15 March 2013
The Pacific Association of Artist Run Centres – PAARC seeks an interested and qualified candidate to fulfill a part-time contract over the next year as a Services and Outreach Development Coordinator (SODC).
Working independently and reporting to the PAARC board the SODC will consult, research, develop and share new content in the areas of advocacy, development and outreach for artist-run centres in BC on arcpost.ca .
- Work closely with President and the Board in addressing issues as they arise
- Create a consistent and persistent stance for political elections
- Develop and present PAARC’s profile to a broader public
- Assist in media strategies and social media outreach
- Initiate an advocacy program and corresponding fee schedule
- Research and perform outreach communications to centres across the province, including the emergence of newer artist-run organizations and initiatives
- Research and create additional profiles of BC ARC’s and publish on arcpost.ca – Broaden the network of ARC’s and collegial organizations regionally, nationally and internationally
- Follow-up and build upon the additional funding streams identified by the recent Institutions by Artists convention (http://arcpost.ca/conference)
- Translate these forms and other documents for the use of PAARC members, streamlining new research into the platform of arcpost.ca
- Assist in consolidating perspectives on existing and developing artist-run initiatives
- Research and develop strategies for arcpost.ca to generate project revenue
To this end, PAARC seeks a qualified candidate who will ideally:
- Be an active and energetic member of BC’s arts community for min. 4 years or equivalent experience
- Possess a strong command of the written word and public speaking
- Be able to work independently with minimal supervision
- Be prepared to give interim and final reports at PAARC meetings
- Be proficient in computer skills including online publishing and social media
- Experience in advocacy an essential asset
- Ability to communicate in more than one language an asset
- Travel may be required
Contract: up to $12,000 (suggested 40 hours/month @$25/hour)
Please submit a current CV and a letter of interest to Doug Jarvis, PAARC President at firstname.lastname@example.org. Indicate SODC in the subject line.
Deadline for applications is Friday, April 5, 2013, 5:00pm.
3 July 2012
October 12 – 14, 2012
Goldcorp Centre for the Arts
Simon Fraser University
Institutions by Artists is a three day, international event that evaluates and activates the performance and promise of contemporary artist-run centres and initiatives.
Convening a world congress of artists, curators, critics, and academics, Institutions by Artists will deliberate, explore, and advance the common interests of artist-run centres, collectives, and cultures, creating a catalyst for new as well as divergent assessments and perspectives on such phenomena today. Using experimental formats, performative frameworks, and participatory vehicles, the three day series of events is designed to challenge and generate new thinking about artist-run initiatives globally, examining many dimensions whether urban or rural, fixed or mobile, and local or regional, among others. Inspired by the many artists wrestling creatively with building, using, shaping, and deploying institutions by artists,we will explore economies of exchange and knowledge; institutional time and space; as well as intimate and professional networks, among other critical interrogations.
Throughout the Institutions by Artists week, artist-run centres will present special projects that link to the themes of the Convention. From internet art pioneers, to grassroots cinema collectives, to media pirates and institutional revisionists, this series of presentations will invite and engage the public to meet visiting artists, and to examine the many phenomena impacting and defining artist-run institutions globally.
Among the Convention’s experimental tactics are re-enactments of key histories from the annals of artist-run culture, radical distributions of printed matter, the re-purposing of data and systems, as well as DIY models of education, which ultimately support an in-depth examination of the innovative, critical, and irreverent spirit of artist-run cultures and initiatives.
1 March 2012
Dear Mayor and City Council,
Subject: CD-1 Rezoning: 228-246 East Broadway and 180 Kingsway.
We are writing to express concern regarding the rezoning application
put forward by Rize, and brought to Public Hearing along with the City
Council Policy Report RTS No.: 8840.
We write to you as an organization in Chinatown, just off Main street
with 7000 square feet of artist studios and 2000 square feet of
presentation space for three different non-profit organizations,
providing studios to over 30 artists and public access to contemporary
art and design.
We feel it is important to convey to you that the continued
development of podium-tower style condominiums is an invariable threat
to our operations. As the City makes efforts to relax zoning for
artists and arts organizations, it also remains committed to
ineffective design that continues to preclude mixed-income
communities. Artists and arts organizations thrive in an environment
that can support varied income levels. It is a necessity that costs of
living remains affordable in the Mount Pleasant area – as those who
work, present, speak, perform, build and think in our spaces must also
have somewhere affordable to live.
