Vancouver is Awesome
MOVments from the week: Vancouver falls behind, Grandview Park divides, and a 220 sq. ft. house inspiresPosted by: Erin Brown John on May 28, 2010 / 10:53 PM
A weekly round up of the local news, events, and cultural happenings we’re tracking.
The answer to Vancouver’s real estate crunch might just be the stackable modular house pictured left. The innovative 220 sq. ft. structure, called L41 (a play on “all for one”), was created by architect Michael Katz and designer Janet Corne. It was previously on view on the Concord Pacific site downtown and is now at 550 Great Northern Way. A typical laneway house of 500 sq. ft. seems capacious by comparison. (Globe and Mail)
Gentrification or neglect? A group of Commercial Drive residents hosted a block party in Grandview Park last weekend to express their opposition to aspects of park’s redesign. The $1.5-million project will take a year to complete and the park will be closed to the public during that time. According to Parks Board documents, another group called the Friends of Grandview Park led the redevelopment out of safety concerns for themselves and their kids. So, are The Drive’s sky-high real estate prices taking the proudly bohemian neighbourhood in a new direction? For so many years the neighbourhood lament was that West Side parks and amenities received preferential treatment. Where’s the line between infrastucture upgrades and gentrification? (Vancouver Courier)
Too pretty to be smart? The Canadian Council on Learning released their 2010 Composite Learning Index scores this week and Vancouver… did not fare so well. Among other things, our high-school dropout rate is above the national average, while our “exposure to reading” and “availability of workplace training” is below it. Our composite score was lower than all other major Canadian cities, including Edmonton, Toronto, Ottawa, and Victoria—which topped the rankings with an overall score of 95% (!). We need to turn this ship around. An interactive map with all the scores is here.
How to learn the city’s history in a pinch. Love these “Year in Five Minutes” pieces from re:place magazine that are based on Chuck Davis’ popular History of Vancouver timeline. In the latest installment—1970—there’s a terrific archival picture of Fox & Fluevog Shoes’ old Gastown store. Wonder what happened to that awning? (re:place)
As I post this, we’re in the midst of A Night at MOV with Conor Holler, a live talk show presented by Vancouver is Awesome and hosted in our 200+ seat theatre. Did you attend? We’d love your feedback. Side note: Staff-led tours of Fox, Fluevog & Friends commence June 1 and will be on offer thrice-weekly throughout the exhibition. See our Audience Engagement calendar for up-to-date information. Happy weekend.
Image credit: Simon Scott for The Globe and Mail
Does MOV have a more enthusiastic supporter than Vancouver is Awesome? Doubtful. Since our relaunch last summer, the editors of the lively, relentlessly cheery blog-turned-not-for-profit-society have gone out of their way to support the Museum’s new direction and our feature exhibitions and programs.
We’re not so special. Vancouver is Awesome (V.I.A.) has a mandate to “study, promote, and preserve” the city’s artistic and cultural scene and to do it with a “positive spin.” On a given day you might find a review of a new artist-run project space like 304-days, coverage of a local musician’s album launch party, and a post about where to fill up your bicycle tires for free. The site is the brainchild of editor and founder Bob Kronbauer, a newish Vancouverite with a background in graphic design, documentary filmmaking, and fine-art photography (his first book, Beach Glass, is a collection of images taken in L.A. over a three-year period. He’s now working on a Vancouver version). The man is tireless.
We’ve wanted to collaborate with Bob and his team for some time now; tomorrow night, it’s happening. Through a new initiative we’re calling “MOV Programmers in Residence,” we’re hosting A Night at MOV with Conor Holler. Using a live talk show format, Holler will interview local talents Grant Lawrence of CBC Radio 3 fame, Charles Demers, author of the recently published book Vancouver Special, and a musical performance by Dan Mangan. Doors and bar open at 7 p.m.; show starts at 8 p.m. Tickets are available for $25 here or at the door for $30.
Needless to say, we’re thrilled to be a part of V.I.A.’s foray into programming and hope it leads to other projects that celebrate what makes this city great. Join us.