221A’s offices and programming venues have been closed since March 11, and will remain closed until further notice as we mitigate and learn to live amid the COVID-19 pandemic. Staff continue to work predominantly from home and are maintaining their usual schedules. 221A’s artist studio facilities remain accessible to studio subtenants of 222 E Georgia, 236 E Pender, 1654 Franklin and 1265 Howe. Sublease holders are required to fulfill compliance with the government Provincial Health Authority to establish physical distancing measures and limit total occupancy to below 50 people at any given time. Furthermore, 221A is strongly recommending that users of these facilities wear masks and face coverings, and implement enhanced cleaning practices.
221A aligns with DTES Response and recommends that people who do not live or work in Chinatown and the Downtown Eastside refrain from visiting, as well as taking public transportation to and from the neighbourhoods. It is safer for all when there are fewer people in circulation around the shared spaces and services used by vulnerable communities.
221A gratefully acknowledges the swift action of the Vancouver Foundation, along with its partners VanCity Credit Union, United Way Lower Mainland, and the City of Vancouver, for the award of a $50,000 grant from the Community Response Fund to defray significant COVID-19 expenses facing the Society, including delivery of studio subtenant rent relief, increased sanitation and staffing. These funds, along with support from the BC Arts Council, Canada Council for the Arts, and Services Canada have been critical to delivering emergency rental assistance to artists in our facilities who are facing economic hardship resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic. In addition, 221A thanks the landlord of 1654 Franklin for providing relief for subtenants of the Franklin Street property. Subtenants facing economic hardship or in need of assistance in operating their commercial units safely should get in touch with Sungpil Yoon, Tenancy Relations Coordinator at email@example.com.
221A recommends responding to the BC Centre for Disease Control’s survey COVID-19 SPEAK: Your story, our future. This population health survey is meant to elicit a better understanding of citizen experience, knowledge and actions during the pandemic, strengthening our province’s pandemic response and our understanding of the impacts of COVID-19 to date (social, economic, mental wellness and community wellness).