The City, presumably since the enactment of Larry Beasly’s Living
First policy, has looked to density as a means of bringing people
together in a promise of the powerful overlap of diverse communities.
However, while condominium towers have quite successfully increased
the density of Vancouver, the diversity of residents and the type of
public activities have been truncated substantially.
The Rize development at Kingsway and Broadway, in its latest
manifestation, makes a commitment to increase pedestrian interaction – depicting vibrant multi-ethnic groups engaging in shopping and leisure
activities – not the ‘vertical gated communities’ that have become
categorically gentrifying forces downtown. However, we think that the
unadorned glass and concrete building physically, financially, and
culturally limit the activities of the neighbourhood. The building’s
main threshold will be the garage door–where 300 cars will make their
way underground before beeping up to their isolated homes.
The flat, and unified commercial storefronts Rize proposes will follow
within a tradition of indistinguishable condominium buildings in
Vancouver – why are we so committed to this type of architecture and
this model of density? Only substantially financed enterprises will be
able to afford the rates for the commercial units, not entrepreneurs
from Mount Pleasant, nor non-profit organizations like ours. In
reading the recommendations in your report we can only assume that
this is condoned by City staff who are making recommendations that
value expedited density over an engaged design and development process
that responds to the needs and desires of its environment.
Adding new residents to community is not an unwelcome gesture. As
relatively new members of the community in Chinatown, we understand
that a neighbourhood must allow for portions of change, but we also
respect and value the context in which we find ourselves. We have
worked to create a presence in the community that has developed over
time through mindful observation and slow growth. Our approach
acknowledges certain constraints–facade, noise levels, street
presence–while making the most of what is available–the diverse
culture and history, architecture, affordable rent and an active
community. We chose this location consciously. It is a desirable area
in proximity to viable residences as well as a cluster of other art
As members of this community, we have invested ourselves in the
betterment in a small part of this city, without much fanfare. We have
converted buildings into spaces for the production and presentation of
art. The slow tide of shifts we bear with us contains safer streets,
opportunities for public engagement, non-commercial meeting spaces,
cultural awareness, community building endeavors, a tradition of
volunteerism, avenues for the exchange of ideas, civic engagement, and
a sense of belonging. We know that our collective labour, which is
enabled by the combined generosity of many individuals, is often
followed by cycles of gentrification, but we remain steadfast in the
belief that we need not be the harbinger of unbridled growth that
displaces and replaces. That is only one of many possible options in
the future of our City.
Ultimately, it is the structure of the options presented by Rize
through the City report that we take issue with. We write now to add
our voice to many others who call for a more consultative process, one
that recognizes and respects the history and future of the
neighbourhoods that are facing change. It is the present community
members who will absorb more traffic, who will struggle to maintain
homes amidst an inevitable rise in commercial and residential rents,
and who will every day be confronted with towers that lack any
significant cohesion with their surroundings, unless something changes
in the way the City approaches development.
Being centrally located shouldn’t be a privilege afforded only by the
wealthy, offered only as a luxury to the rest of us. This is
particularly explicit in the recent decisions by City staff to remove
the 9,200 square feet of proposed artist production space in exchange
for a cash contribution towards another site, likely further east. We
implore you to reconsider your approach. How much longer will the City
continue to give up diversity for density?
Brian McBay, Executive Director, 221A Artist Run Centre
Allison Collins, President, Board of Directors, 221A Artist Run Centre
24 February 2012
Dear Mayor and Council,
I am the Program Director of grunt gallery and a resident in the Quebec Manor Housing Co-op. I have lived in this community for the past 28 years and have seen many changes over this period. Mount Pleasant is growing and changing at a rapid rate and while most of this development has been good for the community I think the RIZE building represents a very real threat to what is here now.
Development for the most part has been sustainable and inevitably gentrification is a part of this picture. But I feel RIZE in its central place in Mount Pleasant will push this gentrification into overdrive.
My biggest worry about this increased gentrification is what it will do to the art community in Vancouver. In the VanCity commissioned report, The Power of the Arts in Vancouver: Creating a Great City, Pier Luigi Sacco correctly identifies the east side as the home of the art community in the city. He also recognizes the strong state of development of the arts in the east side citing the international recognition of many of our artists and our strong position internationally especially in the field of visual arts.
