquee Series at VIPF would showcase established and emerging spoken word artists alongside each other. We plan to program 4-6 events as part of this Marquee Series including: a musical-literary collaboration with Shane Koyczan, Dan Mangan, and The Fugitives; a Dub Poetry partnership between the Black Dot Roots & Culture Collective (BeDRoCC) and two-time Juno award-winning poet Lillian Allen; Hip Hop Poetry featuring Beat Nation, Zaccheus Jackson, and CR Avery; and Queer Stories featuring Ivan Coyote and Tara Hardy. These shows celebrate today's premier spoken word poets and bring forward the next generation.

Vancouver Society for Early Music

G.F. Handel's "Theodora"

This project consists of three concert performances of Handel's baroque oratorio 'Theodora'. The artistic forces involved include the Pacific Baroque Orchestra (28 players), five vocal soloists and the Vancouver Cantata Singers (36 singers), all led by music director Alexander Weimann. Featuring some of the composer's most glorious music, this tragic work depicts the self-sacrificial love between a Christian virgin and a Roman imperial bodyguard. It serves as a timeless parable of spiritual resistance to tyranny and an indictment of religious persecution, topics that still resonate with audiences today. These performances will employ roughly 50 Vancouver-based professional performers out of a total of 70.

Vancouver Society of Children's Centres

Moving Forward on Quality in Child Care

VSOCC and our 9 project advisory members wish to convene key child care sector, research, policy and funding representatives to address the gap in a quality assurance assessment/monitoring approach that supports the implementation of BC's Early Learning Framework (ELF)and effectively measures service quality in the child care context. This convening project will: *identify, recruit and support the participation of stakeholders in project forums and working groups *undertake a systematic and comprehensive review of assessment research literature and tools currently available in Canada and internationally that best align with ELF *examine international resources such as the OECD's Quality Tool Box and the European Commission's Quality Targets in Services for Young Children *create the research framework and a detailed proposal for developing and piloting a child care quality assurance approach based on ELF *determine the lead agency for the next phase of the work *seek financial support from community and government funders for the next phase

Vancouver Summer Festival Society

Ancient Cultures / New Sounds - a major concert in MusicFest Vancouver 2013

Ancient Cultures / New Sounds is a major project planned for MusicFest Vancouver 2013 (August 9 - 18). Under the curatorial direction of Persian-trained instrumentalist and vocalist Amir Koushkani, this contemporary music collaboration will see Canadian world music ensemble Safa welcome several performers including Azerbaijani singer Alim Qasimov to create and perform new compositions and improvisations performed on instruments from the Arabian, Iranian, and Turkish traditions. The focal point will be a MusicFest Vancouver BMO Main Stage public concert in the stunning acoustics of the Chan Centre at UBC. It will also include a free educational lecture/demonstration within MusicFest Vancouver's Inside the Music series. As part of MusicFest Vancouver and supported by the Chan Centre, this project will receive extensive media coverage both with the complete festival and in targeted outreach marketing to specific cultural and artistic communities.The venue is beside the Museum of Anthropology, which will be exhibiting contemporary art works from the same region.

Supernatural Noir - a new music theatre piece

Supernatural Noir is a dark, but comic tale, sung from beginning to end. It will be performed in lyric opera style – with a nod to the golden age of old-time radio dramas. The score, composed by Vancouver’s Cameron Wilson, is an original blend of jazz and classical music with a 1940s retro feel. The libretto is by Kico Gonzalez-Risso, a Vancouver writer/director who has written successful projects for MusicFest Vancouver. The project is a collaboration with Fugue Theatre commissioning and raising funds, and MusicFest overseeing the presentation.

Vancouver Symphony Orchestra

VSO's New Chapter: Connecting People, Connecting Cultures

The VSO will create, experiment, produce, and disseminate 10 high-profile cultural events over the next three years chosen for topical and cultural relevancy that challenge the assumption that cultural institutions are discretionary resources for selected members of society. The adaptive power inherent in cultural institutions when they envision themselves as a civic asset will be tested via projects that focus on a broad spectrum of ages, ethnicities, socio-economic backgrounds, employing exceptional artistic talents to demonstrate the potential of social inclusion. We believe this deep and broad initiative to connect people and cultures will transform not only VSO’s current and future practice, but by sharing our findings, will transform the practice of similarly motivated institutions. VSO’s New Chapter focuses on three areas for their collective ability to foster change: 1. First Nations: Creation of a 3-year partnership of reconciliation beginning with First Nations Artist-in-Residence: Marion Newman, and ending with a multi-faceted First Nations-sourced commission to be performed in Vancouver, B.C. and Victoria, B.C. 2. Community Engagement: The “Beat of the Drum” commission will create music for all abilities; integrating deaf and disabled communities with all music lovers and genres collaborating with world-renown deaf percussionist Evelyn Glennie. 3. Gender Balance and Equality: Virtuosic female talent give voice to stories of our past, present, and future.

