The city provides the rental fees for the Studios below market value. In doing so, the City wishes to create an environment conducive to membership-led events and opportunities for artists to share resources and develop new skills. The Value Exchange Program is a key component of our efforts to contribute to our artists’ success.

Value Exchange, sometimes referred to as an Energy Exchange, is generally defined as time spent contributing to the community in exchange for value, such as with membership to a cooperative. Various models of value exchange have been successful across North America. In each case, exchange of value is only part of the program’s overall success; by relying on community service, these initiatives contribute to developing stronger communities and provide opportunities for participants to improve valuable skills and network with others.

Specifically, the program is designed to:

  • Create a positive, supportive and collaborative artistic community
  • Enhance engagement among artists, the City and staff
  • Animate and create connections between City spaces and the community
  • Encourage an effective mix of artistic programs, services and tools
  • Meet the needs of a range of artists

How the Program works

The Value Exchange Program requires Artists to contribute a minimum of 3-5 hours a month to the community.

New applicants to the program are asked to identify how they plan to contribute to the community and outline any relevant past experience in their application. Please provide 250 words or less with images if required in the application.

Artists will sign a social contract with the City when they execute their rental, outlining their understanding of the terms and involvement in the Value Exchange Program. This social contract is not a tenant agreement.

The Value Exchange Program can include time spent in a number of ways, including but not limited to:

  • Facilitating a program that engages other artists and/or the broader community
  • Coordinating exhibitions in common spaces and or gallery
  • Hosting or presenting artist talks
  • Offering workshops (upcycling, screen printing, manga drawing, embroidery, etc…)
  • Organization of an event on the property or in the neighbourhood
  • Hosting artistic events (art battles, art film nights, etc…)
  • Hosting cultural events (storytelling/spoken word events, swing dance nights, choir nation, etc…)
  • Sharing resources or skills with other Artists
  • Participating on a Studio committee (open houses, membership selection, etc…)
  • Creating content for blog posts, websites, social media or events
  • Volunteering with a community organization with arts-related assistance
  • Updating cultural events notifications


Artists will be actively involved in the process of monitoring and evaluating the quality of their participation. Participating Artists will submit a summary of their activity, including the nature of the service and time commitment, on a semi-annual basis.