Art Speak. Vancouver artists like Roy Arden and Ken Lum are voicing their support for the movement of the Vancouver Art Gallery to a new location near the current Queen Elizabeth Theatre. As this Georgia Straight piece explains, "In early March, Vancouver city council will consider something different: whether to allow the Vancouver Art Gallery to develop a new $300-million gallery on the old bus-depot site, a city-owned parking lot known as Larwill Park, just east of the Queen Elizabeth Theatre complex. It would replace cramped, inappropriate exhibition spaces in an adapted courthouse." Artist support for the move comes amidst opposition from the likes of Bob Rennie (who would like to see VAG's collection split between multiple new locations) and those dubious of the VAG's ability to fundraise the $300 million required to build the new gallery.
Race Riot. As The Tyee points out, last week marked the 126th anniversary of Vancouver's very first race riot. Tracing the beginnings of an incident that saw white males run Chinese labourers out of the city, the article also delves into the long-term implications of the riot. As interviewee David H.T. Wong explains, although the extreme xenophobia of Vancouver's early years has dissipated, there is still conspicuously little Asian representation at events like the commemoration of the CPR's Last Spike.
March 7 - Special Curator Talk & Tour: A Clandestine History of Contraception
March 10, 17, 24 - Design Sundays: Upcycled Urbanism
This Friday (June 15) is the official launch of our Reading the Riot Boards exhibition – a display of 15 of the plywood boards that were put up to hoard windows after the riots, and which were then covered with messages of hope, love, and more.
The boards demonstrate that what began as a utilitarian reaction to broken windows grew into an open source work of art, with messages from thousands of Vancouverites and visitors to the city. At a time when world media fixed on Vancouver’s wrongs, residents-as-authors and as-artists used the riot boards to examine our collective conscience, encourage reconciliation, address the city’s social ills, and remind us that hope persists.
Last year the MOV received assistance from the Enterprising Non-Profit program to develop a business plan to help diversify and expand our current revenue streams. Among other projects to help meet this goal, Richard Muller of Sum Things Ventured, has been working tirelessly with the MOV’s Kate Follington, Director of Development and Marketing, to come up with merchandise that embodies the MOV's mission and vision while fostering our unique personality.
The first of these pieces are a tote bag and a t-shirt which display an interpretation of the messages of the board – showing and celebrating Vancouver’s resiliency and community.
The bags and t-shirts will be available for sale at The Latest Scoop and Book’mark, the Vancouver Public Library store.
The Latest Scoop
2928 Granville St. (between 13th and 14th).
Store hours for our South Granville location are: Mon-Wed: 10-7 Thurs & Fri: 10-8 Saturday: 10-6 Sunday & Holidays: 11-5
Vancouver Public Library, Central Branch
350 West Georgia Street
With every item purchased you'll receive $2 off your next visit to the MOV.
This week MOVments gets messy. From dirty history to density wars, we've rounded up some of the complicated stories that make Vancouver so interesting. Read on for the nitty-gritty on Vancouver tourism, plywood protests, high-rise politics, and the logistics of bike sharing.
Vancouver's messy past. For many, Vancouver’s historical walking tours are how they come to know our city. Unsurprisingly, these tours often choose to focus on positive, uncomplicated aspects of Vancouver's past. Chances are if you take a city tour of Vancouver you won't be hearing much about the Komagata Maru or the 1907 Race Riots. In contrast, local tour guide, Jessica O'Neill, encourages tour-takers to tackle these difficult histories and argues that they make for more accurate, and ultimately more compelling tours.
The writing on the (plywood) wall(s). In a bit of synchronicity, plywood boards have recently gone up at the Kitsilano Coast Guard station, just as MOV unveils its exhibit of the 2011 Stanley Cup riot boards. Scrawling comments like "Trading dollars for lives" on the plywood boards outside the Kitsilano office, locals have been expressing their outrage at the federal government's money-saving decision to close the search-and-rescue station.
Tower power. Are high-rise developments the solution to Vancouver's sky-rocketing real-estate prices? Harvard professor Edward Glaeser says yes. His main argument: building more high-density residences will ease the gentrification of middle-income neighbourhoods and decrease suburban sprawl. Sounds simple, but as we know, the reality is anything but. For more on this issue, read about former-mayor Sam Sullivan's new found respect for Vancouver's glass towers.
The politics of sharing. As we wait to hear who wins the bid to implement the city’s bike sharing system, Vancouverites are thinking about the dirty business of sharing bike helmets. In a city with a mandatory helmet law, some argue that the idea of sharing sweaty, germy helmets is what will doom the project to failure. Meanwhile over in Montreal, an independent helmet advocate is loaning and disinfecting helmets for free for BIXI users.
At the MOVeum:
June 15 - Is This Vancouver? Reflections on the 2011 Hockey Riot Boards
June 19 - Jane’s Walk Recap and Dialogue
[Image: Plywood boards outside the Kitsilano Coast Guard station. Photo by Clive Camm]
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.
