Student Art and Animation Fund

Art can act as a vital source of connection, community resilience and healing. It can tell a story, enrich a space, or provide opportunities for reflection.  It helps express feelings, spark thoughts, and acts as a tool for change, representation, and social justice. It inspires us to feel, to think, and to take action.


This is why it's especially important to champion and support student-led art at UBC. 


UTown@UBC (part of Campus + Community Planning) is pleased to announce the launch of the pilot Student Art and Animation Fund, a new initiative to provide student artists the opportunity to help shape UBC's outdoor spaces through public art! 

Through the generous support of Giving Day Donors, up to $5000 is available to fund project costs for student artists, performers, and placemakers to imagine, execute, and install their project in public outdoor spaces on the UBC Vancouver campus.





Here's what you need to know: 


What is considered student-led art? 

Want to stage an outdoor performance or play? Have a great idea for a temporary installation or placemaking initiative? This fund is available to support projects that help animate and activate public outdoor spaces (also known as Public Realm), creating a more connected, vibrant campus. This may include:

  • Temporary outdoor public art pieces in a variety of mediums, including sculpture, woodwork, mural.
  • Short-term placemaking initiatives for the campus community to enjoy in public spaces on campus. Take a look around campus and you may come across previous student-led, institutionally-supported, placemaking initiatives including the Janet Swings, Home/Refuge birdhouses, or installations in the Lights at Lee Square. 
  • Performance art activated within outdoor spaces, like our Thrive by the Fire collaboration with Blank Vinyl Project. 


Who is eligible to apply? 

All current UBC graduate and undergraduate students in good standing with the university are eligible to apply. Project must be completed and decommissioned prior to the student graduating from UBC. We encourage student organizations, clubs, and associations to apply for funding as well! Projects that are part of coursework will also be considered.

How can funding be used?

Up to $5000 in funding may be awarded to one project during this pilot year, with funding going towards the following items:

  • Project supplies and materials. This can include AV equipment rental for performances, art supplies, small tools, paint, etc.
  • Funding to safely install project and decommission at completion.
  • Up to $500 honorarium for artist

Where on campus can my art be installed?

This fund is meant to support art in the public realm—the collection of outdoor spaces between buildings shared by the UBC community and visitors. Public realm includes everything from courtyards and pathways, to displays and street furniture, and of course, public art. These spaces are shaped by the UBC Public Realm Plan, which puts principles and policies for outdoor spaces into action.

While there are guidelines on what can be installed in specific spaces on campus, we are working with UBC’s Development Services Department and other campus stakeholders to identify pre-approved spaces where permitting can be expedited. We will also make recommendations on available spaces for specific projects, based on the scope and scale of your project.  

We encourage you to imagine how your project can animate and activate different spaces on campus, particularly those that are currently underutilized.

Here are a few guiding principles when imagining a space for your project:

  • Projects must take place in public, outdoor spaces (public realm) at UBC Vancouver.
  • Projects may not be affixed to walls or buildings in a way that alters them. However, if you have an idea for a mural or display, we can explore spaces that may be temporarily available ie) concrete, construction hoarding, etc.
  • Projects cannot make permanent changes in the UBC landscape and must include a plan for decommissioning in a sustainable manner upon completion. 
  • Depending on space and project, a Development Permit or Outdoor Event Form may need to be completed. Support will be available to complete these regulatory documents.
  • Any structures being built must be deemed structurally sound and safe via engineering approval. 
  • Projects may not be installed on Main Mall or access roadways. 

If you have a project idea and are not certain about location, please submit it and we will explore opportunities that may work with various campus stakeholders. A Campus + Community Planning Staff member will be available to support the process and identify any potential barriers or recommend spaces that will work! 

How will projects be chosen?

We welcome all types of temporary projects for submission—from outdoor concerts, to temporary structures, rain art, and more! We want you to get creative, share your talents, voices, and perspectives and help shape spaces on campus. Projects will be evaluated by a Community Art Committee that includes stakeholders familiar with UBC public realm guidelines, as well as UBC community members.

We encourage all forms of art and expression, however content that is not aligned with UBC’s values and policies will not be considered. 

Why support student art in the public realm?

By supporting student art in the public realm, UBC hopes to:  

  • Create accessible, experiential learning opportunities for student artists
  • Give students the opporutnity to help shape public spaces
  • Provide student artists, animators, performers, etc with the unique opportunity to explore and experiment with public art forms
  • Spark conversations, exploration, and connection to campus.  
  • Share and celebrate the many skills and talents of UBC students!  

How can I apply?

Complete the Student Art and Animation Fund application form by December 30, 2022. Recipients will be informed in winter term. 

You’ll need the following information in order to apply:

  • A description of the physical aspects of the project and if applicable, a rendering of the proposed art piece including dimensions and materials. This can be a simple sketch, digital rendering, etc. Please submit in pdf or jpeg form and include dimensions so we can determine potential locations.
  • Desired location(s). You may include more than one proposed location, or if you are unsure of a suitable location, please indicate that and we will identify suitable spaces in the adjudication period. 
  • Plan for installation and decommissioning and maintenance requirements, including any service or access required (ie--electricity, power access, etc).
  • Proposed timeline and duration of the project. Please include dates for installation or set-up, duration of the work in-situ, and de-install or take-down. If this is a performance art piece, please provide a few desired dates
  • Itemized budget (estimate)

Please note, we are unable to provide retroactive funding for projects that have already occured. 

Ready to apply?

We look forward to reading your proposal and seeing the inspiring ways your project can spark imagination, celebration, and conversation on campus! 




Please feel free to reach out to with any questions about applications or projects. This initiative is currently in pilot phase and we welcome thoughts on how to improve the process or make it more accessible to students.