News & Updates

For info on these stories, scroll down to "more"

Eastside Arts Society Awarded for Planning Excellence

The report City Without Art? Not Net Loss, Plus! from the Eastside Arts Society (EAS) has received the 2021 Award of Merit for New and Emerging Planning Initiatives from the Canadian Institute of Planners.


The same report received the 2020 Gold Award of Excelence in Research and New Planning Directions from the Planning Institute of British Columbia. 

City Without Art? Not Net Loss, Plus! is the first report to identify the loss of artist production space and offer sustainable solutions for the urgent crisis facing visual artists in Vancouver's Eastside through empirical data, including a comprehensive artist survey, in-depth community research, and mapping analysis. 

Read the report here!

Funding opportunity: Regional Innovation Ecosystems

The Regional Innovation Ecosystems (RIE) is now accepting applications on an ongoing basis.

The program stream aims to create, grow and nurture inclusive regional ecosystems that support business needs throughout the innovation continuum, and foster an entrepreneurial environment conductive to innovation, growth and competitiveness.  RIE is making targeted investments in not-for-profit organizations that support businesses in priority sectors to innovate, grow and compete globally. 

Learn more about it here!



Recordings available! Space for Community Webinar Series

Following the release of the Space for Community Final Report, SPRE and its municipal members hosted a series of webinars covering key topics highlighted in the study. 

Watch the recordings here!

MAJOR STUDY RELEASED - Space for Community

Space for Community turns anedocte into evidence documenting the impact of soaring real estate markets on organizations that support the health and wellbeing of individuals, families, employees, and communities. 

While headlines are dominated by housing affordability, all markets including commercial and social purpose are feeling the same impacts, hurting small businesses AND the not-for-profit, social enterprises and artist sectors. When these social purpose groups lose their ability to secure affordable space for their work, communities suffer - as does the economy, the environment, and our social and cultural community 'glue'. Not being able to find, keep and maintain affordable, suitable space impacts the ability of social purpose groups to provide health, community and childcare programs, programs for youth, seniors and vulnerable populations, environmental leadership, not to mention all of the arts and culture that enriches our lives and communities. 

Space for Community: Understanding the Real Estate Challenges Affecting the Social Purpose Sector in BC was commissioned by the Social Purpose Real Estate Collaborative and the Real Estate Institute of BC. 

access the Final Report

access the Infographic

access additional Study resources  click here

Meet the Real Estate Institute of BC, SPRE's Associate Member!

The Real Estate Institute of BC (REIBC) is a member organization of real estate professionals. It works with a variety of organizations and serves a diverse membership of real estate professional, committed to high industry standards and excellence in bussiness practices, offering professional education and accreditation, and collaborating with industry leaders, and provincial and municipal land policies and programs.

Learn more at

SPRE is grateful for Brenda Southam and REIBC for their incredible enthusiasm for the work, partnership and for involvement as a SPRE Associate Member. The engagement shown by REIBC in partnering with SPRE on the 2013 Rent, Lease, Own Study and then again for the 2021 Space for Community Report demonstrates vital and important leadership in the real estate sector. Both SPRE and REIBC have learned a great deal from one-an-other and together have delivered a powerful look at social purpose real estate through the Space for Community Report.

Brenda Southan, REIBC's Executive Office spoke with Danielle Bizinelli, SPRE's Interim Planning/Project Coordinator about the importance of the partnership developed with SPRE and the relevance of the Space for Community study to REIBC. 

About the value of the partnership between SPRE and REIBC:

Brenda: "Our goal is to keep our members on top of what is happening in real estate, we call them the elite in real estate, so in order for them to be the elite they have to have the education and knowledge. Working with SPRE gives us another level of knowledge and information to share with our members."

On the value of Space for Community study:

Brenda: "Awareness is a big one. Being involved in that piece of research (Rent, Lease, Own study) was a huge eye opener for the REIBC and our members, who didn't have a good handle on social purpose real estate at that time. We have more of our members thinking about social purpose real estate and understanding its value because of our partnership." 

The SPRE Collaborative is made up of funders and investors including government who seek to mitigate the impacts of the real estate market on not-for-profits, social enterprises and artists. SPRE is pleased to welcome Associate Members who seek to engage with the Collaborative and share in the efforts to support the social purpose sector with their real estate needs. To learn more about SPRE Associate Membership, special engagement opportunities and recognition benefits, please contact  Jacqueline Gijssen | Project Director |

New grant opportunity: the Vancity Community Partnership Program!

The Vancity Community Partnership is accepting applications year-round on a continous basis. The program seeks to support organizations that help underserved communities and local businesses build financial resilience to safeguard against the climate crisis, life's emergencies, reduce the risk of financial hardship, and withstand financial shocks. 

More information about the eligibility and criteria for 2021 is available on the Partnership Funding Program webpage

Interested applicants can submit their questions and applications to

New research reflecting on biases and discrimination in the Real Estate sector

Through a partnership with the University of British Columbia's Sustainability Scholar Program, SPRE was able to expand its research work.Our Scholar Intern, Danielle Bizinelli, conducted a research project exploring biases and discrimination in the Real Estate sector through the lens of equity, inclusion and reconciliation. The research explored how different forms of discrimination, racism and bias influence availability, rights, and use of land and property. 

The full report is already available on our website and can be accessed here:

BC Government appoints new Parliamentary Secretary for community development and not- for- profits

Excellent news on the appointment of Niki Sharma as the new parliamentary secretary for community development and not-for-profits. Sharma was elected as the MLA for Vancouver Hastings in 2020. This is the the first time charities and non-profits have a designated parliamentary secretary at a provincial level. 

Not for profit organizations see the appointment as a signal of the the intention to rebuild together.

"This is an exciting decision of the government and one that can have deep and positive impact on communities, the economy, and the environment. It is a clear sign that the government seeks to partner with the sector to find solutions and build back better together"             Alison Brewin, Executive Director of Vantage Point


Space4Community Survey Wraps Up!

Big thanks to all who participated, completed and shared the survey with your networks.  Representatives from 643 spaces participated in the Survey and shared their stories. With participants from across BC, not surprisingly, most were from the key ‘affordability’ areas of Vancouver, Lower Mainland and south/mid Vancouver Island. Watch for the survey results release in the spring of 2021. For more information on the SPACE for COMMUNITY Project, click here