Business for the Arts wraps up its artsVest program, contributing $180,000 in funding and raising an additional $450,000 from the private sector to invest into Metro Vancouver’s cultural economy


Business for the Arts announces the results of their artsVest training and investment to over 50 small to mid-size arts organizations

(Vancouver, British Columbia – March 20, 2017) Business for the Arts – Canada’s only national charitable organization with a mandate to strengthen the arts and culture sectors across Canada by building partnerships between the private and cultural sectors – has wrapped up its artsVest program in Metro Vancouver. With funding support from the Government of British Columbia and the Government of Canada, $180,000 in matching funds raised over $450,000 from the private sector, for a total impact of $630,000 towards the arts – meaning every $1.00 invested saw a return of $2.50; more than doubling the impact of the artsVest program in Metro Vancouver’s arts community. 

“The tremendous benefits of the artsVest program for artists, businesses and cultural organizations have been proven time and time again in B.C., since our government first supported the program in 2012,” says Peter Fassbender, Minister of Community, Sport and Cultural Development for the Province of British Columbia. “Investing in artsVest B.C. helps build our creative economy by encouraging those in the arts sector to realize both creative and financial success.”

artsVest is Business for the Arts’ national flagship program that works directly with small to mid-size arts organizations looking to procure sponsorships and build sustainable partnerships with the business community. The program consists of in-depth training in corporate sponsorship – from one-on-one, group and peer-to-peer workshops, to online educational tools and mentorship relationships. Fifty-one arts organizations participated in the ten-month training program creating a total of 129 partnerships between businesses and the arts; 108 considered long-term and 103 of which were first-time sponsors for the organizations. The participants successful in securing sponsorships were allocated matching funds at the end of the program, up to a pre-determined dollar amount.

In 2016, artsVest facilitated 125 training and mentorship opportunities for artsVest participants across Metro Vancouver, resulting in the delivery of 140 hours of live session programming. The program proudly boasts over 40 expert mentors across Canada, all seasoned professionals from the non-profit or corporate sector with experience in corporate sponsorship and board governance. Over the years, artsVest has seen a large number of its participants apply their training towards successful partnerships with businesses – like the Queer Arts Festival and Vancity.

The Queer Arts Festival had courted Vancity for several years without success. They participated in the artsVest program and through the training, they were steered toward approaching sponsors on a more personal level. After much research, they devised an innovative sponsorship approach – one that centered around Indigenous artists – fitting around Vancity’s current priorities and the organization’s 2017 festival that is focused on Indigenous curation. After approaching Vancity with two new creative pitches, the credit union leapt at the opportunity and sponsored both projects.

“Through artsVest, Vancity discovered in us a partner who shares their priorities of reconciliation, supporting Vancouver’s LGBT2SQ populations, and will help publicize their commitments in these areas,” says Rachel Iwaasa, Director of Development at the Queer Arts Festival.

“Approaching businesses for sponsorship is no easy task, and we are incredibly proud of our participants for applying the artsVest training and empowering themselves to go out and secure their own sponsorships,” says Aida Aydinyan, Vice President of Business for the Arts. “We are thrilled to see the amazing results in Vancouver and on behalf of Business for the Arts, want to congratulate everyone involved, from our participating organizations and partner businesses to our team, funders and the rest of our supporters!”

To read more partnership stories, visit

About artsVest

artsVest also operates in Alberta, Saskatchewan, Ontario, Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, and Prince Edward Island. 969 participating artsVest organizations have formed 3,376 partnerships with businesses, of which 2,286 are first-time business partnerships and 2,002 are long-term. These partnerships have generated $13.92M in new private sector investment from $5.61M in matching funds to date, and has resulted in an influx of $19.53M to the cultural sector. Please visit for more information.

For more information, please contact:
Kenji Maeda
Program Manager, artsVest BC

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