Current Space Opportunities at BC Artscape Sun Wah

A. 2,172 sq. ft. Artist studio/Rehearsal studio
B. 2,516 sq. ft. Artist studio/Rehearsal studio/Exhibition/Programming space

We invite professional artists and collectives, not-for-profit arts, cultural and community organizations, and community groups to apply to be a tenant at BC Artscape Sun Wah in Vancouver’s Chinatown.

BC Artscape Sun Wah brings together a diverse mix of artists, cultural producers, community groups and the public to create a community asset that enriches the area’s unique sense of place.

Units for rent are available on the lower level, 3rd floor and 4th floor for uses including but not limited to: production, exhibition, education, social service provision, programming and administration.

Please thoroughly read the information below before proceeding to the form on the next page.


Project Background

BC Artscape launched its Sun Wah project with an open call for Expressions of Interest in December 2016 and the first Call for Tenants in March 2017. Interest and input received through these processes helped us to determine the types of spaces and facilities needed, inform the vision and operating plan, and identify and confirm Founding Tenants.

This document provides information about spaces that are still available, and invites professional artists, arts, cultural and community organizations, and community cultural groups to join BC Artscape and our Founding tenants in our shared vision for a community cultural hub. Please thoroughly review the information contained in this document before applying for tenancy.

BC Artscape is committed to ongoing community engagement as an essential part of our project development process. Since December 2016, we have undertaken extensive consultations with a broad range of local artists, cultural groups, business owners, residents, and other stakeholders on the role of an arts and cultural space in Chinatown, including through our community steering committee, our project vision survey, open houses, and individual and small group discussions. Our community engagement work continues to inform the project vision and principles outlined below, as well as operating and community stewardship plans.


Project Vision and Principles

BC Artscape Sun Wah aspires to  be a place where:

  • All are welcome regardless of age, socioeconomic status, language, culture or gender.

  • Artists, cultural producers, and community groups are supported by 49,000 sf of secure space devoted to artistic inspiration, cultural expression, collaboration and learning.

  • Community events and cultural activities are supported by three new affordable and accessible spaces, a community kitchen, and a rooftop garden.

  • Chinatown’s heritage values inform our tenanting, programming, spaces and operations. Language accessibility is supported by Chinese-speaking staff and translation.

  • BC Artscape, its tenants, program partners and audiences acknowledge the influx of capital we individually and collectively bring to the neighbourhood, and will share space, information, and resources with low-income peoples, and support the businesses in the community that are essential to low-income peoples.

  • Arts and culture is recognized as central to community building and connectedness. Programming offered by our tenants and program partners will reflect a broad range of audiences and experiences to ensure accessibility.

  • Project governance and operations will involve the diverse community through a community stewardship model that is rooted in the historical and changing cultural context of the Chinatown and DTES neighbourhoods.

  • Relationships and partnerships between our tenants and the wider community are built on collaboration, respect, and reciprocity.


Commitment to Community

Becoming a Tenant of BC Artscape is about more than leasing space. Tenants will join BC Artscape in a commitment to working and participating in the community – both within the Sun Wah Centre and the neighbourhood. BC Artscape and our tenants will build a community commitment framework together in response to the project vision and principles, but some examples of contribution are:

  • Sharing resources or skills within the building or with the Chinatown and surrounding communities;

  • Facilitating a program that engages members of the Chinatown and surrounding communities;

  • Providing support for low-income or emerging artists from the Chinatown and surrounding communities;

  • Hosting or presenting artist talks and/or talks celebrating local history and heritage;

  • Sharing your space with others outside of your regular hours of use;

  • Volunteering with other tenants to assist with their programs and events;

  • Participating on a tenant committee.

At the time of occupancy, tenants will be asked to participate in an orientation with the intent of familiarizing themselves with the Sun Wah Centre, the goals of the BC Artscape project, and the Chinatown and DTES community. Tenants will also be required to participate in the development of a Tenant Charter and a statement of commitment to the community, and be actively involved in the stewardship of the project vision.


Building Features and Amenities

  • 7:30AM-11:59PM access for tenants

  • Ground floor main entrance on Keefer Street

  • Fully accessible

  • Passenger elevator

  • Freight elevator with loading bay

  • Sprinkler system

  • Washrooms on each floor, including universal toilet rooms

  • Shared lunchrooms on each floor

  • Secure access system

  • Secure bike parking

  • Free parking on rooftop level operated by BC Artscape for tenants and representatives

  • Rooftop garden amenity (coming soon)

  • Three bookable rooms available for tenants and community members:

    • A: 968 sf rehearsal room on level 4

    • B: 685 sf meeting/workshop space on level 3

    • C: 315 sf meeting room on level 4

    • Teaching/community kitchen on level 4 for programming and social gatherings. Can be combined with room C and/or room A for small or large events.


Dedicated Unit Features and Finishes

  • Ceiling heights range from 9 ft to 18.5 ft, depending on location in the building

  • Primed unit walls

  • Concrete or tile floors, depending on location in the building

  • High speed Wi-Fi

  • LED lighting on dimmer switches

  • Electrical service

  • Additional improvements are the responsibility of tenants


Rental Rates

BC Artscape is renting units at a below-market rate of $2.06 per square foot per month ($24.72 per square foot per year), exclusive of GST. This rate represents an all-in cost inclusive of property taxes, building maintenance, utilities, Wi-fi and a proportional share of common area expenses.

  • Reserved monthly parking space on the rooftop parkade as well as day passes are available at an additional cost.

  • Secure shared storage is available at $1.29 per square foot.

  • Lease terms are available as 1, 3 or 5 year terms, to be confirmed through a signed Lease Agreement.


Tenant Qualification and Selection

Our goal is to establish a diverse mix of tenants in the project who have the: 1) vision and 2) interest in engaging audiences and/or community; and 3) leadership and financial capacity and sustainability.

The tenant qualification and selection process determines the order of priority in making leasing opportunities available to interested parties. BC Artscape hopes to attract a strong core of tenants representing a range of artistic disciplines, cultural production and community service to join our Founding Tenants.



To be eligible to rent space within BC Artscape Sun Wah, applicants must be any of 1) a not-for-profit arts, cultural or community organization; 2) a professional artist or artist collective; or 3) a community group.



The tenant qualification and selection process identifies applicants best suited to the project  vision, will make the strongest contribution to their audience and the community, and have the leadership and financial capacity to sustain both their proposed space and activities. Applicants may be assessed against the following criteria:

Capacity: Does the applicant have the capacity to realize their vision and goals?

  • Does the applicant demonstrate the necessary level of experience to deliver on their vision for the space?

  • Does the applicant have the financial capacity to deliver on what is proposed in their submission?

Community Engagement: Will the applicant engage local communities and audiences?

  • How will the applicant contribute to the Chinatown/DTES community and seek to engage local communities in their work?

  • What is the applicant’s history of service to the local community and commitment to providing programming to help animate the project?

  • How will the applicant seek to collaborate with others in the project?

Space Needs:

  • Does the proposed use of the dedicated space fit within the mission and principles of the project?

  • Does the proposed dedicated space have synergy with the Founding Tenant’s dedicated space uses?



BC Artscape respects your privacy. The information submitted to the Call for Tenants is collected and used for the administrative activities related to the rental opportunities at BC Artscape. At all times it will be protected in accordance with the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act.