City Centre Motel being transformed into Vancouver Mural Fest's largest mural yet

May 28 2022, 3:36 am

Inside the old City Centre Motel building in Vancouver’s Mount Pleasant district, 75 former guest rooms have now been transformed into low-cost artist studios.

And on the outside of the building, now a giant canvas for artists, work is progressing on what will be the largest mural yet by the Vancouver Mural Festival (VMF), with 30,000 sq ft of surfaces receiving a new layer of colourful paint.

But these post-motel uses of the building are only temporary, until the property’s new owner, Nicola Wealth Real Estate, establishes its redevelopment plans. The new ownership group first announced these temporary uses in December 2021.

Earlier this year, the former motel rooms were converted into artist studios by The Narrow Group, which also operates artist studios at other locations. The artist studio component of the property is now named “City Centre Artist Lodge.”

VMF commissioned local artists Fiona Ackerman, KC Hall, and Joon Lee to provide the building with a full-wrap mural. The design is said to be “a mirror of what the City Centre Artist Lodge aspires to be: artists discovering each others’ working processes, being pushed in unexpected directions, and working alongside each other to shape this city.”

city centre artist studios vancouver mural festival

Artistic rendering of the new 2022 mural design at City Centre Motel in Vancouver. (Vancouver Mural Festival)

city centre artist studios vancouver mural festival

Mural installation progress at City Centre Motel in Vancouver, as of late May 2022. (Sabrina Miso Creative)

city centre artist studios vancouver mural festival

Mural installation progress at City Centre Motel in Vancouver, as of late May 2022. (Sabrina Miso Creative)

city centre artist studios vancouver mural festival

Mural installation progress at City Centre Motel in Vancouver, as of late May 2022. (Sabrina Miso Creative)

The organization states it has come full circle with its return to this property, as the motel was home to several of VMF’s very first murals during its inaugural year in 2016.

In Summer 2022, VMF will use the former motel as the hub for its events and festivities. The interior surface parking lot will be transformed into an event space with a public stage for emerging artists, curators, and community partners.

This will begin with the City Centre Block Party over the last weekend of June (June 25 and 26), which will mark the building’s opening celebrations with an official unveiling of the mural, free entertainment for all ages, DJs, dance performances, a licensed bar, food trucks, and kid activities.

VMF’s annual festival will return in 2022 from August 4 to 14, creating 30 new murals in nine neighbourhoods, and with the former motel hosting 10 days of free, live entertainment. More details on the festival’s programming will be announced at a later date.

city centre artist studios vancouver mural festival

Mural installation progress at City Centre Motel in Vancouver, as of late May 2022. (Sabrina Miso Creative)

city centre artist studios vancouver mural festival

Mural installation progress at City Centre Motel in Vancouver, as of late May 2022. (Sabrina Miso Creative)

city centre artist studios vancouver mural festival

Mural installation progress at City Centre Motel in Vancouver, as of late May 2022. (Sabrina Miso Creative)

city centre artist studios vancouver mural festival

Mural installation progress at City Centre Motel in Vancouver, as of late May 2022. (Sabrina Miso Creative)

Retrieved records by Daily Hive Urbanized show Nicola Wealth Real Estate acquired the property at 2111 Main Street in May 2021 for $60 million.

The Narrow Group and VMF will be able to use the motel site for their arts and cultural purposes for the next two to three years, until the property can be redeveloped under the City of Vancouver’s future policies under the Broadway Plan. The location is only about a five-minute walk to SkyTrain’s future Mount Pleasant Station.

At this early stage of planning, Nicola Wealth Real Estate has not indicated the potential uses the future permanent redevelopment could see.

city centre artist studios vancouver mural festival

Mural installation progress at City Centre Motel in Vancouver, as of late May 2022. (Sabrina Miso Creative)

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