A Symbiotic Artist Care Fund

Join us for a delicious meal from Tamam: Fine Palestinian Food while we showcase some of the most enchanting performances from drag artists, to poets and musicians alike. We invite folks to share this space as we look to fundraise for our year to come. We will have a silent auction throughout the evening, generously donated by local artists, businesses and community members.

Our goal is to raise $25,000 by the end of the night. With this, we could provide up to 100 artists with rapid, low barrier help in the next year of this program.


Art is in many ways not just the creative expression of individuals, but a larger commentary on the environment surrounding it. Turning a mirror on those who reside in the environment, showing growth or stagnancy, the ways in which we are implicated. If we are to transmute ourselves into the metaphor of an ecosystem we can see the ways in which balance has been broken, the careful symbiotic relationships developed to ensure the survival has been disrupted by the perverse and violent nature of colonialism, capitalism and white supremacy.

In order to return to a symbiotic balance we must focus on the ways in which we enrich ourselves in relation to each other. No matter the size, each piece is integral to the larger environment. The ways in which we communicate need is very similar to the ways in which the plants around us communicate via mycelium, a network of exterior synapses firing off chemical messages, moving nutrients and immune protecting protocols.

Our Artist Care model is designed to focus on the ways we interchangeably communicate and adapt to such ways to ensure the right supplies and supports are distributed accordingly while also protecting the longevity of our ecosystem.

For some more information about Mycelium and how they contribute to ecosystems click here and here. Also click here to learn about how wolves change rivers as an example of how interconnected the elements of an ecosystem are.

Art: Valen Onstine


This inspiration and drive to initiate Vines Artist Care came pre-pandemic, seeded from a Community Care conversation, our artist commissioning programs and COVID relief support and community dialogues. Since then we have only seen the need for this kind of care network grow as the very nature of the art environment drastically changes. As we transition into the next stages we think about what after-care to this wide impacting traumatic time is needed. These include trauma informed practices that honour and follow grassroot protocols while also working in relationship to Indigenous leadership from Host Nations as well as the diverse Urban Indigenous communities.

We invite you to participate in reinvesting in all the ways the community and our needs manifest.


It has been reflected back to us in our community consultation process that Vines organically fits into the role of initiating an Artist Care service. We have been nurturing meaningful relationships for the past several years and know that the only way forward is collectively.

This program will provide opportunities to give artists holistic support without the bureaucratic processes that hinder the relationship with not only the artist, but the community as a whole.

A one-time show of support, made at a critical time and in a timely manner, can make all the difference to someone facing crisis due to the financial instability artists have long been told is their lot in life.


This project is visioned and held by artists whose knowledge comes from their lived experience facing marginalization that leads to financial barriers and believe that the ability to create art needs to be accessible, safe and accountable. Specifically being led by Black, Indigenous, of colour, migrants, houseless, queer, trans and disabled artists of varying capacities and needs to ensure no one is left behind in forming this promise of futurity.

But it can’t just be us, your support allows us to provide more support for our communities.


Request for Solidarity

Our model combines mutual-aid, peer-to-peer fundraising, volunteer support, and community outreach, all with the goal of providing nimble, timely support for artists to meet their essential physical, emotional, social, and spiritual needs.

How funding will be used:

  • Time Sensitive Support
  • Culturally Relevant Training
  • Health, Wellness and Preventative Support
  • Tools and Supplies


Our goal is to reach $30,000 in donations by July 15, 2022.


Propagators Circle

Adriana Contreras

Graphic Recorder, Illustrator & Designer


Adriana Contreras (she/her) was born in Bogotá, Colombia and moved to BC with her family in 1998, at the age of fifteen. Artistic expression has always been a central part of her life but became an essential tool for navigating the world as a first-generation immigrant. Adriana completed her BFA at SFU School for the Contemporary Arts in 2006 and has worked and volunteered with numerous Cultural and Community-based organizations for 20 years.

My favourite plant right now is a Mango. I started to grow one from a seed in the fall. It’s so beautiful.

A  art piece that has impacted me is Carnaval de Barranquilla (Barranquilla’s Carnival). It happens annually, and I was able to attend in 2019 when I went back to Colombia after ten years of not visiting. I had not been to Barranquilla since I was six years old. It’s a city in the Caribbean where my dad spent many years of his life. What impacted me the most about the Carnival was how many people were involved and the passion I saw in every single event. There were thousands of people who took part in the multi-day event: dancers, musicians, actors, costume designers… it felt like everyone in the city was part of a huge performance.

Heather Lamoureux

Artistic Director


I am a community organizer, artist, and facilitator living on Musqueam, Squamish and Tsliel-Waututh territories. I am the Artistic Director at Vines, and have grown with the festival since it’s beginning over the past seven years. I am so grateful to have been learning with the community of artists who percolate the work we do. I am committed to my responsibility to imagine and co-create nurturing creative spaces for artists. Outside of Vines I utilize my Somatic Education training from Tamalpa Institute to facilitate movement and expressive arts classes. In the past I have worked for Raven Spirit Dance, PuSh International Arts Festival, Dancing on the Edge and the Firehall. I love to garden at Harmony garden, X̱wemelch’stn pen̓em̓áy, hang out by a river and eat good food with community. I can sometimes be found performing in unexpected outdoor spaces with the collective Pressed Paradise.

