Last updated: February 23, 2023


221A works towards full access for artists with disabilities, with a goal of continually shaping and reshaping the conditions under which they create art. see Sins Invalid


A process of actively identifying and opposing racism [by] … actively changing policies, stereotypes, ideas, beliefs and social behaviors that perpetuate racist actions and produce harmful outcomes. see SEARA


221A defines an “artist” as someone who has developed skills through training (not necessarily in an academic institution) or practice in any creative discipline, is recognized by Artists working in the same artistic practice, has a history of public presentation or publication, seeks payment for their work, and actively practices their art. This can include—but is not limited to—:

  • Someone who works or is skilled in any of the fine arts, including but not limited to, painting, drawing, sculpture, literary, calligraphy, printmaking and mixed-media.
  • Someone who creates imaginative works, including but not limited to literature, poetry, photography, music composition, choreography, architecture, video game designers, film and video.
  • Someone who creates functional art, including but not limited to jewellery, rugs, decorative screens, lighting, furniture, pottery.
  • A performer, including but not limited to, musicians, singers, dancers, actors, performance artists.
  • Someone who practices culturally-specific forms of art or craft, including but not limited to Indigenous language, weaving, carving, knowledge transmission through storytelling.
  • Someone who organizes cultural activities including cultural workers and curators.
  • Someone involved in culturally significant practices, including culture bearer or practitioner, designer, technician, tattoo artist, hairdresser, chef/culinary artist, craftsperson, cultural workers dedicated to using their expertise within the community to support, promote, present, and/or teach and propagate their art form through events, activities, performance and classes.

Artist Studios

221A develops, manages, or supports non-market facilities in which cultural production can take place. These spaces are tenanted by artists, and non-profit cultural organizations in order to protect and expand the cultural production of local communities historically excluded from access to cultural space.

Artist Housing

221A Artist Housing Society operates 30 units of housing for low-income artists and their families at 187 E 3rd Avenue. 


“BIPOC” is an acronym that stands for Black, Indigenous and People of Colour. It is a term that intentionally separates “Black” and “Indigenous” in order to highlight the unique relationship to whiteness that Black (African/Caribbean Canadians) and Indigenous people have, which shapes the experiences of and relationship to white supremacy for all people of colour. see SEARA

Climate Collapse

Heating of the earth as a result of carbon emissions, which have a devastating effect on the ecological integrity of the earth, resulting in near-term global threats such as, multi-scalar systems collapse, human existence, and regressive  biodiversity for all other species on the planet.


221A’s collection are print material, audio, videos, objects, and artworks produced and acquired by the Fellows and research activities at 221A. The collection was housed at Pollyanna 圖書館 Library, a public reading room, venue, and archive that operated at 221 E. Georgia from 2017 to 2020. The library was closed in 2020 due to the Covid-19 pandemic and building maintenance challenges. In 2023, 221A’s collection will be housed in a new purpose-built library at 825 Pacific Street. 


Settler colonialism in Canada involved the exertion of European British and French powers starting in the 15th century over diverse indigenous people in colonial expansion, genocide, and cultural assimilation.

Creative Class

Creative Class is a fictitious ‘class’ that was coined by Richard Florida in 2004 that became popularized amongst urban planners and politicians. The Creative Class is not a wealth class of workers, but a type of new form of labour that is believed to bring economic benefits through the generation of new ideas, high-tech industry and regional growth. 

Cultural Infrastructure

Cultural infrastructure includes public and private assets that accommodate cultural services such as art-making, artifact storage and preservation, or for the rehearsal, performance, and exhibition of art or heritage, such as libraries, performing arts centres, galleries, and museums as well as digital and unofficial cultural spaces. 

Cultural Manufacturing (Light Industry)

Light industry cultural manufacturing is low capital-intensity producers of cultural goods such as exhibition fabrication, artwork production, furniture fabrication or manufacturing related to art and design sectors. Most light industry goods are produced for end users rather than as intermediates for use by other industries.

