Premier John Horgan has said that “This new centre and community hub is giving people more opportunities to create, work together, and contribute to B.C.’s culture and economy” . “By turning this under-used space into a dynamic cultural hub for Vancouver’s Chinatown, we are investing in the creative sector and the people that drive it — building a strong local economy that works for people.”
The Sun Wah Centre project has created 55 new artistic, cultural and community spaces suitable for artist production, rehearsal, presentation and exhibition, as well as space for public cultural events and programming.
“The BC Artscape Sun Wah Centre is a much-needed creative step for downtown Vancouver,” said Lisa Beare, Minister Tourism, Arts and Culture. “BC Artscape has transformed this underutilized space into a catalyst for creativity for artists and residents. It provides the affordable spaces that creative workers need, while making arts and culture more accessible for the surrounding community.”
The revitalization of the Sun Wah Centre is the result of support from the Government of Canada, the B.C. government, the City of Vancouver and BC Artscape.
“Investing in cultural infrastructure not only allows artists to create and collaborate, it also helps promote thriving, dynamic and creative communities,” said the Honourable Pablo Rodriguez, federal Minister of Canadian Heritage and Multiculturalism. “As part of our government’s vision for a Creative Canada, we committed $300 million in funding over the next decade to support the next generation of cultural spaces — including creative hubs like BC Artscape. These facilities will provide artists, creators and creative startups with opportunities to develop and practise their skills, innovate, and contribute to the growth of the creative economy.”
The 55 new spaces and revitalization of the site has allowed for over 70 artists and non-profit community groups to rent work space in the renovated Sun Wah Centre.
“Today’s opening builds on the city’s work to turn the page on a new chapter in Chinatown,” said Gregor Robertson, mayor of Vancouver. “I applaud the work of BC Artscape in strengthening Vancouver’s vibrant arts and culture community by boosting the availability of creative and cultural spaces for working artists in Chinatown.”
“The completion of this space represents the first of BC Artscape’s projects to increase affordable arts and cultural spaces in this province,” said Genevieve Bucher, BC Artscape president and CEO. “Artists constantly face the threat of eviction and displacement, or the insecurity of tenure. At the heart of BC Artscape projects is our passion to provide more creative hubs to support and foster cultural activities, arts and community engagement, so that artists can thrive in British Columbia.”