For Sherri Johnstone, resident at the Rainier Women’s Treatment Centre in the Downtown Eastside, the last two weeks have brought on some tearful goodbyes. As Health Canada funding for the four-year pilot project ceased Dec. 1, Johnstone and the Rainier’s 37 current residents are adjusting to immediate cuts in staff and programming.
“It’s been hard,” says Johnstone, who struggled with crack addiction and failed at traditional treatment programs before she was referred to the Rainier in 2011. “We started to open up to these women and now they’re not here… Now we have to do that again with somebody else — it makes me feel like I’m almost back at day one again.”
Just over a month after the New Pornographers headlined a free concert in Stanley Park celebrating Vancouver’s 125th birthday, the band’s recording studio and rehearsal space—located on the third floor of the Red Gate—has packed up permanently.
“We’re almost entirely moved out, sadly, but we’ve been there over six years,” says John Collins, bassist and multi-instrumentalist for the New Pornographers. “When Jim [Carrico] found the place we were the first people to get in there—before there was any electricity or water.”
When it comes to punk and metal shows, there are few Vancouver venues as loud and proud as the Cobalt. Attached to a notorious Single Room Occupancy hotel, the hardcore bar is praised by fans as the last haven for underground and extreme music in Vancouver.
But after nine years of punk rock patronage, the Cobalt may have to shut its doors for being a little too noisy.
There are many reasons to hate on the Olympics. Housing promises have been abandoned, the cost of living is rising, and millions of city dollars are being wasted—all for the sake of the 2010 Games.
So, if you like art, and want yet another reason to shake a fist at that hideous tooth-shaped Olympic countdown clock, mark your calendars for Friday, March 13. The unlucky night marks the beginning of an underground anti-Olympic art show called Art and Anarchy.
How do you pay tribute to the man who gave a voice (and a loud one at that) to Vancouver’s most disenfranchised neighbourhood?
Some visit Bruce Erikson Place—a social housing project on Hastings Street erected in his honour. Others have joined the Downtown Eastside Residents’ Association—a charitable community organization Erikson founded in 1973.
But former Vancouver Sun reporter and long-time Downtown Eastside resident Bob Sarti had something different in mind when he wrote Bruce: The Musical.
“Memory is the mother of community.”
These are the insightful words of Downtown Eastside poet Sandy Cameron and the mantra of the upcoming Downtown Eastside Heart of the City Festival.