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 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 this 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 squatter 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 Burrard Inlet. In 2014, the land adjacent to the cabin, McKenzie Barge and Marine Ways Co. Ltd., was sold to Polygon Homes for redevelopment, initiating the remediation of the foreshore and the small cove the Blue Cabin was nestled within. To avoid demolition, the cabin was moved five kilometres west to a secure storage lot, then later to Maplewood Farm in North Vancouver where it underwent a full remediation, completed in February 2018. The project committee is currently moving forward with the construction of an engineered platform and the design and build of an energy efficient tiny house.
Since 2015, grunt gallery, Other Sights for Artists’ Projects, and Creative Cultural Collaborations have been committed to ensuring the cabin’s legacy continues, and that its use as a floating artist residency will benefit both artists and broader public alike.
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.
The Blue Cabin Floating Artist Residency (BCFAR) Feasibility Study by Su Ditta, Wild Ideas Arts Consulting
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.
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The Blue Cabin project is grateful for the support of Museums 150 Program, Province of British Columbia through Creative Economy Strategy, British Columbia Arts Council, District of North Vancouver, City of Vancouver, The Hamber Foundation, Heritage BC, Maplewood Farm, Polygon Homes, Canexus Corp., Supreme Structural Transport, PM-Volunteers, Harold Kalman, Andrew Todd, Wayne Poole, Bush Bohlman & Partners, The Citizens Committee of Port Metro, and all of our donors, sponsors, and volunteers. 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.
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