The Waldorf Hotel’s closure under its current guise has been big news in Vancouver for the past 24 hours, with a good chunk of the city’s creative community in a full-on uproar.
The news that the hotel’s creative team is leaving the East Van spot over a lease dispute, and that the building has reportedly been bought by a condo developer, is now making international waves.
Hotshot electronica artist Grimes has been less than reserved about her feelings. The U.K.’s NME.com picked up on a Twitter post by the 24-year-old Vancouverite, who was born Claire Boucher.
Grimes, whose 2011 record Darkbloom turned her into a critical darling, Tweeted: “Wow Vancouver is so fucked if they shut down the Waldorf. Fuck this city. You’ve destroyed nearly every piece of culture that you had.”
NME ran it under the headline: “Grimes criticises hometown over plans to close local recording studio”. That headline is, of course, not entirely accurate; the Waldorf has a recording studio in the basement, but it’s known more for its vintage tiki bar, restaurant, art gallery, hair salon, and live- and DJ-friendly music rooms. Since the Waldorf current creative team took over the hotel in October of 2010, it’s offered some of the most consistently adventurous and groundbreaking arts programming this city has ever seen.
Still, you get the idea.
Grimes also, as reported by NME, posted a link to one of the numerous petitions that have sprung up locally since news of the Waldorf’s sale. The 63-year-old Vancouver institution sits on land that is currently zoned for mixed-use commercial use. It would need to be rezoned for residential use, something that the city’s creative community is vowing to fight. The petition Grimes linked to has garnered over 4,000 signatures since yesterday.
Rolling Stone.com has also reported the Waldorf news, touching on it in a story examining Vancouver, its bands, and its reputation as No Fun City. The article includes the following passage: “Blame the bad rep on Vancouver’s sky-high rent prices, consistently rainy climate, frustrating lack of public transit options and the province of British Columbia’s outdated liquor laws. Just this month, it was announced that the Waldorf Hotel, a beloved local venue, will be closing its doors after being sold to developers to make way for new condominiums.”
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