The basis of much of this strength has been on the strength of the visual arts community here in the city. Despite the worst provincial funding in Canada Vancouver has somehow emerged as THE place where international artists emerge in Canada. This is not because of our strong visual arts institutions because frankly one of the things that pulls us together as an arts community is the fact that from The Vancouver Art Gallery to the smallest artist centre we are all under resourced. Struggling with not enough space or staff all of us must reconcile the highest space costs in the world with the lowest funding levels in the country.
So if it is not our institutions what is the nature of Vancouver’s success? Part of the reason for this has been the availability of space for artists studios and housing that has been the boon that made this development possible. Many other jurisdictions spend millions of dollars trying to develop the position that Vancouver is now in and unfortunately recent developments in the East End are changing all this quickly and perhaps irrevocably.
Most of this studio space exists in the neighborhoods around False Creek Flats; Mount Pleasant , Strathcona, Clark Drive, Chinatown and the DTES. These areas have historically been the places where artists live and work in the city. Development threatens all these areas currently. We at grunt see the results of this gentrification every day. Renovictions are common all along Main Street. The closing recently of 901 Main Street laid bare the problems with the arts and redevelopment and the very real threat they make to the arts community.
We all know the history of artists and gentrification because it’s an old story now. How the arts are used to open up neighborhoods for redevelopment is a cliché now. grunt gallery was able, in an earlier spurt of redevelopment in Mount Pleasant, to enter a marketing deal with a developer of the early Live Work sites, PEMCOR, to purchase a condo in the Mainspace Development on Main Street. We joke it was one of the only times the arts community ever moved forward during redevelopment but in truth I have been invited to write about it, speak about it and lunch over it many times. We remain a unique entity in this regard and not only in Vancouver but across Canada.
The same developer PEMCOR went on to produce the EDGE development at the foot of Main Street on Alexander which included 30 live work studios donated to the city that has become the CORE Coop and produced some of the only rent controlled live work space in the city. Perhaps the city should look back at this development as a model to move forward because it was one of the only successful ones.
But to RIZE. This development has far too many negative impacts on this community (and not just to the arts community) and far too few positive ones. Situated in the heart of Mount Pleasant and literally towering over it so much that even city staff toned it down in the visuals it presented to us and to you. The negative impacts include a threat to the small independent businesses along Main Street due to rental increases, the loss of really affordable housing, increased traffic problems and congestion, destruction of the café culture that exists in that intersection, and the promise of an even bigger development on the Kingsgate Mall site.
With the selling off of the studio space included in the project the city has effectively prevented any relief towards the studio shortage. Not that we were expecting much. The District Building by Amarcon also promised affordable studio space after closing 901 Main Street but even as this building opens nobody I know has heard anything about this affordable space.
The problem here is that artists are responding to these threats by moving east. But not east to Rupert Street but to Toronto or Montreal or Winnipeg where there is a better chance of finding sustainable housing and realistic funding. Over the past several months two board members of grunt left for Montreal and Winnipeg, our Technical Support now works out of Toronto and our associate curator moved to the interior. Further up Main Street art community residents housed for over twenty years are getting renoviction notices.
grunt owns its own space so is not threatened by these increased property values but we are literally watching our support base disappear under our feet. The housing that RIZE is offering is not affordable to any of the residents of this community so there are few alternatives.
Its easy to talk about helping the arts community and the power of creative cities but after working in this field for the past 30 years mostly all I’ve have seen is talk. But by developments like RIZE we will see the destruction of the arts communities in Mount Pleasant and in neighboring communities in a very real way and all the homilies in the world won’t prevent that. If this council is serious about its support for the arts it needs to step up here.
We can see the new community being formed but will there be any room in it for artists, small businesses, cafes etc. Who can service these communities and where will they live? RIZE will cause many more problems than it solves in this community and council needs to recognize this very real threat.
Thank you for your attention
10 May 2011
On the eve of an important by-election in Vancouver’s BC riding of Point Grey, the Pacific Association of Artist-run Centres (PAARC) would like to take this opportunity to wish all candidates the best and hope for a large voter turn-out.
In 2009, the BC Government imposed severe cuts to provincial arts investment. These cuts were both unprecedented and unique in Canada, and have left the province’s cultural industry in crisis.
Since many supporters and patrons of BC’s cultural organizations live in the Point Grey riding, we hope that voters make close consideration of candidates’ cultural platforms, and let their would-be MLAs know that arts funding will impact the way they vote. In doing so, voters will set the tone of the next provincial general election and contribute to a more vibrant cultural sector in British Columbia.