Sign up for our weekly e-newsletter of event announcements, promotions, and ideas:

Add special announcements from:

Goldcorp Centre for the Arts, 149 West Hastings Street

CONNECT, Carnegie Dance Troupe with Karen Jamieson Dance


Community partnerships developed through SFU’s Vancity Office of Community Engagement have been essential to carrying out our programming, building relationships, and creating lasting impacts for students, community organizations, and neighbourhood residents.

Have a look at our video featuring some of our community partners here!

Current accessible education projects and partnerships include:

Community Journalism 101

 & 201 with Megaphone Magazine

A ongoing project, Community Journalism 101 is a five-week course organized in partnership with Megaphone Magazine.
 The course runs twice yearly.
 As of Spring 2014, an advanced level, Community Journalism 201, has been added to the program. 

Read our Q&A with Jackie, the editor of Megaphone Magazine and one of the instructors, and view three issues of Megaphone Magazine produced by Community Journalism students. 

Contemporary Arts 101, "Super Cool Tuesdays"

In partnership with PHS Drug Users Resource Centre, Contemporary Arts 101 is a speaker series involving local and visiting international artists in conversation with inner-city residents about contemporary art practices. This ongoing project takes place at the Interurban Gallery at the corner of Hastings and Carrall Streets. The artists and community groups who have participated include WePress, Judith Marcuse, Ken Lum, Althea Thauberger, Holly Ward, Ewan MacDonald, Laura Marks, Judy Radul, Gaye Chan, Cathy Busby, Sabine Bitter, and Colin Browne.

Karen Jamieson Dance Workshops

SFU’s Vancity Office of Community Engagement is partnered with Karen Jamieson Dance Company to offer community dance workshops at different times during the year. Often these workshops have lead to processional performances at the annual Heart of the City Festival. The work includes live music, poetry, First Nations drumming, and cultural dances. Karen Jamieson has run workshop's out of the Carnegie Community Centre since the late 1990s and has many strong commuity connections. She also mentors dancers in socially engaged arts practice.   

SFU's Office for Aboriginal Peoples

Since 2012, SFU’s Vancity Office of Community Engagement has collaborated with SFU’s Office for Aboriginal Peoples to produce an ongoing singing and drumming workshop series led by composer, producer and traditional Lil’wat singer Russell Wallace. Wallace teaches social songs which, unlike ceremonial songs, are meant to be shared and can be sung by the community. By sharing these songs, Wallace hopes that workshop participants will gain a greater appreciation of the diversity of Aboriginal music. Read our interview with Russell Wallace.

The Salish Singing and Drumming Workshops are an opportunity to gain greater awareness and knowledge of First Nations history and culture while meeting new people and sharing through music. The free workshops are offered on a monthly basis between September - April, with no pre-registration or prior singing or drumming experience required.

Since Spring 2014, the offices have collaborated in presenting an annual Lecture Series on Aboriginal Issues. Audio and video recordings of the 2014, 2015, 2016, and 2017 lectures can be found in our gallery.  

Woodward’s Community Singers

Come sing together with Woodward's residents/students/staff/faculty/friends, and neighbours for a dose of collective joy. Enjoy with us songs from gospel, folk, popular, and contemporary traditions. You are also very welcome to just come listen. We sing in the beautiful PHS/Woodward's common room on the 10th floor — with an outstanding view. Now more than ever, we need what music gifts us. No experience or auditions required, no cost, no obligation, drop-ins welcomed. Easy Love. Come with a friend or come to make new ones.

Music Wants You Back! Location: 131 West Hastings St at Woodward's, 10th floor
Join the online community of singers here!

Project Limelight

SFU is partnered with Project Limelight — a free theatre and performing arts program for 8-12 year olds in East Vancouver. This four month program, supported by Ouest Solutions, offers youth in the Strathcona neighbourhood to learn from professional artists and teachers in a safe, welcoming environment. They performed their first play at the Fei and Milton Wong Theater in June, 2012 with two sold out performances — an adaptation of Alice in Wonderland. There are 25 kids involved per cohort. This project is a long term partnership with SFU.

Read our Q&A to learn more about Project Limelight.

