City Council votes to support VIVO & C-Space $2.3M capital project

On June 11th the City of Vancouver approved $2.3M requested by VIVO & C-Space for a co-location capital project under the Mount Pleasant Production Spaces program.

VIVO Board member  Mariane Bourcheix-Laporte represented VIVO  and Jay Dodge, C-Space, at the City’s Finance and Services meeting.

Mariane’s  Presentation to Council

Good morning.

My name is Mariane Bourcheix-Laporte. I am an active member of VIVO Media Arts Centre’s Board of Directors and am here this morning to represent the organization.  On behalf of VIVO Media Arts Centre’s board, staff and community members, I thank Council for implementing the Cultural Community Amenity Contribution Allocation Fund and for recommending that VIVO be allocated funds in partnership with C-Space through this program.

Like many of my colleagues in the artistic community, I wear many hats: I am an artist, an independent curator, a writer and a cultural organizer.  So this morning, it is also wearing all these hats that I address you and thank you for implementing initiatives like this one. The City of Vancouver and the Mount Pleasant Neighbourhood in particular have historically been, and are today, vibrant cultural hubs where cultural producers have found a home to create new work, share it with the public, and find support from a community of peers. Organizations that have been recommended to receive funding from the Cultural Community Amenity Contribution Allocation Program, amongst them VIVO Media Art Centre, but also the many other independent cultural organizations that are active in the Mount Pleasant neighbourhood and throughout the city, play a fundamental role in ensuring that cultural producers have access to facilities to produce and showcase work, but also connect, network and share ideas. These services are fundamental conditions for the development and sustainability of cultural life and the advancement of artistic practices and discourses. Accordingly, it is imperative that the City maintains current funding programs, and develops new funding initiatives – like the Cultural Community Amenity Contribution Allocation – to support Vancouver’s cultural ecology.

VIVO’s mandate is to directly support artists and independent community-based producers to develop, exchange, and disseminate their skills in a supportive environment through accessible services and programs. VIVO Media Arts Centre has supported media art production and exhibition in Vancouver for over 40 years through affordable equipment and production space rentals, exhibition and distribution of media artworks, professional development workshops and community outreach activities. VIVO houses the Crista Dahl Media Library and Archive, which is Western Canada’s largest repository of media art history. VIVO produces an average of forty unique events and exhibitions each year, is host to more than 100 other performances and screenings. Last year artists produced more than 130 new projects using VIVO’s facilities and equipment.

The funding that Council has been recommended to allocate VIVO represents a more than significant contribution to ensuring the sustainability of our organization. Importantly, it will enable us to remain in the Mount Pleasant neighbourhood, where we have been active for past 20 years. We would not be able to remain in Mount Pleasant were it not for this funding. This allocation is an opportunity not only to establish a permanent home for VIVO, but also to develop a partnership with the member organizations of C-Space through the development of the Centre for Arts Innovations. We are excited to embark on this joint venture, which will increase our abilities to collaborate and produce interdisciplinary work, enable us to develop relationships with new audiences, and strengthen VIVO’s relation to the local arts community. This is a truly exciting time for VIVO and we are looking forward to developing new partnerships with arts organizations and increasing our abilities to provide services to the community we currently serve notably through the development of custom-built production and exhibition facilities that will respond to the current and anticipated needs of independent media art producers.

On behalf of VIVO Media Arts Centre’s board, staff and community members, I reiterate our gratitude to Council for implementing the Cultural Community Amenity Contribution Allocation program. I also would like to congratulate and recognize the other organizations that have been recommended to receive funding. Finally, I thank you for providing us with the opportunity to continue and expand our activities, and remain an active part of the Mount Pleasant cultural community.