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MOVments: Bikes, Tea, and Oil Slicks

MOVments: current events in Vancouver by the Museum of Vancouver

Illustrated map of VancouverLost your compass and looking for the path creatively travelled? This hand-illustrated map of Vancouver has delighted the audience engagement office at the MOV. We love coming across artistic gems like “they draw and travel” which celebrate unique perspectives on the world. Here’s another, which takes a “higher” perspective on mapping the city’s history.

There are some maps, however, that make us queasy – particularly the map that draws a thick oily squiggle into Burrard Inlet care of daily Kinder Morgan oil tankers cruising along our captivating coastline. Vancouver’s Mayor Robertson seems to feel the same and has sent a warning cry to citizens in his Vancouver Sun op-ed article. Read it.

Then there are some trails that carve themselves. Like the bamboo bicycle trail. A new venture in Vancouver is seeing the procurement of bamboo bike frames as a way to increase sustainability and local production of transportation materials. If you’re interested, they’ll be at “Bike the Blossoms” http://www.vcbf.ca/events/bike-the-blossoms this Saturday, and the upcoming Sustainability Expo http://vancouver.epicexpo.com/. Not to be confused with the Fan Expo that happened over the past weekend.

Little did we know… YVR loves to dress up! Last weekend’s Fan Expo brought loads of people downtown dressed in their favourite superhero/ comic character/ legendary villain attire. Lucky you, the MOV is giving you a chance to dress up for our Mother’s Day High Tea @MOV – explore the Art Deco Chic exhibit in classic 1920’s style with your mum.

At the MOVeum: Art Deco Chic Curator’s Talk and Tour with Joan Seidl – May 3, 7-9

MOV Walking Tours are back! Home: An Exploration takes place May 6, 10:30am

[Image: Illustrated by Adela Kang c/o They Draw and Travel]

MOVments: communities in action

Voting. After an extremely low turnout in 2008, the City of Vancouver is trying to make it easier for people to vote in municipal elections with social media apps, more advanced polling days, and translating information and ballot questions into Punjabi and Chinese. An earlier request by the city to test online voting during this election was turned down by the provincial government.

OccupyVancouver. The handling of the camp at the Vancouver Art Gallery has emerged as a major election issue and as the protestors become more entrenched, so too does the pressure to move them. City staff have began to talk to the people at the camp about ending the occupation, but have yet to figure out the course of action with the smallest amount of conflict.

Legal experts at UBC opine that since the Art Gallery is on provincial land, it exists in a complicated grey area where city bylaws do not apply, making it difficult for anyone to form a legal case for removing the camp.

Others complain politicians should instead focus on addressing the conditions that led to the protest in the first place.

Missing women. Families of the missing women have testified to years of frustration, as police repeatedly ignored missing persons reports and chose not to investigate or press charges after receiving tips as early as 1997. The deadline for the inquiry has been extended by six months, due to the volume of evidence and testimony, and how long the proceedings took to begin.

Liquor laws. Both the Rio and District 319 have come up against the province's outdated liquor laws that prohibit them from screening films after acquiring their liquor licenses.

Videomatica. Finally some good news about one of Vancouver's best video rental stores: after slumping business and rising rents forced Videomatica to shut down their West 4th store, they've announced that they will continue DVD sales out of the back of Zulu Records.

Community stories. A creative writing workshop at Onsite enables people in the Downtown Eastside to tell their own stories, while Hope in Shadows aims to do the same thing with photography.

In South Hill, residents have been using digital filmmaking to tell their stories and connect with their neighbours.

How a group of concerned community members saved the saved the hollow tree in Stanley Park.

Image: Karen Kuo

MOVments: gathered for change

#occupyvancouver dominates the news this week. Thousands of people gathered at the Vancouver Art Gallery for Occupy Vancouver's first General Assembly on Saturday. Many people are prepared to camp out for some time, though the ban on staking tents to the ground and cooking with propane makes this more difficult.

The Tyee asks people why they have chosen to take to the streets.

We Day. Meanwhile, another gathering for change: as 18,000 youth participate in We Day, where Mikhail Gorbachev and other speakers presented on the value of community service and youth engagement.

The Missing Women Inquiry is off to a rocky start with protests as several groups have chosen to not participate. Many groups are concerned that the lack of funding provided to advocacy groups for legal assistance for is a serious impediment to having their voices heard, and without their support for the process, it is uncertain whether the Inquiry will acheive its purpose.

Powwow. A huge powwow took place in the Downtown Eastside to honour First Nations elders.

Evelyn Lau was named Vancouver's next poet laureate in advance of the Vancouver 125 Poetry Conference later this week.