Social Justice Discussion Series with Pivot Legal Society

In partnership with Pivot Legal Society, SFU’s Vancity Office of Community Engagement has initiated a social justice discussion series that have included public talks on issues such as harm reduction, homelessness in Metro Vancouver, gender and justice and policing governance issues.

Artist Talks with Vancouver based galleries & Artist Run Centres

SFU's Vancity Office of Community Engagement has partnered with various arts organizations and institutions to co-produce lectures and community events that focus on artistic practice and creative processes. Past partners include: 221A, Access, Artspeak, Decoy Magazine, Or Gallery, Unit/Pitt, W2 Community Media Arts, Western Front, Centre A,  Presentation House, Contemporary Art Gallery, Vancouver Art Gallery and SFU Galleries. 

Reel Causes

Reel Causes partners with filmmakers and Canadian causes dedicated to addressing global social justice issues. We host film screenings followed by a Q&A session to educate and inspire our community, and provide a forum for authentic conversation around the issues that affect us locally. Our screenings foster an environment for audience members to discuss causes freely with artists and organizations, with the goal of inspiring individuals to make a positive difference—in their own unique way. Our sessions are thought-provoking, inclusive and inspirational.

Lacan Salon

The purpose of the Lacan Salon is to share, discuss, and promote the transmission of psychoanalytic discourse by reading and engaging with the works of Jacques Lacan and Sigmund Freud. We discuss a wide range of topics such as subjectivity, the analytical act, and cultural phenomena. We place a premium on close, critical readings of Lacan’s Seminars and Écrits, as well as secondary psychoanalytic criticism.  The Lacan Salon has been partnered with SFU's Vancity Office of Community Engagement since September 2012 to hold their seminars at SFU.

Heart of the City Festival

The Heart of the City Festival is an annual festival that celebrates the unique Downtown Eastside community. The festival is produced in partnership with Vancouver Moving Theatre, the Carnegie Community Centre, Association of United Ukrainian Canadians, and a number of arts and non-arts partners.

SFU's Vancity Office of Community Engagement hosts a number of events at SFU during the festival, and the proceeds from the SFU Woodward's Cultural Programs' Bah! Humbug! annual production are going to support the Heart of the City Festival.

Hives for Humanity

Hives for Humanity is a non-profit organization that encourages community connections through apiculture, more commonly known as beekeeping. Through mentorship based programming they create flexible opportunities for people to engage in the therapeutic culture that surrounds the hive; they foster connectivity to nature and to each other; they participate in local sustainable economies; they support at-risk populations of people and pollinators, and they do so with respect and joy.

Access to Media Education Society

SFU's Vancity Office of Community Engagement has partnered with Access to Media Education Society which is a registered charity (est. 1996) dedicated to using the media arts to support youth-led community development, encourage peer-based expression and education and promote social change. 

You can read our Q&A with Deblekha, the Executive Director and Founder of AMES here.

EMMA Talks

The core purpose of EMMA Talks is to bring important stories by women identified* writers, activists, thinkers, storytellers, makers and doers, from the periphery to the public. Together their stories will build a powerful and engaging collection of talks, celebrating and building on the conversations, imaginings, and hard work of so many individuals, communities and movements, which will lead to a creative cross-pollination of ideas. 

*including two spirited, trans* and gender non-conforming folks

Canzine West

Canzine West is an annual festival of zines and independent culture presented by Broken Pencil. With a focus on zines and independent publishing, Canzine West is an opportunity for creators and admirers of indie culture to meet, swap stories, and share their wares. The heart is Canzine West the giant zine fair that runs throughout the day and features zines, comics, small press books, and so much more, with over one hundred titles on display!

One Earth

One Earth is a nonprofit ‘think and do’ tank based in Vancouver, Canada, whose mission is to transform production and consumption patterns locally, nationally and internationally to be sustainable, healthy and just within the limits of living systems. It is working towards Canadian and US leadership in this area through systemic change and collective impact, with partners including The Story of Stuff Project and The Sustainability Funders, and, on the policy front, with the Canadian and US Government, the United Nations, private sector, media, academia, and civil society. 

