Granville Island seeks input for redevelopment of former Emily Carr campus into "arts and innovation hub"

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      Following the relocation of B.C.’s only specialized postsecondary art school from Granville Island to False Creek Flats, operators of the Emily Carr University of Art + Design’s former campus is asking the public for input regarding what to do with the now vacant space.

      Situated at 1399 Johnston Street, the site’s North building will become what the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation—the organization that manages Granville Island on behalf of the federal government—is calling an “Arts & Innovation Hub”. What exactly that 120,000-square-foot hub will encompass, and how it will be used, will be determined by feedback from Vancouverites—specifically, specialists in the region’s arts, cultural, creative, and business sectors.

      “This is the most significant redevelopment project on Granville Island in decades and an extraordinary opportunity for new organizations to establish a presence on the island,” Lisa Ono, manager of public affairs and programming for CMHC–Granville Island, said in a press statement. “By participating in the call for ideas, individuals and organizations will be able to help shape this new space on Granville Island.”

      According to CMHC–Granville Island, the facility will house “a mix of arts-focused and innovative organizations”, plus a number of restaurants and services.

      Those interested in presenting ideas and feedback should register at artsandinnovation.com. The formal submission process will be open from September 1 to 30. Prior to that, CMHC–Granville Island will host a series of building tours and information sessions so that the community is equipped with the materials needed to make knowledgeable suggestions.

      By initiating a call for ideas, CMHC–Granville Island hopes to identify the kinds of organizations, businesses, and activities that the public—and prospective tenants—would like to see at the new facility. The project is part of Granville Island 2040, a report that outlines development at the attraction over the next two decades.

      The Arts & Innovation Hub is slated to open in 2021. The former ECUAD campus’s South building, meanwhile, will become the new headquarters for local arts-education nonprofit Arts Umbrella following a $7-million renovation that is expected to be complete by fall 2019.

      The buildings were previously operated by the B.C. Ministry of Advanced Education, and were home to ECUAD for almost 40 years.

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