BIG IDEAS Community

Modal Research Group /SFU Research Partners

“MODAL Research Group stands for Multimedia Opportunities, Diversity and Artistic Learning. We conducted ‘Arts in Action’ research into students’ transformative arts experiences and the relation between these experiences and students’ arts engagement, artistic learning, and deep-level learning (conceptual change and transfer of knowledge) about ideas that matter to students and their community. The Biennale BIG IDEAS Education projects provide opportunities for transformative experiences through student-led, creative and collaborative arts activity engagement with an intensity and emotional quality that is capable of bringing about change in perceptions and understanding. We are also interested in how transformative arts experience impact on students’ identity and on their overall sense of well being. We hope the research will contribute to a better understanding of the positive benefits of artistic learning and integrated arts activities for promoting healthy development, creativity and responsibility among students.”

Dr. Susan O’Neill, Associate Professor, Academic Coordinator, Arts Education, Director, MODAL Research Group, Faculty of Education, Simon Fraser University


UBC Faculty of Education Community Partnership

Teacher candidates participating in Vancouver Biennale’s BIG IDEAS project have explored student-centered teaching strategies that focus on the development of powerful questions that ask students to reflect on how exhibition themes relate back to their lives, and how they can become agents of change in their own communities. It is a wonderful opportunity to experience creative and relevant community-based collaborations that are thoughtfully documented and shared back with the community.”

Alison Diesvelt, Adjunct Professor and Faculty Advisor, Bachelor of Education Program, UBC


Vancouver School Board – Artist in Residence Program Partnership

The Vancouver School Board Artist In Residence Program brings professional performing and visual artists into the classroom. The program aims to have local artists lead students in activities which encourage personal exploration and development through the arts and art integrated cross-curricular learning. Through this partnership, the BIG IDEAS Education Program is offered through the Artist in Residence since 2013.


Surrey School District Partnership

The Surrey School District is the largest of 60 school districts in BC with 124 schools and 70,000 students. Surrey is one of the fastest growing cities in Canada. The Surrey School District believes in the power of arts education and has a strong reputation for designing programs that empower, inspire and motivate students of all ages and from many different backgrounds.  Through a new partnership in 2014, selected Surrey schools participate in the Vancouver Biennale annual BIG IDEAS program through a district wide learning initiative.


BIG IDEAS Education Program Builders

Jessa Alston-O’Connor, M.A., Fine Arts and Art History

Terry Howe, Curriculum Consultant & Retired School Principal

Alannah MacPhail, B. Ed., Professional Art Therapist & Retired School Principal

Misty Paterson, M.A., Curriculum Consultant & Teacher

Rosalind Poon, M.Ed. in Educational Administration and Leadership, Richmond School District Teacher Consultant

Stephanie Anderson Redmond, M. Ed, Ph.D. Student, Department of Curriculum and Pedagogy, UBC

Katherine Tong, M.S., Former Vancouver Biennale Education Program Director



Alcuin College . Alpha Secondary . Archibald Blair Elementary . Argyle Secondary . Artist for Kids Academy . Armstrong Elementary . Arts Umbrella . Balmoral Junior Secondary . Bayridge Elementary . Bear Creek Elementary . Berkshire Elementary . Bonaccord Elementary . Burnett Secondary . Byrne Creek Secondary . Cambie Secondary . Capilano University . Captain Cook Elementary . Cariboo Hill Secondary . Carisbrooke Elementary . Carson Graham Secondary . Chaffey-Burke Elementary . Charles Tupper Secondary . Churchill Secondary School . Clayton Heights Secondary . Collingwood School . Confederation Park Elementary  . Crofton House . Cunningham Elementary . Cypress Park Primary . Daniel Woodward Elementary . David Brankin Elementary . David Lloyd George Elementary. David Thompson Secondary . Eagle Mountain Middle . Earl Marriott Secondary . East Kensington Elementary . École Bilingue . École Cedardale Elementary . École Jules Quesnel . École Pauline Johnson . Edith Cavell Elementary  . Ellendale Elementary  . Enver Creek Secondary . Eric Hamber Secondary . Forsyth Road Elementary . Frank Hurt Secondary . Gleneagles Elementary . General Currie Elementary  . George Greenway Elementary . Grandview Elementary . Guildford Park Secondary . Handsworth Secondary . Henry Hudson Elementary . Hillcrest Middle School . Howe Sound Secondary . HT Thrift Elementary . Janice Churchill Elementary . Johnston Heights Secondary . Katzie Elementary . Kerrisdale Elementary . King George School . Kitsilano Secondary . Kwentlen Park Secondary . Laronde Elementary . Lions Bay Community School . Lord Byng Secondary . Lord Nelson Elementary . Lord Tweedsmuir Secondary . Lord Selkirk Elementary . Magee Secondary . Maple Green Elementary . Maple Green Secondary . Matthew McNair Secondary . MB Sanford Elementary . McKinney Elementary . McNair Secondary . Mitchell Elementary . Moody Middle School . Montroyal Elementary . Mt. Pleasant Elementary . Mulgrave School . Norgate Community School . North Delta Secondary . North Surrey Secondary . Old Yale Elementary . Peter Skene Odgen Secondary . Pierre Elliot Trudeau Elementary . Princess Margaret Secondary . Prince of Wales Secondary . QayQayt Elementary . Queen Alexander Elementary . Queen Mary Elementary  . Quilchena Elementary Richmond . Quilchena Elementary Vancouver . Riverdale Elementary . Rockridge Secondary . Sentinel Secondary . Simon Cunningham Elementary . Simon Fraser Elementary . Simon Fraser University . Squamish Elementary . St. Francis Xavier School . Strawberry Hill Elementary . Sullivan Elementary . Sullivan Height Secondary . Summit Middle School . Sunrise Ridge Elementary . Sutherland Secondary . Tamanawis Secondary . Total Education Program . University Hill Elementary . Van Tech Secondary . Walter Moberly Elementary . W E Kinvig Elementary . West Bay Elementary . Westcot Elementary . West Van Secondary . Westview Elementary . Westwind Elementary . White Rock Elementary . William Bridge Elementary . Windermere Secondary . York House