Media release: 6 pm today, neighbours to view church demolition, Tiko Kerr art performance

Neighbours gather 6 pm at St. John’s Church demolition

MEDIA RELEASE. http://www.westendneighbours.ca

Neighbours gather 6 pm at St. John’s Church demolition to view site, observe Tiko Kerr visual art performance, and talk about the future of community.

(Vancouver, May 19, 2011) Ground tremors from the demolition of cherished St. John’s Church (1401 Comox Vancouver) are literally shaking the West End today. Tonight at 6 pm West End Neighbours will gather the community together to view the demolished church, observe a visual art performance piece by Vancouver’s well known artist Tiko Kerr, and talk about the future of our community in the face of rezoning and development pressures. We will also present the “No rezoning without a comprehensive plan” petition now with over 11,500 signatures in a community of just over 45,000.

What:          Neighbourhood gathering on church demolition and rezoning issues in West End
When:          6:00 pm, Thursday, May 19, 2011 (about 30 minutes)
Where
:        1401 Comox Street (corner of Comox and Broughton, West End)
Details
:       Overview, visual art performance, presentation of the petition. Other visuals.

WEN has posted online (www.WestEndNeighbours.ca) graphic video and images of the demolition of the steeple and parts of the church on the first day of demolition of St. John’s Church, a cherished building in Vancouver’s West End. Our May 18 media statement is also now online with text and video.

FAST FACTS:

  • A church has been on this site for over 100 years, and while the current building is only thirty years old, this place has been a cherished community and religious site in the heart of the West End for generations.
  • Despite efforts to save the church since even before it was purchased by Westbank Projects Corp and Peterson Investment Group in 2009, the City failed to listen to community requests to obtain the property for the community. On behalf of the owners, Henriquez Partners Architects has applied to build a 22-storey tower under the controversial Short Term Incentives for Rental Housing (STIR) program, which gives developers large incentives to build market-priced rental units. The application is for five times the currently permitted density (floor space) on the site.
  •  WEN continues to challenge the very basis of the STIR program, which was approved in 2009 without public consultation.

Visual artist Tiko Kerr has devoted his life and energies to painting and to his community for the past 30 years. He settled in Vancouver’s West End in the late 1970s and began a three decade series of paintings, vibrant wavering visions of urban landscape in Vancouver, a city that has never ceased to captivate him. Winning a struggle with HIV and the public health system inspired him to use his artistic talent to facilitate social change and serve the community of Vancouver, which had supported him when he needed it the most. Tiko Kerr hopes that his art will help to promote constructive dialogue among all the stakeholders who will determine the future of a neighbourhood he lives in and loves. He has created a series of 12 paintings of cherished and endangered heritage sites in the West End.  

West End Neighbours (WEN) is a network of thousands of residents calling for a new comprehensive plan to ensure the future livability of the West End and a halt to spot rezonings.

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