U.S. West Coast Tour

The Vancouver Symphony Orchestra has been invited to undertake a tour of the U.S. West Coast in January/February 2013. The invitation was extended by Columbia Artists Management (CAMI), one of the world's most experienced and prestigious classical music artist management firms. Interest from presenters has been high, and the tour will consist of 8 concerts taking place in Seattle, Las Vegas, Santa Barbara, Northridge and Alisa Viejo (suburbs of Los Angeles), Palm Desert, Scottsdale and Tucson. Our Music Director, Bramwell Tovey, will conduct all concerts and the piano soloist will be world-renowned Vancouverite Jon Kimura Parker. The program will include a new work the VSO has commissioned from Edward Top, our Composer-In-Residence, entitled 'Totem' (a reflection on First Nations themes), the Grieg Piano Concerto and Prokofiev Symphony No. 5. The VSO has a long history of touring and most recently toured Central Canada in 2009 with concerts in Ottawa, Toronto, Montreal and Quebec City and Asia - Korea, Macau and China in 2008. It last toured the U.S. West Coast in 1978

Vancouver Symphony Centre and VSO School of Music

The new Vancouver Symphony Centre and VSO School of Music will be a 25,000-square foot cultural space on the first four floors of a new 46-story residential tower. The Centre/School will contain a 120-seat flexible-space recital hall, 18 teaching studios, 10 listening stations, 6 practice rooms, 2 large classrooms and more. The project has the support of the City of Vancouver Planning Department and Cultural Affairs. Constructed by Wall Financial Corporation and designed by Bingham Hill Architects, it is scheduled to open in January 2011.

Vancouver Youth Symphony Orchestra Society

Inspiration from the Professionals

The Vancouver Youth Symphony Orchestra 'Inspiration from the Professionals' project is an initiative that will provide 115 young VYSO musicians an opportunity to work closely and intensively with dynamic young professionals from the metro Vancouver community. These young VYSO musicians will be greatly enriched with musical knowledge and inspiration through this mentorship. The mentors engaged for this 2013 project are the talented young men, Anthony Chung, Alex Chung and John Littlejohn, of the local and professional ensemble named, Infinitus Trio. The 'Inspiration from the Professionals' partnership project will comprise of one weekend of collaborative rehearsals, workshops and one final public performance. VYSO Debut and Junior musicians and the Infinitus Trio professionals will share the language of music on the concert stage, at Vancouver's beautiful Kay Meek Centre on Mother's Day, May 12, 2013.

Via Choralis Performance Society

Music for Kings and Queens

Via Choralis will perform Mozart's Coronation Mass and Handel's Coronation Anthems accompanied by a 20-piece orchestra and with 4 student soloists chosen from the Victoria Conservatory and UVic. The performances will take place at St. Elizabeth's Church in Sidney on the Saturday and the Sunday afternoons. The purpose of this project is to continue with Via Choralis' mandate of producing and performing one major work with orchestra each season. These large works from the standard classical repertoire form part of our western cultural heritage, and we are pleased to have the skills and resources to perform such works for the community. The singers and orchestral players, of course, enjoy learning and performing these works, but it is also for the public that we put on these concerts - producing choral masterpieces of this calibre for Victoria audiences.

Vibrant Surrey Poverty Reduction Society

The Collaborative Research Project on Poverty in Surrey

The research project has compiled existing data from a wide spectrum of sources including local level measures and indicators as well as key socio-demographic and economic data available through the Census. The analysis of the data has produced an overall picture of poverty in Surrey who is affected, what are the key challenges facing people living in poverty, and what measures or actions are working to address the issue? The research project has identified a number of policy issues that have significant impact on people living in poverty. These policy areas are transportation, housing, income and supports. Fact sheets have been developed and will be presented at a community forum, where stakeholders will help to create an Action Plan that identifies key activities to be pursued by various sectors in the community – social service agencies, businesses, and local and senior levels of government. This collaborative work will enable Surrey-based community agencies to plan and evaluate programs, to establish need for services, and to influence public policy.

Victoria Brain Injury Society

Survivor, Supporter, Success!

The "Survivor, Supporter, Success!" program provides volunteer and employment training and mentorship to brain injury survivors. A large percentage of survivors are unable to return to their previous professions post-injury and must find gainful employment or volunteer opportunities in an environment that works with their disabilities. This program aims to rehabilitate and retrain survivors so they are able to volunteer or re-enter the workforce. Participants complete a peer support training course which enables them to become certified peer support volunteers. They develop transferable skills, including active learning and listening, problem solving, critical thinking, social perceptiveness, time management and communication skills. Once in their position as peer supporters, they support other survivors during their rehabilitation. This mutually beneficial program enhances the capacity and self-confidence of the peer supporters and is utilized as a stepping stone to paid employment, while also providing recent survivors with educated, understanding peer mentors.

Survivor, Supporter, Success!

