The Blue Cabin Floating Artist Residency brings forward a desire and need for alternate modes of living and working, and expands our understanding of what constitutes public space.
Despite Vancouver’s international reputation for producing exceptional artists, inflated real estate prices make it challenging at best for arts organizations to offer visiting artists spaces for research, experimentation, innovation, and exchange. Artist residencies exist worldwide and the experiences of those who have been lucky enough to take part are often described as life changing and transformational. Recognizing the need for such a generative space, the Blue Cabin Floating Artist Residency presents an opportunity that is unique to this region while global in its reach.
Representing the last vestiges of a cultural tradition of artists and others living in squatters’ shacks along the foreshores of this region’s waterways, Al Neil and Carole Itter’s Blue Cabin was one of many structures that dotted the shores of Indian Arm.
Recently, the land adjacent to the cabin, MacKenzie Barge and Shipbuilding, was sold to Polygon Homes for redevelopment. Under their agreement with Port Metro, Polygon must remediate the foreshore, including the small cove the Blue Cabin was nestled within. To avoid demolition, the cabin was moved 5 kilometres west to a secure storage lot for repair and remediation.
Along with Other Sights for Artists’ Projects and Creative Cultural Collaborations, grunt gallery has a vision to save the cabin and continue its use as an artist residency on the waterways of the Lower Mainland. The following documents were produced in consultation with a number of stakeholders in the community to aid in planning and solicit support for the Blue Cabin’s future.
Blue Cabin Floating Artist Residency: Preliminary Feasibility Report by Barbara Cole, Cole Projects
A Plan for the Conservation and Re-use of the Blue Cabin by Harold Kalman with Andrew Todd Conservators Ltd.
The volunteer team that continues to work to find a new home for the Blue Cabin consists of Glenn Alteen, Program Director of grunt gallery, Barbara Cole, Director of Other Sights for Artists’ Projects, and Esther Rausenberg, Co-artistic Director of Creative Cultural Collaborations, in consultation with Carole Itter and Project Manager Michael Jackson from PM Volunteers. In addition to the team, consultants Hal Kalman, Heritage Planner and Andrew Todd, Heritage Conservator, have offered to assist us through a Heritage Conservation Plan and Heritage Remediation Plan. We also appreciate the support of the Citizens Committee of Port Metro, Polygon Homes, Canexus, and Supreme Structural Transport.
Over the coming months we will be developing an action plan for the cabin. As we move forward, your support will be important to achieving our mission.
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