BIG IDEAS in Schools

BIG IDEAS in Schools

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 reached over 9,600 students from diverse socio-economic backgrounds 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.


2017-2018 Program Theme: Community Based Learning

Vancouver Biennale’s BIG IDEAS Education program invites cross-curricular project proposals that focus on the theme of Community Based Learning. Successful submissions will demonstrate learning that stems from the exploration of neighbourhood and city communities when using the inquiry learning process.

A thoughtful examination of local issues, challenges, social issues and hopes specific to the community will result in a deeper understanding of the neighbourhood and/or local community. The inquiry process will involve a field trip study (or BIG IDEAS Anywhere1 virtual tour) of Vancouver Biennale art installations that elicit meaningful connections to the topics being studied in the community.

Submission Deadline November 24, 2017 @4 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.

Planning Your Biennale Open Air Museum Visit in 2017-2018

The previous 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 as well as develop a new exhibition for Summer of 2018. 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 [email protected]. To learn more about BIG IDEAS, attend a district professional development workshop or book a customized workshop at your school. View Workshop Information.