Artist-run Centres (ARCs) are collectives and non-profit organizations, run by artists, supporting new and innovative practices in the arts. With a rich history that spans over forty years, ARCs have had a significant impact on the cultural ecology in Canada and around the world. Generally, these centres exhibit contemporary art which parallels the larger public institutions and private commercial galleries – offering an alternative to artists in determining how to represent their work. Most of Canada's best known and internationally recognized contemporary artists, curators and cultural practitioners have come out of the artist-run centre movement.
Members of PAARC are collectives and non-profit organizations in British Columbia run by artists that advocate for livable incomes for artists and a commitment to the principle that artists deserve to be paid for their endeavours; stand against censorship and for the rights of artists to organize, work and advocate on their own behalf; and promote the meaningful inclusion of diverse voices, origins and abilities in the arts. Members support these rights as advocates of non-profit, critical, marginal, difficult and transgressive artistic expression.
* Community Partners are non-member artist-run initiatives and other arts organizations such as galleries, museums and community centres who are taking part in the festival in support of artist-run culture.
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