Department of Canadian Heritage

Department of Canadian Heritage

February 10, 2017 13:30 ET

Vancouver Public Library Receives $2 Million in Support to Expand its Central Branch

Government of Canada announces infrastructure funding

VANCOUVER, BRITISH COLUMBIA--(Marketwired - Feb. 10, 2017) - Department of Canadian Heritage

The Honourable Hedy Fry, Member of Parliament (Vancouver Centre), today announced $2 million in funding for the Vancouver Public Library (VPL) through the Canada Cultural Spaces Fund. Ms. Fry made this announcement on behalf of the Honourable Mélanie Joly, Minister of Canadian Heritage.

This support will allow VPL to renovate space on the eighth and ninth levels of its iconic Central Branch in downtown Vancouver. Thanks to this expansion, VPL will be able to provide increased services to the public, create arts and heritage spaces for cultural programming and artist-in-residence activities, and produce a community gathering space and publicly accessible rooftop garden.

The additional venues will be free for use by professional arts, heritage and community groups wishing to increase their profile and build new audiences by providing free presentations to the public.


"Libraries play a vital role in our communities, fostering learning, sharing knowledge, and safeguarding Canada's cultural and historical records. I am delighted that the Vancouver Public Library will now be able to increase its professional arts and heritage footprint at the Central Branch, and continue its important work as a community anchor in Vancouver."

- The Honourable Mélanie Joly, Minister of Canadian Heritage

"The Vancouver Public Library plays a unique role in the city-beyond offering traditional library services. It also provides free space for artistic and cultural groups to perform, exhibit their work, practice and train. I am thrilled to see the addition of increased space and capacity offered to Vancouverites, including our artists and our creators."

- The Honourable Hedy Fry, Member of Parliament (Vancouver Centre)

"We are grateful to Canadian Heritage for this support for the central library expansion and for supporting the enhanced access to lifelong learning and cultural enrichment that this project will bring. Levels 8 and 9 of the central library will be a new artistic and cultural destination in our city, and continues the public library tradition of sharing stories, ideas, information and cultural expression."

- Sandra Singh, Chief Librarian, Vancouver Public Library

Quick Facts

  • The Vancouver Public Library's central library is the largest and most frequented of VPL's 21 locations around the city. It currently occupies seven storeys of a nine-storey building and receives roughly 5,600 visits daily. In 2016 alone, the Central Branch received 1.9 million visits.
  • The library's expansion project is composed of five key components-a 60-seat theatre for screenings and performances; an exhibit space for art and archives, a two-storey atrium for three-dimensional exhibits, space for the VPL writer-in-residence and the VPL Indigenous storyteller-in-residence, and a reconfigurable indoor and outdoor space for theatrical performances, music recitals, exhibit viewings, screenings and author readings.
  • The Canada Cultural Spaces Fund program seeks to improve physical conditions for artistic creativity and arts presentation or exhibition. It is also designed to increase access for Canadians to performing, visual and media arts, and to museum collections and heritage displays.

Associated Links

Canada Cultural Spaces Fund

Vancouver Public Library

Stay Connected

Follow us on Twitter, YouTube, Facebook, Instagram and Flickr.

Contact Information

  • Pierre-Olivier Herbert
    Press Secretary
    Office of the Minister of Canadian Heritage

    Media Relations
    Canadian Heritage