EAST VANCOUVER ARTS
East Vancouver Arts Neighbourhoods & East Van Artists
Vancouver has the highest concentration of artists, many in the East Van Arts Neighbourhoods. In Vancouver, artists make up 2.3% of the labour force with the broader category of cultural workers representing 9.7% (almost 20,000). East Vancouver Arts Neigbourhoods include: Grandview, Collingwood, Hastings East, Hastings Sunrise, Mount Pleasant, Renfrew, Riley Park / Kensington, Sunset, Fraserview and Killarney.
Hastings East, East Vancouver
Hastings East includes Canada’s largest Chinatown and North America’s third largest Chinatown by population, after San Francisco and New York. Located on the downtown east side of Vancouver, Chinatown, has grown into a proud centre of Chinese culture, home to traditional restaurants, markets, temples and gardens. Hastings East extends from Chinatown along Hastings East to Nanaimo Street. The region also includes Strathcona and within it, the Downtown Eastside (DTES), Vancouver’s oldest neighbourhoods. In recent years, Hastings East has experienced a renaissance, with trendy bars, shops and restaurants, along with new art spaces reclaiming historic spaces. Hastings East has transformed dramatically, with the young and cultured relocating and co-creating a trendy art scene.
Chinatown has a much higher percentage of retail businesses than average for Vancouver, with food stores being the most common. So not surprisingly, food stands are popular at the Chinatown Night Market on Keefer Street, open every weekend from May to September. Enjoy live music, storytelling, and Mahjong, as well as authentic dim sum treasures.
Hastings Sunrise, East Vancouver
Hastings Sunrise is located in the northeastern corner of Vancouver. Hastings Sunrise is best known as the home of the Pacific National Exhibition, at Hastings Park for over 100 years. The area is mainly residential, while the shops and services along Hastings Street’s are part of Vancouver East Village from Commercial Drive to Renfrew, as well as parts of Powell Street. The affordable Hastings Sunrise is an ethnically diverse and working-class area that in more recent years have attracted young professionals, artists and musicians. Most Hastings Sunrise businesses are ‘micro’ sized – less than 5 employees. Major business types include eating and drinking establishments, food stores, retail, automotive dealers, service and repair, as well as health and personal services.
Since 1910, millions of guests have enjoyed shows, exhibits, sporting events, amusement rides, concerts, cultural activities and, of course, the annual summer Fair at the Pacific National Exhibition (PNE) in Hastings North. Since the first Fair, the event has become the largest annual ticketed event in the province, and continues to draw over 900,000 visitors during its 17 days.
Hastings Sunrise is a young adult, mobile and ethnically diverse community. Reflecting their younger age and lower education levels, Hastings North residents have lower household incomes than the Vancouver average. Also reflecting their young age and lower incidence of full-time schooling, a high percentage of Hastings North residents are in the labour force.
Grandview, East Vancouver
The Grandview area in East Van includes Commercial Drive aka The Drive is known for over 300 shops, restaurants and cultural facilities along the long Commercial Drive roadway, mostly single-location and owner-operated. Most businesses are micro-sized – with less than five employees. Commercial Drive is also a mixed residential-commercial area with family-oriented parks, a large number of local ethnic stores and community groups, Edwardian-style heritage buildings, European-style cafes, bars, alternative shops and entertainment venues.
The Granview area is known for its East Van roots in arts and culture. Notable venues and events include: Havana Restaurant & Gallery at 1212 Commercial Drive, East Side Cultch at 1895 Venables, which is a gathering place at a former abandoned church re-developed into a diverse performance space with weekly showings, the Wise Hall at 1882 Adanac Street which supports local artists, performers and promoters, including flea markets with over 200 local vendors, The Drive Murals along Commercial Drive from Salsbury Park to Grandview Tire are painted by Vancouver artists and sponsored by Commercial Drive Business Society. And every November, the area is part of Vancouver’s Eastside Culture Crawl with over 300 artists participating and over 15,000 art-goers attending. The neighbourhood also hosts the annual Car-Free Day where over 10,000 Vancouverites gather to enjoy a day of celebration, shopping and eating along Commercial Drive.
