Promoting awareness of, and education about arts and culture by establishing bridges between the public, the private sector, cultural workers and artists through education, outreach, and recognition programs.

The Alliance's partner organization, the Society to Bridge Arts and Community (Bridge Society) is a charitable society that has a mandate “to promote awareness of, and education about arts and culture 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 contributes to the ongoing public resource function of the Alliance, recently supporting the ongoing development of the Alliance website, operating as a conduit for charitable donations via the Arts Legacy Fund, and co-presenting the 2013 and 2014 Arts Summits which focused on the need for a comprehensive cultural policy framework for our province.

Alliance members receive affiliate membership to the Bridge Society.

The Bridge Society’s current activities include, but are not limited to: 

Culture Days

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.

Arts Board Member of the Year Award

The Bridge Society facilitates the annual Arts Board Member of the Year award which is presented annually at the City of Vancouver’s Mayor’s Arts Awards ceremony. The award honours significant contributions to Vancouver's cultural community through work on an arts board. The selection is made from nominations proposed by individual jurors and solicited from the community at large.

In 2015 the Bridge Society was proud to name Jane Westheuser as the award recipient. Jane has worked in the philanthropic sector for over 25 years and is currently the advisor of gift planning at the Heart and Stroke Foundation. She has extensive fundraising experience managing annual, major, and planned gift programs at both large and small organizations. Her expertise in relationship-building has resulted in mutually-beneficial partnerships for donors and educational, health, and performing-arts non-profits. Getting further involved as a volunteer resulted in more than 10 years of service with the Vancouver Fringe Festival, where her contributions ranged from committee member to board secretary to chair. In 2015, Jane got on the stage (and developed an even greater appreciation for the arts performer) as a volunteer community dancer in the PuSH Festival’s Le Grand Continental.

Past Arts Board Member of the Year recipients include:

  • Julie McIntyre (2014), print and fibre artist, and former President of Canadian Artists' Representation/le Front des Artistes Canadiens - BC (CARFAC-BC)
  • Mo Dhaliwal (2013), director of client services for Skyrocket Digital, creator of the Vancouver International Bhangra Celebration Society; 
  • 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;
  • 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; 
  • 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; 
  • 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; 
  • 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; and
  • Dr. Stanley Hamilton (2007), past chair of the Arts Club Theatre Company and current Chair of the BC Arts Council.

Lifetime Achievement Award

The Bridge Society facilitates the annual Lifetime Achievement award which is presented annually at the City of Vancouver’s Mayor’s Arts Awards ceremony. This award recognizes an individual who has made significant contributions over his or her lifetime to the cultural vibrancy of our city. The selection is made from nominations proposed by jurors and solicited from the community at large.

Past Lifetime Achievement Award recipients are: 

  • Joy Coghill (2015), actor, teacher, and director;
  • Al Neil (2014), jazz pianist, collage artist, writer;
  • Cornelia Hahn Oberlander (2013), landscape architect; and
  • Tom Cone (2012), playwright, librettist, teacher, and impresario.

Bridge society bOARD OF DIRECTORS (2015-2016)

The Bridge Society is governed by an elected board of directors.


Harry Hertscheg

Vice President, Treasurer
Minna Schendlinger

Charles Campbell

Rob Gloor


Liesl Jauk
Kenji Maeda
Alice Niwinski

CONTACT the Bridge Society

Email the Bridge Society at