vancouver street plaza

vancouver street plaza feat. artist in residence program

From December 2022 until March 2023 the Lending Hub is becoming an artist in residence studio!

Jan 9 – Feb 5 Artist: María Fernanda Barallobres

We’re super excited to announce our next artist in residence: María Fernanda Barallobres. Maria’s work experiments with different mediums such as oil painting and drawing, woodworking, sculpture, jewelry making, crochet, and printmaking.

Studio hours: Stop by the Vancouver Street Plaza (Vancouver Street & Caleodonia Ave) to visit Maria on Mondays from 1pm-5pm.

Workshop: February 11, 1-3pm @ 1025 Mason Street: Stencil and patch making workshop for ages 16+. Registration required (email:

Feb 6 – Mar 5 Artist: Noah Gilroy

A little about Noah Gilroy:

“I am a queer, nonbinary fiber artist grateful to live on the unceded lands of the Esquimalt, Songhees and WSANEC nations. My work is rooted in sustainability and contemplates the fragmented existence of the natural environment under anthropogenic climate change.

All the materials I use are either biodegradable or recycled (or both). I use fiber to preserve the textures and environments I love most that are often threatened by climate change – moss, tide pools, salmon, cloud formations. Fiber preserves these textures in ways paint never could: it brings a 3-dimensional, visceral aspect to the viewer. My work is not meant to be hyperrealistic, the hope is more to evoke joy and curiousity. It is also intentionally done with a slow practice because it reminds us that a sustainable world is a slower one than what we live in under capitalism.”

Studio hours:

  • Sun, Feb 12: 11 – 3
  • Sun, Feb 19: 11 – 3
  • Mon, Feb 20: 11 – 3
  • Wed, Mar 1: 2:30 – 4:30
  • Fri, Mar 3: 2:30 – 4:30

Workshop: March 4, 10am-1pm @ 1025 Mason Street. Learn to weave with Noah. Space limited, 6 spots only. Registration is required (email: More details to follow!

Feb 6 – Mar 5 Artist: Naomi Duska

A little about Naomi:

“My name is Naomi, and I am a queer playwright, storyteller, and theatre artist living on Lekwungen land. Having recently received my BFA in Theatre and Writing at UVic, I have continued my writing practice through the Belfry Theatre’s Creator’s Circle, a monthly playwrighting workshop group. My focus has been Manikin, a dark comedy about a hopeless romantic who must choose between the synthetic love of her sentient male sex doll and the messiness of a budding human romance. As the Creator’s Circle ends in December, I am searching for ways to actively continue my creative practice. As a resident of North Park Village, having access to a local studio space for the next four weeks would be huge for me. A designated space to write would allow me to bring more focus and intentionality into my practice and connect to a broader arts community. Especially as we move into the dark winter months, I have found that connecting with community brings me joy and energy. I am so excited to develop a writing workshop through the Plaza and connect to community this way. My work aims to provoke, unsettle, and invoke big feelings. I explore themes of human connection and heartbreak, blending the bittersweet with the hilarious. By blurring the lines between genres, I twist classic tropes through a queer and unsettling lens.”

Studio hours: (note: hours have been updated!)

  • Friday Feb 10: 5:30 – 7 pm
  • Monday Feb 13: 2 – 4 pm
  • Wednesday Feb 15: 5:30 – 7 pm
  • Wednesday Feb 22: 5:30 – 7 pm
  • Thursday Feb 23: 9 – 10:30 am
  • Friday Feb 24: 5:30 – 7 pm
  • Wednesday March 1: 5:30 – 7 pm
  • Friday March 3: 5:30 – 7 pm
  • Sunday March 5: 2 – 4 pm

Workshop: March 26, 1-3pm @ 1025 Mason Street. Registration is required (email: More details to follow!

Seeking artists in residence

We are seeking artists to activate the lending hub as an art studio! The purpose of this project is to promote social inclusion through the arts. Note: Applications will be closing on December 2, 2022.

Here are some of the details!

  • Types of artists: we are seeking artists who work with compact, portable mediums such as:
    • painting,
    • drawing,
    • handmade jewelry makers, beaders
    • writers, poets,
    • songwriters, 
    • fiber artists
      • Types of art that are NOT permitted include: anything that requires power, emits chemicals/requires ventilation
  • Time commitment:
    • Each residency will last 4-6 weeks between December 2022-March 2023
    • Artists are asked to host 4 hours/week of studio hours. These hours will be posted and you can expect to engage with the public during these hours. You are welcome to use the studio outside of these hours as well (but only between 9am-9pm).
    • During your residency, we’ll work together to host one free public workshop, activity, or community based project that relates to your art practice.
  • About the studio space:
    • The studio (also referred to as the lending hub – see below!) is located on Vancouver Street at Caledonia Ave.
    • Its dimensions are 8 x 12 feet. It is unheated – but insulated!
    • It has a door on the south side, a window on the north side, and 2 windows that open at waist level on the west side.
    • The studio does not have power or access to water
  • Compensation:
    • Artists will receive an honourarium of $100/week plus $100 per workshop or activity organized with the NPNA during their residency.
  • To apply: Email Sarah Murray at with the following:
    1. Your name and contact details
    2. Examples of your artwork and any artist statements
    3. Links to social media or website for your artwork
    4. Proposed studio hours – minimum 4 hours/week (for example: Thursdays 2-4pm, and Saturdays 3-5pm)
    5. Short description of a workshop/activity that you would like to host during your residency.
    6. Note: Applications will be closing on December 2, 2022.

