Photo: Henri Robideau, 2019.
Situated in the unceded lands and waters of the xwməθkwəy̓əm (Musqueam), Skwxwú7mesh (Squamish) and Səl̓ílwətaʔ/Selilwitulh (Tsleil-Waututh) Nations, the Blue Cabin Floating Artist Residency offers a vantage point from which to consider the city differently. International in scope but deeply rooted in the histories and narratives of this place, the Blue Cabin offers a unique opportunity to learn, explore and engage with the foreshore.
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.
The Blue Cabin sat between the low and high tide lines at Cates Park in North Vancouver since 1932 and has resisted ownership for nearly 100 years. It was home to maritime labourers and families – and since the late ‘60s was a place of creative respite and subsistence for Vancouver artists Al Neil and Carole Itter. 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 Blue Cabin floated into Vancouver’s False Creek in summer 2019. In the fall of 2019, the Blue Cabin Floating Artist Residency launched Skeins: Weaving on the Foreshore, the inaugural program of artist residencies, open houses, talks and workshops, a celebration of Coast Salish weaving practices that have developed in these territories since time immemorial. In January 2022, the Cabin moved to Imperial Landing in the City of Richmond’s historic Steveston Village for 2 years of local and international artist residencies and public programming.
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.
Learn more at thebluecabin.ca
For general inquiries please contact email@example.com
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