IGNITE! Vancouver’s Youth Driven Arts Festival


Summary of organization/program

Every year, for one week in May, The Cultch is taken over and transformed by young people. Hundreds of youth are involved in what has grown to be Vancouver’s largest youth-driven arts festival. The festival includes showcases in music, dance, and spoken word, the world premiere of three one-act plays, a visual arts exhibit, variety shows featuring improv, drag, circus arts, and much more. All of this is created by local artists between the ages of 13-24. This year, IGNITE! events will be happening in both the Historic Theatre, the Vancity Cultre Lab, and the lobby and café galleries for the entire week.

Contact information



 (604) 251-1766 ext. 105

Geographic region

  • Local


  • Local artists between the ages of 13-24

History/Background Information

  • Umbrella Organization: The Vancouver East Cultural Centre
  • IGNITE! is a project of The Vancouver East Cultural Centre’s Youth Program. The Vancouver East Cultural Centre (affectionately known by its patrons as The Cultch) is one of Canada’s most unique performing arts venues. Nestled at the heart of a vibrant residential neighbourhood and housed in a century-old church, The Cultch has been presenting cutting-edge contemporary performing arts for the last 35 years. For more information about The Cultch, please visit thecultch.com.

Dominant Media Forms

music production


live performance


  • Inferred: to support and foster the growth of local youth artists in the Vancouver Lower Mainland

Statement of Principles

not provided 


Literally every aspect of the festival is youth-driven, produced by the Cultch’s Youth Panel. From media relations and promotion, to stage managing and running the lighting and sound boards, there are countless ways to become involved, whether on stage or behind the scenes. This year’s festival is taking place from April 25th to April 30th.

Samples of work

Fruit Basket Presents: 4th Annual Gender Blender

As part of IGNITE!’s 2011 workshop series, the Fruit Basket variety show is putting on their fourth annual Gender Blender event for youth aged 13-24. Gender Blender will be an evening of discussion about all things related to sex, gender and orientation… and fruit smoothies!

Free Workshop: Coffee with Cyclops

Coffee With Cyclops is a 100% free writing workshop disguised as a really bad date. Bring your friends, pens and prepare for an afternoon of fun filled writing and tea drinking. At the workshop, you will meet youth and monsters alike to collaborate and to create some awesome stories, comics, lyrics, poetry, or any written work imaginable. You might even get into IGNITE!’s anthology!

The event will take place from 2-5pm on Saturday, February 19th. Check the Facebook event for more information!

Funding Sources