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ART SMASH on Granville Island
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A celebration of art in public spaces

Over the past two weeks, a group of local and international artists have been creating new murals in Granville Island's Chain & Forge – a new public space located underneath the Granville Street Bridge.

The creation of the murals is part of Art Smash, a new annual event on Granville Island that celebrates visual art in public spaces. The completed murals will be officially unveiled on May 12th during the Art Smash Street Party Celebration that will be held from 1 pm to 9 pm and will feature live mural creation, non-stop music from local DJs, food trucks, BC craft breweries and live dance performances. Hope you can join us!

Want to know more about the artists? Read the Vancouver Sun's story here.

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Vancouver Philanthropists Donate E.J. Hughes Masterpiece to Emily Carr University
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Peter and Joanne Brown gift painting by acclaimed B.C. artist

Emily Carr University of Art + Design (ECU) celebrated today the donation of E.J. Hughes’ iconic painting Coastal Boats Near Sidney, BC at an event attended by various members of university community – including donor Peter Brown and his family.

“The donation of this painting is further evidence of Peter and Joanne Brown’s commitment to the arts in general and to Emily Carr University in particular,” says Dr. Ron Burnett, President and Vice-Chancellor of ECU. “E.J. Hughes was one of the greatest painters this province has ever produced, and we hope that the presence of this painting on campus will inspire future generations of artists.”

This is the Browns’ second major donation to the University. The Peter and Joanne Brown Foundation were significant contributors to ECU’s THE BIG IDEA capital campaign, which helped fund the University’s new Great Northern Way campus. They also generously gave ECU a sculpture by Canadian artist Joe Fafard titled Emily Carr and Friends.

Completed in 1948, the oil-on-canvas painting depicts two steamships that used to ply the coastal waters between Vancouver Island and the mainland. It was originally purchased by the College of Physicians and Surgeons of British Columbia in 1952. 


Vancouver Centre II Breaks Ground in the New Centre of the City
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GWL Realty Advisors’ 33-storey office tower signals eastward shift of Vancouver’s core business district; Launches amid heightened demand for downtown office space

GWL Realty Advisors officially broke ground today on Vancouver Centre II, a 33-storey AAA office tower in downtown Vancouver. The 371,000 square foot building will be constructed at 753 Seymour Street in the heart of downtown Vancouver’s burgeoning tech hub. GWL Realty Advisors is developing the project on behalf of the project owners: The Healthcare of Ontario Pension Plan, the Great-West Life Real Estate Fund, and London Life Real Estate Fund.


Vancouver Centre II is the first major project to commence construction in downtown Vancouver’s next cycle of commercial office development and is launching amid heightened demand for office space in the downtown core. With these compelling conditions at play, GWL Realty Advisors is proceeding with construction on a speculative basis. The building is slated to open in summer 2021.

“With its premier location and exceptional design, we expect that Vancouver Centre II will attract considerable market interest,” says Paul Finkbeiner, President, GWL Realty Advisors. “The building has been designed for forward-thinking, industry-leading firms that want to attract top talent, nurture innovation, and deliver results. We’re targeting WELL Certification and LEED Platinum standard, which will make VCII one of the healthiest and most sustainable buildings in the city.”

Vancouver Centre II is the next phase of the Vancouver Centre complex, which includes Scotia Tower (650 West Georgia) and Vancouver Centre Mall.  Together, the two Vancouver Centre towers will form one of the city’s most amenity-rich, spacious, and sustainable office developments. With its central downtown location and its direct, underground connection to two SkyTrain lines, Vancouver Centre II will be the most transit-accessible new-build office tower in the city.

“Vancouver Centre II will play a major role in facilitating our city’s green economic growth by providing much needed office space as companies of all sizes and industries from all over the world look to set up shop in downtown Vancouver,” says Mayor Gregor Robertson. “As Vancouver’s innovation economy booms, Vancouver Centre II is sure to be a new hub for our booming local tech sector and a great addition to the downtown core, close to the city’s best amenities and transit.”

The launch of Vancouver Centre II represents the eastward shift of the city’s core business district. The area is quickly becoming the epicentre of Vancouver’s tech community and is already home to several global tech giants. Growing interest in Vancouver as a tech hub is increasing the demand for office space. In its most recent market report (September 2017), Colliers International notes that downtown Vancouver vacancy rates are currently at 5.1 per cent compared with 6.9 per cent at the same point in 2016. Colliers also notes that technology, advertising, media, and information firms now account for 47.8 per cent of all current office space demand in the downtown core.

Designed by Musson Cattell Mackey Partnership, Vancouver Centre II’s contemporary architecture is defined by sculptural form and clear glazing. An expansive, light-filled lobby atrium will connect Vancouver Centre II and Scotia Tower. Employees will have access to first-class amenities, including the 29th Floor Skyline Rooftop Deck and a private, state-of-the-art fitness facility and yoga studio with changerooms, showers, and end-of-trip cycling facilities. The building offers open and flexible floor plans that foster creativity and collaboration, and interiors can be tailored to meet each tenant’s specific needs. 

Vancouver Centre II has been designed for businesses that understand the connection between the workspace environment and the ability to attract top talent. Health and wellness principles that aid in improving the fitness, mood, comfort, and performance of building occupants have been incorporated into the building design and long-term operations of Vancouver Centre II. The project is registered with the International WELL Building Institute in its WELL v1 for Core and Shell building rating system and is being designed in accordance with WELL requirements. Building structure, window locations, glazing selection, building proportions, interior finishes, ventilation, and lighting systems will all be considered for their impact on human health and wellness.