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Vancity Community Foundation

Fostering Change in Surrey: Wrapping the Community Around Kids Leaving Care

The Surrey Poverty Reduction Coalition (SPRC) exists to foster collaboration in Surrey to address the unique challenges of people living in poverty. With our diverse membership and strong links with the City of Surrey, we are well placed to bring together the various sectors that will be needed to make a deep and lasting impact in the lives of some of our most vulnerable young people. Using the framework of “THIS is how we end poverty in Surrey”, which focuses on four key policy areas that affect people living in poverty: Transportation, Housing, Income and Supports, and working in partnership with youth in/from care, the SPRC will engage the community to do a radical rethinking of the ways in which youth are supported when they transition from the care of the MCFD, into adulthood. Bringing our whole community along, including business, philanthropists, unions, etc. we are keenly interested in rethinking the way that we meet the needs of these young people, and helping them to be supported in achieving their aspirations. Using a collective impact approach, we will: compile available information and research on youth in/from care in Surrey; convene two multi-stakeholder workshops toward developing a framework for further action; and host a public event that will include the "The 19th Birthday Party" art exhibit. All phases of the project will engage youth in/from care - "not about them without them".

Keeping BC's Children and Youth on the Public Agenda

Working closely with our coalition partner organizations, First Call will work to strengthen and support the collective voice for the rights and well-being of BC's children & youth.Some of the key issues the project will address are BC's continued high rates of child & family poverty & growing inequality, the urgent need to increase investments in early childhood & support for young families, improvements to BC's child labour standards, better supports for vulnerable youth and reducing children's exposures to environmental toxins. The project will identify issues/challenges and propose solutions using 3 strategies: public education(including conducting research and disseminating/popularizing others' research), mobilizing communities & individuals through workshops/presentations, media work, social media/web resources, election toolkits, e-alerts, etc., and direct public policy advocacy (briefs, letters, reports, candidate surveys, convening/facilitating discussions among advocates and with decision-makers & policy-influencers, e.g. public officials, business & community reps.).

Surrey Poverty Reduction Plan Implementation

Implementation of the Plan is underway. Steps have been taken to act on many of the recommendations of the Plan and there are a number of quality programs, projects and initiatives that address poverty in Surrey. This project will continue the work of promoting the Plan, undertaking or supporting existing and new projects and serving as a catalyst for the development of new initiatives. We will develop an evaluation framework for process and outcome evaluations of the Surrey Poverty Reduction Plan. In partnership with the business community we will initiate a project to provide support and education to landlords on housing the homeless in Surrey as well as identifying tenants who require resources and connecting them to support services. We will organize a Seeing is Believing tour for Surrey service clubs and a community forum to inform stakeholders on the implementation of the Plan. We will support and promote other poverty-reduction projects currently underway and disseminate poverty-related research data. These activities will be supported by a part-time coordinator.

Vancouver Aboriginal Child and Family Services Society

Keeping Connected: A research project with youth aging into community

Youth in/from VACFSS care and adult co-researchers will: 1. Develop a supportive "exit interview" process for youth leaving care at 19 2. Develop a tool, to be used in dialogue between those youth and their workers, to measure youth connectedness to caring adults, culture and community 3. Pilot the exit interview and tool with VACFSS youth who leave care in the next 12 months 4. Incorporating the exit interview and tool, develop the tools, process and Ethics proposal for a longitudinal outcomes study to explore how youth connectedness changes and is best supported in the years after leaving care. It is planned that this study will be conducted in partnership with the McCreary Centre Society and will also engage youth served by MCFD and Collective Impact partners. The project will be informed by the work of the TRRUST Measurement and Caring Connections Clusters. It is prompted by the desire of our youth to strengthen community and cultural connectedness for care-leavers. Developed with the youth on our Research Working Group, the project will build their leadership capacity and research/advocacy skills, give workers improved tools to focus on youth connectedness, and deepen our partnership with the McCreary Centre Society. VACFSS is a unique position to undertake this kind of longitudinal outcomes study, as "aging into community" is part of our restorative practice and our workers/caregivers already keep in touch with many youth long after they leave care.

