Exiting 221 East Georgia

March 27, 2020

221A has made a unanimous decision to cease the operation of 221 East Georgia Street, one site under its operations, as of March 31, 2020 due to untenable conditions resulting from poor maintenance of the overall property. While these issues have escalated over several years, prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, the decision to exit was recently made for the long-term health of the Organization, the staff, stakeholders and audiences. The facility is the organization’s first programming and administrative venue, under operation since 2008. With such a rich history of developing the organization amidst the challenges and upheavals of the gentrification battle-ground neighbourhood that is Vancouver’s Chinatown, this was not a decision that has been made lightly. While the Organization has grown to operate six cultural space properties in Vancouver, with a total of over 56,000 square feet, the 221 East Georgia Street facility has been formative for 221A’s orientation to the neighbourhood, and cultural sector. The principal reason for this departure is because of the questionable safety of the building resulting from neglected maintenance issues. It was beyond the organization’s control and resources to address the safety of the facility for its staff and audiences.

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Blockchain Event Series in Partnership with SUGAR, Goethe-Institut, and Emily Carr University of Art & Design

January 8, 2020

For us to reclaim our full humanity, we have to understand that this will come from creating new systems of being with each other. So that in the new system, the value of a human being is the full human value, their value as a poet, a thinker, a lover, a carrier of the culture. That’s what the value of a human being is, that’s what we deserve and need.”  – Ed Whitfield, Fund for Democratic Communities (F4DC)

“Expansionist thinking is rooted in abstract economic models and monetary analyses that are devoid of biophysical data and ignore fundamental physical laws.” – William E. Rees, School of Community and Regional Planning, University of British Columbia


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221A Welcomes Nicole Kelly Westman as Education & Learning Programmer

January 8, 2020

221A is pleased to announce the hiring of Nicole Kelly Westman who will take on the full-time role of Education & Learning Programmer (ELP) as of February 2020. As a member of 221A’s programming team, the ELP operates 221A’s programming venues and shapes all public and educational programs. Working closely with the Staff and Fellows of the Organization, Westman will foster a learning culture with the intention that 221A learns from and adapts to its programming, while the educational programs, community initiatives, and partnerships distribute and diversify the knowledge creation underway through the Organization’s Fellowships and Research Initiatives.

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Howe Street Studios Open

December 6, 2019

221A and the City of Vancouver officially opened Howe Street Studios today with a welcome by Debra Sparrow, Musqueam Weaver, Artist, and Knowledge Keeper; a press briefing with Mayor Kennedy Stewart; and, the launch of an artwork by Germaine Koh, Set Pieces, 2019, commissioned through the City’s Private Sector Public Art requirement.

The vision of the facility is to support the re-emergence of material culture in Vancouver’s downtown core, focusing on artists and designers who have traditionally been disadvantaged through lack of access to public resources. The facility provides 10,800 square feet of studio space (roughly the size of a baseball diamond), which 221A operates through a cost-recovery model.

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