The “Greater Vancouver Society to Bridge Arts and Community” is a charitable society that has a mandate “to promote awareness of, and education about arts and culture, in Greater Vancouver, by establishing bridges between the general public, the private sector and arts organizations and individual artists through activities such as, but not limited to, educational workshops, outreach programs, awards ceremonies, and the maintenance of an arts resource centre”.
The Bridge Society serves as the secretariat for Culture Days in British Columbia, an annual three-day event held each September which raises the awareness, accessibility, participation and engagement of Canadians in the arts and cultural life of their communities.
The Bridge Society has fundraised to contribute to the Arts Legacy Fund (of which it is the named recipient for grants), has produced the Vancouver Arts Awards, and continues to facilitate the annual Arts Board Member of the Year award. It also contributes to the ongoing public resource function of the Alliance, recently supporting the ongoing development of the Alliance website. In partnership with the Alliance, the Bridge Society co-presented Arts Summit 2014 on June 20, which focused on the need for a comprehensive cultural policy framework for our province.
This year, the Bridge Society is proud to name Mo Dhaliwal the recipient of the seventh annual Arts Board Member of the Year Award, presented at the 2013 Mayor's Arts Awards. Dhaliwal has worked to shatter barriers between people and encourage cross-cultural understanding, most notably through the creation of the Vancouver International Bhangra Celebration Society. As director of client services for Skyrocket Digital, he collaborates with creative minds across the country and continues to create moving experiences for clients and community.
Past Arts Board Member of the Year recipients include:
- Dr. Stanley Hamilton (2007), past chair of the Arts Club Theatre Company and current Chair of the BC Arts Council;
- Jane Heyman (2008), co-founder and past president of the Vancouver Performing Arts Lodge (PAL), PAL Studio Theatre board member, and acting president of PAL Canada;
- Camilla Tibbs (2009), general manager of the Vancouver International Writers Fest, president of the Jessie Richardson Theatre Awards Society and a member of the Touchstone Theatre board;
- Martina Lee (2010), a lawyer with ICBC, who has served on the Public Dreams Society board since 2005 and is also a member of the Big Sisters of BC Lower Mainland board;
- Marlie Oden (2011), managing partner for Bridge Communications, who spearheads marketing and public relations services for many organizations and arts groups, including the City of Vancouver and the Firehall Arts Centre; and
- Catherine Van Alstine (2012), senior partner with Odgers Berndtson and past chair of the board of Arts Umbrella. Catherine is also on the National Advisory Board of the Learning Partnership and is a United Way of the Lower Mainland Campaign Cabinet Member.