1265 Howe Street is an approximately 10,800ft² purpose-built artist production facility leased by 221A starting in Autumn 2019. The facility is managed based on a cost-recovery model that will set rental rates for artist studios according to the overall cost of operating the facility.

Current vacancies

There are no vacancies in this building at this time.

Eligibility for Studios

Individuals must: 

  • self-identify as an Artist;
  • be the age of majority;
  • be living in BC; 
  • intend on using the premises in a manner that is compatible with facility purposes and capacity

Small cultural nonprofits or businesses must:

  • operate a genuine arts and cultural non-profit organization or small cultural business in BC; and
  • intend on using the premises in a manner that is compatible with facility purposes and capacity


221A gratefully acknowledges the City of Vancouver for its long-term subsidization of Howe Street Studios, a 10,800 square foot shared artist production facility. The facility is located at the base of a condominium tower in downtown Vancouver and was created as a Community Amenity Contribution ("CAC"): a negotiation process whereby developers receive increased density from Vancouver City Council in exchange for providing community assets. The project is the first where 221A has worked directly with the City of Vancouver long-term allocation of state subsidies—making the Society an active agent for both the delivering of community benefits and the concomitant critical examination of CAC's as urban land tools that operate with the assumption that the benefits will offset the deleterious effects of land value speculation.

Tenancy at 1265 Howe St

Studio tenancy is considered through an application process with a peer assessment committee. Applications for tenancy are now closed. As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, we are currently reviewing our intake process; more information will be forthcoming this fall.

For general inquiries, please email hello@221a.ca or call 604 568 0812.

“When I visit the studio of artists I admire and respect, I’m consistently disappointed by how little space they have, how much they are paying for their studios, and how unpleasant their working conditions are,” says Tiziana La Melia, Artist subtenant of Howe Street Studios. “For these reasons, an entire generation of artists in their 30s have reluctantly left Vancouver. City intervention into this problem is so necessary and has been necessary for a very long time.”

Public Artwork - Germaine Koh, Set Pieces

In fulfillment of the City’s Private Sector Public Art requirement, an artwork by Germaine Koh has been commissioned for the interior façade of Howe Street Studios. Set Pieces (2019) is a series of theatrical curtains and scrims made of materials typical to the neighbourhood:­ domestic curtains, office blinds, construction mesh, fishing nets, and a green screen backdrop. The various layers are mechanically raised and lowered in a changing and interactive display, animating the daily activities at Howe Street Studios, visible from inside and out. The innermost two layers of the artwork, a projection screen, and a green screen, may be used by the artist tenants for creating or presenting work.

Cost-Recovery Model

1265 is operated by 221A on a cost-recovery model that sets rental rates for studios according to the overall cost of operating the facility.


“As a recent graduate, having a studio in a place like Howe Street Studios, is all about the affordability of space” says Aileen Bahmanipour, Artist subtenant at Howe Street Studios. “Affordability not only in terms of the rent, but also what can I afford to the artists in that space, what can they afford me as an artist, and what can we afford to our culture and our city?”

Long-Term Planning

The protection and creation of arts and cultural spaces, such as Howe Street Studios, is a key priority in the Making Space for Arts and Culture report, which was approved by City Council in September, as part of Culture|Shift: Blanketing the City in Arts and Culture. Vancouver’s new culture plan recommends that the City demonstrate its long-term commitment to address acute space challenges, such as exploring ways to support the development of a community created, led and owned Cultural Land Trust, which was proposed by 221A’s Research Initiatives. This includes seed funding and new ways to partner and share ownership with the cultural community on affordable spaces.

Studio FAQ

How does 221A define who is an Artist?

How does 221A define who is a non-profit cultural organization?

How are tenants selected?

Do I get to choose which unit I want?

What if I would like a lease that is longer than 1 year?

How are the rental rates set?

How is rent collected?

What happens if a tenant is unable to pay their rent?

Am I allowed to make alterations to my unit?

Am I allowed to sublet my unit?

Who owns 221A?

How are decisions made about the building?

Does 221A make profit from the building?

Sublease Inquiry

For sublease inquiries and tour requests, please fill out and submit the form below. We will get back to you shortly after we receive your submission.

Note that this form pertains to commercial studio spaces only.

Application Assistance

To ensure the participation of people living with disabilities, people who do not have access to specific technology, and/or people who otherwise require assistance, staff will offer telephone or in-person assistance for the completion of the following forms and documentation as well as to support participation in site tours and orientation. Please contact 221A’s Spaces Coordinator to arrange application assistance at spaces@221a.ca

Which buildings have you toured, if any?
When do you need the space?
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