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
Upcycled Urbanism is off to a roaring start on our journey to design and build new public space interventions, together!
Your block, my block
On March 3 we unveiled prototypes for the building blocks we’ll be using to create our designs. These unique prototypes were designed by Minnie Chan and Jessika Kliewer, students of UBC’s School of Architecture and Landscape Architecture. Congratulations, Minnie and Jessika! Your work will be transformed into hundreds of big blocks of expanded polystyrene by our friends at Mansonville Plastics.
SALA students Minnie Chan (left) and Jessika Kliewer (right) introduce their building block prototypes. Image on right: Kellan Higgins.
Last week’s workshop was a blast. After a primer on participatory design by Vancouver Design Nerds Marten Sims and Kim Cooper, participants came up with some wild and wonderful ideas for animating moribund spaces in our city. A giant slide. A waterfall from the Burrard Bridge. A giant Pac-Man board on Granville Street. Check out their ideas here.
Participants at March 3 workshop present their ideas, including...Human Plinko! (Kellan Higgins image.)
Hallucinating in public
Now it’s time to figure out just how we’ll use these blocks to transform public spaces in Vancouver. This Sunday, March 10, join SALA and Spacing Magazine for the first of three workshops. Workshop leaders promise to lead participants into what they call the hallucinatory state needed to imagine new designs. The mind reels. Join us!
Upcycled Urbanism is a participatory project that invites students, artists, designers, makers, and anyone with a even a smidgen of creativity to reimagine and rebuild parts of Vancouver’s public realm. Working together, teams of participants will design and build prototypes using modular blocks of expanded polystyrene containing material salvaged from the construction of the Port Mann Bridge.
Upcycled Urbanism is a partnership between Museum of Vancouver (MOV), UBC's School of Architecture and Landscape Architecture (SALA), Vancouver Public Space Network (VPSN), Maker Faire Vancouver, and Spacing Magazine, with generous additional support from SALA, the Vancouver Foundation and Mansonville Plastics.
Innovators, thinkers, and trailblazers across the city are rejoicing at the news that the ever-popular speaker series, TED, is moving its headquarters to Vancouver in 2014. But that's not the only kind of talk happening around town this week: the city held open houses last week surrounding new proposed bike lanes that may make access to the MOV and Point Grey much safer, complaints are flying around a failed energy-efficiency program, and after much discussion, the city will be responding to a recommendation made by the B.C.’s missing women inquiry. Of course, after all of the talk is done, we're hoping to see some very real results, practical solutions, and measurable progress.
We’ve been noticing an insurgence in activism across the city recently. Between resistance to the Endbridge pipeline, opposition to bill C-30, we’re wondering if Vancouverites are getting a little more riled up than usual? If so, we think it’s a riveting quality. This week’s MOVments reflect your inner-activist’s voice, and some neat public art!
According to Ontario, a three-bedroom house in Vancouver can be rented for a mere $621/month! Thankfully Vancouver’s Seth Klein and the CCPA are around to give Canadians the real facts on poverty and livability in the city. Interestingly, Metro Vancouver is hosting a “Sustainability Community Breakfast” on affordable housing next week as part of their series. Soon, you may actually need these “food for thought” breakfasts, considering the outlook of the recently released provincial budget.
If you’re a tweeter, you’ve probably been following the hashtag #TellVicEverything with much laughter over the last week. Smiles aside, Bill C-30 is a serious issue that has a lot of Canadians up in arms.
A new art installation on the theme of democracy is now set up outside the Vancouver Art Gallery. It’s called Hand Vote, and it gets our vote.
Equally outspoken is this temporary urban garden from Spain. The posting is a few months old, but quite beautiful and reminds us that tonight, the Re:Generation public dialogue continues on the theme of sustainability and Zero Waste. January’s talk on transit was really engaging and Wednesday’s talk is likely to impress!
A new radio show titled The City is now airing on UBC’s community radio station, CiTR. The City will look at urban issues ranging from housing policy to food security.
Lastly, our favourite cycling magazine, Momentum, is hiring an online editor!
At the MOVeum: Food, Energy, and Community Resiliency talk February 28th
[Photo Rachel Topham, Vancouver Art Gallery] ]]]]
Happy New Year! Wishing you lots of health and happiness in your year of the rabbit.
Favourite places. The Vancouver Heritage Foundation wants to know which places in the city are most important to you. They intend to place 125 plaques around the city to recognize important and previously unrecognized places.
Homelessness. The City has made great strides in providing new housing for the homeless but is projected to fall short of it’s goal of eliminating homelessness by 2015 unless more funding can be produced.
Cultural space. The City has set aside space at 688 Cambie for cultural use but the Vancouver Art Gallery must still demonstrate that it is able to raise the necessary funds to build a new building and operate and there are concerns that the City is trying to fit too many things into the same site.
Internet metering. Vancouverites are taking on the CRTC over the issue of usage based billing, plans by internet service providers to limit downloads and charge people for extra use. To date more than 400,000 people have signed the petition created by Vancouver-based OpenMedia. Another Vancouverite, David Beers, debates the issue in the Globe and Mail here.
Green design. re:place Magazine looks at Canada’s first Passivhaus in Whistler. Formerly Austria House during the Olympics, the building uses 10% of the energy a normal building would and shows the possibilities for sustainable design with wood.
Image: Carol Browne, via flickr