Cultural Worker

Cultural worker is a person involved in the (official or unofficial) production of culture such as a curator, art administrator, clerk, custodial or technical worker of art organization, cultural anthropologist, art historian or scholar, language worker, media worker, etc.

Ecological Infrastructure

Ecological infrastructure refers to public and private assets that support or work with functioning ecosystems that deliver valuable services to people, such as water and climate regulation and soil formation. Incentivises the biodiversity of all other species.

Fellowship (R&D: Fellows)

A research fellow is typically an academic research position at a university or a similar research institution, usually for academic staff or faculty members. A research fellow may act either as an independent investigator or under the supervision of a principal investigator. 221A’s Fellowship Program is a 18-month studio placement program. The program focuses on artists who are historically excluded from access to cultural space to create new works on the subject of Infrastructure. The Fellowship program positions artists as unique in being able to make visible the effects of infrastructure, but also in providing alternative design fictions of what infrastructure could be. By appearing apolitical infrastructure is underestimated in the way in which it can hardwire (uneven) relationships to each other and the environment. Fellows provide the conceptual charge and community discourse for 221A while sharing findings with peer organizations and policy makers towards social, cultural and ecological commons.

Historically Excluded (priority group)

221A defines people belonging to the following groups as those “historically excluded from access to cultural space”:

  • Black people or people of African descent
  • Deaf and hard of hearing people
  • Disabled people or people who live with mental health challenges
  • Low-income people
  • LGBTQ2+ and gender diverse people
  • Host nations Indigenous people (Musqueam, Squamish, or Tsleil-waututh people)
  • Indigenous peoples of Canada
  • Indigenous peoples non-local
  • Racialized people
  • Refugees, newcomers, and undocumented people
  • Seniors
  • Women and girls
  • Youth


Infrastructure refers to the core facilities and systems of a society. 221A defines infrastructure further as facilities and systems that exceed or cut across traditional forms of production in their capacity to respond to fluctuating realities and needs.

Land Trust

A Land Trust is a nonprofit organization that, as all or part of its mission, actively works to conserve land by undertaking or assisting in land or conservation easement acquisition, or by its stewardship of such land or easements.


221A’s research, library, educational, community outreach and empowerment, and public activities such as talks, workshops, film screenings, live feeds, exhibitions, and publications. 221A’s programs are typically free or very low-cost and funded primarily by grants and donations.

Racialized (visible minority, minority-majority)

This term encompasses all people that are non-Caucasian in race or non-white in skin colour. It is the act of characterizing, differentiating or dividing according to race. It can also take the form of ignorantly ascribing ethnic or racial identities to a relationship, social practice, or group that did not identify itself as such. These acts most often arise out of the interaction of a group who deems their racial identity superior over another racial group, with the intention of maintaining their domination. see SEARA

Racialized is also synonymous with the outdated term “visible minority” defined by the Employment Equity Act. The Employment Equity Act defines visible minorities as “persons, other than Aboriginal peoples, who are non-Caucasian in race or non-white in colour”. The “visible minority” population consists mainly of the following groups: South Asian, Chinese, Black, Filipino, Arab, Latin American, Southeast Asian, West Asian, Korean and Japanese. In Vancouver and many municipalities in Canada, a majority of the population are “visible minorities”. This phenomenon is sometimes referred to as a “majority minority”.


A period of time for an individual or team to take part in the documentation, discovery, interpretation, or the research and development of methods and systems for the advancement of human knowledge.

Rent-geared-to-income (RGI)

Where rental fees are calculated on a rent geared to income basis (30% of household total gross income, subject to minimum rent based on # of people).

Sectoral (R&D: Sector)

Research and development by 221A in the cultural, education, and nonprofit sectors. Through public consultation and programming, sectoral research helps further inter-sector relationships and 221A’s long term planning.

