Vanessa Richards


Vanessa Richards works as a transdisciplinary artist and facilitator. With a passion for communities, collaboration and culture she initiates arts-based social projects that move us towards life affirming change. 

Invested in the civic imagination, she devises and facilitates in partnership with cultural organizations, learning centres, health care providers, social ventures and others. 

She brings this practice to her current work in social enterprise as a co-producer/facilitator for the Social Venture Institute with Hollyhock Leadership Institute. In social innovation she works with Simon Fraser University as an Associate of the SFU  Morris J. Wosk Centre for Dialogue, an instructor in the Community Capacity Building Certificate and an advisor in the RADIUS fellowship at the Beedie School of Business.  

Committed to the unique history and futurity of people of African descent in British Columbia, Richards is a founding member of the City of Vancouver’s Black History Month Citizen’s Advisory Group as well as a former and founding director of the Hogan’s Alley Society. She is an active volunteer with ARC Community School and Solid State Community Industries cooperative model of programmes that support youth from racialized backgrounds in forming their own enterprises, primarily but not exclusively in the form of workers co-operatives.

Upcoming publications for Spring/Summer 2022 include poetry contributions to the reissue of The Fire People: A Collection of Black British Poetry published by Canongate, and the 20th Anniversary edition of IC3: The Penguin Book of New Black Writing in Britain.

Writing on her 11 years as a community choir leader will be in Critical Hope: How to Grapple with Complexity, Lead with Purpose, and Cultivate Transformative Social Changeby Kari Grain, PhD published by North Atlantic Books

In 2018, she received the City of Vancouver’s Mayor’s Achievement Award for her work in the realm of civic imagination. 

She believes in you.