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
Bike lanes. A new study about the impact of the bike lanes on business finds that while there has been a decrease in business along the routes, losses are not as bad as the figure often cited. At the same time, ridership continues to grow. Gordon Price has a round-up of a lot of the commentary this week.
Housing. The City of Vancouver released an ambitious 10 year plan to end street homelessness, calling for the creation of 38,900 new housing units by 2021.
Viaducts. After much talk and proposals about what to do with the viaducts, the City is looking for public input.
Civic arts. Councillor Heather Deal wants to create a central committee to oversee the city's 2008 cultural plan. Currently there are multiple smaller committees working on different aspects related to culture but communication is an issue.
Clarifying transit. An Emily Carr grad has redesigned the Metro Vancouver transit map to make it clearer and easier on the eye and more like the London tube map.
Drinking and driving. With the tightening of drinking and driving laws, some are asking why Vancouver still requires bars to provide so much parking space. Could that space be used for something else?
Hidden floors. Scout looks at the so-called "cheater storeys" in Chinatown's architecture.
Fading history. Open File looks at efforts to document and preserve faded "ghost signs" in Vancouver and reveals that often nothing is done. So make sure you photograph your favourites!
Riot aftermath. WorkSafeBC is now receiving claims of post-traumatic stress from people working during the riots.
Gordon Price asks whether the City should be spending money to promote professional sports like hockey over other arts and cultural events, and who benefits.
The Bulkhead Project is an open, food-producing garden on False Creek.
Image: framestealer, via flickr
Post-riot therapy. Scout lists 101 awesome things about Vancouver. Glad to see we (and this blog) made the list!
The backlash continues. Employers of outed rioters are facing boycotts and negative press and in some cases are letting those employees go. Blenz has launched the first major lawsuit against as yet unnamed rioters.
There is growing concern that some riot photos submitted to police have been photoshopped, and it's likely that this will be a popular defence in court.
Gentrification. The Dependent looks at some of the people walking the fine line between gentrification and revitalization in Gastown and the Downtown East Side.
Language. There is now a dictionary for the Squamish language.
Local food. Turning a new page in the local food movement, the City of Vancouver funds a project to encourage people to replace their lawns with wheat.
Summer of our discontent. Past Tense remembers Vancouver's Yippie civil unrest.
Authentic sky. Appreciation for a local artist who paints Vancouver's sky like it is: usually cloudy.
An oddity from the history books: Police conclude that sounds of a man drowning that had been frightening visitors at Third Beach were actually coming from a bird.
Image via Past Tense.
What a week! In a few short days we have been witness to everything that is good and bad about this city. There's been no shortage of news and commentary about the riot on and it's near-impossible to summarize. So this week, a few things to think about.
Brave people who do the right thing. Like these people who formed a human chain in front of a store to prevent it from being looted. Or this man who took a beating for his efforts, and the people who dragged him to safety.
Grief, gratitude and apology. Many Vancouverites gratitude for police. Plywood covering smashed out windows at the Bay and BMO Bank were covered with messages of apology, support for the team, police and volunteers, and condemnation of the riots. The apology wall at the Bay has since come down, but can be viewed in it's entirety here.
Parts of the wall will be stored permanently here at the Museum of Vancouver for future Vancouverites to see.
In other news:
Only Seafoods. The Only Seafoods returns! The newly renovated restaurant will be operated by the Portland Hotel Society and will feature the restaurant's original menu.
Cambie corridor. The BC Court of Appeal upheld the class action suit by Cambie Street merchants about Canada Line construction.
Community gardens. Inside Vancouver visits the community garden on the lawn at City Hall.
Multiple kite world champion. Open File visits one of the most dedicated kite fliers on the lawn outside the museum at Vanier Park. He makes kites do some pretty amazing things.
Image: Erin Brown-John
Homelessness. The numbers are in. Initial results from the 2011 homelessness count indicate that street homelessness is down in Vancouver, though there has not been a change across the Metro Vancouver region overall. This is causing some to question whether or not the massive investment in dealing with homelessness over the past three years has had an effect.
The results do however suggest that low-barrier shelters are having an impact and are seeing a higher level of use. While First Nations people still make up a disproportionately high proportion of homeless, the number of First Nations people who are homeless appears to be dropping. Youth are better represented in this year’s count, though it’s hard to say if this is due to an increase in homelessness among youth or a more accurate count.
What will be the future of the Hornby bike lane? Researchers are in the process of studying it’s impacts on the local community. Geoff Meggs says the City did not do a good enough job of communicating the need for cycling infrastructure to Vancouverites.
U-Pass. Translink is threatening to discontinue the U-Pass program if it continues to lose money to U-Pass theft and fraud. But Stephen Rees reminds us that the U-Pass program was never sustainable in the first place.
Hockey riot. As we head toward the Stanley Cup finals, the Tyee presents an alternative view on the 1994 hockey riot and how we became the ‘no fun city.’
Affordability. Bob Rennie says Vancouver really isn’t that unaffordable if you ignore the prices at the top fifth of the market.
Image: chris.huggins via flickr