Shelter Allowance

The maximum shelter allowance for all types of monthly income assistance is the same. It starts at $375 for one person (2022), with small additional amounts for each dependent in the family. Because of housing prices, the shelter allowance does not cover the full costs of most housing in BC. Many people must use money from their support allowance, earnings from work, or other kinds of income to pay for housing. To get the shelter allowance, people applying for income assistance need to provide their landlord’s contact information, in case the government wants to confirm where they live and how much their rent is. People already receiving income assistance who then find rental housing must get their landlord to sign a form for the government. People who do not have housing costs will not receive the shelter allowance.

Social Housing

Government subsidized housing with a wide variety of definitions. 

Social Infrastructure

Social Infrastructure includes public and private assets that accommodate social services such as community centres, youth drop-in centres, job centres, friendship centres, recreational facilities, elderly and palliative care facilities, funerary services, schools, universities, hospitals and social housing.

Systemic Racism

Refers to both legalized and non-legalized discrimination based on race and ethnicity that takes many forms on an institutional level. Individuals and/or groups are continuously disadvantaged solely on the basis of their physical appearance (race), as these institutional forms of racism are embedded as normal practice within society or an organization. Past examples include the Trans Atlantic Slave Trade, Jim Crow laws, Residential Schools, and prohibitions on voting or owning land. Current examples include disproportionately affecting Black, Indigenous and Racialized groups through every stage of the criminal justice system, employment, housing, health care inequalities, political power, education, etc. This includes but is not limited to economic wealth gaps, employment, housing discrimination, government surveillance, incarceration, police brutality, drug arrests, immigration arrests, and infant mortality. see SEARA

Tenant or sub-tenant

A person or company who rents or leases a space and who occupies land or property rented from a landlord or owner.

Unceded Territory

In large sections of British Columbia, crown land is unceded land meaning that Title has neither been surrendered nor acquired by the Crown. The Crown doesn’t own the land outright based on its own colonial property framework. The Musqueam, Squamish and Tsleil-waututh First Nations have outright unceded territorial ownership of the land on which the settlement areas of the City of Vancouver.

White Fragility (White Referee, White Saviour)

Discomfort and defensiveness on the part of a white person when confronted by information about racial inequality and injustice. This type of behaviour suggests an unwillingness to engage or recognize racial hierarchies and/or experiences rooted in racism. It is a refusal to recognize that our Western society is set up to insulate whites from racial discomfort, thus allowing them to react in a fragile manner at the first application of stress. Racial hierarchies perpetuate the notion that white people are entitled to peace and deference. This allows for the unwillful desire or inability to hold “racial stamina” to engage in difficult conversations.  As a result, white people will respond to racial triggers with emotions such as anger, fear and guilt, and behaviours such as argumentation, silence, and withdrawal from the stress-inducing situation. White people may even attempt to take on the role of “White Referee” or “White Saviour”, trying to mitigate the severity and ultimate outcome of these conversations. see SEARA

White Supremacy

The belief that white people are superior to those of other races and thus should dominate them. Its purpose is the maintenance and defence of a system of wealth, power, and privilege. As a political ideology, it imposes and maintains social, political, historical, or institutional domination by white people. This ideology has been put into effect through socioeconomic and legal structures such as the Trans Atlantic slave trade, Indigenous genocide on Turtle Island, Jim Crow laws in the United States, the White Australia policies from the 1890s to the mid-1970s, and Apartheid in South Africa. White supremacy is a belief system that perpetuates notions of upholding white dominance over people of other backgrounds, especially in instances where they may co-exist, and maintaining a “white culture” that is superior to other cultures. It also implies on a scientific level that white people are genetically superior to other races. This has historical roots in Eugenics, Darwinism which claimed evolutionary superiority amongst only white Europeans against other races, and even instances of Freudian psychoanalysis theories. As a full-fledged ideology, white supremacy is far more encompassing than simple racism or bigotry. Most white supremacists today further believe that the white race is in danger of extinction due to a rising “flood” of non-whites. see SEARA