BIG IDEAS in-School (Registration Completed)

BIG IDEAS in-School

Since 2010, over 8.600 Kindergarten to Grade 12 students from Burnaby, Cariboo, Coquitlam, Delta, New Westminster, North Vancouver, Richmond, Squamish, Surrey, Vancouver and West Vancouver have benefited from our award-winning program.


Through an annual artist/subject advisor project grant, the program brings local professional artists and subject experts 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.


BIG IDEAS in-School is a program that integrates the Vancouver Biennale’s current and legacy 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 school projects and curriculum unit plans covering inquiry topics such as environmental, cultural or historical perspectives, mathematical applications, global citizenship or social change.


All artist/subject expert workshops are to take place during school. The professional fee is jointly funded by the Vancouver Biennale and the school board/school. School board support is in place for a number of school districts. The school is responsible for other project expenses such as materials, equipment and field trip. We would like to thank Richmond School District, Surrey School District, Vancouver Board of Education, and West Vancouver School District for co-sponsoring the program this year.  Registration for 2016 has now been completed.


2016 Program Theme – Art as a Catalyst for Learning

Vancouver Biennale’s BIG IDEAS Education invites cross-curricular project proposals that demonstrate how art is a catalyst for learning throughout the entire project-based learning process. Successful submissions should articulate clear and direct linkages to specific Biennale art installation(s) that inspire the BIG IDEAS project, guiding questions, inquiry challenges, and art-infused creations. Submissions should also consider exploring specific aspects of the community around the art installation(s) that are relevant to the project theme as part of the field trip.


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 a project toolkit.

2016 Key Dates

  • January 20:        Project Launch Event @ Vancouver Biennale Office
  • May 25:               Project Celebration @ Vancouver Biennale Office

2016 Program Participants

Thank you, Teachers! We thank all the teachers for applying to the BIG IDEAS in-School 2016 Program – Art as Catalyst for Learning. 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 1,500 K to Grade 12 learners from 28 schools across 7 school districts with their teachers and BIG IDEAS collaborators to this year’s program.

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 Workshops Information.