Leigh Square Community Arts Village
Incorporated in the early 20th century, Port Coquitlam is a relatively young city built on an urban edge experiencing continued growth but maintaining its ‘small town charm’.
Port Coquitlam’s adopted its first Cultural Plan and policy in 2001 and recognizes that culture is an essential for the development of a healthy community and for urban revitalization. This Cultural Plan laid the ground work for building Leigh Square Community Arts Village, Port Coquitlam’s centre for arts, culture and heritage. Leigh Square was completed in 2007 and is now a cultural meeting place and home to art exhibitions, cultural programs, festivals and special events.
The City of Port Coquitlam adopted Imagine, Port Coquitlam’s Cultural Plan in 2016. This plan is based on the vision that Port Coquitlam’s vibrant culture celebrates our unique small town charm and weaves creativity into our active, outdoor lifestyles.
Visit the Port Coquitlam Heritage and Cultural Society website for more information on the city’s history, as well as upcoming museum exhibits and events.
Mission & Mandate
The Leigh Square Community Arts Village encourages and facilitates community development through arts, culture and heritage within Port Coquitlam and serves as a cultural meeting place, a 21st century community arts centre. It serves as a hub to build understanding, connections and opportunities amongst individuals and organizations.
Leigh Square has exhibition, studio and program spaces for performing, visual and literary arts and festivals (e.g. May Day, Farmers Market, Summer in the City, Christmas in Leigh Square), as well as archival/historic display area and commercial space. It is operated by the Parks & Recreation Department in the City of Port Coquitlam in cooperation with partners such as the Friends of Leigh Square Society and Port Coquitlam Heritage & Cultural Society under an agreement.
A community cultural development practice supports professional artists working with community members to create work that addresses specific local issues or concerns and uses art/culture as a vehicle for social change and active participation by artists and the community.
It’s an approach that employ’s the principles of community development: facilitating rather than providing, supporting rather than directing, and creating an enabling environment that permits community members and artists to work in partnerships to achieve community cultural goals.
Friends of Leigh Square
The Friends of Leigh Square Society (FLSS) was registered as a non-profit society in 2005 and later as a charity in Nov. 2010. This initiative was undertaken by interested members of the arts community, arts/heritage organizations and business in recognition of Port Coquitlam as a growing edge city and the growth of arts/heritage/culture and related services. It also complemented the City of Port Coquitlam’s vision to build a dedicated cultural facility downtown to support and celebrate arts, culture and heritage as an integral part of being a complete community that is vibrant and attractive.
Founding members of the Society played a critical role in the planning and creation of this new cultural facility, the Leigh Square Community Arts Village and prior to that as stakeholders in the development of a Cultural Policy and Plan in 2001. With the opening of Leigh Square Arts Village in 2007, the Society entered into a partnership agreement with the City to provide governance and nurture the growth of the art/culture/heritage through relationship building and inclusive/diverse programs/events.
The Society’s mission is to enable and facilitate the growth of artistic and cultural opportunities for the community and connecting the arts with all people and businesses. It plays a role in realizing these goals by actively supporting the programs, events and services at the Arts Village and city wide in collaboration with City staff in Arts & Cultural Services. The Society board consists of 6 to 10 volunteers and a roster of +50 volunteers in programs and services working with staff throughout the year.
Nomination For Friends of Leigh Square Board
The Leigh Square Community Arts Village is seeking nominations for board members on the Friends of Leigh Square Society. Residents, business employees and owners, and artists who have a passion to make a difference in their community and support the value of arts and culture in creating a vibrant Port Coquitlam are all eligible candidates. You do not have to be an artist but you’ll learn a lot about art and cultural practices by being involved.
Candidates work, live or play in Port Coquitlam with professional skills to offer such as marketing/communications, bookkeeping, writing, education, exhibitions and event planning and an interest in the arts, culture and heritage. Join a group of dynamic and fun individuals from all walks of life wanting to make a difference in their community. New board members will serve for a two-year term that begin April 1, 2014 and ending at the AGM in 2016
Self-nominations, consenting nominations and suggestions are all welcome. Nomination form available for download here.
Friends of Leigh Square Society Board of Directors
The Nominating Committee reports that the following people have confirmed their willingness to serve as Director on the Society’s Board, for a term of office of two years:
Acting President: Markus Fahrner is a versatile graphic designer and book artist. He works on museum displays, posters and book layouts. He does letterpress printing and binds his own books. Markus is engaged in community work with Rotary and gives talks and tours in the Port Moody station museum Great war trench.
Acting Treasurer and Secretary: Sadiq Somjee is a visual artist, published author and a nature photographer. He is passionate about supporting the local arts community and integrating nature into our lifestyles. Along with his professional background in information technology, Sadiq brings many years of management experience to the team. He lives with his family in Coquitlam.
Support Leigh Square and its programs for the community by taking out an annual membership of $20.
Friends of Leigh Square members enjoy the following benefits:
- Invitations to exhibit openings and special events
- Advance notice of educational and outreach programs
- 10% discount at Framing & Art Centre in Coquitlam Centre
- 10% discount at Maiwa Handprints Ltd. on Granville Island
- 10% discount at Leigh Square Community Arts Village special programs
- The Arts Village Newsletter
- Open Studio on Tuesdays for all artists to network, practice, learn, and share art techniques in a supportive environment at Leigh Square (Outlet)
- Complimentary ticket valued at $11 for the upcoming Sunday Coffee Concert series
- Voting rights at the AGM
If you are interested in becoming a member of the Friends of Leigh Square Society, you may download a membership brochure here.
Got a bright idea? Share it with us and let’s make it happen. Exhibition, performance, and program proposals are always welcomed.