Vancouver’s Eastside is a vibrant and distinct arts and culture ecology with the core characteristics that make a successful arts and cultural district. In formally establishing the Eastside Arts District, the Eastside Arts Society aims to lead and collectively advocate for the sustainability of all arts and culture on the Eastside.
The Eastside has the highest concentration of artists, musicians, performers, and cultural producers in Vancouver and is known nationally and internationally as a vital part of Vancouver’s cultural identity. Much of the Eastside was historically a lower-rent and primarily light industrial zone, but it is changing. Redevelopment and the economic consequences of the pandemic have exacerbated the financial burden on artists and cultural producers. We believe the local arts and culture economy will emerge from the pandemic with a passionate sense of the importance of gathering in physical space. This is the time to seize the moment of heightened public demand, celebrate Vancouver’s diverse creativity, and ensure this sector’s long-term sustainability.
It is difficult to understate the sense of urgency regarding the preservation, provision and safeguarding of cultural space in the Eastside. Steps towards protecting the City’s arts and cultural identity should be acted upon sooner rather than later as massive development changes are and will impact this area and community.