Photo- Jochen Schliessler

Vanessa Richards – MPhil, is an interdisciplinary artist and facilitator with a foundation in music, writing, performance, and collaboration. Her practice was launched in the Vancouver independent music scene of the 1980’s where her band Bolero Lava made records and toured nationally.

While resident in London, UK from 1992 till 2004, she was Co-Founder and Joint Artistic Director of performance art and music company, Mannafest. There her work toured premier clubs, concert halls and galleries including, The Jazz Café, Fabric, South Bank Centre, and Tate Modern. She also designed and delivered socially-engaged projects with and for The UK Design Council, The Live Art Development Agency, London Education Authority and HRH Queen Elizabeth II.

In coming home to Vancouver she has also came back to music. Her new work is a reflection of this. Concurrently she continues to be engaged in community-based arts and urban regeneration as an aspect of civic engagement, transformation, backbone and beauty. As Artist-in-Residence at Public Dreams Society 2005/2006, she conceptualised and developed Mountain Mardi Gras, the first intercultural winter carnival project on the North Shore. For Public Dreams, she also acted as Community Liaison and Performance Programmer for their two signature events, Illuminares and The Parade Of The Lost Souls. Additionally Richards has worked with and for: Emily Carr College of Art and Design, Surrey Urban Youth Project, Hollyhock Leadership Institute, and CBC-ZeD TV.

Her poetry and critical works are anthologised in the UK, Holland, the United States and Canada. In 2007 Richards was nominated for a Jessie Richardson Theatre Award and in April/May 2008 she appeared in The Violet Hour at the Belfry Theatre.

She is the Chair- Working Arts Society (Sistahood Celebration), Director- Performing Arts Lodge (PAL), and a volunteer Big Sister.


4 responses

21 06 2009

Yes Vaness-a!
Heard your “Occupying Army” on my local community radio station Sunday a.m….
I felt like I was listening to myself/MotherEarth… I said to myself this is a Black woman and she is letting Mother Earth speak out to the world the way it is, all Life is of Mother Earth, time for us all to Recognize and Respect, Renew.
Thank-you for BREAKING THROUGH!!!
Now IS THE Time…


HOPE is still living.

27 07 2009
Sandra Seekins

You have been busy since I last saw you! I just listened to Occupying Army and it’s fantastic. Keep groovin’.

25 04 2011

niceness momma V!
thank you.

27 09 2012
Spirited Social Change | Change with Heart

[…] Our monthly dinners will continue in East Vancouver, with Trevor Malkinson cooking, and Vanessa Richards providing music leadership. The fall dates are: Sunday, September 30th, 5:30-7:30 pm Sunday, […]

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