Culture, Arts and Heritage

Vancouver is home to a growing and ever-evolving cultural ecosystem, with a variety of artists, arts and cultural organizations, institutions of higher education, a historical museum, a national historic site, and other arts and cultural venues such as festivals, outdoor concerts and markets and a monthly First Friday Art Walk. 

A focus on culture, arts and heritage and support for cultural resources can benefit almost every part of our lives, from the vibrancy and economic prosperity of our city to our health and well-being, in addition to enhancing the unique character and identity of our city.

Culture, Arts and Heritage Grants  

The Culture, Arts and Heritage Grant program will fund programs and projects that elevate Culture, Arts and Heritage in Vancouver. The application cycle for 2023 is now closed. Awards will be announced in August.  

Vancouver Culture, Arts and Heritage Plan 

In 2018, the Vancouver City Council approved a Culture, Arts and Heritage Plan. The plan’s overarching vision is to integrate culture, arts and heritage into the daily life of the community by bringing together the diverse interests and talents in Vancouver.

The new plan details Vancouver’s existing cultural assets, best practices from other cities in the Pacific Northwest, the Vancouver arts community’s needs, and the City’s role. It also lays out 13 specific objectives, each with several associated actions, necessary to achieve the plan’s vision.

Performing Arts Feasibility Study 

Through the Performing Arts Feasibility Study the City, Vancouver School District and Fort Vancouver Regional Libraries share a vision for a multi-use campus supporting education, innovation, technology and the arts on the site of the library’s current administrative headquarters at E. Mill Plain and Fort Vancouver Way.  To help define the vision, the City commissioned a performing arts feasibility study to provide an assessment of the market demand, appropriate size for a facility and cost estimates to build and operate it. That study, with oversight from a community steering committee, was completed in March 2020.  Rather than the new, stand-alone performing arts center originally envisioned, the consultant team took an unexpected turn with a creative concept to incorporate the old library, one of the City’s beloved buildings, into the project.

Heritage Sites in Vancouver

Vancouver and its surrounding area are rich with historic and cultural resources that provide a strong sense of inherited identity. We work to preserve significant places, stories, objects and traditions for future generations. By learning about our shared past, we see our present in a new light. 

Clark County Historical Museum 

The Clark County Historical Museum is committed to responsible collections stewardship, innovative collaboration and inspiring exhibitions and programs that engage the community in an exploration of Clark County’s past, present and future. 

Clark County Historic Preservation program 

The Clark County Historic Preservation Commission coordinates preservation activities for the City, County and other regional cities. The Commission encourages rehabilitation projects, administers incentive programs, and maintains local Heritage Register. City Council makes recommendation to the Commissioners on appointment of members. 

The Historic Trust 

The Historic Trust inspires civic pride and economic vitality through education, preservation, and celebration of our community’s history. 

Interpretive Panels  There are interpretive panels across the city to share Vancouver’s history from the Lewis and Clark expedition in the 1800s, to its first movie theatre in 1936, to the importance of the Kaiser Shipyards during World War II.