News & Updates

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Arts Infrastructure Program Grant

Project Assistance: Arts Infrastructure enables eligible organizations to develop and enhance spaces that support the work of B.C.’s arts and cultural practitioners. All projects must clearly demonstrate how they benefit arts and cultural practitioners.

The program aims to support projects that:

  • Catalyze the development of new or existing arts and cultural spaces through acquisition, renovation, or purchase of specialized equipment.
  • Improve physical, social, and cultural accessibility to arts and cultural spaces.
  • Enhance access to arts and cultural spaces for underserved communities and underrepresented arts and cultural practices.
  • Strengthen the capacity of the sector to develop, operate and sustain arts and cultural spaces.

All projects must be completed before December 31, 2024.

There are three project categories:

  • Category 1.  Planning & Consultation
    Planning processes, and research to support the acquisition, development or enhancement of arts and cultural facilities. Maximum grant: $25,000.
  • Category 2. Capital Improvements
    Building-based projects involving the purchase, construction, renovation, acquisition, or expansion of an arts and/or cultural facility. Maximum grant: $250,000.
  • Category 3. Specialized Equipment Acquisition
    Projects focused solely on the purchase of specialized equipment for long-term use and associated installation expenses may request assistance from this program. Maximum grant: $40,000.

The deadline for applications is January 14, 2022.

More information here!

Canada Cultural Spaces Fund

Canada Cultural Spaces Fund (CCSF) is providing a one-time project-based financial support for Canadian arts and heritage organizations to upgrade their space to be able to open safely while following relevant public health guidelines related to COVID-19. 

Support for Making Cultural Spaces Safe During COVID-19 (the Fund) can be used for renovating or adapting spaces, as well as the purchase and installation of health and safety-related specialized equipment.

There is no deadline to apply for the Fund. Applications will be accepted on a continuous basis for projects to be carried out before March 31, 2022. 

For more information, click here.  

New case study: Dave Pranteau Aboriginal Children's Village!

SPRE is delighted to share that we have published a new case study: Dave Pranteau Aboriginal Children's Village.

Owned and operated by Lu'ma Native Housing Society, the vision for the Aboriginal Children’s Village is to break the cycle of homelessness and to provide permanency in the lives of children growing up in government care, by providing them a stable, culturally welcoming living environment.

This case study is very special because it is not only a great example of a social purpose real estate, but "it is a project of reconciliation. It's an example of what reconciliation should look like", in the words of Marcel Swaim, CEO of Lu'ma.  

Learn more about it!

Changes ahead! Saying Goodbye to Jacquie Gijssen

Dynamic, caring, full of creativity and impact—I am so proud to have been part of the Social Purpose Real Estate Collaborative (SPRE) for the past 12 years—five as Project Director. When SPRE decided to hire its first true staff member, I could not resist what has grown into an amazing journey. It is now time for me to transition out of the Project Director role, happily maintaining a small advisory relationship, continuing to cheer on the work of the Collaborative. From participating as one of the founding members in 2009, thru to leading SPRE’s projects and accomplishments of today, assisting the Collaborative has been some of the most rewarding work I have had the privilege of experiencing in my career!

In the last five years, the SPRE Collaborative has grown close to 20 funders and investors including government. They are engaged in making a difference through building awareness, undertaking landmark research, delivering powerful educational opportunities, facilitating partnerships, and influencing long term policy changes that improve the real estate situation for community organizations serving our society. SPRE’s extraordinary case studies, the unparalleled recently released 2021 Space for Community Study, and our deepening focus on equity, inclusion and reconciliation have been particularly rewarding. SPRE is a unique model—a true collaborative that functions with minimal staff, active Working Groups, and amazing partners. 

Jacquie’s deep experience in the not-for-profit sector, knowledge of the issues, and expertise in capital projects, government policy, infrastructure funding, community and partnership development has been an extraordinary asset for SPRE—as our first staff member and Project Director.  But where SPRE has truly benefited, is from Jacquie’s passion and vision, commitment to excellence, strategic thinking and common sense approach. SPRE has flourished in the past five years under Jacquie’s leadership and ability to bring new members to the Collaborative increasing our activities and impact. Witness our 2nd major research study into social purpose real estate, the recently released 2021 Space for Community (Jacquie also co-led as a volunteer, SPRE’s 2013 Rent – Lease – Own). Space for Community transforms our knowledge of the issues and provides concrete findings and recommendations for improving the real estate situation for the not-for-profit, social enterprises and artist sectors. All that achieved during a pandemic. We cannot thank Jacquie enough for her contributions and wish her the best in the next chapter of her active life.

When SPRE started in 2009, the language of ‘social purpose real estate’ was barely used. Today, not only are there dozens of organizations leading this work, but widespread commitment to “social purpose,” including the real estate required by not-for-profits, social enterprises, and artist communities to deliver their creations, programs, and services. What family, individual or business doesn’t engage in some way with arts and culture, childcare, youth, seniors’, health, social and community services, education and recreation opportunities, or environmental, equity and justice movements? We are touched every day by these community sectors—and they need affordable, secure, suitable spaces in which to do their important work.

A Collaborative lives and thrives by the work of many—to the leaders, members, funders, and partners—my heartfelt gratitude for your engagement and contributions. It has been amazing to work with you all. 

Jacquie Gijssen 
Soon to be ‘former’ Project Director
Social Purpose Real Estate Collaborative

Space for Community Webinar with the Real Estate Institute of BC

Missed the June webinar intro to SPRE and REIBC's major news study Space for Community? Join us on October 28th at 12p.m. for a presentation to the real estate community. The most comprehensive study of its kind, S4C includes deep dive research, surveys, focus groups and best practices scans -  laying out the issues and the opportunities with findings and recommendations directed at four sectors: social purpose, funder & investors, government and real estate. Jacquie Gijssen and Jennifer Johnstone share some of those findings and highlight the possibilities going forward. 

More information and registration here.

Grant opportunity: Cultural Spaces Grant Program

The City of Vancouver is offering funding to help non-profit organizations buy, build, renovate, expand, or operate a cultural space.

Eligibility: your organization must be a registered Vancouver-based non-profit society, charitable organization, or non-profit cooperative with a publicly stated culture-first vision, mission, and/or mandate having an independent, active governing body composed of volunteers. Local First Nations Band Councils and Urban Indigenous non-profit organizations are also eligible to apply. 

The City is offering grants from up to $25,000 to $250,000.

Application deadline: September 15, 2021.  

More information here


Space for Community Press Coverage

Space for Community study has gained attention in Richmond press after Jacqueline Gijssen, SPRE's project director, presented to Richmond City Council. The news highlights important findings from the study in relation to non-profits and their space needs.

Read more about it here!

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.

Congratulations!!! The same report received the 2020 Gold Award of Excellence 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!