Tents – Setting Up A Future

Through micro-enterprise, the Vancouver Downtown Eastside Street Market is creating opportunities for individuals to live with purpose, participate in their communities, and earn income in a meaningful way to combat the cycle of poverty.

This micro-documentary hopes to shed light and awareness into an area the National Post calls “Vancouver’s ‘gulag’. Headlines like “Canada’s poorest neighbourhood refuses to get better despite $1M a day in social spending” continue to dominate the narrative and further isolate, perpetuating the stimga of the Downtown Eastside.

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New social-housing project opens in Vancouver

Rich Coleman, minister of natural gas development and housing, tours the Budzey Building, a newly completed structure providing 147 apartments for women or women with kids who are homeless or at risk of homelessness, in Vancouver on Thursday. Photograph by: NICK PROCAYLO , PNG

Rich Coleman, minister of natural gas development and housing, tours the Budzey Building, a newly completed structure providing 147 apartments for women or women with kids who are homeless or at risk of homelessness, in Vancouver on Thursday.
Photograph by: NICK PROCAYLO , PNG

Minister Rich Coleman tours the Budzey Building, near Oppenheimer Park

Reblogged from STEPHANIE IP | POSTMEDIA NEWS

VANCOUVER — Women and children first is the key to the province’s latest social-housing project, the success of which will hopefully draw more federal support for other projects in B.C.

On Thursday, minister Rich Coleman toured the Budzey Building, near Oppenheimer Park in Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside. The building provides long-term permanent housing for women (including transgender and cisgender) and women-led families.

The Budzey was opened in July 2015 and was gradually tenanted throughout the fall. Only just recently did the building finally reach capacity.

According to Amelia Ridgeway, an associate director at RainCity Housing, the organization partnered with B.C. Housing to interview prospective tenants, ensuring that the residents being moved into the Budzey are from the surrounding community. As well, there was a focus on women who had been longtimetenants at nearby SROs (single-room occupancy) facilities.

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VIFF features on Chinatown and Japantown raise questions about Vancouver’s urban changes

TWO SELECTIONS AT this year’s Vancouver International Film Festival cast their gaze upon historical neighbourhoods in Vancouver: Chinatown and Japantown. Together, they raise interesting questions for discussion about not only the past, present, and future of these areas, but also about what is becoming of our entire city as urban change and development overtake us.

Although Chinatown and Japantown were distinct from one another, they shared many parallels.

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Both areas neighboured one another on the edges of the Downtown Eastside, and both were formed by ethnic groups as a result of numerous historical social factors, including language barriers and racial discrimination.

Julia Kwan‘s documentary Everything Will Be takes an intimate and sensitive look at how current changes in Chinatown are affecting citizens who live and work in the area. Meanwhile, The Vancouver Asahi, which tells the story of a legendary local baseball team of Japanese Canadians, recreates life in Japantown during the 1930s.

Reblogged from The Georgia Straight | Craig Takeuchi

Chinatown, past and present

UBC planning professor Andy Yan was one of the people Kwan chatted with while conducting research for her film. Like Kwan, Yan has ties to the neighbourhood—his family owned businesses there. His great-grandfather owned Most Modern Cleaners while his father owned the Kwong Chow Restaurant. His grandmother also raised him in the area.

For his master’s thesis, Yan took an in-depth look into Chinatown and issues about revitalizing degenerating neighbourhoods.

What’s interesting to note is that prior to Chinatown, the area was an Italian and southern European enclave. As Kwan’s documentary reveals, one Italian family-run business in that area remains, Tosi & Company (current proprietor Angelo Tosi is featured as an interviewee in the film).

This shift in ethnic dominance in various areas is one that has repeatedly occurred throughout the city’s history. Both local, national, and international economics and politics have determined not only waves of immigration from different countries but also what types of class and professionals the city has attracted. As but one example, Robson Street used to be known as Robsonstrasse, due to the growth of German immigration in the area.

Yan explained by phone that Chinatown began as a bachelor’s society, but grew as women arrived and families began to grow, particularly after the Second World War.

“The completion of the [Canadian Pacific] railway in 1886 certainly helped increase the population of Chinese Canadians to concentrate and move to cities like Vancouver and Victoria and begin in neighbourhoods like Chinatown, but also the kind of ongoing relationships to Chinese settlements throughout the province was in part connected and coordinated out of the neighbourhood.”

Both Chinatown and Japantown were also hit by the Anti-Asian Riots of 1907. The Asiatic Exclusion League, formed by local labourers concerned about their jobs being taken away by cheaper Asian labour, became upset by Asian immigration. In reaction, they marched through downtown Vancouver and continued into Chinatown and Japantown (also known as Little Tokyo) where they smashed businesses and looted stores.

The attacks did not deter the communities, however. While Japantown blossomed up until 1941, Chinatown particularly boomed in the 1960s and ’70s.

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