2018 Annual Report

WePress Community Arts Space Society was incorporated under the BC Society Act on September 21, 2016 and our third Annual General Meeting was held on Sunday, March 3, 2019.

Click here to download the 2019 WePress Annual General Meeting Package (PDF, 1 MB), which includes the 2018 Annual Report (text of the report below).

WePress Board June 3, 2018 to March 3, 2019

Michael Clague, President
Emily Riddle, Vice President
Ann Hepper, Treasurer
Diane Kadota, Secretary
Shirley Lum, Director
Shauna Butterwick, Director

WePress Report for 2018


WePress acknowledges that its space is and activities take place on the unceded and occupied territories of the xʷməθkwəy̓əm (Musqueam), Sḵwx̱wú7mesh (Squamish), and səl̓il̓wətaʔł(Tsleil-Waututh) Nations.

WePress offers historic and contemporary methods of print- and art-making in a safe and welcoming space, particularly to those marginalized by systems of class, sexuality, gender, race, culture, disability, mental health, addictions, and colonization. We seek to support them to voice their stories, lived experience, and dreams, and to build community capacity and resilience through art-making.

Highlights of 2018

  • 73 workshops were offered:
    • 59 free
    • 12 paid on a sliding scale
    • 2 co-presented
  • Total of 208 hours of instructionfor 775+ participants
  • 39+ artists were paid $33,000 in fees to lead workshops
  • Over $8,500 was paid in interpreter and documentation contact fees;
  • Workshop Topics include:painting, decoupage, letterpress printing, Queering Selfies (3D printing, and block printmaking, and letterpress), 3D printing, block printmaking, crazy quilt-making, button bracelet making, Coptic binding (bookmaking), life drawing, paper cut-outs, Chinese brush painting, collage, Star Blanket creation, fan-making, paper animal sculptures/piñatas, poetry, salmon-decorating, flower-making, fan-making, banner-making, and knitting.
  • 5 free events attended by 520+ people;
  • 16+ new regular volunteers

Activities and Major Projects

 Neighbourhood Sketchbook Project

  • Participantscreated and filled sketchbooks with artwork, and exhibited their sketchbooks at the end.
  • Collaboration with Gallery Gachet and the Powell Street Festival Society
  • Offered low-barrier art-making workshops to Downtown Eastside (DTES) and Chinatown community members who face multiple systems of marginalization. Dinner, art supplies, a $20 honorarium, and Mandarin- and Cantonese-translation were provided at each workshop.
  • Ended with exhibition Gallery Gachet.

Chinese Seniors Project

  • Chinese Seniors and young Chinese Canadians worked with WePress to create ten inclusive, art-making workshops during which stories were shared and recorded and connections were made between individuals and communities.
  • This project is ongoing.
  • Next steps are preparing the artwork and stories for publication in a book, project will continue in 2019.

Organizational and Financial Sustainability and Development

  • Working to complete a Business Plan with Lori Baxter Consulting
  • Assembling board of directors;
  • Hiring two part-time administrators and many contractors; and
  • Establishing administrative systems;
  • Beginning development on our Database;
  • Professional development workshops include Boundaries and Self Care, Trans 101, and Values Development. Professional Development will continue in 2019 with further Boundaries and Self Care workshops and Values workshops, as well as Mental Health First Aid, and Queer Competency.
  • Helped expand Powell Street Festival Society’s (PSFS’) year-round presence in the DTES through PSFS’ Advocacy & Outreach Committee.

Developed new and deepened existing working relationshipswith other organizations and individuals in the DTES and beyond and collaborated on many other projects with new and existing partners.

In 2019, Looking ahead

  • Complete The Art & Stories of Chinese Seniors in Vancouver’s Chinatown project
  • Indigenous Languages Project: Awaiting grant approval, (Board Member) Emily Riddle may begin the development part of the project.
  • Improving Accessibility: Seeking funding for this.
  • Resource Sharing Project: Staff will organize resource sharing sessions, based on experience participating in the Culture Saves Lives townhall, Disrupting Barriers panel and drawing inspiration from the Allied Media Conference (and related projects) in Detroit.
  • Open Studio Sessions: Continue to run regular drop-in art sessions every Monday.
  • Home is Where the Art Is: Making Art with People Where They’re At (Collaboration with Gallery Gachet)
  • Paid Workshops: Collective will continue to support local artists and work with them to improve our paid workshop format.

Many Thanks to Everyone Who Supported Us

Special Thanks to our Supporters:Cecily Nicholson, Anthony Meza-Wilson, Kristin Lantz, Micaela Kwiatkowski, and everyone at Gallery Gachet; Emiko Morita and everyone at the Powell Street Festival Society (PSFS); Eric Rhys Miller, Kelty McKerracher, and everyone at the Community Arts Council of Vancouver (CACV); Michael Flanigan, John Breckner, Gordon Reid, Herman Mah at BC Housing and David LePage and Shaugn Schwartz at Community Investment Real Estate; Brian McBay and 221A; and Cindy Patton, Janice Whitehead, Janice Wong, Shirley Lum, Sharyn Yuen, William Pope, Karen Ward, Margaret Nakamura, Judy Hanazawa, Linda Hoffman, Gregor Reid, Chick Rice, William Lim, and Janet Yeo.

Thank you to our funders and sponsorsVancouver Foundation, the Government of Canada’s New Horizons for Seniors Program, City of Vancouver through the DTES Planning Department’s DTES Capital Grant and Cultural Services Community Arts Grant, BC Arts Council, Community Impact Real Estate, and Opus Art Supplies.

Thanks to everyone we worked withAboriginal Front Door, BC Housing, Carnegie Community Centre & Oppenheimer Park, Community Arts Council of Vancouver, Culture Saves Lives, Gallery 221A, Gallery Gachet, Powell Street Festival Society, Qmunity, SFU’s Vancity Office of Community Engagement, Vancouver Moving Theatre and DTES Heart of the City Festival, Yarrow Intergenerational Society for Justice, Ray-Cam Co-operative Centre, Queer ASL, nə́c̓aʔmat ct Strathcona Branch of the Vancouver Public Library, and many others.

Thanks to all our volunteers  Too many to name!