Community Arts Centre Website | Responsive WordPress Design & Development

How do you build a stronger community through the arts and heritage? Founded in 1969, the North Vancouver Community Arts Council is a charitable community cultural organization whose mandate is to enable emerging and professional artists in all media and to bridge cultures and build strong communities through the arts and heritage.

The Brief

NVCAC is an organization that consists of a volunteer Board of Directors, an Executive Director and support staff, and over 100 dedicated volunteers. Their membership is over 500 strong and includes individuals, students, seniors, families, cultural groups and businesses.

Their website was outdated and their mobile users were dropping fast. They needed to better showcase the extensive depth of programming and resources offered - all on a mobile friendly platform.



The Solution

After series of prototypes (UX design) and complete interface design NVCAC made the leap to move from Drupal to WordPress. We were there to support them and implemented a strategic planning series to make the transition possible. We also wanted NVCAC to take advantage of the many tools/connections WordPress has to offer. The result was a custom built WordPress theme that includes e-commerce, art rental catalogue, membership area, and multiple custom post types to keep the backend organized.

The design is focused on bringing the NVCAC brand to life. We used the rich colours from their logo to classify different areas of the website. Every template design, focused on use of imagery from their database and this brought a new level of interaction and emotion to the online experience that was missing on the old website.

Design / Development Features

The public can purchase NVCAC memberships online and gain access to member only pages (area), online profile submission and automated discounts.

A full scale e-commerce solution that connects to their current POS. WooCommerce + Moneris  is used to sell event tickets, course registration, products, memberships, donations and more.

Digital Art Rental Catalogue
A custom template that showcases (without selling) individual art rental items. Users can also create their own wishlist and save it to their account for future reference.

Backend CMS Management
A series of custom fields were built in the backend to make publishing content easier on the NVCAC staff. This helps to keep their look consistent yet easy to manage.


Phase 1

From Drupal to WordPress - Strategy & Prototypes

This site was huge! And we were up for the challenge. Lots of planning was required to consider:

  • NVCAC user goals and our goals for them
  • The sitemap/ user navigation
  • Content flow
  • Migration of content
  • Development options and existing tools to reduce on budget

Before we get to the pretty stuff we always focus on wireframes or interactive prototypes. It’s important to set a good foundation to build on. We test with out clients and make sure all the bases are covered.



Phase 2

Designing for a Creative Community

Our goal was to help boost NVCAC brand awareness but also let the community culture and creative artwork shine! We choose collectively to pull colours from the NVCAC logo to help identify key areas of the website. We looked to Mondrian to find inspiration for using colour and grid system. It was also important to build a design system so that the large volume of pages on this site and external design materials could be kept uniform and void of clutter. This enabled the images of the community or artwork to pop!



Phase 3

Custom Post Types, E-Commerce, Catalogue & Memberships

This custom built WordPress theme has it all. Our favourite section is the art rental area. Since art is big and fragile NVCAC only wanted to showcase, and not sell art online. We took the benefits of using an e-commerce platform and build a custom template to showcase each item and the artists. It removes the ability to purchase but invites customers to contact NVCAC directly. The film & TV industry, corporations and homeowners can also save a collection online by creating a wishlist.