SWARM 15: Annual 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



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.

PAARC Members are expected to agree and commit to the principles as listed above; maintain the majority of its operations in British Columbia, Canada; and make an effort to attend and participate in the monthly meetings. Members attending from outside of Vancouver may be reimbursed for travel expenses.

PAARC offers members with opportunities to participate in collaborative events and conferences, network, gain exposure to funding opportunities and partake in collective advocacy.

Membership dues are calculated at 0.1% of your annual operating budget or minimum $50/year. Make cheques payable to: Pacific Association of Artist Run Centres.

Application Process
To apply for as a PAARC member please submit a letter that includes a statement declaring that your organization acknowledges the principles of PAARC as defined above; the history, location(s), purposes and activities of your organization; and articulate the reasons your organization is interested in becoming a member of PAARC. Your letter will be reviewed by the PAARC Membership Secretary to ensure each of the above points are adequately addressed. Adjustments or clarification may be requested. At the next available meeting Members of PAARC will make a formal motion for or against the applicant. Applicants will become official members once all dues are paid.

Email your letter to bmcbay@221a.ca or by mail to:
Brian McBay
Membership Secretary
Pacific Association of Artist-Run Centres
303 East 8th Ave
Vancouver BC
Canada V5T 1S1



The Pacific Association of Artist Run Centres (PAARC) was established in 1988 as an association representing artist run centres in British Columbia. Member organizations are artist initiated and artist controlled. The primary mandate of the society is to work towards the benefit of the practicing artist, within the context of artists’ self-determination. Members of PAARC coordinate their opening receptions and events, collaborate on programming initiatives and advocacy work.

PAARC has a permanent membership of British Columbia ARC’s and represents them regionally, provincially and nationally. PAARC was active during the 1998-99 reevaluation by Canada Council of artist centres and consults regularly with funders on issues vital to the centres.

Artist-run Centres (ARCs) are non-profit organizations, run by and for artists, supporting new and innovative practices in the arts. With a rich history that spans over thirty 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.



PAARC mailing address:
303 E.8th Avenue
Vancouver, BC
Canada V5T 1S1

Doug Jarvis
c/o Open Space

Vice-President and Representative to ARCA (national coalition)
Jonathan Middleton
c/o Or Gallery

Kim Nguyen
c/o Artspeak

Jesse Birch
c/o Western Front

Membership Secretary
Brian McBay
c/o 221A Artist Run Centre