The “Survivor, Supporter, Success!” program provides volunteer and employment training and mentorship to brain injury survivors. A large percentage of survivors are unable to return to their previous professions post-injury and must find gainful employment or volunteer opportunities in an environment that works with their disabilities. This program aims to rehabilitate and retrain survivors so they are able to volunteer or re-enter the workforce. Participants complete a peer support training course which enables them to become certified peer support volunteers. They develop transferable skills, including active learning and listening, problem solving, critical thinking, social perceptiveness, time management and communication skills. Once in their position as peer supporters, they support other survivors during their rehabilitation. This mutually beneficial program enhances the capacity and self-confidence of the peer supporters and is utilized as a stepping stone to paid employment, while providing recent survivors with educated, understanding peer mentors.

Survivor, Supporter, Success!

At VBIS a Peer Supporter is available Monday-Thursday in our community room. This volunteer, who has experienced a brain injury themselves, is trained to support new members and facilitate group conversations. They pass on useful coping techniques, share their experiences with other survivors of brain injury and their families and refer survivors to useful community resources. We have found peer support to be an extremely useful way to help survivors deal with the devastating repercussions of brain injury. It is critical that we offer Peer Supporters appropriate training and support to maximize their effectiveness and the value they receive from their mentorship role. “Survivor, Supporter, Success!” is a Peer Support training program that educates and trains brain injury survivors on how to mentor and support their peers. This mutually beneficial program will enhance the capacity, skills and self-confidence of our Peer Supporters and can be utilized as a stepping stone to paid employment, while also providing recent survivors with mentors to support them with their recovery.

Victoria Child Abuse Prevention & Counselling Centre

Victoria Child Advocacy Centre

This project will influence Systemic Change towards the Broad Outcome of "supporting children/youth to improve their health and wellbeing" by addressing the following social determinants of health: 1. Social Support Networks: project strengthens support networks that help child abuse victims; strategies to solve problems and deal with adversity, manage crises and life circumstances 2. Social Environment: service co- location is a community response sharing resources for victims seeking to regain trust, family functioning and healing and reduce effects of abuse and violence 3. Coping Skills: promotes resiliency, self care, safety planning, crises management, positive child & family development 4. Healthy Child Development: supports secure attachments in families; educates caregivers The project builds upon capacity of children and youth to articulate their experience and police and forensic examiners to collect critical evidence in safe,supportive environments in the child's best interest. It reduces barriers and is a model of multistakeholder involvement (police, health, mental health) and contributes to a safe/caring community and expedites evidence collection - that has been found to result in fewer trials, increased convictions and less trauma for families.

Victoria Community Food Hub Society Victoria Community Food Hub Society

Good Food Shift: addressing food insecurity through creating healthy food environments

The social challenge we are addressing is community health and wellbeing related to food insecurity. Food insecurity is up from 12% to 14% in the CRD in the last five years. Currently children and families in need are mainly served through downtown food banks. The Good Food Network is working with public institutions like schools, health and recreation centers, and community food hubs to find better ways to build healthy food environments (policy and programs) with connections, resources and access to food where families live, learn and play. With the Food Rescue project as a new lever, we can make the Good Food Shift now distributing 1 million pounds of fresh foods to community settings.

Neighbourhood Food Hubs and Networks Development Project

Through the Regional Food Systems Collective Impact process over 300 leaders from diverse sectors have been involved in determining key strategies to align policy, resources and efforts to address food insecurity. Cross cutting two impact areas (Food Access and Food Literacy) is the identified strategy of developing neighbourhood and community place based food hubs and networks that can coordinate programs and services to increase food literacy and access to healthy food (Neighbourhood Food Hubs and Networks Strategy). A Working Group of key leading agencies has been developed, and a roundtable of over 35 agencies and local government was held May 3, 2016 at Victoria City Hall to discuss how to reassemble neighbourhood based organizations, schools and public programming and infrastructure. The Working Group was directed to work with key community and public institution players to build relationships, review best practices, discuss the strategy and implications for policy programming and public infrastructure, and develop pilot focus neighbourhood initiatives. The WG will also use "what is working" already (Saanich Neighbourhood Place and the Vancouver Food Networks) to help inform our development pathway. The next year will be focused on gathering these best practices, what agencies need to do differently, what resources need to be generated, what health and local government policy may need to shift to support this approach- to inform our plan and pathway forward.

Victoria Cool Aid Society

Housing, Health & Well-Being Through Indigenous Cultural Community

In Greater Victoria, and throughout Canada, homelessness is a condition which afflicts the Aboriginal population disproportionately -- although First Nations comprise only 4.1% of the local population, 20-30% of the people Cool Aid serves in shelters identify as Indigenous. But they are under served. To improve Cool Aid's housing, healthcare and support services for Indigenous clients, we have partnered with the Victoria Aboriginal Coalition to End Homelessness to appropriately house and support more chronically homeless Indigenous people, develop cultural learning materials and training for staff (300 employees), and share the materials and results locally, provincially and nationally.

Community Casual Labour Pool

The "Community Casual Labour Pool" project matches individuals looking for short-term work placements with local employers, generating income and opportunity for people with disabilities.