Vancouver stalling on DTES media arts centre W2

Final plans for the potential W2 media lab at the old Woodwards site seem to be caught in a bureaucratic nightmare. Due to open in September 2009, it needs to raise $2.6 million to become a reality, but W2 can’t move forward without City approval.

Jacquie Gijssen, senior cultural planner with the city, said to the Straight she can’t predict when the W2 proposal will go to council but she hopes it will happen before the new year. “We are obviously trying to complete our review and assessment as soon as possible,” she said. “Then we have to make a staff recommendation, and then it has to go to a steering committee, and then it has to go to council.…All of those steps take a bit of time.”

Plans for the three-storey space include a café, gallery space, digital-equipment co-op, youth media lab, performance space, and disability arts studio , in over 14,000 square feet. After all the struggle at the Woodsquat there had better be a community driven project from the DTES that gets in there.

The developers had no problem selling out $200 million in future condos.

Sure they put in a couple token units of social housing and promised to work with the community, but really they aren’t giving up much. Other plans for a community house and a woodworking studio in the new space have already sunk due to the process.

I also thought it was funny there was a TV show being filmed in 2000 at the empty Woodwards during all of the protests called Freedom.

the plotline?: After a plane is flown into the White House killing the president of the United States, the US is taken over by United States military forces. Four soldiers who do not go along with the takeover work with a wider resistance movement against the military government, in order to restore the Constitution and freedom to the people.

12 episodes were shot, only 7 aired in 2000. Woodwards was the resistance movements headquarters.

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October 2008

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