Re:CONNECT challenges Vancouverites to reinvision the city's eastern core and viaducts as a vibrant space.

No more pictures. Jeff Wall laments the loss of photogenic buildings in Vancouver.

Local food. A few months after being featured in MOV's Home Grown exhibit, the Home Grow-In Grocery closed suddenly, taking customers' deposits with it. Now the store has reopened with new owners, who are trying to regain the trust of their customers while building our local food infrastructure.

Ethnic enclaves. Is it time for Vancouver to have a Pinoytown?

Image: Ariane Colenbrander

MOVments: arts space in occupied Vancouver

#OccupyVancouver. While protests on Wall Street continue, actions are spreading around North America and a demonstration is planned for Vancouver on October 15. While there's little indication that it has the potential of becoming violent, it seems to have the Vancouver Business Improvement Association worried.

The movement has Vancouver roots, though some at the General Assembly at W2 on the 8th felt that given the colonial history of Canada, "occupy" is an inapproriate term for the event.

Digitization. The Vancouver Archives describes some of the work and new challenges they're facing in storing digital content.

Arts spaces. As Red Gate finally closes, the City of Vancouver debates a report about how to promote the creation and upkeep of artist studios around the city.

Building Vancouver has been posting some really fascinating material lately about the people who were involved with building many of Vancouver's historical buildings. It's worth a look.

Image: caelie_

MOVments: Keeping Insite, creating Stanley Park and too much of a good thing

Insite. Hastings Street erupted into a clebration and pancake breakfast as people gathered to hear the Supreme Court of Canada reject the federal government's appeal to close Insite. This is a landmark decision  - not only does it allow the facility to remain open but it signals a change in attitudes toward addicts and positions healthcare as a higher priority than law and order. The unanimous decision by the court opens up possibility of safe injection sites across the country. Kind of fitting that this happened in Vancouver, the birthplace of Canada's first drug laws.

Stanley Park. While it's now the uncontroversial crown jewel of our city, Stanley Park got off to a rocky start, as the land was not only expropriated from First Nations people but also others who made their homes on the land. The removal of these people took nearly 40 years.

Growing pains. You can never have too much of a good thing. Or can you? In some cities there is a glut of farmer's markets and not enough consumer demand, forcing them to compete with each other for customers. In Vancouver the tight control over the creation of new markets seems to ensure that this will not be the case but in the suburbs it's a different story.

Mural tour. The City of Vancouver has created a cool interactive map and audio tour of murals in the downtown core and East Van.

Places that matter. John Atkin shares more of his findings while researching materials for the Heritage Foundation's Places that Matter project. This week: the Louvre Hotel and Saloon.

Image via Bruce...

MOVments: the rooftops of the city

Green roofs. In a new video landscape architect Bruce Hemstock discusses the green roof on top of the Vancouver Convention Centre and how it came to be.

There's also a garden on the roof of the main branch of the VPL. It's lesser-known because it's hard to get to and not normally open to the public. The Dependent shows us what's up there.

BC Place. With BC Place set to reopen with its new roof, the Sun looks at the history of the building and the impact it has had on the city.

Light show. A decorative light display on the side of a building is proving controversial in Coal Harbour with neighbours who find it distracting and claim that it damages their view. The controversy calls into question whether the city should be consulting with residents before installing public art.

Yes in my backyard. How to deal with neighbours that are against everything? Pivot Legal Society has created a YIMBY manual for people who want to support developments and social projects in their neighbourhoods.

Walking the city. Daphne Bramham at the Vancouver Sun reflects on a summer spent touring different neighbourhoods around the city with local residents. History, housing, walkability and sense of belonging were continually highlighted as issues for people, regardless of neighbourhood, as well as a sense of pride in the places they lived.

Image: dooq, via flickr

MOVments: alternative education and remembering Terry Fox

Aboriginal education. The Vancouver School Board is proposing the creation of an Aboriginal public school. The school would have a curriculum that contains more Aboriginal content and is adapted to meet the needs of a demographic with a graduation rate of less than 50%. But public reception to the idea is mixed and complicated by the history of segregation and residential schools.

Theatre in school. Sir Guy Carleton Elementary has a new lease on life as the home of Green Thumb Theatre. The building was previously damaged by arson and on Heritage Vancouver's endangered list.

Farm school. And speaking of schools, a plan is in the works to turn part of Colony Farm back into a farm, dedicating 37 hectares to a farm academy and incubator farms where new farmers would be provided with mentorship as they learn the business of agriculture.

Greenpeace. 40 years ago a group of activists concerned about US nuclear testing left Vancouver on their newly christened boat, the Greenpeace. The organization celebrated its' anniversary this week.