100 in One Day Vancouver

What if hundreds of people united, each taking one small action to improve their city, all on the same day? 100 in 1 Day is a global festival of civic engagement that returned to Metro Vancouver for its second year on June 6, 2015. Imagine the possibilities for our city if hundreds of people united to participate in small initiatives to spark change.

For the past two years, SFU's Vancity Office of Community Engagement has hosted workshops during 100 in 1 Day Vancouver.

Barrio Flamenco Workshops with DTES Flamenco

DTES Flamenco facilitates integrated classes in flamenco dance, song, and culture, organized by Kelty McKerracher. The Barrio Flamenco Workshops, which were held at the Interurban Gallery in Fall 2015, provided an opportunity for longtime students of flamenco in the Downtown Eastside to deepen their understanding of the complex form of Bulerias. Bulerias "por fiesta" or "for a party" is a improvised community form of flamenco that is sung, danced, and played in the living rooms and taverns of southern Spain. It is one of the most authentic and celebrated musical expressions of the Spanish Roma people. Inviting musicians to perform live at the classes at Interurban, including a guest singer from Spain, these classes developed students’ confidence and ability to improvise dance in response to singing.

Writers' Exchange

The Writers' Exchange gets inner-city kids excited about reading and writing. Each year, 550 kids participate in fun, free programs where they complete creative literacy projects and receive individualized attention from volunteer mentors so that each child can succeed to the best of his or her ability. Most programs end in the kids' work being published in professionally designed and edited publications, and a giant launch party!

Urban Ink Productions

Urban Ink Production Society (Urban Ink Productions) ignites and inspires revolutionary voices that transform our world. They collaborate with artists and communities to push artistic boundaries through the creation and production of innovative Indigenous and Intercultural performance works. The Society is dedicated to providing a platform for these artists to tell their own stories from their own unique voice.


The mission of the Binners' Project is to re-value people and resources by facilitating Canadian waste pickers learning and exchange within cities and across Canada in order to build urban resilience, social inclusivity and connection, and to guide waste management practices and the development of new economic models. The project took off in January 2014 as a brainchild of Ken Lyotier, Founder and former Executive Director of United We Can, a non-profit bottle depot in operation in Vancouver's Downtown Eastside since 1995. 

Current academic partners include:

SFU School for the Contemporary Arts

Over its thirty year history, the SCA has produced outstanding alumni who have gone on to play a major role in redefining the arts in Canada. The interdisciplinary MFA program is widely recognized internationally as a unique opportunity where graduate students can explore connections between art forms and develop their own creative voice.

Institute for the Humanities at SFU

Now in its 32nd year, the Institute for the Humanities at SFU seeks to accomplish these basic objectives: stimulate student interest and faculty research in demonstrating the irreducibility of humanistic perspectives in understanding some of the most pressing social, economic, political and environmental problems we face and, above all, to engage the many publics beyond the academy in city, the province, the country and, indeed, the wider world. The Institute is perfectly placed, therefore, to play a key role in the idea of SFU as “student-centred, research-driven and community-engaged.”

SFU's Centre for Dialogue

Simon Fraser University’s Centre for Dialogue uses dialogue to generate non-partisan and constructive communication around difficult topics. They partner with government, business, and community groups to explore critical issues that impact the social, economic, environmental, and cultural well-being of our communities. Programming at the Centre occupies an unusual intersection, seamlessly connecting student learning, university research and community engagement. 

Ongoing programs currently presented with SFU's Vancity Office of Community Engagement:

Cultural Democracy 101

This program for inner-city residents is a five week community lecture series on interdisciplinary arts practices. Each week's session focuses on a different topic, such as opera, Indian and Japanese classical dance, economic democracy, art and gentrification, urban studies, theatre of the oppressed and others.

Community Ticketing Program
Each year, SFU Woodward’s Cultural and Community Programs  are committed to giving over 1,000 complimentary community tickets to cultural and community programs at the Goldcorp Centre for the Arts.

Local Hiring Program
SFU's Vancity Office of Community Engagement supports the hiring of ushers through local community agencies and provides part-time employment for community residents.