The transformation of this 50,000 sq ft space located on Granville Island was meticulously thought out. Every nook and cranny maximizes the use of the space to ensure the students have a fully immersive art experience. The original building was designed by Patkau Architects in 1995. When developing the updated design schematic for this project, award-winning architecture firm Henriquez Partners Architects (HPA) wanted to honour the original design.
A model for arts education across North America, the new facility significantly expands Arts Umbrella’s capacity to provide transformative experiences for young people in Metro Vancouver,
across Canada, and around the world. Arts Umbrella serves 24,000 young people annually, and, within the next three to five years, the new building is expected to support 15,000 children and youth every year through tuition-based programs and performances, as well as community programs, distance learning, bursaries, and scholarships. To date, Arts Umbrella has secured more than $36 million of its $37 million capital and endowment fund goal.
Situated on Granville Island, Vancouver’s arts and culture hub, the education facility features six spacious dance studios; four theatres, music and film studios with specialized technical and audio equipment; 10 art and design studios, including media labs and a photography darkroom; a 132-seat theatre; a public exhibition space; and a dedicated area for woodworking, stagecraft building and general fabrication that will enhance capacity to train future industry professionals.
Unfortunately, due to COVID, there was no Grand-Opening Gala on April 10th, but I’m sure the new space will be home to many in the future, in addition to amazing performances and the growth of creativity in young people across the Lower Mainland.
British Columbia is fortunate to have an organization with the strength and determination of the Arts Umbrella to provide opportunities to our youth and to ensure The Arts have a definite presence in the foundation of our community.
Arts Umbrella is where young artists ages 2-22 cultivate their creativity in Art, Design, Dance, Theatre, Music, and Film. As a non-profit centre for arts education, they believe that art is powerful. Powerful enough to change childrens’ lives in incredible ways. When young people connect with the arts, they gain self-confidence, develop self-discipline, and discover creative expression—qualities they carry with them for life. Arts Umbrella has four locations in Vancouver and Surrey, as well as donor-funded programs at schools, community centres, neighbourhood houses, and healthcare facilities across Metro Vancouver. The organization reaches more than 24,000 young people every year, with more than 80% served through bursaries, scholarships, and donor-funded programs.
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