About the Project

On April 10, 2021 Arts Umbrella moves to 1400 Johnston Street, a 50,000 net-square-foot building dedicated to arts education for young people ages 2-22, featuring state-of-the-art studio, exhibition, and performances spaces to inspire future generations.

Award-winning architect Richard Henriquez of Henriquez Partners Architects led the significant repurposing of the former South Building of Emily Carr University of Art + Design, originally designed by Patkau Architects in 1995.

Adjustments to the existing building were necessary in order to incorporate studio, exhibition, and performance spaces for all visual and performing arts disciplines. Load-bearing columns that rose through to the fourth floor made our vision for large dance studios almost impossible. The theatre had a small lecture stage, a space that needed to expand significantly to accommodate theatre and dance performances. Every visual art studio required sinks where no pipes yet existed.

The Facilities

Arts Umbrella currently serves 24,000 young people annually. Within the next 3-5 years, this new facility will reach approximately 15,000 children and youth each year through tuition-based programs, as well as community programs and performances, distance learning, bursaries, and scholarships. Our new home will include:

  • 6 Dance studios
  • 4 Theatre, Music & Film studios, with specialized technical and audio equipment
  • 10 Art & Design studios, including state-of-the-art media labs, ceramics studio, and photography darkroom
  • 132-seat professional theatre
  • A publicly accessible exhibition gallery
  • Workshop spaces for woodworking, stagecraft, and general fabrication


Campaign Cabinet
Carol Henriquez, O.C., Co-Chair
Barry Scott, Co-Chair
Nina Bains Cassils, Vice-Chair
Christie Garofalo
Priscilla Lam
Mike Mackay
Darrell Mindell
Jill Price

Building Committee
John Bunting, Co-Chair
Peter Rezansoff, Co-Chair
Terrence P. Turner
John Singleton, Q.C.
Michelle Martin

Board Chair
Tom Ferries

President & CEO
Paul Larocque