Restorative Aboriginal Child Welfare: Research, Practice & Approaches

Youth involved in the 3 youth engagement programs at VACFSS develop positive identity, concrete skills and cultural connections to support their transition out of care. This project will investigate how these programs are effective, determining how we can better utilize Inclusive Foster Care to extend the identified restorative practices to all youth in care at VACFSS. We will maximize the support from Vancouver Foundation by leveraging in-kind supports from a broad network of community partners. Year 1 will involve youth led research on how the Urban Butterflies, Youth Advisory Council (YAC) and Culturally Relevant Urban Wellness (CRUW) programs contribute to setting up diverse Aboriginal youth for success in their transition out of care in concrete and measurable ways. This will involve supporting a group of youth selected from YAC and CRUW as co-researchers throughout the project. The 2nd year will involve a youth-led process of engaging youth in care, caregivers (foster parents), biological family, and community partners, to generate a series of evidence-based recommendations for policy and practice revision at VACFSS. Year 3 will then involve the same group of youth co-researchers in a process of implementing the recommendations alongside a youth-led process of monitoring and evaluation. This same year will also include a process of knowledge exchange, sharing our research, policy development, and outcomes with community partners and other interested stakeholders.

Culturally Relevant Urban Wellness (CRUW) Program

There are critical gaps in services for connecting Vancouver's most vulnerable youth to green space for wellness in holistic and dynamic ways. CRUW addresses these gaps by bringing together Aboriginal youth in foster care with new immigrant youth. CRUW promotes engagement with a deeply historical Aboriginal relationship to land, using the wellness youth derive from this connection as a catalyst for holistic and sustainable wellness in a diverse urban environment. CRUW is grounded in 4 program objectives: Honouring Our Diversity; Emotional and Cultural Competence; Holistic & Sustainable Urban Wellness; and Mentorship. The core UBC Farm program is the gateway to CRUW. Youth first join as participants, and have the opportunity to return a second year as paid youth mentors. Youth mentors and other alumni then have the opportunity to attend both the Cottonwood Community Garden program, and the Life Skills program. These 3 aspects of CRUW provide a multi-year trajectory of service to 100+ youth annually, empowering them as skilled and healthy agents of change within their communities.

Vancouver Aboriginal Health Society

Innovating a Primary Healthcare System to Reduce Structural Violence

The social innovation of this project is the inclusion of Indigenous Elders in genuine partnership with primary care providers in urban clinic environments. Although this sounds simple, genuine partnership with Indigenous Elders necessitates tackling the systemic challenges of discordant values and epistemologies, that underlie the perpetuation of structural violence and associated lack of infrastructure and resources for Indigenous health services. Although this process has already begun at VNHS, there are still significant system challenges that need to be addressed. VNHS's attempt to address systemic challenges will include creating more opportunities for Elders, primary care providers, community members, and administrators to engage in meaningful dialogue. The dialogue will focus on establishing a clear set of shared health system values and identifying and addressing causes of structural violence. Resources can then be used to draft a shared clinic mission statement, and collaboratively seek solutions to systemic barriers such as inadequate space for ceremony within the clinic. We also aim to foster increased opportunities for meaningful participation by patients, community members, clinic staff and physicians in Elder-led ceremonies, which we have identified as a key cultural process with strong potential to diminish power inequalities.

Vancouver Adapted Music Society

The Strong Sessions Music Series

Following up on VAMS recent, highly successful The Strong Sessions recording project, wherein over 20 VAMS members wrote, recorded and performed some amazing music, the project will work with music venues to establish a series of concerts featuring VAMS members. The intention is to feature VAMS members at clubs, bars and other public venues, exposing a broader sector of the concert-going public to the talents of musicians with disabilities. The project will offer opportunities for experienced VAMS performers to showcase their music, as well as enable those who are new to performing to do so in a supported environment, where their accessibility needs have been arranged for. Over the course of 12 months, ten "VAMS Nights" will be staged, offering audiences a chance to appreciate music written and performed by people with significant physical disabilities. At these gigs, VAMS will offer information about inclusion and accessibility, promote the recordings of VAMS members and engage other musicians interested in collaborating on future performances and recordings.

Vancouver Art Gallery Association

DOUGLAS COUPLAND: everywhere is anywhere is anything is everything

It is the mandate of the Vancouver Art Gallery to contextualize regional experience and artistic concerns within national and international fields of cultural practice; to introduce local and visiting audience members to the important art of this region; and to expand expectations for what art can be. This project will present the visual art of Vancouver-based artist Douglas Coupland. It will highlight principle themes of the artist's investigations such as what defines national culture and the impact of media communications on contemporary life. The national and international profile of the artist will be greatly strengthened through the Vancouver exhibition (with several major new works including a large Lego project and The Brain installation), the first substantial book on the artist, an international tour (tbc), and an unprecedented use of communications media to reach the public. We are planning an energetic engagement with renewed and new audiences via social media and special programs for adults, children and youth.

