ARTS & CULTURE

The arts are expression forms that speak a common language, and they bring value to the lives of people and communities. Art is a channel for open conversation, understanding collective concerns and issues, and bringing diverse people together through connective bridges. Those involved with the world of arts and culture help shape our communities in lasting and meaningful ways.

The Y. P. Heung Foundation strives to support and inspire excellence in those who embrace the beauty of arts and culture within Vancouver and British Columbia. We are particularly committed to funding organizations that foster the talents and abilities of young people in this province. In addition, we also support programs related to Asian Canadian Migration in British Columbia.

SUPPORTED ARTS & CULTURE PROGRAMS
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The Polygon Gallery

The Polygon Gallery opened its doors in November 2017. With a mandate to exhibit and disseminate photography and media art, emphasizing contemporary practices within a context of historical and international art-making, formerly  as the Presentation House Gallery, organizes national and international exhibitions, produces award-winning publications, and offers engaging public events and art education programs. Some of the world’s most important artists, both local and international, have been featured by the organization—from acclaimed Vancouver visual artists Stan Douglas, Fred Herzog, and Ian Wallace to leading international figures such as Hiroshi Sugimoto and Annette Kelm.  After 40 prolific years as Presentation House Gallery, the organization has taken a new shape, and a new name, on the waterfront of Vancouver’s North Shore with a purpose-built building.

The Y.P. Heung Foundation is proud to be amongst the donors in a Capital Campaign that have contributed to the realization of the Polygon Gallery’s new building.

Bill Reid Gallery

The Bill Reid Gallery was established by the Bill Reid Foundation in 2008, to celebrate the Haida master artist Bill Reid (1920 – 1998), and the diverse living cultures of the Northwest Coast. The Gallery honours Bill Reid by exhibiting the Bill Reid SFU Art Collection, and presenting special exhibitions and programs that build bridges between all peoples, including Indigenous and settler populations. Their mandate is to promote a greater awareness of Indigenous cultures and values.

In conjunction with the municipal government and other senior levels of government, as a private donor the Foundation is participating in various phases of renovation of the Bill Reid Gallery, so that the Gallery can increase exhibit space to accommodate an expanded program schedule, improve visitor experience, and to better support revenue generating activities.

Vancouver Writers Fest – Saturday Books & Ideas

The Vancouver Writers Fest is one of the world’s most celebrated literary festivals, offering more than 100 events curated around topical discussions with a diverse array of literary and cultural minds. The Festival cultivates an intimate, informal, and inspiring atmosphere where people of all ages and backgrounds can explore new ideas, challenge world views, and excite the imagination.

Since 2018, the Y. P. Heung Foundation has proudly supported the festival’s Saturday Books & Ideas: A Day of Pay-What-You-Can Events at the Vancouver Writers Fest (formerly Accessible Saturday). This wonderful program—already in its second year—seeks to make arts & culture more accessible by removing the ticket cost as a barrier to Vancouver residents. 

YOUTH PROGRAMS

Arts Club Theatre - LEAP Program

The Arts Club Theatre is Canada’s largest nonprofit urban theatre company. It has been a fixture on the Vancouver cultural scene since 1964, when it opened its first stage. Today, the Arts Club holds performances in three venues in the city, and it also tours throughout the province. Its productions range from musicals and contemporary comedies, to new works and classics. The theatre’s mission is to “inspire and nurture artists and audiences through diverse cultural experiences that are engaging, thought-provoking, and artistically innovative.”

Since 2013, the Y. P. Heung Foundation has been a supporter of the Arts Club’s LEAP Program (Learning Early About Playwriting), an intensive, collaborative, and innovative writing and professional training program for students ages 16 to 25. Courses are directed by award-winning playwright and actor Shawn MacDonald. The program accepts 15 students each year through a formal application process, and consists of three levels of programming.

Arts Umbrella — Open Stage at Pacific Storm Community Theatre Program

Founded in 1979, Arts Umbrella is where young artists ages 2–22 cultivate their creativity in dance, theatre,, and visual arts. As a non-profit organization, it sees to make programs accessible to as many children and youth in the Lower Mainland as possible. It is a place where children and young students are free to discover creative expression and collaboration through the arts, regardless of their financial situation. 

The Y. P. Heung Foundation proudly supports Arts Umbrella’s Open Stage at Pacific Storm Community Theatre Program. This program provides a full year of free-of-charge weekly intensive theatre training for 30–40 high school students (ages 13–18) studying at Britannia Secondary School and Maplewood Alternative High School. It reaches students struggling with debilitating emotional and behavioral learning needs, chronic health impairments, learning disabilities, and autism. Open Stage allows these vulnerable students a safe place to discover their creative voices and achieve personal success, offering a stable, supportive environment and community to young lives fraught with uncertainty and change.

