Mayor Sam Sullivan and Members of Council
Vancouver City Hall
453 West 12th Avenue
Vancouver, BC V5Y 1V4
Dear Mayor Sullivan and City Councillors:
I am writing with deep concern about the future of the Pantages Theatre. The Pantages is the last remaining theatre in what was the hub of a vibrant theatre district in the early decades of the twentieth century. Not only is the Pantages an important cultural heritage treasure, the Pantages Project is an essential part of the future of a revitalized Hastings Street. Indeed, the proposed Pantages Project, consisting of the restored theatre and affordable housing, exemplifies the type of development appropriate for Hastings Street and for other parts of the Downtown Eastside.
The Pantages Project offers a needed cultural amenity in the Downtown Eastside, a community with one of the highest percentages of artists in the country and few amenities for local artists. Its planned operation by the Pantages Theatre Arts Society places an emphasis on providing a home for key resident companies, local arts groups that offer outstanding artistic expression and are dedicated to the cultural and artistic development of the Downtown Eastside community. One of the proposed resident companies, Vancouver Moving Theatre, will be the recipient next week of the City of Vancouver’s 2008 Cultural Harmony Award.
Throughout our 63-year history, the Community Arts Council of Vancouver has been a strong advocate for the development of cultural infrastructure in this city. Our current priority is the Downtown Eastside. We are excited about the opportunity in the Downtown Eastside to demonstrate the power of the arts for locally-led revitalization for the benefit of the city as a whole.
In conclusion, we urge you to give this project your full support, for the benefit of the Downtown Eastside and indeed the City as a whole.
Leslie Kemp, President
Community Arts Council of Vancouver