Victory for W2 Café
City Council today approved the W2 Social Enterprise Café on the ground level of the Woodwards redevelopment. This is a historic victory for W2 Community Media Arts Society who has been in a four year RFP negotiations process with the city for acquiring community access space in the Woodwards re-development.
The W2 Café has always been a part of the W2 plan from the beginning.
"As designed, the cafe represents W2's welcome mat, a public entrance connecting its two separate interior spaces... The cafe would serve as a social enterprise, employing an expected 12 Downtown Eastside residents, drawing traffic into W2's interior spaces, and helping mix the new Woodward's population with existing Downtown Eastside residents... Importantly, the cafe would also generate revenues to subsidize W2's public programs and operating costs on the part of its space that hasn't been witheld." (Georgia Straight)
In July 2009, when the city finally approved W2's application for the community access space at Woodwards (half of the original negotiated square footage), the city unanimously moved to create a separate RFP process for a social enterprise venture on the ground-level space at Woodwards. It was another hurdle for W2. Today's victory marks a historic win, not just for W2 and its members, but for the Downtown East Side community.
Kudos to the City of Vancouver for supporting innovative, community-led arts and social enterprises.
The Georgia Straight has been covering this story: http://straight.com/find?match=and&sort=relevance&query=W2&sa.x=0&sa.y=0
To learn more about W2 Community Media Arts, visit http://www.creativetechnology.org/
On twitter, follow @W2Woodwards