My favourite plant –  impossible to choose I love so many..… wild columbine or raspberries

Art piece that has impacted me is Ana Mendieta – Siluetas, her work opened my mind to art being inseparable from life. I go back to this work and her vision again and again.

jaye simpson

Communications Director


jaye simpson is an Oji-Cree Saulteaux nonbinary transfemme storyteller from the Sapotaweyak Cree Nation. An avid community organizer with a fondness of Social Justice and Equity, they find themselves often planning rallies, teach-ins, reading series and celebrations of resistance.

jaye is a displaced indigenous person living, creating and occupying on xʷməθkʷəy̓əm (Musqueam), səl̓ilwətaɁɬ (Tsleil-waututh), and sḵwx̱wú7mesh (Squamish) First Nations territories.

Their favourite plant is hard to choose as they love time with nature and gardening. Daffodils and dandelions are especially important to them. An art piece/work that deeply impacted them was Children of God, a play by Corey Payette.

jaz whitford

resident anti-professional artist


jaz is a 2 spirit anti-professional, working as an interdisciplinary artist centering community care, ancestral connections, and QTPOC relief. they live semi-nomadically, along the unceded west coast of turtle island as well as the interior of so-called british columbia. jaz’s ancestry ties them to unceded secwepemcúl’ecw in the southern interior of so-called british columbia and more distantly to scotland, though the bulk of their work has bloomed within the traditional territories of the xʷməθkwəy̓əm , skwxwú7mesh, səl̓ilwətaɁɬ təməxʷ, Stó:lō, and Secwe̓pemc nations where they have been overwhelmed with the warmheartedness, generosity, and support of the host nations and indigiqueer community.

Katia Asomaning

Outreach and Community Relations Director


Katia Asomaning (pronouns: fluid) is a settler on the unceded territories of the šxʷməθkʷəy̓əmaɁɬ təməxʷ (Musqueam), Skwxwú7mesh-ulh Temíx̱w (Squamish) and səl̓ilwətaɁɬ təməxʷ (Tsleil-Waututh) Nations. They are passionate about: advocating for marginalized people; community building; uplifting and celebrating QTBIPOC voices; storytelling and narrative; and wellness.

In addition to her work in community relations and outreach with Vines, Katia is also Director of Operations for Pink Flamingo, a Black-led advocacy group that uplifts the QTBIPOC community by facilitating art, events, workshops, education and safer spaces. Katia’s values are intersectional, anti-racist and in solidarity with ongoing social justice movements and they are passionate about building equity across as many sectors as they can get their hands on.

Her favourite plants are carrots and cannabis and the art piece that most impacted her to date is The Guide & Protector, a mural located in Mohkinstsis by Jae Sterling.

Senaqwila Wyss

Resilient Roots Director


Senaqwila Wyss is Sḵwx̱wú7mesh, Tsimshian, Sto:lo, Hawaiian and Swiss. She holds a Bachelors of the Arts Degree in the Faculty of Communications, Arts and Technology, with minor in First Nations Studies. She also holds a First Nations Languages Proficiency Certificate in the Sḵwx̱wú7mesh Sníchim, and is pursuing her diploma in furthering her fluency and proficiency in the Squamish language. She and her husband are raising their 4 year old daughter, and 2 years ago adopted her 9 year old niece, to be first language speakers, which has not been done in her family four generations after colonial impacts; while also learning with her husband Justin Leo’s Líl̓wat Ucwalmicwts language from the Lil’wat Nation. She practices ethnobotany with traditionally trained mom Cease Wyss with indigenous plant medicines. Senaqwila was raised learning these ancestral teachings and uses plants as teas, medicines, tinctures and ceremony. She passes on these teachings to her children.

Siobhan Barker

Artist Care Consultant


Siobhan (sha-von/Sio/they/she) is of a stolen people living on the stolen, unceded, and ancestral land of the xʷməθkwəy̓əm (Musqueam), Skwxwú7mesh (Squamish), and Səl̓ílwətaʔ/Selilwitulh (Tsleil-Waututh) Nations. Sio was born and grew up on the traditional territory of the Three Fires Confederacy of the Ojibwa, Odawa, and the Potawatomie Nations in Windsor Ontario. As a Black presenting, gender-fluid person, of mixed African-Indigenous-Latinx-European ancestry living with disability they recognize and value the many intersectionalities that contribute to furthering decolonization practices. Siobhan is a published and Nationally recognized bilingual writer and performer who’s community and artistic work, explores relational justice in many forms. A Justice/Equity/Diversity/Inclusion(JEDI) speaker on organizational change, a facilitator with an emphasis on Disability Justice, Body Liberation and Food Justice with Hogan’s Alley Society, Open Access Foundation, The Federation of Black Canadians, Canadian Association of Fringe Festivals, Community Food Centres Canada, and through consultancy.

Marcelo Ponce

Artist Care Consultant


Hello! This is Marcelo. I’ve been a settler on Musqueam, Squamish and Tsleil-Waututh territories since 2012. I’m from Iztacalco, Mexico City. I joined Vines in 2019 and quickly took to putting time and thought into the way that we do accessibility. My work is grounded in my experiences of being casted out of multiple spaces because of my immigration status, trans experience, queerness and autism. I have experienced organizations whose accessibility efforts are performative and who refuse to take accountability. My focus as an “accessibility coordinator” is to make sure that we are reaching out to communities that have been systemically pushed away from witnessing and making art. You can email me at to ask questions, give me feedback, and make accessibility related requests.

Pollinators Circle

Amanda Parafina

Audrey Siegl

Dae Nneka

Fanny Kearse

Buni Kor

Jada Gabrielle Pape

Starr Trickey

Laura June Albert

Corrina Keeling

Joyce Rosario

Tonye Aganaba

Founding Funders


Your donation will support the growth of eco-arts in Vancouver.

Vines Art Festival takes place on the unceded territories of the Musqueam, Squamish and Tsleil-Waututh peoples.



Pandora Fieldhouse
2325 Franklin Street
Vancouver, BC
V5L 1S2