SWARM 17: Annual Festival of Artist-Run Culture

31 August 2016

Dates: September 8th & 9th, 2016
Time: 6 p.m. onward
Access website

SWARM is an annual 2-night event that marks the launch of Vancouver’s artist-run centre programming season with exhibition openings, performances, screenings, and special events. On the evenings of Thursday, September 8th and Friday, September 9th, the public is invited to “gallery-hop” from venue to venue to experience the vibrancy of Vancouver’s artist-run centres and independent non-profit galleries.

Most SWARM events are free and open to the public!

For detailed information about SWARM programming, events, and venue locations visit: www.paarc.ca/swarm17

Join the conversation: #ArtistRun

Organized since 1999, SWARM is an annual festival put on by the Pacific Association of Artist-Run Centres (PAARC) to launch the programming season of Vancouver’s artist-run, non-profit, and independent galleries. This year, we celebrate the 17th edition of SWARM.


Curated Reading Lists from the Repertoire of BC ARCs’ Publications

11 March 2015

The Pacific Association of Artist Run Centres (PAARC) is happy to announce collaborations with the grunt gallery, the Or Gallery, VIVO Media Arts Centre, Open Space and Alternator Centre for Contemporary Art to commission curatorial research drawing from the material indexed by the Repertoire of BC ARCs’ Publications. These commissions constitute the second step in the development of a multi-phase project hosted on ArcPost, which aims to stimulate renewed interest in the practices and histories of BC artist-run centres through their publishing activities.

Project collaborators include: Lorna Brown (commissioned by the Or Gallery), Lucas Glenn (commissioned by Alternator Centre for Contemporary Art), Tarah Hogue (commissioned by the grunt gallery), Robin Simpson (commissioned by VIVO Media Arts Centre), and Benjamin Willems (commissioned by the Open Space). These curators have been commissioned by partner organizations to produce thematic curated readings lists and accompanying essays highlighting particular moments and orientations specific to BC’s artist-run histories.

Curated Reading Lists will be published on ArcPost in May 2015, and the project will be launched in early June.

For more information about this project click here.

About the Repertoire of BC ARCs’ Publications

The Repertoire of BC ARCs’ Publications indexes print publications produced by BC ARCs since 1967. Since the inception of the first artist-run centre in BC (Intermedia, in 1967) the artist-run community has fostered the creation of a large archive of publications, print ephemera, audiovisual recordings as well as organizational and institutional records. This collective archive documents the rich contributions that BC artist-run centres have made (and continue to make) to the province’s cultural ecology.

The searchable feature of the database makes it a great resource for research as it draws connections between material produced by different publishing centres.
Publications indexed in the Repertoire are searchable by: publishing centre, artist, author, curator, media, date and through key words.

The Repertoire is an open resource managed by members of the BC artist-run community. Artist-run or artist-led initiatives across the province can add their publications to the database by creating an organization profile.
To do so, access the Repertoire home page, click “Log in/Register” in the top right corner, then click “Register new user.”

PAARC is grateful for the generous contributions of the Friends of the BC Archives Foundation through the Terry Reksten Memorial Fund and of the BC Arts Council, which have made this project possible.


Municipal elections 2014

21 October 2014

On November 15, citizens from across the province will be asked to elect their local government representatives. We invite you to vote for the arts in your communities!

Policies set in place by local governments have a direct impact on how communities operate, develop and define themselves. This has particular resonance for artists and arts organizations, which play a key role in moulding the cultural identity of a city. Effectively, the work of artists and arts organizations develops a sense of belonging to a neighbourhood or community, fosters heterogeneous social relations, promotes the meaningful inclusion of diverse voices, and creates opportunities for active participation in civic and public spheres.

PAARC’s values are to 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.

Key Facts about Artists in BC

- British Columbia is the Canadian province with the highest number of working artists

- Artists comprise 1.8% of the BC’s labour force.

- Together, artists and cultural workers account for 5.45% of the province’s labour force.

Province-wide resources

The Alliance for Arts and Culture has circulated a survey to municipal elections candidates from across the province. Access the Arts Vote BC website here

Capital Regional District Municipal Elections

Our colleagues at the ProArt Alliance have distributed the Arts Vote 2014 Candidate Survey to candidates in the Capital Regional District. See their responses here

Vancouver Municipal Elections

We have highlighted key points from the platforms of Vancouver’s 7 main parties in relation to: cultural life in the city, planning and urban development, community life, affordable housing and working conditions.

To view platform summaries and responses to the Vote for the Arts survey click here


Brief to the BC Select Standing Committee on Finance and Government Services

20 October 2014

PAARC presented a brief to the Brief to the Legislative Assembly of British Columbia
Select Standing Committee on Finance and Government Services as part of the province-wide 2015 pre-budget consultations.

We presented the following recommendations to the Committee aligned with those of the Professional Arts Alliance of the Greater Victoria and of the BC members of the Pacific IMAA:

1) Increase the budget of BC Arts Council to $32 million, with a plan to increase the Council’s legislated appropriated investment to $40 million, over the following two-year period.
2) We propose that Gaming Community Grants to organizations be increased to $156 million for 2014-15, with a goal of increasing Gaming grants steadily in the long term.
3) To provide stable, predictable funding for the arts sector, the BC Arts Council and Community Gaming Grant program should offer multi-year funding with 3 year grants to arts and cultural organizations, through the government considering a three-year budgeting model for those agencies.
4) The government should develop a capital program to help arts organizations purchase and maintain presentation venues for art and culture.

You can download the full report here


PAARC Presents the Fifteenth Annual Swarm Festival of Artist-Run Culture

2 September 2014

PAARC is pleased to announce its Fifteenth Year of Swarm!

SWARM is a 2-night event that marks the launch of Vancouver’s artist-run centre (ARC) programming season with exhibition openings, performances, screenings and special events. 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.

This year’s Swarm invites the public to visit organizations located in Mount Pleasant on Thursday, September 11, and in the Downtown and neighbouring Chinatown areas on September 12. Participating organizations include Artspeak, Dynamo Arts Association, grunt gallery, Malaspina Printmakers Society, New Forms Festival, Or Gallery, VIVO Media Arts Centre, Western Front and more. In collaboration with community partner Centre A, organizations in Chinatown including 221A, Access Gallery and UNIT/PITT Projects, will close off a portion of the East Georgia Street corridor for walking traffic. Visitors will have the opportunity to participate once again in an array of cultural experiences unique to Vancouver’s specific purview in contemporary art discourse.

Please visit our website, facebook, and/or twitter for more information on event listings and schedules of programs.

Mount Pleasant and further afield
Thursday, September 11, 7-11pm

Friday, September 12, 7-11pm

More Information
To arrange media interviews or to inquire about media sponsorship please contact: Victoria Lum, Swarm Coordinator, Pacific Association of Artist-Run Centres at swarm@paarc.ca.

Design by Jaz Halloran and Christy Nyir


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