September 20, 2010
November 24, 2008
As a fledgeling artist residing in the city of Vancouver, on Canada’s West coast, I am concerned with the state of the arts and the artistic community here. Is this a place to try to hack out a career in the arts? Is there enough public and private support for artists? Is there enough self-support from fellow artists? In other words, are the cultural, political and social environments in this city conducive to productive art-making, and the production of interesting/exciting art?!
I don’t have answers for these questions; however, from my experience of living here for the past 7 years, I am not inclined to be optimistic. Perhaps it is just the “grass-is-greener” syndrome; I hear about what’s happening in Montreal, New York, Berlin, Tokyo, even Austin, TX, and I get jealous. But maybe the foliage is healthier over there. Maybe, despite all the rain, Vancouver’s greenery is yellowing and drying up. Okay, lately we’ve had some minor success with our indie music scene, our photographers have always done well for themselves, and Hollywood loves our cheap locations, but I wouldn’t call Vancouver a hot-spot for culture or the arts. But why not? What is it about this city that we cannot support a thriving and world renowned artistic community?
And maybe (a BIG maybe) I’m totally off the mark with this criticism. And I would urge you to please prove me wrong! I don’t want to give up on the Terminal City; I was raised in British Columbia, and I appreciate the natural beauty that surrounds and (often) defines Vancouver. But it might end up falling into a cultural coma, and we all need to be active in saving the city from this fate.