221A is supporting the creation of an independent Cultural Land Trust (CLT).  The CLT is a newly incorporated (December 2021) independent non-profit organization that provides a collective response to escalating real estate prices that have placed severe pressure on security of tenure for artists and arts organizations.


The “land trust” model is well established in a number of countries, mainly for protecting community residential access and for nature conservation purposes. 221A is supporting the research and planning of a Cultural Land Trust for the particular challenge facing arts and culture organizations, centered on the lower mainland.

In November 2019, 221A completed an Idea Validation Report that reviewed the core concept of a Cultural Land Trust in Vancouver. The Idea Validation Report gathered key data on comparable municipalities, input from local artists and art organizations and demonstrated preliminary viability for the CLT, with a particular focus on relief for non-profit cultural organizations located in Vancouver.

Benefits of a Cultural Land Trust

  • Decommodify Land – Freehold ownership and community governance mitigates speculative real estate market.
  • Leverage Investment – Accountable investment vehicle combines philanthropy with grants and municipal rezonings.
  • Reconciliation & Equity – Meaningful BIPOC and equity-deserving participation in governance and trust assets.
  • Regulation & Capacity – Sharing collective solution as model across Canada; providing government regulatory feedback.

As of December 2022, 221A has concluded the Business Planning phase of the CLT. The Business Plan further refined the Early Model developed within the Idea Validation Study towards the establishment of an independent Vancouver Cultural Land Trust.

Meeting of the Advisory Group in March, 2019

Downloadable Reports

Copies of the Cultural Land Trust Idea Validation Report and Cultural Land Trust Business Case (available in spring 2023) are being made available to artists, non-profit art organizations and funding bodies. Please contact 221A directly to obtain a PDF copy at hello@221a.ca.

Vision, Mission, Governance, and Seed Funding

  • Success Vision: By 2050, the Cultural Land Trust will have secured 30 properties in British Columbia.
  • Mission: To increase long term security of tenure of space for cultural and arts purposes in BC through ownership and stewardship of land and buildings.
  • Governance: Independent Charitable Org; 11-person governance with representation from Cultural Organization Tenants
  • Seed Funding: $15M funds + 2 transfer of freehold assets with a 10-Year Projection of $80–$120M CAD Investment.

Inspiration from Other Cities


  • November 2018 – Community-led Research trip to City of San Francisco and Oakland (with BC Artscape, VIVO Media Arts and City of Vancouver Cultural Spaces staff).
  • February 2019 – Literature Review
  • March 2019 – First Advisory Group Meeting
  • April 2019 – Presentation to City of Vancouver on Progress to date
  • May–June 2019 – Stakeholder Dialogue (Discovery)
  • June 2019 – Second Advisory Group Meeting, Case Studies, “Early Model”
  • June–July 2019 – Stakeholder Dialogue (Testing)
  • November 2019 – VCLT Idea Validation Report Completion
  • January 2020 – Presentation on the VCLT Early Model
  • September 2020 – October 2022 – CLT Business Planning
  • December 2021 – Incorporation of CLT
  • November 2022 – Financial Modelling
  • December 2022 – CLT Seed Funding Period & Governance Development


For more information regarding the Cultural Land Trust research or planning please contact us at hello@221a.ca.