Ian Wallace Exhibition and Publication

Vancouver Art Gallery will present the first major Canadian retrospective of internationally renowned Vancouver artist Ian Wallace, celebrating his pioneering use of large-format images juxtaposed with monochrome painting, which has had a lasting impact on raising the status of photography nationally and internationally. Wallace mentored Vancouver artists including Stan Douglas, Brian Jungen, Ken Lum, Rodney Graham and Jeff Wall. The exhibition catalogue will be the first publication to fully assess Wallace’s career by combining interpretive essays, images of the artist’s work and selections from his extensive theoretical writings.

Vancouver Asian Canadian Theatre

MSG Theatre Lab

In 2009, actor-producer David C. Jones wrote a letter to, decrying the troubling absence of nonwhite faces on Vancouver’s stages. This letter triggered a flurry of responses from many Vancouver theatre artists. All agreed this lack of diversity would eventually doom Vancouver theatre into becoming socially irrelevant. Within such unforgiving cultural terrain, Vancouver Asian Canadian Theatre plays a pivotal role in boldly promoting cultural diversity on Canada’s West Coast. Launched in 2012, our MSG Theatre Lab play development program addresses the challenge of visible minority underrepresentation by finding, developing and showcasing the next generation of Asian Canadian playwrights. Far more effective than simply encouraging diversity in casting, we believe writers alone possess the unique potential to create lasting change. The stories they choose to tell, and the characters they create have the power to affect the way people think and feel about the most important social issues of our time. Our aim is to create a canon of Asian Canadian plays ready to be produced professionally in Vancouver theatres. In doing so, we hope to create a series of cascading changes that will ultimately impact the entire cultural landscape in far-reaching ways.

Vancouver Association for Photographic Arts

Flash Forward Incubator Program

Presenting a new model for arts education and support, the Flash Forward Incubator Program provides a solution to secondary school art programming problems: a lack or shortage of funding for arts education and no access to working artists as mentors. As an extension of high school arts programming and working with the goals of school curriculums, Incubator is distinct in that it bridges work completed within high school settings with the professional world, facilitating meaningful contemporary art experiences and mentorships for students, and establishing an essential and supportive creative community for emerging artists within the high school setting and beyond.

Container Project

'Container Project' (working title) is a two-part project situated in North Vancouver’s Lonsdale Quay. Vancouver artists Erin Siddall and Sean Arden's 'Straightview' transforms a shipping container into a site-specific camera obscura that can be entered by viewers. This work act as a thematic departure point for a second container that will be converted into an exhibition space and curated by Vancouver-based Cate Rimmer. With a single aperture and multiple angled mirrors, 'Straightview' disrupts the concept of a single, fixed position of viewing using trompe d’oeil. The audience experiences a surprising and illusory projection of a view investigating the transitory nature of the North Shore’s and Burrard Inlet’s industrial history. The two containers will be stacked on top of one another, with 'Straightview' accessible by stairs from the ground up, in a utilitarian style that mimics the containers’ functional role as mass trade vessels. Rimmer’s first ‘floor’ exhibition will feature emerging First Nations artist Ryan McKenna. The film, 'Vision in 1792' depicts the Burrard inlet and the exploration of George Vancouver in 1792 through the unique perspective of a Coast Salish Shaman. Shown through the Shamen's viewpoint as he sings a 'coming into the house' song in his ancestral language, the work tells of the coming of the new long houses that will follow the arrival of the new people. Ultimately examining ways of seeing, the sea, trade routes, and Vancouver’s historic port.

Vancouver Bach Choir

Owen Underhill Commissioning and Premiere Performance Project

There is a dearth of Canadian unaccompanied pieces suitable for large choirs. The Vancouver Bach Choir plans to commission a seven-minute unaccompanied work from the highly respected Vancouver composer, Owen Underhill. The text will be in a First Nations language. The premiere performance of the Underhill commission is planned for a concert in February 2011 which will also include three winning pieces from the Bach Choir’s competition New Works for Large Choirs.

