PAARC Adopts New Membership Principles

The Pacific Association of Artist Run Centres (PAARC) is pleased to announce the adoption of a new set of Membership Principles (listed below) as of May 27, 2020. The new Membership Principles make a long anticipated shift in the overall direction of the 27-member Association driven by extensive Strategic Planning work started mid-2019. PAARC’s new principles respond to a variety of challenges articulated in its Strategic Planning process, including stagnant funding conditions between 1990 and 2015, increasing costs of living and housing insecurity in BC as a result of rampant real estate development, and demands by Black, Indigenous and People of Colour within PAARCs member organizations and across the sector for the dismantling of colonialism and white supremacy. The principles also give new energy to the movement first started in the 1960s, departing from its initial successes of a “parallel gallery system” into an interdisciplinary network of values-based organizations that centres on the role of the Artist.

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PAARC Letter to City of Vancouver Mayor & Council for Support to Cultural Organizations during COVID-19 Pandemic

Unceded Territories of the Musqueam, Squamish and Tsleil-Waututh (Vancouver, BC) – The Pacific Association of Artist Run Centres (PAARC) calls on the City of Vancouver Mayor Stewart and Council to approve, relax and re-allocate funds to support the COVID-19 Pandemic.

To: Mayor Kennedy Stewart and City Council
Re: Cultural Grants & COVID-19 Emergency Funding

PAARC represents 21 non-profit cultural organizations based in Vancouver. These centres were established starting in the 1960s to democratize the production of art and make sure artists drive culture.

We are writing to urge the city council to:

  1. APPROVE the 2020 Cultural Grants as presented within the March 31, 2020 council report;
  2. RELAX the use of the operating funds for the purposes of addressing emergency issues related to COVID-19; and
  3. RE-ALLOCATE unspent funds within the Cultural Services towards additional emergency funding for arts and culture.

The severe impact of COVID-19 has created a downward spiral of economic challenges. Cancelled events, performances, festivals has seen a staggering loss of self-generated and private sector funding. At this time, PAARC is calling on the City of Vancouver to vote in favour of the allocation of operating funds to halt the insolvency of non-profit cultural organizations that would further stress the economy and end decades of cultural development. Deeply rooted neighbourhood businesses and cultural centres were already under stress prior to the COVID-19 pandemic. These organizations take decades to develop and are extremely exposed to the economic hardship brought on by the pandemic.

Media Contact
Brian McBay, President, PAARC,

Downloadable PDF Version

Link to Vancouver Council Report

Image Caption:
Map of Vancouver-based PAARC membership.

PAARC stands in solidarity with VAG CUPE 15.

For Immediate Release

Unceded Territories of the Musqueam, Squamish and Tsleil-Waututh (Vancouver, BC) – The Pacific Association of Artist Run Centres (PAARC), a non-profit association of twenty-one (21) art organizations in British Columbia, stands in solidarity with workers at the Vancouver Art Gallery who have been out of contract since summer 2017. PAARC calls on the management and governing body of the Vancouver Art Gallery to cease the pursuit of major concessions in worker wages and benefits, to bargain in good faith, and urges the Gallery Business Managers to immediately satisfy the demands of CUPE 15.

The Vancouver Art Gallery is a vital part of the cultural ecology in Vancouver and across Canada, yet demonstrates poor leadership and lack of accountability in their decision to hamper efforts towards fair compensation despite large disparities in salaries between management and workers. Based on a 2017 Charitable Information Return on the Canada Revenue Agency’s registry, the gallery Director received annual compensation of more than $350,000, while 202 of 212 staff receive compensation below $80,000 and are being offered insufficient wage increases and a two-tiered system that rolls back rights for new workers. How can the public trust the Vancouver Art Gallery, especially as it embarks on the creation of a new building, if its leadership is out of touch with appropriate compensation for its workers?

PAARC does not accept the actions of the Vancouver Art Gallery’s leadership and stands with CUPE 15 in solidarity for its collective bargaining and in the fair compensation and benefits for all artists and cultural workers.

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Media Contact
Brian McBay, President, PAARC, 778 990 2809 or

Downloadable PDF Version

Image Credit (Left):
Art Workers Coalition, “Art Workers Won’t Kiss Ass,” 1969,, 2008

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