Two spaces designated to the Vancouver art scene are at risk of being lost due to financial struggles.
Beaumont Studios staff said their beloved art hub is in jeopardy due to real estate costs and financial impacts lingering from the pandemic.
The studio said along with pandemic-related financial woes and the increase of rent and property tax — which has increased around 20 per cent in three years — it is dealing with “crippling overhead and debt.”
“The Beaumont Studios is more than just a building; we are a modern-day inclusive community center; a living and breathing entity that once experienced cannot be easily forgotten,” said Jude Kusnierz, the studios’ founder and creative director.
“We take an incredible amount of pride in the community that we have built together. We urgently seek your support to keep our doors open. Our creative community depends on it, and time is of the essence.”
The studio has created a fundraising campaign to try and save the studio, including a GoFundMe, which has raised $38,000 so far with a goal of $42,000.
“We are extremely grateful for your donations and for any help spreading our campaign far and wide,” Kusnierz said. “Together, we can ensure that The Beaumont Studios continues to be a vital creative hub for Vancouver’s arts community.”
More than 100 full-time artists use the studio space, staff said.
Vancouver’s eatART Foundation also said it is losing its lab space on Great Northern Way, which has been its home for 15 years.
“It is with saddened hearts that we, the eatART Foundation, are informing our broader community of the impending loss of our lab space,” staff said in a release. “We are now facing the daunting challenge of finding a new home.”
The non-profit organization is asking the public for help in finding a new space or possible partners that could band together to find a space.
“Despite this news, eatART will continue to assist with innovative projects that push the boundaries of art and technology and will do their best to support the projects that are currently active at our lab,” staff said.
“Two new projects to highlight include; resident artist Sandra Bérubé’s work in progress, titled “Life is a Circus”.
“This project, made possible by the Canada Council for the Arts, is a tribute to finding the strength and courage to harness the madness life can be.”
EatART said, along with the Beaumont Studios announcement, it is clear that it is difficult for artists in Vancouver to find affordable spaces in the city.
“We hope that with the help of our community, we can find a solution to the challenge that has been placed before us,” staff said.
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The B.C. Ministry of Tourism, Arts, Culture and Sports was not available for an interview on Sunday but did provide a statement regarding provincial help for the art sector.
“The last three years have been incredibly challenging for people in the arts sector in B.C. Since day one, the government has been working closely with people in the industry to understand the challenges, hear their suggestions on recovery and provide support,” a spokesperson said.
“We recognize that arts and culture are critical to the well-being of societies and support healthier and more vibrant communities.
“That’s why the province provided relief support for artists and organizations to support the B.C. arts and culture sector in building back strong.”
The province is providing $42 million for arts and culture in its 2023 budget.
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