The District of West Vancouver is delivering on its promise to improve arts facilities in Ambleside.

The District of West Vancouver is delivering on its promise to improve arts facilities in Ambleside.


In 2013, the West Vancouver Society for Art, Architecture + Design was formed to support the development of a new building to replace the West Vancouver Museum; to increase the Museum’s capacity to deliver public and educational programs for the enrichment of the community; and to build upon the Museum’s success in highlighting important artists, architects and designers whose ideas have shaped our world in transformative ways. Since that time, the Society has worked with community groups and District representatives on proposed plans for a Centre for Art, Architecture + Design (CAAD).


A long and rich history of innovation exists on the West Coast related to art, architecture, and design. An expanded Museum facility would highlight the many contributions of local, national and international practitioners in these areas. As shown by increased participation in the West Vancouver Museum’s programs since a new mandate to focus on art, architecture, and design was introduced five years ago, local audiences are eager to experience exhibitions and public programs that embrace complexity, explore global issues, and invite new ways of thinking about the world around us.

Through exhibitions, public and educational programming, and accessible collections, visitors of all ages would be offered opportunities in the new facility, to experience modern and contemporary art, architecture and design involving all forms of visual expression, including painting and sculpture, drawings, prints and illustrated books, photography, architecture and design, and film and video, that reflect and explore issues of cultural relevance past and present.


The Society believes that West Vancouver is ready for a world-class institution such as the proposed CAAD. As a collection, exhibition, education, and programming space reflecting the interests and strengths of artists, architects, designers, collectors, researchers, educators and cultural experts around the world, the Centre will represent the rich diversity of the community, including First Nations, and become a destination for local and international visitors.

The arts, however they may be expressed, enrich our lives by stimulating new insights, ideas, and exchanges between and across cultures, time, and space. Community groups and individuals supporting the new Centre would have a unique opportunity both to shape the future of arts appreciation, education, and development in the local community, and to demonstrate their passion for social engagement.

The District of West Vancouver is developing an Arts & Culture Strategy, to be completed by June 2017. The Strategy will include community consultation and needs assessments across the spectrum of arts delivery in the community.

The Society for Art, Architecture & Design and supporters of the proposed new CAAD look forward to actively participating in the development of the Arts & Culture Strategy.

For more information on the 2016 Arts & Culture Strategy, please click here.

Previous Cultural Planning Studies Undertaken by West Vancouver District

2006: The West Vancouver Arts, Culture, and Heritage Facility Development Study produced by Aldrich Pears Associates, proposed the creation of an Arts Village along the Ambleside Waterfront.

2008: The West Vancouver Museum: A Vision for Ambleside Study was prepared by Urban Arts Architecture. This study recommended a new facility be established in Ambleside, with a mandate focusing on art, architecture, and design.

2011: The District engaged Urban Arts Architecture to work with the Arts in Ambleside Community Advisory Committee to prepare a Cultural Facilities Strategy and a Design Brief. These studies considered coordinated arts facilities operations and governance, delineated specific space needs, and proposed a strategy for meeting those needs phased over time.

2013: Based on further community consultation, the Cultural Facilities Strategy was refined to the current Centre for Art, Architecture + Design Brief. The Economic Planning Group was contracted to conduct a business plan for the new facility.

The West Vancouver Society for Art, Architecture + Design was formally registered and after a rigorous search West Vancouver-based Hollingsworth Architecture Inc was selected to design the proposed new CAAD.

2014: The Economic Planning Group delivered a business plan. The space program was further refined and geotechnical tests were conducted on the proposed site. Architect Russell Hollingsworth, working with the revised space program, developed preliminary concepts.

2015:  Several important collections of art and photography were donated to the District in support of the proposed CAAD, the proposed new home of the West Vancouver Museum. The West Vancouver Museum Advisory Committee ratified alignment with the Society supporting interim governance. An expanded functional programme and further refinement of the business plan were undertaken. Simons became a Major Community Partner generously contributing to the advancement of the proposed CAAD.

2016: District of West Vancouver begins consultations for new Arts & Culture Strategy.