BIG IDEAS in-School

Through an annual artist collaborator project grant, the program brings local professional artists to collaborate with teachers to foster creative and innovative learning. This project-based learning program takes students outside their classroom and brings the community into their classroom. The program has outreached to over 9,600 students from diverse socio-economic demographics in Burnaby, Coquitlam, Delta, New Westminster, North Vancouver, Richmond, Squamish, Surrey, Vancouver and West Vancouver.


BIG IDEAS in-School is a program that integrates the Vancouver Biennale’s exhibitions with the British Columbia curriculum. Teachers are invited to submit a single classroom project or collaborate with other teachers/schools to develop a joint project. Project ideas can be drawn from BIG IDEAS Digital past BIG IDEAS in-School projects and curriculum unit plans covering inquiry topics such as environmental, cultural or historical perspectives, mathematical applications, global citizenship or social change. Registration for 2017 has now been completed.


2017 Program Theme – Making Global Connection

Vancouver Biennale’s BIG IDEAS Education invites cross-curricular project proposals that focus on the theme of global connections throughout the entire inquiry learning process. Successful submissions should articulate clear and significant common concerns, community challenges, social issues or aspirations that communities across the globe may share. The inquiry process will focus on a specific biennale art installation(s) that inspires the BIG IDEAS project. Participants are encouraged to link with schools in other countries if possible. During a field trip (or BIG IDEAS Anywhere virtual tour) to the art installation(s) being studied participants are encouraged to explore specific aspects of the community around it and compare/contrast to another community(s) being studied in a different part of the world.


2017 Key Dates

  • Program Launch & Sharing             January 18, 2017 @4:30 – 6 pm
  • Wrap Up Celebration                        May 24, 2017 @4:30 – 6 pm

Program Features

  • Arts Inquiry fosters discovery and creative learning through Biennale public arts.
  • Arts Infusion facilitates expression in multiple art forms through artist-led workshops in schools.
  • Cross-Curricular drives integrated learning concepts across multiple subject areas.
  • Socially Inclusive connects to all schools and all grades within British Columbia.
  • Community-based takes students outside their classrooms and brings community into the classroom.
  • Online Resources provides exemplary multi-media instructional samples and project toolkit.

 2017 Program Participants

Thank you, Teachers! We thank all the teachers for applying to the BIG IDEAS in-School 2017 Program – Making Global Connection. We have once again received great project proposals this year and saw definite growth in depth of understanding of inquiry, big ideas/guiding questions, and the use of art to stimulate dialogue, critical thought, and social action. We are excited for the new year to see all the incredible projects in action. Congratulations and look forward to your continued support! We would like to welcome over 1,100 K to Grade 12 learners from 28 schools across 6 school districts with their teachers and BIG IDEAS collaborators to this year’s program.

  • Captain Cook Elementary, Vancouver/David Proctor and Gordon Cobb
  • Cunningham Elementary, Vancouver/Doreen Unrau and Laura Barron
  • Daniel Woodward Elementary, Richmond/Ann-Marie Fenn and Akiko Murphy and Amy-Claire Hueutis
  • David Lloyd George, Vancouver/Candace Fong, Diane Major, Leigh Miller, Sue Haywood, and Gordon Cobb
  • Eagle Mountain Middle School, Coquitlam/Andrea Coupe, Danielle Murdoch, Jenn Moody,Renn Manners, Avie Basson, and Kia Kadiri
  • Ecole Bilingue Elementary, Vancouver/Olivier Salvas and Cease Wyss
  • Ecole Cedardale Elementary, West Vancouver/Stina Morrisette, Renelle Allard, Erin Gleason and Amelia Epp
  • General Currie Elementary, Richmond/Sara Mais, Jane Stahl, Jamie Campbell & Lori-Sherritt Fleming
  • Glenview Elementary, Vancouver/Trish Musselle and Gordon Cobb
  • Kerrisdale Elementary, Vancouver/Jane Spencer, Alison Dixon, and Gordon Cobb
  • McNair Secondary, Richmond/Meena Uppal, Quynh Aura, and Rup Sidhu
  • Mitchell Elementary, Richmond/Samantha Lau, Kim Dunnigan, and Lori-Sherritt Fleming
  • Mulgrave Secondary/Alina Lanovskaia and Amy-Claire Hueutis
  • QayQayt Elementary, New Westminster/Amy Bothwell, Sonia Maglio, and Stephen Booth
  • Westwind Elementary, Richmond/Tristan Taylor, Bob Biddell, Holy Whu, and Donna Sheh
  • York House, Vancouver/Jennifer Ford Sharpe, Casey Wilson Gay, Wendy Shore, Krista Payette, and Toni Latour
  • Surrey Schools – Bear Creek Elementary, Janice Churchill Elementary, Forsyth Road Elementary and Riverdale Elementary and Julie Lynn Mortensen

Planning Your Biennale Open Air Museum Visit in 2017

The current 2014 – 2016 Vancouver Biennale Open Air Museum exhibition has come to a close. Over the next several months we will be working with partners, donors and sponsors to retain selected iconic installations as permanent Legacy installations for the community. Below is a list of the artworks that you can visit on-site and/or access through BIG IDEAS Anywhere online video virtual tour.

To receive updates on BIG IDEAS programs,  please contact us at To learn more about BIG IDEAS, attend a district professional development workshop or book a customized workshop at your school. View Workshop Information.