Awards of 12,000 dollars each, called the VIVA Awards, have been granted to mid-career artists, chosen for outstanding achievement and commitment by an independent jury. Every fifth year an Honour Award of 50,000 dollars was granted to a person who has had a sustained, historically significant influence on the visual arts in British Columbia. With the establishment of the biannual Alvin Balkind Curator’s Prize in 2008, one VIVA Award is granted the same year as the Balkind Prize is awarded and in alternate years, when there is no Balkind Prize, two artists receive VIVA Awards. The awards are presented at invitational receptions and publicized in the media. Since its inception, 46 VIVA Awards, 3 Honour Awards and 4 Balkind Prizes have been realized.
While the Honour awards are presently suspended, the Foundation continues its VIVA Awards programme of granting 12,000 dollar awards annually. They are presented at an awards evening, organized and hosted by the Vancouver Art Gallery.