Photo of the Granville Island Stage exterior at sunset.

Past Executive Spotlight

As the Arts Club’s mission is to inspire and nurture artists and audiences through diverse cultural experiences, we are proud of our partnership with Vancouver’s destination for arts and culture: CMHC Granville Island.

In the 1970s, Granville Island began its transformation from an industrial wasteland into what it is today, an arts and culture destination. In 1979, amidst this renewal, the Arts Club Theatre Company opened the Granville Island Stage, which represented amazing growth for both companies.

You may be surprised to discover that Granville Island is owned by the Government of Canada and managed by the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC). CMHC is dedicated to the preservation of Granville Island’s historic buildings, as well as ensuring that it remains the cultural and artistic destination of Vancouver.

The Arts Club has called Granville Island home for almost 40 years and since the late 1990s, CMHC has been supporting our work financially as our Cultural Partner. Lisa Ono, the Manager of Public Affairs and Programming for CMHC Granville Island speaks enthusiastically about the 20+ year partnership:

The Arts Club is part of the fabric of Granville Island. The theatre is iconic and serves as a catalyst to build other cultural venues around it. We are proud of the longevity of our partnership and the immense success the theatre company has had.

The relationship between CMHC Granville Island and the Arts Club has evolved over the years as more structure, process, and transparency around funding came into play. CMHC created a formal program to support Granville Island organizations, and the Arts Club was one of the first to be chosen.

Without support from CMHC, one of our longest standing supporters, the Arts Club would not be able to do the work that we do today. As the largest theatre company in Western Canada, our partnership with CMHC Granville Island has been mutually successful. The theatre attracts both locals and tourists alike who come to indulge in all the amenities that Granville Island has to offer before settling down for an evening of theatre. The island itself attracts cultural consumers, excited about experiencing all the island has to offer, including Arts Club Theatre Company productions.

As the Arts Club has expanded over the years, it has helped put Granville Island on the map, establishing it as a cultural destination and fostering a strong collective identity. Guests go to dinner and shop before going to see a show. The theatre adds to the economy; everyone around it benefits.

This partnership has allowed us to join efforts in order to offer the best possible experiences to the public. From facilitating events and tours to offering use of our production shop, which is still housed on Granville Island, this partnership has been instrumental in bringing 15,000–20,000 visitors to the island every week. It’s even more wonderful that the staff at CMHC are personally big Arts Club supporters too!

The CMHC staff love the big, popular musicals. However, they are also interested in new play development and are looking to support local talent.

Together, CMHC and the Arts Club Theatre Company are dedicated to fostering a vibrant arts and culture environment that exists on and within Granville Island.