Published Jan 17, 2017While it's become strange times for DIY venues recently, Vancouver underground music venue/art space Red Gate is moving onward and upward. This year, the Red Gate Arts Society has announced that it will be opening a second location on the city's Granville Island, where it will launch the Red Gate Revue Stage.
The Red Gate Arts Society recently announced the move, explaining that its current space on East Hastings (a.k.a. Red Gate Classic) will remain open while the organization expands to Granville Island's Revue Stage at 1601 Johnston St.
Speaking about the new Granville Island endeavour (knicknamed the Granville Island International Airport), Red Gate's Jim Carrico told Vandocument, "Last fall they [Canadian Mortgage and Housing Corporation] offered us the lease on the Revue Stage, quite unexpectedly. It doesn't satisfy our mandate as an organization, which is to provide affordable studio/rehearsal space, but it's certainly an opportunity to showcase our favourite artists and bring some of the East Van scene to the rest of the city. As part of our agreement with CMCH we will also manage existing bookings for 2017 so things like the Fringe Festival etc. will still be happening there as well. And we'll continue to operate our main space on East Hastings as usual."
Already, the Red Gate Arts Society, which was founded in 2012, has had a soft launch at the new space, with other shows already booked for January. The Revue Stage is not licensed, but future events will be on a case-by-case basis. There are plans to organize all-ages events as well.
Besides being as a seated music venue, the Granville Island location will serve as a rehearsal space for an alternative-school theatre program, as well as be open for daytime or evening workshops, panel discussions, film screening and more.
However, at this point, the plan is for the theatre to be torn out in 2018 to expand the public market on Granville Island. So at this point, Red Gate only has only a one-year lease on the space, with two six-month renewal terms.
"We're pretty much bursting at the seams in our current location [on East Hastings], unable to meet the demand for rehearsal or performance space," Carrico said. "We're also month-to-month since our lease expired last year. We were unable to renew unless we agreed to pay more than twice our current rent, so we've been on the hunt for another space since then. Despite an abundance of empty buildings in the industrial lands in the immediate area, Vancouver's over-heated real estate market has put them all beyond the reach of us non-billionaires."
Currently, Red Gate's East Hastings space has no plans on shutting down, despite on rumours occasionally popping up stating the contrary.
Carrico explained, "There are no plans to tear the building down, that we're aware of, and no immediate threat of displacement so far. We're on a month-to-month agreement, with a minimum of three months notice of termination, but we've had no hints of what the owner's plans are. Once the condos that are rising just to the east of us are completed, things may change rapidly. We think it's very important to maintain a space in East Vancouver, which is where most of us live."
As for the upcoming shows at the Red Gate Revue Stage, Quiet City #31 will take place on Friday (January 20), when Brandon Nickell, Cameron Shafii, Christian Carrière, Rusalka and Chicago avant-garde hero Kevin Drumm will perform. You can learn more about the event here.
On January 28, another event is scheduled and will feature noise guru the Rita, Night Tide, Fracture and Molena.
You can learn more about the Red Gate Arts Society and how to book a show at either space over here, where you can also become a member for a mere $20.