Emily Carr University of Art and Design plans move to Great Northern Way Campus

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      Vancouver's Emily Carr University of Art and Design is moving forward with plans to relocate to the Great Northern Way Campus in False Creek Flats.

      The university, currently based on Granville Island, is set to develop a "comprehensive business case" for the project, which envisions a facility with capacity for 1,800 visual, media, and design art students.

      According to a Ministry of Advanced Education news release issued today (March 20), ECUAD's business case will include cost estimates, an indicative design, and information on funding sources.

      "Our students and alumni are bringing creativity into the workplace, starting companies and generating new opportunities for prosperity," Ron Burnett, ECUAD president and vice chancellor, said in the government release. "A new campus will provide future jobs for British Columbia while defining our province as an international centre of excellence for the creative industries."

      A new campus for ECUAD was promised in the Gordon Campbell government's 2010 throne speech.

      "It will be a showcase for B.C. wood, natural building materials and the best in environmental design," the speech said.

      ECUAD was founded in 1925 as the Vancouver School of Decorative and Applied Arts. It became the Emily Carr Institute of Art and Design in 1995, and received university status in 2008.

      In 2001, the land for the Great Northern Way Campus was donated by Finning International to ECUAD, Simon Fraser University, University of British Columbia, and the British Columbia Institute of Technology.

      The campus houses the masters of digital media program, a joint offering of the four postsecondary schools.

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      Gentleman Jack

      Mar 20, 2012 at 2:44pm

      Do they teach philosophy at that place?
      I think the culture might, upon closer inspection, be shared bacterial infection due to all of that anti-philosophical cigarette smoking.

      Tough Love

      Mar 20, 2012 at 5:17pm

      The best environmental design is not dropping a large campus on what used to be nature. Bring back the False Creek tidal flats!


      Mar 20, 2012 at 6:37pm

      the sign in the picture is a bit much...it's hardly a boho jungle down on upscale Granville Island! Maybe once the school is moved to somewhere less photogenic in East Van (shriek!), students will have more time to address the real work of art and design (which IS real work if you actually do it!) and less time assuming the pose of cigarette-smoking culture-creating philosophers for the tourists.

      In urban design terms...

      Mar 20, 2012 at 7:01pm

      I'm betting the creative, young EC design students are not too thrilled about the prospects of heading out to an ugly, out of the way, light industrial park surrounded by nothing... compared to the wonderful surroundings they are in now - the dense cluster of markets and professional artist studios that is Granville Island, arguably one of the city's finest urban neighbourhoods.
      It will take 20 years for the flats to become anything interesting, and if the COV doesn't take on a great urban design masterplanning team to lead that effort, that will never happen. This is shit news for the EC students, and is purely an economic decision.

      Sarah M

      Mar 21, 2012 at 9:27am

      This move makes me sad, I've attended Langara, SFU and Emily Carr and by far my favorite place to take classes was at ECU and the reason was the openness of the campus and having such a great place to walk around and be inspired by. I heard about this a while ago and thought this would just be the digital/movie classes that would be moving, not the entire school. It's such a fixture on Granville Island I can't even begin to imagine the Gr. Is. without ECU- It's a shame.

      Two Sides

      Mar 21, 2012 at 4:03pm

      The Great Northern Way location isn't the prettiest, but as far as benefits to students go, it's not a total write-off. It's closer to a Skytrain station, at least, and the potential for social and inspirational cross-pollination with other campuses is probably better than perpetually playing dodge-the-tourists-and-cement-trucks on the island.

      Tim B

      Mar 29, 2012 at 1:00pm

      Somewhere downtown would be my preference to improve the cultural vibe. Real estate is expensive but maybe a tradeoff bonus for a developer. How about the post office site?