The Story

Out of the Rain is a community art project to create awareness and engage the community around our common interest in people who are homeless.


Through this multi-dimensional community art project, Out of the Rain organizers hoped to increase awareness, create a deeper understanding about homelessness issues, and encourage changes that could lead to a city where everyone can have a roof over their head.

The Story So Far

A wide range of commmunity partners, including galleries, drop-in centres, schools, community centres, citizen's groups, businesses, and community service organizations collaborated on this city-wide initiative, creating workshops, forums and exhibitions during October and November 2005 that brought artists, individuals and the community together to express their concerns about homelessness in creative and resourceful ways.

Some hosted umbrella painting workshops creating functional and art umbrellas that were auctioned to raise funds to benefit the homeless. Some organized forums to raise awareness and action around homelessness. Others curated related exhibitions.

Professional Artists painted, decorated, and embellished umbrellas and donated conceptual art around the Out of the Rain theme. Many emerging, occasional and would-be artists participated. The art was auctioned during a gala evening event at the Roundhouse on November 17th, 2005 with the proceeds going to local art-based therapeutic programs that work directly with youth and adults at risk or living on the street.

The Roundhouse Community Arts and Recreation Centre was the hub of activities and the venue for the exhibition, gala, and forums on homelessness between November 8 - 17.

Gallery Gachet hosted several umbrella painting workshops. As part of the LIVE Performance Art Biennal, Gallery Gachet launched a month long Out of the Rain exhibition, created Out of the Storm a performance piece co-presented with the Heart of the City Festival, the Community Arts Initiative, and the Judith Marcuse Earthlings Project.

The Coast Resource Centre's Art Program contributed umbrellas to the Roundhouse Exhibition and raffle and created a display of information about people coping with mental health issues.

Training sessions for volunteers to facilitate community umbrella painting and decorating workshops were conducted.

West End Volunteers
Workshop Leaders

WECAN, the West End Citizen's Action Network, held an umbrella painting workshop with West End artists and other community people at the West End Community Centre on Sunday, November 6th. The students at False Creek School painted umbrellas for Out of the Rain and, supported by their teachers and the Parents Advisory Council, had a chance to talk about homelessness and what it means not to have a home.

On November 12th and 13th, the Roundhouse hosted A Liveable City for Everyone a two day in-depth public forum which brought together a wide range of people in a discussion about the nature of the problem, what is currently being done, and what could be done.

Presentations by people involved in activities and initiatives dealing with the issues related to homelessness, the results of the 2005 Greater Vancouver Homeless Count, and the proposed new Homeless Action Plan for Vancouver were used to engage participants in a discussion about the causes of homelessness and a variety of ideas that might be acted upon.


What’s Next

Conversations are taking place to determine future directions for the Out of the Rain project.


Gail Brown
Gail Brown - West End Citizen's Action Network

Galleries, arts organizations, community partners, schools, businesses, artists and other interested community members are invited to offer ideas about how the Out of the Rain idea and initiative could be built on to continue to raise awareness about the homeless and engage people in reducing homelessness in Vancouver.

People interested in participating can contact Leslie Adams. Contributing to Out of the Rain is an opportunity to partner in a unique Vancouver initiative. Future community partnership opportunities might include:

Umbrella Partners

Partners who sponsor Out of the Rain umbrellas that raise awareness and provide artists will have a quality umbrella to paint will receive credit on the umbrella tag and on the Out of the Rain website.

Umbrella Brochure Tag Partner

The Out of the Rain Umbrella Tag Brochure, which will highlight myths and realities about homelessness, will be attached to each Out of the Rain umbrella sold and painted by participating artists. The Umbrella Tag Brochure partner will receive credit on the tag and on the Out of the Rain website.

Umbrella Painting Workshop Partners

Community partners sponsoring participating umbrella painting workshops will receive credit at the workshops they support and on the Out of the Rain website.

Signature Partners

Signature partners who support core arts and awareness raising programs related to the homeless and homelessness, will be credited in all Out of the Rain communications, including a page on the Out of the Rain website linking audiences to their own web site.


  West End Artist
Roxanne Gagnon, West End Artist

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