Just start walking: the Eastside Culture Crawl celebrates 14 years

Now in its 14th year, the Eastside Culture Crawl has become a local tradition of celebrating the artists on the east side of Vancouver.  For the newly installed Crawl’s Executive Director Jeffrey Boone, the longevity can be attributed to community.

Jeffery Boone“The Crawl was a grassroots event that has developed into a community driven organization,” said Boone (pictured right) who has only been on the job for just over six months.  Primarily responsible for ensuring the long term planning for financial health and growth of the organization, as the annual Crawl draws near (this year it runs November 26, 27 and 28), Boone is also heavily involved in its day-to-day operations.

Well defined in its 14 by 16 block radius from Terminal Avenue to Burrard Inlet between Main Street and Victoria Drive, to participate, artists, craftspeople and designers must have studio space in that area.  With 369 artists set for this year’s festival it proves, according to Boone, that there is an extraordinarily high concentration of artists in the area.

With no funding from the Province of British Columbia, Boone says the Eastside Culture Crawl Society, which runs the Crawl has not been affected by recent funding cuts.  “Cuts to funding artists directly, however, are a big concern for those artists who may otherwise be eligible for funding from the Arts Council,” said Boone. “I think BC has the lowest per capita support for artists in the country. It’s pretty bad really; there is an exodus of artists to Toronto.”

Despite potential hardships to individual artists, the Crawl continues to grow each year, an opportunity for artist and art lover to interact.  But with almost 370 artists over only three days it can be a pretty daunting task.  Boone’s advice?  Pick up a program guide, complete with map, or go online and decide if you want to focus on an area or on a medium like painting, sculpture, furniture, or design and just start walking.

For those that might be undertaking the Crawl for the first time, Boone has these additional pieces of advice: “wear comfortable shoes, bring cash and cheques – you will find something you love – talk to the artists.  But please ask before taking photos.  And remember, bring an umbrella.  After all, it is Vancouver in November.”

Eastside Culture Crawl 2010
26, 27 & 28 November 2010

In its 14th year, the Eastside Culture Crawl is an annual FREE 3-day visual arts phenomenon. The event involves more than 10,000 people visiting artists in their studios in the area bounded by Main Street to Victoria Drive and from First Avenue north to the waterfront.  Visit http://www.eastsideculturecrawl.com for more information.

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