East Vancouver hotel gets new lease on life as converted artist studios

The Metropolis Centre Motor Lodge is an oddity in East Vancouver. 

Positioned on Main Avenue near Fifth Avenue, the brightly-coloured, lowrise motel was constructed in the 1950s. Just lately marketed to a developer, the web-site is now becoming supplied one past hurrah as studio house for local artists before the making is likely torn down to make way for condominiums.

The idea arrives from the head of David Duprey of The Slender Group — a regionally-owned East Vancouver group behind these kinds of space bars and restaurants as The Slim and Uncle Abes. Duprey has also dedicated a ton of time to generating artist workspaces in vacant properties. 

He began his quest to assistance artists about 15 yrs ago when he recognized a great deal of web-sites the place artists could carve out studios, even if only temporarily.

Which is how the Metropolis Centre Motor Hotel came to his notice.

“I noticed an article that claimed the motel experienced been bought to Nicola Prosperity Administration. So I received on the cellphone and called them up and advised them I required to transform them into artist’s spaces. And then that led to them contacting me back and receiving a lease,” Duprey explained.

David Duprey says he has been functioning for a long time to enable artists locate offered place in vacant Vancouver structures. The Metropolis Centre Motor Hotel appeared to fit that invoice perfectly. (Ben Nelms/CBC)

For the up coming two-and-a-half decades, at minimum, artists will be capable to get the job done — but not live — in the 70-area motel.

Appropriate now, carpets are becoming ripped up and drapes taken down and at the time that is complete, artists are totally free to do what they want in their workspaces.

Artist Shehzar Abro claims he is thrilled to be ready to have a position to perform that just isn’t his condominium.

The painter and animator will share the space with two other artists and pay back $200 a thirty day period, he advised CBC News, as he clutched his plastic space important in his hand. 

From still left to appropriate: Artist Shehzar, David Duprey, the proprietor of the Narrow Team and Nickolas Collinet, the undertaking supervisor of the Vancouver Mural Pageant, stand outdoors of the new artist areas at the City Centre Motor Lodge in Vancouver, British Columbia on Friday, Jan. 7, 2022. (Ben Nelms/CBC)

“Truthfully, when this space came about, it was a blessing. One of my largest worries was affordability. Vancouver is not a low-priced town. And getting a scholar, I’m only just now starting to make revenue from my artwork,” claimed Abro.

The Vancouver Mural Competition has also occur on board to assistance with the challenge. It designs to wrap the entire motel in murals, appropriate down to the sidewalk and also make it a assembly place.

“The remarkable point is the integration with the creative transformation, with programming and with area-building. It really is all coming alongside one another in just one enjoyable challenge,” stated Nickolas Collinet, task supervisor of The Vancouver Mural Festival.

So much, the rooms aren’t all rented, but Duprey hopes to fill the classic joint up and see it come to be an iconic place for a full new cause.

Nickolas Collinet, the job supervisor of The Vancouver Mural Festival, outside the house of the 1950s-developed motor hotel. The annual festival sees properties in East Vancouver painted by regional and worldwide artists and the organizing group is scheduling to cover the entire setting up in artwork in advance of it is torn down for enhancement. (Ben Nelms/CBC)

Kenneth Proto

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