Past Shows

Mission Statement

International Arts Initiatives Association creates pathways for cultural advancement through arts presentation, arts advocacy, arts education and arts infrastructure development.


Past Projects


International Arts Initiatives

The art of ideas

IAI is a broad based instigator of progressive ideas to stimulate and develop the growth of the arts in British Columbia and the Coast Salish Nations.

We are focused on global arts linkage, arts infrastructure development and alternative presenting models. Using a hands-on approach we aim to create projects that develop and link international interarts projects and advance digital futures globally.

Ongoing long-term initiatives include digital arts content creation, artist management, consultation on arts infrastructure development, temporary artspace usage, capacity and organizational development.

As always we continue to create opportunities for further international artist visits and exchange projects in partnership with Vancouver and international arts and cultural organizations.

Mission Statement

International Arts Initiatives Association creates pathways for cultural advancement through arts presentation, arts advocacy, arts education and arts infrastructure development.


To develop arts projects and events for the advancement of cultural, educational and humanitarian initiatives.

To encourage appreciation and exploration of the value of diversity within the arts and society.

To act as an arts incubator stimulating cultural advancement through advocacy for the arts and local arts infrastructure development.

To develop new models of arts curation, event architecture and strategic partnership building

To present models of excellence in theatre, dance, literature, music, visual and intra-arts presentation.

To present traditional arts forms and to encourage the development of emerging new directions.

To support the emergence of new forms of artistic expression based on multicultural intra-arts exploration.

To challenge cultural and socio-economic divides within communities through opportunities inherent in the arts.

To create opportunities for cultural advancement through international networking, workshops, educational programs and extended performance projects.

To create and support projects and events that strengthen international understanding, trust and cooperation.


A brief history

International Arts Initiatives is a non-profit Vancouver based arts presenter, founded by UK arts presenter and producer Paul Armstrong and relocated to British Columbia in 2003.

      Concert at New Haven Green 2001

With a strong belief in fostering creative partnerships that further the arts and enrich the quality of life of our communities, IAI’s central mandate has always remained broad and progressive.

Over recent years we have become focused on emerging digital futures that are transforming our relationship to live arts. From a curatorial perspective we are developing long term strategies to maintain the balance between well established routes of artistic expression and the seemingly infinite world of new digital possibilities.

In 2011-12 International Arts Initiatives produced the extended Beat Nation Live project, launching a groundbreaking Indigenous digital interarts collective in Vancouver and the Futur-en-Seine biennale in Paris.

From 2006 - 2010 IAI was consultant producer for Ballet British Columbia’s visiting artists season, including long range planning and guest company programming for BBC seasons in Vancouver including Moscow Classical Ballet, LaLaLa Human Steps and Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater.

During this time IAI also presented new projects, tours and artist talks with Laurie Anderson, Brian Eno and Philip Glass.

2005 - 2006 season projects included Philip Glass Ensemble Western Canada tour with live screenings of Koyaanisqatsi and solo piano concerts, Eve Ensler in The Good Body at the Centre in Vancouver and a northern Cascadia tour with the David Grisman Quintet.

Live at the Chan Centre

IAI created the Live at The Chan series in partnership with LIVE Biennial of Performance Art, featuring internationally renowned arts innovators Astrid Hadad, Meredith Monk, Terry Riley and Michael McClure.

Philip Glass

                  Philip Glass

Between 2004 and 2005 IAI presented artists Philip Glass, Laurie Anderson, Buffy Sainte-Marie, Ulali, and The Be Good Tanyas, creating a strong co-presenting partnership with the Chan Centre at UBC.

In these performance seasons IAI developed and expanded Talking Stick Festival - the highly successful Aboriginal intra-arts festival, over a period of two years with Full Circle: First Nations Performance. As a result IAI continues its work to realize the enormous potential of emerging indigenous art in Vancouver as a central focus of its mandate.

            Talking Stick Festival 2004, Vancouver

In 2001 and 2002 IAI was commissioned by the City of New Haven and Yale University to produce a series of free summer concert events as part of an initiative to revitalize downtown New Haven.

                    Ray Charles

Drawing audiences of up to 20,000 per event, IAI presented artists over two summers including Ray Charles, Harry Belafonte, Little Feat, Dar Williams, The Roots, Dianne Reeves, Wilson Pickett, Etta James, Keb’ Mo and Ruben Blades in the 2001 Jazz Festival and the 2002 Blues and Roots Festival.