The Vancouver Board of Parks and Recreation is pleased to announce the latest cohort of projects selected for the Artists in Communities program, a special two-year initiative focused on youth for 2024-2025.

Now in its thirteenth year, Artists in Communities supports the city’s thriving arts scene through annual residencies in community centres. The residencies encourage collaboration between artists and residents (who may not necessarily see themselves as artists) and leave lasting physical or social legacies within their communities.

The Artists in Communities residencies for the next two seasons are:

The Mapwork Quilt Project by Toni-Leah Yake and Helena Krobath, Vascular Trace AVA (Audio-Visual Artists) (Mount Pleasant Community Centre)

What does it mean to make records, and how can we explore links between mapping, memory, our senses, and our social bonds? Toni-Leah Yake and Helena Krobath of Vascular Trace AVA (Audio-Visual Artists) will be creating artworks around ideas of experimental mapping, mark-making, and memory. Youth will develop their own unique stories by layering art and fieldwork gathered from the community to become a moving image and sound projection.

Helena Krobath (they/s/he) was born in Matsqui and grew up in Mission and Abbotsford, BC. Their family immigrated from various parts of Eastern Europe to Manitoba and British Columbia in the 1930s and 1950s. They live in unceded territories known as Vancouver, where they work with sound and visual media, transforming field recordings and homemade instruments. Their interest lies in experimenting with narratives and how they can be constructed with words as well as with our senses and use of space. Helena also does freelance sound design for podcasts and teaches in the field of Communication.

Toni-Leah C. Yake (European; Kanien’kehá:ka, Six Nations of the Grand River Territory, Turtle Clan) resides on xʷməθkʷəy̓ əm, Sḵwx̱ wú7mesh, and səlilwətaɬ territories. A composer-performer she is informed by kanyen’keha (Mohawk language), embodied response to the land, and conscious and unconscious realms. Guided by dreaming and Kanien’kehá:ka (Mohawk) epistemology her work engages with liminality and spatialization, illuminated with archival recordings, synthesis, and noise. Toni-Leah is a recent recipient of the First Peoples Cultural Council Individual Artist Award.

Find out more: the Mapwork Quilt Project ~ Vascular Trace AVA is a pop-up artistic collaboration experimenting with map, memory, and multimedia mark-making (

Aaron Friend Lettner Makes Unusual Books (Dunbar Community Centre)

Working primarily with photography, Aaron Friend Lettner traverses the crossways of culture, memory and place. His work is distinguished by its esoteric flair and he sees bookmaking as a ritual act, where seen and unseen worlds elide. He has a natural ability to make artmaking approachable for all ages, creating excitement and curiosity though storytelling in unique ways.

Aaron received the inaugural Burtynsky Grant in 2016 for Doorways; and a Canadian national book design award from the Alcuin Society in 2022 for his work on anglepoise; which toured in Canada, Japan and Germany. His books are held in special collections at the National Library of Germany and Simon Fraser University.

With over a decade of experience in various forms of storytelling, as well as a plethora of public works and arts-based programming, Aaron will now work alongside older and younger generations at the Dunbar Community Centre for the next two years. Through a series of community-based workshops and longer-term projects, Dunbar residents will have an opportunity to learn new creative languages, specifically related to hand-binding books, weaving and ritual theatre.

Find out more: Generations – An intergenerational collaboration with the Dunbar Community Centre (

These two new residences will run from March 2024 to December 2025.

Find out more about the Artists in Communities program: