Saving Little Mountain Gallery

Angry neighbours threaten to close Main Street hub of independent arts where 'shit gets done.' Fundraiser concert Friday night at the Rickshaw.

Credit: Elianna Lev

Angry neighbours threaten to close Main Street’s Little Mountain Gallery, a hub of independent arts where ‘shit gets done’


When word got out that something was going down at Little Mountain Gallery, a collective flurry of worry started rippling through Vancouver’s independent arts community. That’s because the low-key, affordable, whimsical space is an integral part of a scene comprised of up-and-coming artists, musicians, producers, performers and other creative types. Simply put, shit gets done there. Interesting, inspiring, heartwarming, community-building shit.


Support the LMG


Show your support for one of Main Street’s last remaining artist run spaces:


Outside Access

Opens Thursday, August 12, 2010

Little Mountain Gallery

195 E 26th Ave, Vancouver


LMG fundraiser concert

Friday, August 13, 2010

The Rickshaw Theatre

254 East Hastings St, Vancouver

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In the past year, I’ve attended or participated in the following events at Little Mountain: an astounding independent theatre production of American Buffalo; an eclectic and quirky art show showcasing 36 artist’s interpretation of the Wu-Tang album 36 Chambers; the graduation performance of an improv class my writing partner was a student in; a community fundraiser/art show where everyone was invited to paint on one another’s blank canvasses, which were eventually auctioned off; a concert where each performer covered a song by a musician who’d died before they were 35; oh, and the storytelling series I co-organize.


Every time I go to Little Mountain, the space is metamorphosed into something new. A wall’s been taken down, a mural’s been put up, a ramp’s been erected. It really is a prime space for everyone. If it weren’t for Little Mountain, I wouldn’t get out of the house much.


But apparently Little Mountain’s neighbours are being quite difficult. They don’t like the racket coming out of the tiny venue and they are complaining up a storm. Last time I was there, LMG’s head guy, Ehren Salazar, was frantically trying to get everyone out of the venue at 9:30 p.m. on a Friday and the cops were still called. After enough complaints the city is forced to investigate, and so the gallery was checked out for zoning and noise by-laws. Ehren’s doing his best to obey the rules but it’s been tough with the persistent complaints from the neighbours.


For a few days, it wasn’t looking good. But it seems a lot of people in the community really believe in what the LMG does. Two hundred of those people even got off their lazy butts to express this to the City in the form of a letter.


Now the gallery is working closely with Councillor Heather Deal about possibly turning the space into a pilot project for some sort of mixed-use venue. So all is not lost!


I asked Ehren what’s the one thing he’d like to express to the community during this hectic time and he said the fact that the City’s on board with LMG. So don’t go hating on the City. They want us to have a venue that allows us to be creative and productive and community build as much as we do.


Art opening and fundraiser concert to support Little Mountain Gallery


If you’re wondering what else can be done to make sure LMG does not go the way of so many sweet, sweet venues before it, how about attending their next art opening Thursday, August 12, 2010. The exhibit is called Outside Access and it features the work of Alex Cieslik, a Gibson-based graffiti artist. Presented by the Little Mountain Gallery in conjunction with Safe Amp Society, partial proceeds from the sale of art at this show will go to the Safe Amp Society, a group working with the City of Vancouver to improve access to venues for emerging performers and musicians.


  >> YouTube: See painter Alex Cieslik in motion, painting a picture of Relic from the Beachcombers


And the next night, there’s a fundraiser concert at the Rickshaw, Friday, August 13. The showcase will feature a slew of performers with strong ties to the gallery, including improviser, musician and all around boy wonder Aaron Read and the delightfully strange Chris-a-riffic.


So come and be a part of something. I promise you’ll feel special.


Visit the website for more details.