Daily Xtra: “Rent increases squeezing Red Gate Arts Society in East Van”

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The Red Gate Arts Society is vital to Vancouver’s arts culture. It’s been encouraging watching them operate more visibly over the past year, with government funding, which makes Low Tide’s seeming determination to squeeze them out all the more frustrating.

A friend/colleague of mine commented on the situation, pointing out just one example of Red Gate’s importance:

For the past 4 months, [photographer] Suzy [King] and I have been working on a piece about women in the music business in Vancouver. Throughout our interviews and discussions, there were threads of similarity; most notably, a connection to Red Gate Arts Society. These people are amazing and I have so much respect for what they provide for the artists and musicians of Vancouver. … [I]ronic that one of Lululemon’s “inspirational” mantras is “friends are more important than money..for shame.

Less sympathetic individuals often comment that art spaces close and re-open all the time. True, but in order for an organization to succeed – in order for an entire community to exist – there needs to be consistency, especially considering that many grants require applicants to possess long-term leases.

Even a year-and-a-half ago, Red Gate operated under more pseudonyms than I could keep track of. Their building front was always shuttered even as events were happening. And the only way you could find out what was going on at Red Gate was if you asked around.

Today, however, large bay windows provide clear view into the ticket area where Red Gate also sells merchandise. They even have their own t-shirts (four designs!) and glossy posters & event calendars.

If you’d like to support Red Gate, visit their website to become a member. For $20 a year, you’ll be able to view their private online calendar, receive $2 off of the ticket price of every show, and attend their first-ever Alleyfest for free this Saturday. “Plus other goodies in the pipe!” Red Gate promises.

I hope to see you this Saturday!


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