Photo credit: Michele Mateus Photography
This week, the studio space where I work was approved for redevelopment into a private school and a residential condo tower. The part of the site where the co-working studios of 100 Braid Street Studios are located is the last remaining building of the B.C. Distillery complex. This complex has a very interesting history and ties to many of the old families of Vancouver.
While it is expected that the studios will remain as is for a few years, and altho the developer has generously offered permanent space for art in the residential complex, I can’t help but wonder what sort of character the new space will have. As I write this, the irony strikes me that while the current building is an industrial building, due to the thoughtful and creative way the owner and founder, Susan Greig, has outfitted it, there is a warm, inclusive and inviting character that one senses immediately upon entering the gallery space.
In the new development, will the creative mix of artists still happen as it does today? Will the area have a sterile, office space/industrial feel? Will the community that has built up around the studios which extends far beyond the reaches of the artists carry on? Such is the price of progress in aid of trying to accommodate the expected growth in our region’s population.