ArtsBC was founded in 1979 as the Assembly of BC Arts Councils. Its original purpose was to provide advocacy, leadership and support to community and regional arts councils in the province of BC. Since then ArtsBC has broadened its vision and mandate to support the central role of arts and arts practices in building community and the unique ways in which arts and culture contribute to a strong, healthy society. Over the past three decades, ArtsBC has been involved in many significant events, projects and province-wide changes.

ArtsBC promotes over 300 arts councils, organizations, businesses and affiliates, individuals and students. It continues in its annual presentation of Arts and Culture Week each year. In 2010, ArtsBC also administered BC’s Spirit Festivals and Initiatives Programs, as well as the Arts in the Park program to celebrate BC Parks 100th Anniversary.