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City announces $4.5 million art complex

By David P. Ball, 24 hours Vancouver

Vancouver Mayor Gregor Robertson. (24 HOURS FILE PHOTO)

Vancouver Mayor Gregor Robertson. (24 HOURS FILE PHOTO)

 Five months before civic elections, Vancouver’s mayor is reaching out to artists in announcing a new $4.5 million arts complex to house five galleries and cultural organizations in Mount Pleasant.

 The funding comes from a real estate developer’s amenity contributions, a condition for rezoning a property at Broadway and Kingsway two years ago.

“These investments will support our creative economy and allow local artists to put down deeper roots in Vancouver,” Robertson said in a statement, adding the funding will ensure “new development benefits local neighbourhoods.”

The Centre for Arts Innovation will house a number of arts organizations, some of which have complained rising rents in Vancouver have made cultural space sparse. The centre is expected to house Arts Factory, Western Front, Grunt Gallery, VIVO and C-Space.

The Coalition of Progressive Electors’ executive director said the investment “isn’t enough” to stave off the “threat” condominium developments pose to affordability.

“This model they’re using, where you take a tiny chunk of developer profits, isn’t working,” Sean Antrim said. “Condos are displacing people and arts organizations in Vancouver — it’s good that we’re saving VIVO and those other groups, but there are others that aren’t making it.”


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