Ballet BC - Apprenticeship Program

Founded in 1986, Ballet BC is an internationally acclaimed collaborative and interactive contemporary ballet company known for its bold and innovative style. As a leader in the creation, production, and education of contemporary ballet, Ballet BC powers the industry through dance training opportunities, audience and community engagement, and professional development activities.

The Y. P. Heung Foundation has made a multi-year grant to strengthen and expand the Ballet BC Apprenticeship Program, which provides training for both national and international emerging young artists. Apprentices in this program immerse themselves in the work of a professional dancer, taking daily ballet classes, rehearsing in the studio, working with choreographers, and performing at the Queen Elizabeth Theatre and abroad on tour. These emerging young artists also participate in community outreach and engagement, experiencing all aspects of professional creative process.

Bard on the Beach - Riotous Youth Program


Bard on the Beach was established in 1990, to provide Vancouver with affordable, accessible, and high quality Shakespeare productions.  It is produced annually under two purpose-built performance tents in Vancouver’s idyllic Vanier Park. Located at the mouth of False Creek and on the banks of English Bay, Bard is known equally for its beautiful setting and for its distinction as the largest Shakespeare festival in Western Canada. Bard produces four shows each season between June and September in addition to offering excellent education and outreach opportunities for young theatre enthusiasts.

The Y. P. Heung Foundation has made a multi-year grant towards Bard’s Riotous Youth, a paid post-secondary  training and internship program in Shakespeare performance for youth aged 19 – 24, who are either beginning or considering a career in theatre.

Green Thumb Theatre

For over 40 years, the Green Thumb Theatre has been presenting theatre performances to young audiences throughout British Columbia, Canada, and the United States, as well as overseas. To date, the theatre has performed for over 5 million people. By offering young audiences the same caliber of work a traditional theatre audience would expect, Green Thumb provides a way for young people to reflect on the kinds of issues that they may be curious about or grappling with themselves, but don’t feel comfortable broaching in a traditional classroom setting.

During the 2015/16 season, Green Thumb Theatre teamed up with Studio 58, the professional theatre training program at Langara College, to present The Crowd, a new play written by celebrated Canadian playwright George F. Walker. The Y. P. Heung Foundation was proud to fund the commissioning of this play. The goal of this project was threefold: first, to create a new Canadian play with a large cast, something relatively unheard of in Canada’s contemporary theatre scene; second, to provide all students involved with parts that would showcase their work and be memorable to the audience; third, to give students a feel for what it is like to work on a brand new script.

In 2017, Y. P. Heung Foundation also made a donation to help Green Thumb Theatre purchase a replacement touring van, which allows the theatre company to travel to communities throughout the province.

Music on Main - The Kessler Academy

Established in 2006, Music on Main has developed a growing local, national, and international reputation as storytellers for a post-classical age – and, as an organization that creates opportunities for people from all walks of life to experience great music in welcoming settings

The Y. P. Heung Foundation is proud to support Music on Main’s Kessler Academy for its 2021 season. The Kessler Academy is an intensive, six-day music mentorship, team-building, and skills development initiative for a diverse cohort of promising youth string players ranging from school-age to emerging professionals. The program is led by the Vancouver-based Microcosmos String Quartet. Taking place in August 2021, the program will culminate in a public concert scheduled for August 14, 2021.

Music on Main’s website

Pacific Theatre - Apprenticeship Program

Established in 1984, Pacific Theatre is an award winning, mid-sized theatre company based in Vancouver. Its goal is to “delight, provoke, and stimulate dialogue by producing theatre that rigorously explores the spiritual aspects of human experience.” The theatre’s productions range from established works to original world premiers that top theatre artists from Vancouver and across the continent.

The Y. P. Heung Foundation has provided Pacific Theatre with a three year grant to support its Apprenticeship Program. This program is designed for emerging artists seeking to bridge the gap between academia and the professional marketplace. The goal of this program is to develop new graduates holistically, through mentorship and hands-on experience.

Vancouver Youth Choir - Subsidy Program for Marginalized Youth

Founded in 2013, the Vancouver Youth Choir has become a thriving space for young singers ranging from the kindergarten age to 24 year olds. It consists of five ensembles and is considered one of the finest youth choirs in Canada. 

In 2020, the Y. P. Heung Foundation helped support the Vancouver Youth Choir’s Subsidy Program for Marginalized Youth. This program offers free music education to young singers facing adversity in their community, aiming to remove barriers and make the VYC’s programs more accessible. Singers participating in this program have the same experience as paying choristers, but free of charge.


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