how the vancouver street plaza came to be

The NPNA is thrilled to be a recipient of the Healthy Communities Initiative grant from Community Foundations of Canada with funding from the Government of Canada! This amazing grant was developed to help communities bring public space to life. Covid has taught cities across Canada that public space that meets the needs of residents is incredibly important. This federal grant is designed to activate underused public spaces in equity deserving neighbourhoods. 

You can see the other projects funded from this grant here. You can also follow #HealthyCommunities on Instagram, as well as these accounts to see all the projects taking place across the country: Infrastructure Canada on Twitter and Community Foundations of Canada on Twitter and Instagram!

The location of this exciting project is Vancouver Street between Caledonia Ave & Green Street. The North Park Neighbourhood Association is working with the City’s Transportation department to activate this portion of Vancouver Street in coordination with planned placemaking investments. This project aligns with the recently completed bikeway improvements on Vancouver Street. The Transportation Department is contributing funds to support public art and public seating as well as coordinating Mobile Vendors through the Build Back Victoria Program.

See (and hear!) the lending hub & SUPPLY Pop-Up in action!

plaza guidelines

The following Plaza Rules will be posted and would apply to everyone equally. The rules are listed to the left:

project elements

  • A mural along Royal Athletic Park by artists Kay Gallivan, Caitlin McDonagh, and Lydia Beauregard.
  • A little free library will be installed at the corner of Vancouver Street and Green at the entrance to the 940 Caledonia parking lot. See the photo of the little free library below! Thank you to community volunteer, Allan who made the LFL out of recycled materials!
  • Secured and moveable seating and shade. Bistro seats with umbrellas and lounging chairs for reading provided by the City of Victoria.
  • Whimsical lighting adds an inviting ambience to the street.
  • The focal point of the Plaza will be a lending hub. This is an 8×12 foot structure that will be staffed when open.
    • From August-December 2021 and again from June-September 2022 the lending hub lent out puzzles, board games, sports equipment, lawn games and more!
    • From February – May 2022, the lending hub will be a little free craft store with SUPPLY Victoria
    • from December 2022 – March 2023 the lending hub will become an artist in residence studio!
  • A community bulletin board where neighbours can post notices about upcoming community events!
  • A little free pantry for community members to shop or donate non-perishable foods and toiletries.
  • A mural at Action Pawn (Quadra & Green) by artist Kay Gallivan and Caitlin McDonagh
  • A mural in Central Park with women representing Victoria’s Muslim community

project timeline

This project is funded from June 2021-March 2023.

plaza committee

The community was invited – through direct invitation as well as the NPNA newsletter – to attend a Plaza Committee Planning Party on July 5, 2021 on site. The notes from this fun dinnertime working party are here.

There will be more meetings and opportunities to get involved! If you want to be a part of the “Plaza Committee” let us know by emailing

project funders

Thank you to the Government of Canada, Community Foundations of Canada, and the Canadian Urban Institute for their leadership and support of the Canada Healthy Communities Initiative! #HealthyCommunities We are also grateful for the support and collaboration provided by the City of Victoria!
We are so grateful for the support of the community businesses that have offered their support and discounted their rates to help with the Vancouver Street Plaza!
Community bulletin board – thank you Allan & Donald!
Penelope visiting the lending hub!
A sunny afternoon at the Vancouver Street Plaza
lending hub in action!
lending hub in action!
Halloween at the hub
kids building block festival
Vancouver Street looking North (towards Green Street) where the plaza will be located
thank you muralists, Kay Gallivan, Caitlin McDonagh, and Lydia Beauregard
Mural in progress by artists Caitlin McDonagh, Kay Gallivan, and Lydia Beauregard
Mural in progress by artists Caitlin McDonagh, Kay Gallivan, and Lydia Beauregard
mural in progress detail featuring Osprey by Kay Gallivan
Lending Hub construction in progress with Jess and Eric
Lending Hub construction in progress
The lending hub constructed and ready for a coat of paint!
The lending hub sporting a fresh coat of paint.
Thank you to Samm’s Painting for donating your time to paint the lending hub!
Little Free Library made from recycled products by local volunteer, Allan and installed by the City of Victoria!
Secured seating purchased and installed by the City of Victoria!