Defenders of the W2 Media Café have created a six-minute video calling on Vancouverites to get behind the artist-run media-arts lab.
Sixteen speakers appear, including W2 Community Media Arts Society cofounder Irwin Oostindie, former board member Sid Chow Tan, and urban aboriginal community leaders Penny Irons, Grace Tait, and Scott Clark.
The city and the society changed the locks on the 10,000-square-foot facility, which includes radio and TV broadcasting capability, in the Woodward's Atrium.
At the end of the last fiscal year, the W2 Community Media Arts Society had a deficit of $80,000. The city has required an $85,000 annual amenity fee, and at the end of November, the society laid off Oostindie as executive director.
Tan says in the video that the City of Vancouver never gave W2 a chance to prove itself over the length of its three-year plan. He characterized W2 as a "success".
"If they want a fight, we're ready for one, we are really ready for one," Tan warns.
W2 TV producer Deborah Angrave describes the facility as a "skills exchange".
"One of the things that's really important to me about working here is the number of youth that we've worked with through Bladerunners, through internship programs, through our employment, through the café," Angrave says in the video.
Aspiring artist Alvin William Johnathan Steven says W2 gives him strength and makes him feel validated.
"W2 is a great support system because I can come here and I can feel comfortable that I can speak my mind, especially with other people, never mind in the media or on YouTube or on Facebook," Steven states in the video.
Oostindie points out that people involved in W2 worked for many years to make the Woodward's redevelopment "truly inclusive", and he acknowledged the existence of social housing on the site.
"But beautiful humanist architecture doesn't actually build community," he adds in the video. "Building community actually happens in human relationships."
The W2 Community Media Arts Society board says it plans to resume programming after completing a "recovery strategy".