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.