Downtown Vancouver Association
Arts and Cultures Forum

Exploring the Arts

The Arts Experience Centre

Exploring the Possibilities
Tuesday, June 12, 2007, 5:00 to 8:00 pm
142 Water Street
Live. Underground. Gastown.

About the Tour
Questions and Ideas
Conversation Hosts
Contributions to the Conversation


About the Tour


This tour is an opportunity for people in the arts and business communities to explore the possibilities of creating an Arts Experience Centre as a sustainable enterprise that builds on our cultural and creative resources and contributes to our common and complementary interests.

Participants will have the opportunity to contribute creative and practical ideas, ask questions, talk with representatives from the conversation hosts and provide information that could be helpful to the discussion.

Reception Area  
Guests are welcomed in the reception area with a brief introduction and orientation. The conversation hosts will offer their observations and ideas at different locations on the tour and there will be opportunities to contribute ideas on flip charts. Volunteers from host organizations will act as guides.

Host representatives will be available for questions and conversation following the tour in the large exhibition and gallery space. There will be a final opportunity to contribute information, ideas, and interests on lap tops before leaving.

This is an opportunity to experience the space and imagine an Arts Experience Centre.

What could it be? How could it work? What would work?




Theatre Spaces

What do we know about the Space?

The facility is located at 142 Water Street, one block from the historic Gastown Steam Clock, a short walk from downtown hotels, public transit, the Canada Place Cruise Ship Terminal, and the Vancouver Convention Centre.

The facility is steps from Skytrain, Seabus, Westcoast Express commuter train, and the Helijet Terminal. Pay parking is conveniently located next door on Water Street.

The total space is approximately 112,000 square feet with a front reception area on Water Street, an approximately 40,000 square foot area developed with theatre and gallery space on the lower level of a second building across Trounce Alley, and a 40,000 square foot gallery and exhibition space at street level on Cordova Street.

The Storyeum space is owned by the City of Vancouver. The City will be issuing a Request for Proposal for leasing the space in the near future.

Tounce Alley   Lobby   Washroom

What does the arts community say?

A series of Round Tables are being held by the Greater Vancouver Alliance for Arts and Culture during the months of May and June bringing together members of the arts community in discipline-specific and cross-disciplinary groups to discuss the priorities, concerns, and interests of the various disciplines and the community as a whole.

The dominant themes emerging from these conversations are:
There are several major exhibitions touring Europe, Asia, and North America who could come to Vancouver if we had the space to accommodate them.

What do we know about BC Cultural Life?

Kelly Hill of Hill Strategies launched the Assembly of BC Arts Councils' conference on May 4, 2007, with questions and information in Is BC a Cultural Mecca? A Statistical Overview. What do we know about BC cultural life? What don't we know? Is the left coast a major centre of Canadian cultural life? And why should we care whether it is or not? The presentation provides a statistically-focussed view of the province's arts scene, including indicators on the number of artists, cultural spending, donors, volunteers, arts attendance and more.

The research revealed that of all provinces, BC has the highest ratio of artists in the labour force and the only province above 10 artists per 1000 in labour force, that Vancouver has the highest ratio of artists of every major City in Canada with Victoria the second highest, and that the Downtown Eastside/Chinatown neighbourhood has more than twice the number of artists per 1000 than the City of Vancouver average and is the ninth ranked neighbourhood in Canada.

What do we know about the contribution of the arts to our cultural, social, community, and economic interests and development?


Questions and Ideas


What could it be?

It could provide a place for people to explore the arts and cultures of the Downtown Eastside and excite interest in the growing number of accessible opportunities to experience the arts in the neighbourhood.

Just Ahead Sign  
It could provide performance, exhibition, and workshop space for arts organizations like Arts Umbrella and the Emily Carr School of Art, or year round programming space for the Children's Festival, to engage children and youth in exploring the experience of the arts and excite them about opportunities to express themselves creatively.

It could be a place to showcase our cultural resources giving people live and first hand opportunities to experience the arts and learn about and how to access current, upcoming, and year round cultural events and opportunities available throughout the city, region and province, - an infocentre for the arts.

