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Mount Pleasant on the Rize: grunt gallery

Discussing urban development with grunt’s Glenn Alteen

[Published by VANDOCUMENT]

Words by Brit Bachmann + Edits by Christopher Millin + Photos by Alisha Weng

Last month Western Front, grunt gallery, Arts Factory, VIVO and C-Space were awarded a combined $4.5 million in the form of CACs, or Community Amenities Contributions. This money was part of $6 million donated to the City of Vancouver by Rize Alliance Properties in exchange for zoning permits for their development on the corner of Broadway and Kingsway.

The amenities contributions will help fund new programming and development for these established arts organizations in Mount Pleasant. The CAC has been met with mixed responses, however. While $4.5million is a substantial chunk of money to the average person, certain organizations argue that it is not enough money to kickstart a cultural revival against the gentrification that is occurring in the neighbourhood, especially with the inflating costs of living and operations.

VANDOCUMENT will be interviewing representatives from each arts organization awarded CAC to hear their individual perspectives on arts funding and urban development. We previously publishedan interview with Elia Kirby, and this week we talk to Glenn Alteen of grunt gallery.


Until the mid 90′s, Mount Pleasant was a low-income area of Vancouver. The affordability of live/work spaces attracted artist-runs operating on minimal funding. Organizations such as grunt gallery acted as drop-in centres for the neighbourhood. These galleries helped establish community identity by providing exhibition space to emerging and established artists alike.


CAC Party at grunt gallery July 10th, photographed by Alisha Weng

CAC Party at grunt gallery July 10th, photographed by Alisha Weng

grunt gallery opened in 1984 in a storefront now occupied by The Whip on East 6th Ave. Back then, its programming focused on promoting local artists and ‘outsider art.’ grunt has expanded its reach since then. Its mandate is to provide artists with resources to further their practices, with an emphasis on community engagement. Glenn Alteen was one of the founding members of grunt. Since 1990, he has acted as Director.

(…Continue reading this article at VANDOCUMENT)

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Vancouver Sun – Vancouver invests in stable space for arts groups


VANCOUVER — City hall is bringing some relief to Vancouver’s embattled arts community, which has for years complained about a lack of stable accommodation, with a $5-million commitment to help groups find, buy or rent their own space.

Most of the money — $4.5 million — is coming from community amenity contributions the city collected from a developer in return for approving the controversial Rize Alliance tower in Mount Pleasant. Those funds will help four groups — Western Front, grunt gallery, Arts Factory and a combination of VIVO Media Arts and C-Space, to buy or rent their own space.

The city is also putting up one-third of a $900,000 seed fund to the Toronto Artscape group create a B.C. affiliate that will emulate its successful endeavours to find workspace and sometimes living space for artists. The $300,000 in Artscape money, coming from the city’s Innovation Fund, is contingent upon matching dollars from the Vancity Community Foundation and the McConnell Foundation.

In a report going to council Wednesday, city staff say the funding from the Rize development will help stabilize arts groups in the Mount Pleasant neighbourhood, one of the city’s “artistic hubs.” They note that over 50 cultural non-profits operate in the neighbourhood, but they face increased pressure from urban redevelopment.

Under the proposal, the city will give out $2.2 million to Western Front, grunt gallery and Arts Factory to secure or enhance their existing facilities. Of that, Western Front gets $1.5 million, grunt gallery $400,000 and Arts Factory $300,000…

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