15th Anniversary

SFU Woodward’s Cultural Programs’ (SFUW) is a beacon for the performing arts community in the Lower Mainland. Our vision is to enable creativity and leading-edge practices in the contemporary arts through collaborative community relationships. With support from Simon Fraser University and the generosity of our donors, SFUW supports professional cultural initiatives through dynamic partnerships, engaging the Lower Mainland’s diverse arts community and our immediate inner-city neighbours.

A rare performing arts venue in Vancouver, SFUW offers over 250 arts presentations and engages over 30,000 patrons every year. 

SFU Woodward's Legacy

SFU Woodward’s  Cultural Programs takes its namesake from the historic Woodward’s redevelopment, once the home of Vancouver’s iconic Woodward’s Department Store.

Signature Programs

SFU Woodward's Cultural Programs presents a signature mainstage series of live, cutting-edge performances featuring internationally acclaimed artists like Robert LePage and Crystal Pite, Lisa Jackson, Stan Douglas and many more who have graced SFU's stages and classrooms. 

Cultural & Community Partnerships

SFU Woodward's Cultural Programs hosts a unique and diverse portfolio of community and cultural partnerships, supporting new commissioned work, co-presentations, public discourse, and guest artist residencies.

Developmental Residencies

SFU Woodward's Cultural Programs has built a successful developmental residency program with international and local artists.

Make an immediate impact on the arts today

SFU Woodward's: A Unique Legacy

Between 1993 - 2022

The Woodward's Department Store was famous for its beloved Christmas window displays, basement food floor, and the iconic "W" sign on the roof—adding a distinctive landmark to Vancouver’s skyline. Upon going bankrupt in 1993, the building sat vacant for 10 years until, in response to a housing occupation in 2022, Vancouver City Counselor Jim Green initiated the redevelopment process. 

BC Government funding in 2007

In 2007 the B.C. government provided $50.3-million in funding to enable Simon Fraser University’s School for the Contemporary Arts to move into a new home on the former department store site. In addition to government funding, some of BCs leading arts supporters provided over $2 million in philanthropic support to complete the new physical building and fund the vital programs aimed at community engagement in the Downtown Eastside. SFUW’s impact on the arts community would not have been possible without the visionary support of donors like you.  

During 2010 Olympics

SFU Woodward's Cultural and Community Programs (SFUW), created to develop and support public and community arts programming, opened Goldcorp Centre for the Arts in 2010 during the Vancouver 2010 Cultural Olympiad. SFUW and the Audain Gallery were lead producers of the two acclaimed Olympic signature events; Robert Lepage’s Blue Dragon and First Nation / Second Nature installation.

Since 2010

Since opening, SFUW has presented a wide variety of professional arts programs within the venue that exemplify the nature of SFU’s community engagement. SFUW was borne out of SFU‘s unique commitment to the Westbank Woodward’s redevelopment and its overall community engagement to professional arts, public discourse, advancing accessibility and embracing the core principle of the right to culture for all. 


Today, SFUW continues to hold space as a contemporary arts presenter, commissioner, incubator and collaborator, striving to capture and reflect Vancouver’s diverse contemporary aesthetics that challenges the boundaries of creative expression.