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‘Displacement is not beautiful’: Critics slam Westbank’s Fight for Beauty exhibition, October 22, 2017

Fight For Beauty Exhibition Tent

This article for CBC News was one of the first to openly criticize Westbank’s Fight for Beauty exhibition for being ignorant of the neighbourhood and cultural impacts of large scale luxury developments. With regards to Fight For Beauty, Michael Braun, Westbank’s marketing and sales director, is quoted saying, “It’s philanthropy, in a way.”

How Vancouver’s Woodward’s could pave the future of dying department stores, October 28, 2017

Woodward's

This article, posted to CBC News, was an oddly timed fluff piece praising the redevelopment of Woodward’s — oddly timed, because it coincided with Westbank’s Fight For Beauty exhibition, which also argued that the Woodward’s redevelopment had a positive revitalizing effect on the neighbourhood, which W.W.A.S. research demonstrates is not true.

Woodward’s Designer Reveals Secrets, February 25, 2010

Woodward's

Christine McLaren interviews architect Gregory Henriquez for The Tyee. Some of his statements, such as “We displaced nobody,” demonstrate a certain saviour complex and ignorance with regards to the Woodward’s redevelopment and its lasting impact. Though it is not mentioned in this article, Henriquez’ ego appears to rival the height of the Woodward’s condo. 

The Fight for Ugly, Or Why Art Can’t Sell Condos, November 14, 2017

Fight For Beauty Exhibition Tent

Dorothy Woodend’s article for The Tyee compares Westbank’s Fight for Beauty to the Vancouver Art Gallery’s offsite installation, Salvage. Great line: “I would hesitate to call Fight for Beauty an art exhibit. Other words come much more easily to mind — PR campaign, propaganda, marketing bonanza — all combined with plain old garden-variety ego and hubris.”

Unaffordable residential, commercial realities rankle local market, October 31, 2017

Vancouver

Peter Mitham wrote this article for the Real Estate section of Business In Vancouver, in which he mentions Westbank’s Joyce-Collingwood development that had recently been a point of controversy. There was community pushback to the Joyce-Collingwood development because it was so unaffordable in a neighbourhood that is home to many low-income families and marginalized communities.

“Woodward’s Co-op pitched as Gastown bright light” by Ian Mulgrew, Vancouver Sun, August 24, 1999

Woodward's

This article, written in the late ‘90s, has a strong grasp of the history of the site. It is based around quotes from Jim Green, who is introduced as “chief troubleshooter in the Downtown Eastside.”

“Mayor offers help to Woodwood’s [sic] project” Vancouver Sun, April 9, 1997

Woodward's

Vancouver Mayor Philip Owen is quoted offering his support for a redevelopment plan of Woodward’s that includes social housing, and committing City staff to repairing the relationship between Fama Holdings and the provincial government.

“Premier urges housing mix as priority at Woodward’s,” Vancouver Sun, November 28, 1995 / “Condos and co-ops,” Vancouver Sun, November 30, 1995

Woodward's

Jim Green, who is arguably the person now most credited with orchestrating the City/Province/Developer collaboration at Woodward’s, is photographed with his thumbs up in front of a sign that says, “Affordable Housing Here! No Condos.”

Akimbo: Fight for Beauty at the Fairmont Pacific Rim

Fight For Beauty Exhibition Tent

This listing, written by Vancouver curator and writer Steffanie Ling, was published to Akimbo on November 8, 2017. It gives a brief review of the Fight for Beauty exhibition, including the apt line: “The broad consensus in the art community is that this is a nighmarish marketing scheme and public sympathy generator masquerading as a philanthropic project.” True. 

Notes On Van Housing

Carnegie Community Centre

This research summarizes the fight for social housing in the 1990s, the promises that were made and broken, and the overall tension between the Downtown Eastside and low-income residents, Gastown residents, developers and the City.

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