By Jesse Gotfrit
VANCOUVER — Since 2012, the Red Gate Arts Society has been instrumental for the arts community in Vancouver, especially regarding young, emerging, and experimental artists, who are constantly navigating Vancouver’s arts space crisis. After a year of crowd-funding, they settled into an industrial-zone building at 855 E Hastings in the DTES, and since then having been offering working and performance spaces, as well as being one of the rare venues in Vancouver that consistently hosts all ages shows. Despite changes with their lease, the Strathcona location is still going strong. This means that their newly established management of the Granville Island Revue Stage is purely an expansion, and one that has the potential to expand and diversify what the Arts Society is able to provide in terms of services and programming.
“This is great,” says co-founder Ana Rose. “We feel like we have a lot to offer in the direction that the people in Granville Island want to go in, especially since there is going to be a vacuum left by Emily Carr, in terms of experimental art and the youth demographic. They want to [host] more of a nightlife, they want there to be more experimental art, and more 18-34 year olds, they’ve even been talking with other arts organizations about a cultural district.”
The “They” Rose is referring to is the Granville Island Cultural Society, who helped Red Gate secure their year lease. Since Emily Carr is moving to Great Northern Way, the Cultural Society is intent on filling the artistic void with institutions, like Red Gate, that will reinvigorate the cultural and creative life of the island. As it stands, Red Gate is the first in this new initiative, and they remain uncompromising with regards to the programming of experimental arts that they are known for.
“We’re not selling out,” jokes Rose. “We have some obligations, contacts for bookings that the cultural society did before, and a lot of our normal programming is not curated by us, it’s artists coming to us with their vision. It’ll be interesting because we haven’t had an opportunity to branch out into that form of arts before, we’ve had burlesque, theatre, comedies, a fair amount of experimental noise, but now we’re able to broaden into doing variety shows, and more community panels. As of now we’ve got quite a few experimental noise events, and on January 20th we’re hosting Quiet City, an immersive electronic listening series. But, it could be anything. Any kind of sit down show, not a lot of post punk or techno shows because people don’t tend to usually want to sit for those, but other than that the sky’s the limit.”
For upcoming events check out: http://redgate.at.org to see what’s going on at both locations.BC, British Columbia, Red Gate Arts Society, Red Gate Review Stage