Arts Umbrella to move into Emily Carr University's former Granville Island building

Nov 19 2017, 3:28 am

One of the two buildings formerly occupied by Emily Carr University of Art + Design (ECUAD) will be repurposed for Arts Umbrella.

Yesterday, the provincial government announced Arts Umbrella will be relocating to ECUAD’s old South Building on Granville Island, taking up 50,000 sq. ft. of space.

This will grow the non-profit arts education centre’s Granville Island space by over three and a half times, as the organization is currently located in a nearby 14,000 sq. ft. space.

A commitment on the building was originally made to the Arts Umbrella in March 2017, but the process was later delayed.

“An October 2017 review by government found the original decision-making process was rushed and did not offer opportunities to other organizations to express interest,” reads a release from the provincial government.

“However, because the review also determined Arts Umbrella has moved forward in good faith with its fundraising and planning, the B.C. government decided to support the transfer.”

Langara College was also interested with using the building as a new satellite campus.

In September, ECUAD left Granville Island and began the new school year at a new purpose-built $123-million, 290,000-sq-ft campus at the False Creek Flats, leaving the space vacant and available for other tenants and uses.

A long-term master plan for Granville Island recently created by Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation, the federal crown corporation that oversees the island, states ECUAD’s South Building will be reserved for institutional uses. The North Building will have a separate purpose as an arts and innovation hub with spaces for artists, makers, and inventors, as well as amenity spaces such as an auditorium gallery, cafe, and restaurants.

Both former ECUAD buildings combined account for approximately 200,000 sq. ft. of floor area.

Arts Umbrella will take over the South Building in 2018 and move into the facility in 2019. It provides arts education for children and youth aged two to 22 years in visual arts, theatre, applied arts, media arts and dance.

New arts and innovation hub uses for ECUAD’s North Building. (Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation)

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