The Vancouver International Film Festival has managed to skirt disaster. This morning, an email from the VIFF’s media director Ellie O’Day warned that noise generated by B.C. Hydro construction crews on Granville Street was threatening to disrupt up to 200 screenings at the Empire Granville 7 Cinemas.
In a phone call with the Straight, festival director Alan Franey said that if a solution was not found, the financial repercussions of cancelling that many screenings “will kill us.”
Minutes later, Franey called back to say that following a flurry of calls from media and concerned individuals, B.C. Hydro had agreed to stop all construction work in the vicinity of the theatre.
“I got a call from a really nice gentleman at B.C. Hydro who said, 'We want to make absolutely sure that’s a Hydro crew. Why don’t you walk up there and try yourself to find the project manager or civil contractor?' which I did," said Franey. "They verified it was Hydro”¦.so there was a call between the senior field manager at B.C. Hydro and the construction crew themselves. Problem solved: they will not be doing any work there during the film festival”¦.I heard it with my own ears. I think we’re safe.”
B.C. Hydro spokesperson Dag Sharman confirmed in a call with the Straight that the crews had been pulled away from the area surrounding the Granville 7 theatre.
“What we’ve done is we’ve basically shut down work on that location until the end of the film festival,” he said. “We’ve just moved the crews to another location, so it may have a slight delay to the project but we’re happy to work well with everybody.”