It could provide flexible spaces where artists can create, rehearse, and work at their art and where audiences can observe and engage with artists and their experience.

It could be a place where public and private fine arts and technical arts education schools could be concentrated and provide outreach facilities for arts schools.

It could be a community centre dedicated to the arts and operated by the Parks and Recreation Board, which might become the Parks, Recreation and Arts Board.

  Big House Sign
It could be a place to explore the cultural expression of the Aboriginal, Asian, and European cultural influences that are part of and contribute to our cultural, social, community, and economic development.

It could provide ever-changing opportunities for first-hand contact and experience with artists actively engaged in the art of creating in different areas of creative pursuit, - music, theatre, dance, visual and media arts.

How could it work?

It could have a governance structure similar to that of Granville Island providing an environment for creating an artistic community of micro-businesses with manageable market rents in a financially sustainable community enterprise that contributes to the cultural, social, and economic development of the surrounding business and residential community.

It could provide an opportunity for all levels of government to demonstrate understanding of the contribution of the arts and the value of exciting interest and engaging more people in creative activity and design a model for creating municipal, provincial, and federal government supported community enterprises.

It could include arts-related commercial retail spaces for rent at market rates to offset the cost of public facilities and programming.

It could become a Centre similar to Science World or the Aquarium focused on the pursuit and experience of the arts.

It could attract corporate business interest in financing the capital or operating costs of a unique facility with potential for high visibility and traffic.

It could be operated by a society with a membership that represents the communities of interest that make up the creative and cultural resources of the city, region, or province operating in a manner similar to Tourism Vancouver.

It could provide space at market rates for touring arts events and exhibitions that are able to generate sufficient revenue from admissions and financial partners.

Exhibition Space


Conversation Hosts


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 of the Downtown Vancouver Association is interested in engaging people in conversation around ideas and initiatives that contribute to the cultural development of our community, excite interest in the experience of the arts, and increase our appreciation for the diverse cultures that contribute to creating our community.




Reservations are required by 5.00 pm, June 11, 2007

Please complete the following and click submit
to reserve for each guest


Your interests and the interests you represent


Contributions to the Conversation


You are invited to ask questions
and contribute information and ideas to the conversation


Questions, information and ideas

  Please keep me informed




Roger Chilton


I am interested in the art of creating connections, conversation, community, and cooperative enterprise around common interests, and in exciting interest in the experience of the arts and the art of creating.

I think when we create connections across our cultural differences we come to understand, appreciate and value the contribution of our cultural diversity. Art creates connections across our cultural differences and contributes to our ability to discover our common interests, ideas and experience of the world. Our creative community is our resource for our cultural development.

Open access to information and ideas contributes to the democratization of power. Conversation around our common interests contributes to our ability to create community. Conversation around opportunities, ideas, and initiatives that contribute to our common interests creates cooperative enterprise. I think we have the opportunity, the need, and the ability to create cooperative enterprise around ideas and initiatives that contribute to our common interests.

Conversation is how we articulate the interests of our community, create ideas, and excite interest in opportunities for community organizations, business, government bodies, and individuals to contribute to our common community interests.

I am engaged in creating communication centres like goinhome where people can connect, tell what they do and how they contribute, contribute information and ideas, be kept informed as circumstances change and new ideas and opportunities present themselves, and engage in conversation around ideas and initiatives that contribute to helping people get home and to reducing and preventing homelessness.


I have a background in engineering, management consulting, and communications. I was a founder of Western Management Consultants and Go Direct Marketing, contributed to the founding of the Vancouver Enterprise Forum and Canadian Business for Social Responsibility, and facilitated the creation of Tourism Vancouver.

My work has involved creating new enterprises, managing companies out of difficulty, and redirecting businesses, community organizations, and public bodies. I have worked with all of the City of Vancouver departments, the Vancouver Park Board, the Pacific National Exhibition and many other public, business, and community organizations facilitating conversation around their role and contribution.

I represent the interests of the Arts and Culture Forum of the Downtown Vancouver Association, I am on the Board of the Community Arts Council of Vancouver, and support the idea of a Downtown Eastside Community Arts Network.