Vancouver Book and Magazine Fair Society

Automatic Poetry Festival

Since 1995 Word Vancouver has been presenting a wide range of author readings and events. However, it is the new addition to our regular poetry programming that we are most excited about, the Automated Poetry Project. We are acquiring a number of vending machines that will dispense poems written by Canadian or B.C. poets. The plan is that these vending machines would be hosted in local businesses for the entire month of September leading up to the festival weekend. We will partner with local businesses such as coffee shops and bookstores interested in hosting a vending machine as part of our Automated Poetry Project. We will also arrange for a number of poets to read from their books at these locations. In addition to acquiring our own vending machines we intend to work with other groups across the country who have similar machines. There is one machine coming in from Toronto (Toronto Poetry Venders) that is confirmed and we have leads on a few more including one in Montreal. Ideally we would have at least five. On Sunday the all machines would be moved to the festival site at VPL.

Vancouver Cantata Singers

Cathedrals of Science- Choral Music in New Spaces

This truly interdisciplinary collaboration merges performing arts with the science and research communities. The concert includes a new composition by Vancouver-based composer, Jordan Nobles. The text of the new composition will be chosen, in part, by the medical scientists and researchers involved. Plans include setting the poetry of Canadian poet (and physician) Ron Charach to music. Funding will allow the group to commission a work for a split choir, string orchestra and brass ensemble, which will be performed in the Blusson Centre.

Vancouver Chamber Choir

We Move Homeward: New Lyricism

The Vancouver Chamber Choir continues the commissioning and premiering of new works in order to make a significant addition to the wider choral repertoire, creating a legacy of repertoire which may be considered an important and permanent contribution to Canadian cultural history. Many of these works have already been published and have become part of the standard Canadian choral repertory. We hope to celebrate this remarkable achievement by presenting three new and recent major works from prominent Western Canadian composers -- Lloyd Burritt (BC), Daniel Janke (YT) and David MacIntyre (BC) -- in a subscription series concert event on Friday, November 14, 2014 at Ryerson United Church in Vancouver. The concert will also feature highlights from the vast repertoire of the Choir's past commissions. In the week leading up to the concert we will also offer our Interplay Composers' Workshop in which four emerging composers will have the opportunity to have their new works 'workshopped' by Jon, the Choir and the three featured guest composers.

Eric Whitacre Conducts

This project wil give young choral singers the opportunity to work directly with Grammy award-winning composer, conductor and all-round champion of choral music Eric Whitacre, arguably one of the most popular and most-performed composers of his generation. Included in the project are preparatory rehearsals for the youth singers under the direction of Jon Washburn, as well as 2 intensive days of direct interaction with Whitacre himself, culminating in a performance on the stage of Vancouver's Orpheum Theatre with Eric Whitacre conducting. Those singers from the community not involved in the concert will be invited to attend an open rehearsal to observe Whitacre in rehearsal. Each will receive a printed copy of the score to one of his most famous scompositions and at the end of the rehearsal will be invited to sing along with Eric Whitacre. This is also a rare opportunity for the singers of the Vancouver Chamber Choir to work directly with a composer whose works they perform, an opportunity to hone their interpretive skills under his personal tutelage.

Vancouver Cherry Blossom Festival Society

Get Vancouver Dancing with the Cherry Blossom Umbrella Dance

Living in cities is stressful; people are disconnected from one another and gathering less. The 6th annual Vancouver Cherry Blossom Festival helps create a happy, healthy society by actively engaging people of diverse cultures in a celebration of spring and beauty to build community. The 2012 Festival celebrates our iconic cherry blossoms through dance by bringing 600+ dancing pink umbrellas together in a new Umbrella Dance outside the Vancouver Art Gallery with many smaller flash mobs of the dance scheduled at Festival events and in neighbourhoods throughout April. Free rehearsals with Shiamak Davar Dance Team and performance of world-class Shiamak choreography allows everyone to experience the joy and pride in being part of something bigger than themselves, performing as an artist with professionals. Participants gain meaning, purpose and connectedness through real social connections at rehearsals and performances, as well as new neighbourhood connections. Each encounter will be an investment in social capital and positive outcomes will be shared through popular VCBF social media.

