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Together we are Building Alliance Française of Tomorrow

we are building together once again

It is partly through the generosity of the community –through donations and grants - that AFV first built its facility in 1968 and continued to make capital improvements over the years. As a registered not-for-profit organisation, these donations provide additional support to the revenues generated from our activities.

Since 2010, successive boards, and countless staff and volunteers have given their time and talent to position AFV for the 21st century and ensure its ongoing success for the next 50 years.  They shared in a common vision to create a new building that will take AFV to the next level of excellence and establish itself as a major educational, cultural and community centre in Vancouver. This new building project is the result of this perseverance despite many challenges encountered along the way.  

The new building designed around green building practices and universal accessibility will have a performing space, an art gallery, artist studios, modern and high-tech classrooms and a modern media library (housing the largest collection of French language items in B.C). Stay tuned for more details. 

 

 

 

 

 

we built together once before

Alliance Française Vancouver has always been fortunate to count on its close-knit community.  

In the 1960’s, its community worked hard to secure a permanent place for the organisation. With admirable devotion and unwavering will, they rallied support from their families, friends and government to raise the necessary funds to build AFV, what was at that time, a state-of-the art facility at 6161 Cambie St. After 64 years of meeting in temporary premises, Alliance Francaise Vancouver had dedicated classrooms for its language courses and a wonderful auditorium for its community and cultural activities. 

Having its own building and property propelled the organisation to greater heights.  AFV soon became on of the most dynamic associations in Vancouver. It modernized its operations and expanded its programs and partnerships to the point that by 1986, the building had become too small to serve the increasing number of students. The board decided to add a second floor. 

Once again, thanks to the support received from a provincial grant, a loan and its amazing community members, a second floor was opened in 1989.  Members at that time loved the new functional, comfortable and inviting spaces. 

In 2003, the need to renovate the building arose to address concerns such as waterproofing the first floor, creating a direct access to the parking lot and weather proofing the windows. Once again, the generous spirit and fortitude of AFV community shined through. Many of them made a donation to support the renovation. What a joy it was prior to the pandemic, to still see so many of these benefactors at our events and programs regularly. 

Unfortunately, this building is now past its useful life and can no longer support AFV’s activities and provide a quality environment for our members, students and users.  

While we are sad to say goodbye to our current home, we know that we can count on our community again and look forward to welcoming all of you again in our new building in 2023 on this same historic site of 6161 Cambie Street. 

community at the heart of this project

In continuity with its vision to nurture a thriving community and offer affordable spaces to gather, Alliance Française Vancouver (AFV) has entered a formal Community Use Agreement with the City of Vancouver. This means that spaces in the new building – performing space, art gallery, demonstration kitchen, classrooms etc. will be available at special rates to the community. AFV is proud to add these new spaces and additional professional resources to the cultural ecosystem of the City where access to and affordability of appropriately-sized spaces have long been constant challenges for emerging artists and non-profit groups in particular. AFV is looking forward to welcoming you all in its green and universally accessible facility in 2023.

final approval of rezoning and form of development

The rezoning application was unanimously approved (subject to conditions) by the City Council at the Public Hearing of December 10, 2019. Since receiving the follow-up legal paperwork in August 2020, Alliance Française Vancouver has been working tirelessly with its architects, consultants, lawyer, and construction manager to ensure that the project meets all the prior-to approval conditions set by the City. The paperwork was finalized this March and the new zoning by-law has been finally enacted at the City Council meeting of 13 April.  This confirms that AFV has met all the legal conditions of rezoning. This also validates the form of development for the new project. Importantly, this approval is critical in unlocking the next permit approvals

application for the demolition permit and building permit submitted

After multiple rounds of reviews to ensure that the building project meets with the Vancouver Building By-law and the Cambie Corridor Plan, AFV submitted its application for a building permit last February 2021. At the same time, since AFV will demolish the current building and build a new facility on the same site, a demolition permit is also required.

AFV understands that the demolition permit could be issued by end of May and building permit by end June. The delays in obtaining permits have been a concerning issue so far. However, AFV is encouraged by the recent article in the Vancouver Sun which advocates for reforms and a speedier delivery of permit approvals. This will ensure that projects, such as AFV’s are able to move forward and add its unique vibrancy and dynamism to the community and cultural life of Vancouver.

the government of canada supports us

We are pleased to start this year with a very good news. Our grant application from the Department of Canadian Heritage has been approved. A contribution will be designated towards the cultural spaces in our new building project. After receiving the support of the City and the Province of British Columbia, this support comes at an opportune time, strengthening our drive and ambition to move forward with this project – the creation of your centre for language, culture, and community.

We acknowledge the financial support of the Government of Canada.

FR:
Nous sommes heureux de commencer cette année avec une très bonne nouvelle. Notre demande de subvention au ministère du Patrimoine canadien a été approuvée. Une contribution sera apportée aux espaces culturels de notre nouveau projet de construction. Après avoir reçu le soutien de la Ville et de Province de la Colombie-Britannique, ce soutien intervient à un moment opportun, renforçant notre volonté et notre ambition d'aller de l'avant avec ce projet - la création de votre centre de langue, de culture et de communauté.

Nous reconnaissons l'appui financier du gouvernement du Canada. 

supported by the province of british columbia

We are encouraged by the recent support received from the B.C. Francophone Affairs Program under the Intergovernmental Relations Secretariat. The grant of $75K will support the creation of the media library in the new AFV building. We cannot wait to welcome you and your family to the revitalised space, which will house the largest collection of French language items in B.C.

first grant of 2020 - city of vancouver

CONFIRMATION OF FINANCIAL ASSISTANCE

We are extremely pleased to share that AFV received a grant confirmation of $175K from the City of Vancouver towards the purchase of permanent equipment for the new Performing Space and Art Gallery. This comes in addition to the grant we received last year for total grant of $250,000 from the City of Vancouver.  It is a welcome encouragement as we pursue our fundraising efforts and forge ahead with the new building project against the backdrop of COVID-19.

We are grateful to the City for this show of support for the Vancouver cultural scene.

submission of development permit & finalization of construction documents

PROGRESS TO THE NEXT PHASE

We are pleased to share that we submitted an application for the building Development Permit to the City of Vancouver on the 24th March. The City will conduct a detailed review of the plans, notify surrounding properties and consider the overall impact of the new AFV building on the livability and functionality of the Cambie Corridor neighbourhood. Over the next few months, we will pursue discussions with the City culminating in the approval of the permit.

We are grateful to the team of architects, construction managers and engineers who have been working relentlessly, despite the unique challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic in ensuring that the design and construction documents move ahead. We are now at 75% completion.

rezoning application approved

A NEW STEP AHEAD OF US

2019 is coming to an end with some big news for Alliance Française! On December 10, our rezoning application was approved by the City of Vancouver. Councillors and staff debated at length many possibilities to reduce city fees and support additional funding options. We are now proceeding to the next step: the Development Permit and hoping to start construction in 2020. Thanks to everyone who came to support our application at City Hall: your presence and your speeches in support of the project were very much appreciated. The large community support was no doubt a major reason for getting unanimous approval from City Councillors! The focus for 2020 will be finance and we are looking for experienced volunteers to join our fundraising committee. Please don’t hesitate to bring your enthusiasm. Best wishes to all for the holidays.