Granville Island Cultural Plan


In 2016 AMS was commissioned to work with Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC) to re-imagine what success would look like for the arts and culture sector at the world renowned cultural destination of Granville Island. The project involved large scale coordination encompassing several other firms including architects, urban planners, and public engagement consultants. Our process for exploration and alignment included:

  • Redefining the Island’s unique opportunities for arts and cultural activity to accommodate both residents and visitors;
  • Citing the opportunities for new kinds of built and found spaces for arts and cultural innovation and invention, as the sector reinvents itself for the 21st century;
  • Recommendations on the appropriate management, staffing and governance structure for the delivery of arts and cultural activity and facilities on the Island;
  • Outlining an appropriate funding and support structure for arts and cultural activity, and;
  • Significant public engagement through workshops, presentations, and interviews with a diversity of Island stakeholders.

AMS identified three thematic pillars as a guide toward Granville Island’s success. These included;

  1. Dynamic governance and strategic thought as well as programming, which would include demonstration projects and large-scale, cross-sector collaborations;
  2. Enabling risk by providing organizational capacity and facilitating exploration. Our recommendations included the incorporation of residency programs to enable adventurous creative works while exploring new ideas and innovative means of delivery and participation, and;
  3. Creating resiliency as a process and a goal, from workforce development to life-long education opportunities.

These three pillars would be integrated with the land-use and development strategies offered by the CMHC team to add value to the Island by adding focus, energy and excitement.

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