What Does an Airport Have to Do with Supporting B.C. Artists?

A lot more than you think.

It’s a little-known fact that YVR operates on a not-for-profit model. Because of this unique model, the award-winning airport — named best airport in North America for nine years running — is enabled to invest all of its profits into not only improving itself, but supporting BC community organizations. One of these organizations is the YVR Arts Foundation, which has been supporting BC and Yukon based First Nations artists for over 25 years. Richmond, British Columbia on December 16, 2015. (BEN NELMS for YVR)Founded in 1993 by the Vancouver Airport Authority, the YVR Art Foundation (YVRAF) was created to advance the development and promotion of indigenous artists from the BC and the Yukon. Since 2005, it has awarded over $400,000 worth of scholarships, grants and awards to indigenous artists – all with the aim of preserving First Nations’ rich cultural traditions and advancing the larger aims of reconciliation through visual art.This May, the YVRAF awarded $50,000 in awards to 10 BC and Yukon based First Nations artists in its two categories: youth (under age 27) and mid-career (ages 27 and up). The $5,000 scholarship supports youth recipients to attend a formal art institution or study with an artist mentor while mid-career recipients are supported to work with a master artist, attend an art institution or undertake a special project. At the end of their scholarship year, recipients are invited back to Vancouver to display their artwork at the awards event, followed by an exhibition of their work at YVR for one year.The next time you visit the airport, consider that the money you spend there goes, in part, towards supporting community organizations like the YVR Art Foundation, as well as over 50 other BC-based organizations that the airport disperses over $1 million in yearly contributions to.