Week 2 Update

We're two weeks into our fundraiser and political action campaign and we're pretty floored with the response so far, thanks everyone! We've received almost $5000 in donations, and over 1800 signatures on our open letter to the City and Province. We met with some City staff last week and had a a very positive conversation around how to deal with our tax bill, both in the short term (an emergency grant to cover it) and long term, which involves changes to geological layers of regulations that are still months or perhaps years away.

Crucially for the short term, we made an agreement with our landlord to continue to pay the old monthly tax rate and continue to accumulate the difference for one more month.  Which is a good thing, since the soonest that city staff could get an emergency grant request in front of Council is the middle of next month! So instead of owing 9 thousand by the end of this month we  will owe 10 and a half thousand by the end of next month.

We're still thousands of dollars short of what we will need to give the landlord (to give to the city) on March 1st. We're doing our best to get the various decision makers to understand that we would be much better off, and the city would be much better off, if we were able to put that money into programming, paying artists, paying staff, and generally improving the range and quality of services we're able to offer our community. And the progress that we've made so far has been due to the efforts of this same community, so thanks again to everyone who's donated and/or helped us send a message to the people who are in a position to do something about this insane and unsustainable situation.

So we need to keep the pressure on, they wouldn't be paying attention if there weren't so many people taking them to task, and they're likely to become distracted by other priorities if we don't continue to hold them accountable. This is just the first phase of what may be a lengthy campaign to reverse years of developer-friendly policies that have come at the expense of our fragile cultural ecosystems.

We wouldn't be doing this if we didn't think that Vancouver's "home grown" art and music scene, despite recent setbacks, still keeps getting better, and has the potential to make a global impact if not for the lack of actually affordable space for it to create itself. The Red Gate has always been nothing more or less than the physical manifestation of a collective desire for it to exist.