10 Specific Reasons to do the Eastside Culture Crawl

Voyeurism, beauty in death, octopuses and Z's are all good reasons to check out Vancouver's 14th annual Eastside Culture Crawl.

14th annual Eastside Culture Crawl photo by Daniel deRegt

14th annual Eastside Culture Crawl runs from November 26-28, 2010

Emily Carr Institute of Art and Design grad Daniel deRegt will display his photographs in Suite 200 at the Parker Street Studios during the Eastside Culture Crawl.


Discover East Vancouver’s wealth of talented artists as you tiptoe through art studios and intimate working spaces


Way back in the mid ’90s, a group of Vancouver artists began meeting each year for a “show and sell” type art event. As the years went on and the event grew, organizers felt the annual event needed an official name—it became the Eastside Culture Crawl in 1997.


Eastside Culture Crawl


November 26–28, 2010

Strathcona, Vancouver

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That first official year as the Eastside Culture Crawl, the event consisted of 45 artists in three studios—Glass Onion, Paneficio and 1000 Parker Street—and drew around 1,000 people. Fourteen years later, the three-day event presents nearly 400 artists, drawing more than 10,000 people in an area bound by Main St, 1st Ave, Victoria Dr and the Waterfront, running from Friday, November 26 to Sunday, November 28, 2010.


The Eastside Culture Crawl has become one of Vancouver’s most anticipated arts and culture events. Not only is it great for checking off your holiday shopping lists, but it is an opportunity to get dirty with your creative community—walk the streets, shortcut through alleys and gaze into windows as you stroll from building to building. Let your childlike curiosity out of its cage and chatter with the people at the other ends of the brushes, lenses and pencils. Make new friends and enter buildings you might never have a reason to visit on any other day of your life.


And, as if those reasons weren’t good enough… here are 10 more.


10 reasons to crawl the crawl


1. Beauty in death. Inspired by the delicate details that reside in the groves, gardens and architectures of the smallest corners of our world, artist Mia Weinberg works with botanical specimens in the process of decay. Through their death, they lead to regeneration, new beginnings and exhibit extraordinary beauty. She takes garden items—flowers, plants, bugs—that are well past their beauty and works her magic to make art from dead life.


2. Voyeurism. Self-taught realist painter Patricia Atchison renders realism with her oil paintings. These stories or scenes “you could walk right into” capture elegant yet edgy images down to their finests details combining the elegant female form with Patricia’s seductive style. Think: woman in a toilet stall, panties down around her heels.


3. Recycled skateboard art. While BC grown Jenn Brisson has worked on films like Space Jam, Prince of Egypt and Curious George, her obsession with collecting things that others would throw in the trash has led to some creative canvases in the form of broken and used skateboards and old, abandoned instruments.


4. Food to keep you fortified. Keep up your energy with some good snacks along the way: Prop House Café, Union Food Market (Strathcona), The Wilder Snail café and Benny’s Market.


5. Vancouver’s first artists’ studio co-op. Portside Studios at 150 Mclean Drive is filled with artists who worked with the city to create a vision for the future of artists’ spaces.


6. Mergatroid. Designed as a positive place to channel creative, production and manufacturing endeavours, the Mergatroid Building is home to more than 50 artists year round. The building is a good place to tuck inside and warm up in between raindrops.


7. Urban Aboriginal. A stunning mix of traditions are on display here: Haida, Cree, Tsimshian/Celtic, Anishnabe (Ojibway) and Kwanlin Dun. Five artists will be displaying works ranging from silver jewelry to paintings and mixed media at 458 East Hastings St.


8. Because octopuses are cool too. Octopus Studios is located in an ordinary looking building in Japantown, where it is home to a group of artists “without a whole heap of money” striving to keep their costs low. They collaborate and even keep a blog where artists post stories and news about their latest projects. (I was particularly drawn to Guzin Taskirand and Beata Kacy’s underwater pregnant belly photography project.)


9. Art overcoming violence. Enterprising Women Making Art (EWMA) was launched in 2003 as a development initiative of Atira Women’s Resource Society, a not-for-profit organization that provides both residential and non residential programs to women and children who have been impacted by violence. EWMA blends art, community and social entrepreneurship.


10. The Z’s. The Eastside Culture Crawl’s artist bios are listed on the website in alphabetical order. If you’re like me and have a short attention span, it is unlikely you will ever make it to the end of the alphabet. So here is a special hurrah to the Z’s: Zoe Evamy, Kate Zisman and Zillion Design.