Vancouver Child and Youth Advocacy Centre

Vancouver Child and Youth Advocacy Centre Pilot Project

This project is to complete a 3 year pilot project to establish a Child and Youth Advocacy Centre (CYAC) within the City of Vancouver. The specific vision for this centre is a co-located, multi-disciplinary, child centered approach to services for children who have experienced abuse and their non-offending family members and/or caregivers. In 2011, a group of mandated stakeholders came together and completed a two year comprehensive Needs Assessment and Feasibility Study to see if the need existed in Vancouver for a CYAC. The results of this first phase demonstrated both a need in Vancouver for a CYAC and that the stakeholders believed this project was feasible. Quantitative data demonstrated enough cases to warrant a CYAC. The qualitative data from this study was incredibly compelling, as it suggested that co-location of services for children/youth who experience abuse in Vancouver has the potential to reduce the barriers to joint interviews and reduce the travel time for children/youth and their non-offending family members. Any elimination of barriers could address possible under-reporting of child physical and sexual abuse. Following this, the stakeholders completed phase 2 - the development of a pilot project. After extensive research of CYAC models, the group believed that a not for profit was the appropriate model. This project (phase 3) will test and evaluate the establishment and operation of a CYAC in Vancouver.

Vancouver Chinese Instrumental Music Society

Musical Transformations: Our Story (working title)

Performed at the Norman Rothstein Theatre, this concert will be a reflection and examination of immigration and diaspora of Chinese music in Vancouver. Facilitating an understanding of Vancouver’s diverse identities and representing a cultural group with such presence in Vancouver, this performance will feature Canada’s very first professional Chinese instrumental music group. The nights’ repertoire takes audiences through the evolution of Chinese music starting with traditional influences brought by the influx of Chinese immigration during the 1970s. The first section highlights classical folk styles, pieces that demand a mastery of technique. These tunes often have philosophical associations, which will be addressed by our MC Dr. Jan Walls. Following will be a selection of rearranged works that have extracted elements from both eastern and western practices. In the third section, the ensemble will perform Canadian commissioned pieces for Chinese Instruments. Progressing through the development of contemporary music will provide a look at where Chinese music is headed in Vancouver.

Vancouver Coastal Health Authority

Creating system wide transformational change through an Indigenous Cultural Safety Initiative within a Large Urban Hospital in Vancouver, British Columbia

The ongoing impacts of colonization have resulted in systemic discrimination and major health disparities for Indigenous peoples in Canada. Stereotyping and discrimination contribute to these inequities and can result in fatalities. To mitigate this discrimination, Vancouver Coastal Health has created educational resources to unpack biases healthcare staff may have against Indigenous peoples. Workshops reveal colonial impacts on Indigenous people, increase staffs’ cultural awareness and sensitivity, and explore how staff can deliver culturally safe care. Creating a culturally safe place of health care for Indigenous people we can improve access and ultimately reduce health disparities.

Community Based Research Centre for Concurrent Disorders (Researchers: N/A)

This project will develop methods to measure clinical outcomes via the collection, analysis and interpretation of quantitative and qualitative data gathered at Stepping Stones Concurrent Disorders Service primarily, and then sister agencies on the North Shore. That being said, it is hope that this grant will enable the investigators at the Stepping Stones to conduct outreach and field work throughout the North Shore in order to engage the many stakeholder who work with individuals struggling with concurrent disorders. The end result of this project is to create a Community Based Research Centre for Concurrent Disorders. (Research Team: N/A)

Downtown Vancouver Youth Housing and Health Services Collaboratory

The Youth Housing and Health Services Collaboratory is an action-oriented project to engage key stakeholders involved in delivering health and housing resources to youth in downtown Vancouver. The 'collaboratory' will be a problem-solving group working to address barriers and challenges that youth 16-24 face accessing housing and health services. A parallel youth engagement process will inform the trajectory of the project and we will strive to make a meaningful difference in the experience of youth who seek resources related to housing and health. In order to improve access and flow-through for youth to a wider range of resources, agency representatives who are excited to, and capable of working as part of a collaborative team, and have a high level of management over the resources attached to the agency, will be invited to participate. Phase one will be a convened dialogue to ensure the group is aligned and 'on the same page'. Barriers to collaboration will be identified and addressed. Phase two will be a pilot of a mechanism to smooth access pathways to care and housing.

Vancouver Community College Foundation

Deaf Deaf World - An Immersive Theatre

Deaf Deaf World gives “voice” to the Deaf and Hard of Hearing population. It is an innovative public education and culture experience project aimed to destigmatize Deaf culture as well as promote cross-cultural conversations (Hearing vs Deaf) to construct better access to and integration of facilities/services for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing. The project acts as immersive theatre that physically invites our "audience" into a fictional world of silence. With the audience, professional artists and volunteers re-enact select systemic barriers to the Deaf through the use of American Sign Language.