East Van 4 Life

I am 95% unpacked; there’s still a suitcase of clothes I haven’t touched, and my art supplies have been languishing in their boxes for the past week, but all-in-all I’m virtually completely set up in my new apartment. It’s a new adventure – the very first time I’ve ever lived in a placed solely my own – and I didn’t have to leave Mount Pleasant.

I love my neighbourhood. It’s far enough from the hubbub of Main Street to be peaceful, but still only a stumble away from favorites like Rhizome, The Whip and Narrow. When I first moved to Vancouver from Toronto, I started off in Kits, which by all accounts is a lovely neighbourhood, but better suited to UBC students and affluent families. I recently responded to a criticism that I don’t leave Mount Pleasant often enough with “What for?” It’s got everything I could possibly want — food and drink, arts and culture, friends, community, music — within walking or biking distance. It’s not as if I don’t explore other areas of Van, but I know that the area I’m already in is wealthy in diversity and entertainment.

That’s probably why I am so excited now that Canadian Art has published the gallery tour schedule associated with the 2010 Vancouver Gallery Hop! There’s a full day of events including a book launch and panel, and a movie screening and reception, which are ticketed events. But throughout the afternoon there are talks and tours happening all over the city, and they’re free!

I’ll be attending two that day — the first at 1:30 leaves from Western Front at 8th & Scotia. Instant Coffee‘s Jinhan Ko (who I met at the Instant Coffee talk in November) will lead our group around to a selection of galleries, ending the tour at Grace Gallery with a talk by curator Paul Wong about Angela Fama‘s current exhibition “Mirror Face”. I pass Grace Gallery every day on my walk home from work and love the recent renos — they’ve added a display wall in front of the window which not only delivers a bit of a teaser of each exhibition, it also keeps the remainder of the show shrouded in mystery until a passerby enters the gallery.

The second starts at 3:15 at the Catriona Jeffries Gallery just east of Main on 1st where the group can hear a conversation between Liz Magor and Damian Moppett about his exhibition at CJG. Artist Marianne Bos will take the group to a few more Main Street galleries.

Just like public transit, these tours run whether you’re on them or not. So you can do your own thing between the booklaunch and movie screening, or you can ‘hop on’ and get a great look inside these Main Street galleries.

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