Terry Fox. The new Terry Fox memorial at BC Place was unveiled this weekend, designed by Douglas Coupland to symbolize his growing legacy.

Image: Colony Farm Community Garden by Tjflex2

MOVments: Repurposing waste: Stovehenge and community composting

One man's trash... 'Stovehenge,' a public art installation of recycled household appliances near Joyce Station has confused more than a few residents, though it apparently became a swap meet and community gathering place. Too bad there wasn't more press or photos of it while it existed.

Food drop. A composting pilot project at the West End Farmers Market has proved popular with apartment dwellers who aren't currently eligible for municipal food waste collection. The project enables people to drop off their food scraps at the market instead of throwing them out, but unfortunately, ends on October 15.

Heritage lost. Vancouver's second oldest house is likely to be demolished soon, after some renovations have rendered it structurally unsound. As the Vancouver Sun finds, the building had a pretty interesting history.

Expo 86. Canadian Design Resource shares some design and ephemera from Expo 86.

Riot talk continued this week in the wake of the release of last week's reports on causes and response. The VPD's own report recommends that the city should do away with large-scale public events because they attract the "young hooligan demographic," who are prone to causing trouble. But the BCCLA warns that singling out young people as troublemakers is ageist and against people's charter rights.

Fire. Last but not least: a reminder that even though the summer is winding down, all this lovely weather we've been having means that the risk of fire in our back yard is still high.

Image: Greg Gallinger, via flickr.

MOVments: Riot reviewed and the beautiful, blighted east side

Riot review. The independent review into the Stanley Cup riots released this week concluded that police were overwhelmed by an unexpectedly high number of people, but that given the lack of time to plan for the event, and the lack of a controlled facility within which to contain the live site, the riot was probably unpreventable. The report placed the blame on people who had too much alcohol and makes a variety of recommendations, including a regional framework for emergency services, the formation of a planning team for special events and using volunteers to staff events.

But if these sorts of events are going to require extra policing and other resources, then who should pick up the tab? The city would like to see the Canucks contribute more to both planning and funding and blames the NHL for not having a strategy to prevent or mitigate riots. Others want the province to pitch in.

Some wonder if, now that the dust has settled, the surveillance cameras are here to stay.

Wedged in. How did Gastown come to have so many oddly-shaped buildings? The answer lies in competing land surveys.

Red Gate's 60-day extension is finally up and many tenants are moving out. As with many other buildings in the Downtown Eastside, the building has been long neglected with no compromise reached between the owner, tenants and the city, leaving it's future uncertain. Unfortunately Vancouver is left with one less creative space.

Blighted. A 1964 NFB documentary describes some of the appalling poverty in East Van and the Downtown Eastside and proposes tearing the entire neighbourhood down - a future that thankfully never was.

East Van. The editors of the This is East Van project share some of their favourite photos from the book.

City of the century. In 1986 Vancouver celebrated it's hundredth year with Tillicum the otter and friends.

Image: Duane Storey, via flickr

MOVments

TransLink. As it celebrates Skytrain's 25th year, TransLink reports another year of record ridership, with little funding to increase service to meet the demand. The question then, is how to fund improvements?

Social housing. A social housing project for girls and young women is the latest space of controversy in the Downtown Eastside, because some feel that the location leaves them vulnerable to exploitation. Francis Bula shares a letter from Janice Abbot explaining the project. Debate in the comments is both interesting and heated.

Robson square. Granville Street and Robson Square are soon to return to normal when they are opened to traffic on September 5. Spacing shares a video of what it looked like during Picnurbia and other public programming by VIVA Vancouver.

Buskers. The Dependent remembers the beginnings of regulations targeting buskers and other street performers on Vancouver streets.

Nude-in. On August 23, 1970 demonstrators held a nude-in at Wreck Beach to protest the arrests of nudists at the beach. The court case and the ensuing protests helped ensure Wreck's place in our collective consciousness.

Curtain call. The Pantages Theatre and neighbouring buildings are finally coming down. The Straight has pictures of the extent of the demolition.

Velo-city. Copenhagenize shares some vintage photos of Vancouver cyclists during a time when the car was king.

It's a dirty job, but... OpenFile visits the sewers with one of Vancouver's dragging crews.

Beatlemania! Hysterical fans got so out of hand at the Beatles' only appearance at Empire Stadium that Red Robinson was called in to quiet down the crowd. The Beatles told him to "get the fuck off the stage," but ended their set shortly afterward and made a hasty escape. Tickets were just $3.25. Thanks, The Dependent and Past Tense for digging this trivia up this week.

Image: fi_chince via flickr

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