Innovative art space in Vancouver now in Jeopardy
For years a group of arts and media supporters have been working to set up a space downtown Vancouver that supports the media arts scene in the City. As part of its commitment to supporting the community the developers of the new Woodwards space agreed to provide support for the creation of a space called W2. But as the date nears for the center to open those commitments seem to be fading. The Straight reports that:
An innovative arts hub at the Woodward’s development, set to open in September 2009, is in danger of tanking. On June 1, the board of directors of W2 met with City of Vancouver cultural-services staff to prepare the nonprofit for what’s coming June 11.
Staff warned that city council that day will be recommending just 7,800 square feet of space, down from a high of 16,000, according to Magnus Thyvold, W2’s board chair. City staff, he reported, will also suggest axing the café that was to be in the basement of the old Woodward’s building, and the gallery may be cut, among other changes.
“As it gets closer and closer, it’s like the dollars start talking,” Thyvold told the Straight. “This nonprofit space was supposed to have been the developer’s contribution to the community.”
The original space was to be supported in part by running a cafe in the building. But if the decision is made to have the cafe run by some other organization, the W2 people are worried that the whole enterprise will be unsustainable. A group of supporters has begun to organize to save the space and has, among other things, set up a facebook group.