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 2017 the Bridge Society was proud to name Henry Lau as the award recipient. Lau studied at UBC’s Dietetics program and co-founded the Roots on the Roof rooftop garden at UBC’s Student Union Building. Lau’s involvement with various projects and events to boost arts and culture in the City includes his pivotal role in organizing the Renfrew Ravine Moon Festival since 2010 and co-founding Renfrew-Collingwood’s first Arts Council. He currently serves as the Vice-President of the Still Moon Arts Society, chairing a number of core organizational committees and spearheading many projects to further the Society’s vision of inspiring vibrant and connected communities by creating art and nurturing a passion for nature.

Past Arts Board Member of the Year recipients include:

  • Amy Nugent (2016), executive director of the Inclusion BC Foundation and president of the Artspeak Board of Directors;

  • Jane Westheuser (2015), advisor of gift planning at the Heart and Stroke Foundation, former committee member, board secretary and chair of the Vancouver Fringe Festival, Fringe and PuSh Festival volunteer;

  • 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: 

  • Choo Chiat Goh (2017), co-founder of Goh Ballet Academy Canada;

  • Gordon Smith (2016), painter;

  • 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 (2019-2020)

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


Minna Schendlinger

Charles Campbell

Laurie-Ann Goodwin


Alice Niwinski
Liesl Jauk
Judy Robertson
Barbara Chirinos
Brenda Leadlay (Ex-Officio)

CONTACT the Bridge Society

Email the Bridge Society at