The story began with a tour of 146 Water Street organized by the Vancouver Arts and Cultures Forum to explore how this space, previously occupied by Storyeum, could be used for an arts experience centre.
The Alliance for Arts and Culture, the City Program at Simon Fraser University, the Community Arts Council of Vancouver, Tourism Vancouver, and the Downtown Vancouver Association hosted the conversation.
The Alliance for Arts and Culture was created in 1986 by Greater Vancouver’s cultural community to provide a voice for the arts community and an avenue to work together. The organization numbers more than 330 arts groups and individuals and provides leadership and representation for Greater Vancouver’s arts and culture community by advocating for our community, by facilitating connections within the arts and with other communities, and by providing information to and about our community.
The interest of the Community Arts Council of Vancouver is to support community cultural development through the arts. A major focus of the Council is to support the work of the Downtown Eastside Community Arts Network in encouraging cooperation between groups and providing opportunities for the development of economic self-reliance in the arts across a range of sectors, including performing, visual, media, and design arts. Initiatives of the Community Arts Network include the publication of Fearless Magazine, Fearless TV productions and the organizing of Fearless Festival, a street-level community arts festival to be held on July 1, 2007 in the Downtown Eastside.
The City Program at Simon Fraser University is dedicated to the enhancement of our understanding of the city and how we as citizens can shape its future. The City program is engaged in exploring ideas and creating conversation about what makes our city work and what works for our city, and provides a forum for the exploration of current urban issues through programs that cover a wide range of urban issues, including transportation, affordable housing, urban sustainability, real estate development, planning law, land use ethics, urban design, and heritage conservation.
Tourism Vancouver is committed to creating demand for Vancouver as a destination and to being the best sales, marketing, and visitor servicing organization in the world by building exceptional customer relationships with meeting planners, travel influencers, travel media and independent tourists. Tourism Vancouver represents the hospitality and retail industries that benefit from the cultural and artistic resources of our community in attracting interest in our community as a place to visit and enjoy.
The Downtown Vancouver Association is made up of community organizations and businesses that have an interest in considering and responding to issues and initiatives that could impact downtown Vancouver.The Association facilitates and encourages informed discussion and promotes and supports ideas that contribute to our common interest in creating an economically, environmentally, and socially sustainable community, in making Vancouver a more attractive place to visit, and in improving the quality of life for those who live and work here.
The Arts and Cultures Forum gives community leaders and contributors the opportunity to keep one another informed about opportunities and engage in creative conversation around ideas and initiatives that contribute to the cultural development of our community.
In August 2009, the Craft Council of British Columbia announce plans to participate in the Cheongju International Craft Biennale 2009 in Korea, open a Crafthouse store at the Vancouver international Airport, and partner with the Museum of Vancouver and the 2010 Cultural Olympiad in an exhibition on the Art of Craft showcasing Canadian and Korean crafts from the exhibition at the International Biennale.
Community leaders representing interests of the Craft Council of British Columbia and the Canadian Craft Museum Association also met to talk about the possibility of creating a Canadian Craft Centre and Canadian Craft Museum in one location in Vancouver to place Canadian craft arts more visibly in the world and create connections globally.
The idea would be to work with craft associations and artists across the country to create Canadian Craft Centre outlets, each with a touring exhibit from the Canadian Craft Museum, at major entry points to feature local craft arts and opportunities to explore and experience the craft arts of the region.
The Canadian Craft Centre would be a creative community enterprise increasing the contribution of Canadian craft arts and Canadian craft art to our country and to our world.