Arts Umbrella set to move into its new home at Granville Island next month

Mar 18 2021, 10:26 am

Arts Umbrella is set to relocate to its new home on Granville Island that is more than triple the size of its longtime space.

The non-profit arts education centre has completed the renovations on the former South Building of the Emily Carr University of Art + Design (ECUAD) campus. The 50,000 sq ft building is a replacement of their longtime facility located nearby on Granville Island.

The organization serves over 24,000 young people across the region. Within five years the new facility’s programs will be ramped up to handle 15,000 children and youth each year, including increased access for vulnerable young people. These programs are supported by about 250 arts educators and staff.

This building was first constructed in 1995 for ECUAD’s expansion and underwent a $27 million renovation over the last two years for new uses and upgraded building systems to accommodate Arts Umbrella’s unique needs. Patkau Architects designed the original building, while Henriquez Partners Architects is behind the redesign for Arts Umbrella.

This includes creating six dance studios, four studios (for theatre, music, and film), and 10 arts and design studios, including a media hub, ceramics studio, and photography darkroom. There is also a 132-seat theatre, public exhibition space, a dedicated workshop area for woodworking, stagecraft area, and general fabrication.

arts umbrella studio

Inside the new Arts Umbrella facility nearing completion. (Arts Umbrella)

“As Canada’s leading non-profit arts education organization for young people, we are inspired to build on the legacy that Arts Umbrella has earned over the last four decades,” said Paul Larocque, president and CEO of Arts Umbrella, in a statement.

“Over the past few years, our staff’s hard work, innovations, and programming leadership have steadily pushed against the boundaries of our current space. Now, we have room to support and inspire more young people to seek wonder through the arts.”

So far, Arts Umbrella has raised $35 million towards its combined construction and endowment fund goal of $37 million, including $7 million from the federal government’s cultural spaces fund and $1.4 million from the provincial government.

arts umbrella studio

Artistic rendering of an interior space in the new Arts Umbrella facility. (LNG Studios)

Arts Umbrella was confirmed as the tenant of the building in November 2017, shortly after ECUAD opened its new campus in the False Creek Flats.

Arts and innovation hub uses are planned for ECUAD’s former North Building, which spans 120,000 sq ft, but no definitive uses have been set.

The new arts education facility is slated to officially open on April 10, 2021. It is expected to bring new foot traffic to Granville Island, while also complementing the area’s arts-based businesses and organizations.

Kenneth ChanKenneth Chan

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