Collingwood, East Vancouver
Collingwood is a large, culturally diverse and family-oriented neighbourhood in Vancouver, east of Victoria Drive, with a business community in several areas, as well as some of the fastest-growing residential sectors of Vancouver. It is the crossroads of Vancouver and Burnaby, with a shopping area that has served Collingwood’s needs for generations, reflecting a larger proportion of seniors compared to other Vancouver areas. Comprised of long-term family-owned businesses and shops such as bakeries, banking, professional and business services, health, beauty, hair care, clothing, deli, grocery and vegetable stores, most businesses in Collingwood are micro-sized – with less than five employees. Also higher than Vancouver averages are banks, motion pictures, holdings and other investments, as well as hotels and rooming houses.
Half of the Collingwood population claim Chinese as their mother tongue, then followed by Hindi and Punjabi. Household sizes in the area are larger than Vancouver average, with more married couples and more children per household, making it a family-oriented area to establish roots with home ownerships. The dominant lifestyle group of the area is successful middle-aged Asian families, with average incomes although an upwardly mobile lifestyle. Reflecting the higher percentage of seniors than average, a lower percentage of the Collingwood population is in the labour force, making the area ideal for multi-generational and family-oriented residents.
Mount Pleasant, East Vancouver
Mount Pleasant aka SoMa for South of Main is a vibrant and eclectic area known for its unusual stores, heritage buildings, artistic residents, and arts-focused festivals. The area is popular with urban professionals and families. Mount Pleasant is a young adult, well-educated and mobile community with a high population density. Most businesses are ‘micro’ sized – less than 5 employees. Recently, South of Main (SoMa) has transformed from a former working class neighbourhood into a cultured area with new upscale restaurants and bars along Main Street. There is a new area with commercial art galleries called near the 2nd Avenue-Great Northern Way route called The Flats.
Since 2004, The Drift Art Festival has included a wide range of arts and community-based events that occur in galleries, businesses, restaurants, open studios, community organizations and public spaces around Main Street from Industrial to 33rd during Fall. In more recent years, The Flats is now Vancouver’s hottest art district with galleries that have relocated to the affordable and large warehouse spaces along East 2nd Avenue and Great Northern Way. All within walking distance for convenience, galleries include: Catriona Jeffries, Chernoff Fine Art, Equinox Gallery, Gallery 295, Grunt Gallery, Macaulay Fine Art, Monte Clark, Winsor Gallery, WAAP and more!
Renfrew, East Vancouver
Renfrew is a dynamic, family-oriented neighbourhood, known for its active community spirit and remarkable diversity. Its residents value the area’s single-family neighbourhood, views from public places, and open sections of Still Creek and Renfrew Ravine. Comprised of long-term family-owned businesses and shops such as bakeries, banking, professional and business services, health, beauty, hair care, clothing, deli, grocery and vegetable stores, most businesses in Renfrew are micro-sized – with less than five employees.
Residents of Renfrew celebrate the Renfrew Ravine Moon Festival annually. The festival is a celebration of art, music, environmental stewardship, and community participation with lanterns, live music and walks along the ravine trails to Renfrew Park. It also celebrates the full moon and harvest abundance, honouring diverse cultural traditions.
Riley Park / Kensington, East Vancouver
Kensington has a wide social and demographic mix, as well as ethnic groups and artists in residential live/work studios. Kensington was predominantly working class, but rising house prices have changed the neighbourhood’s demographics. The area’s parks offer a community centre, pool, neighbourhood house, and community-policing centre. Kensington was largely rural until the beginning of World War I when a number of industries emerged. The majority of commercial shops and services are concentrated on Kingsway itself and most are micro-sized – with five employees or less.
The Illuminaires Lantern Festival is an annual summer event, traditionally held at the Kensington area’s Trout Lake. Illuminares started as a community festival in 1988 and it remains one to this day, relying on public participation to create its special kind of magic. The Public Dreams Society, a group formed in 1985 to encourage community events, puts on the event. Illuminares is a mixture of events put on by the society, such as fire-breathers and bands, and participants bringing their own homemade lanterns. Local lantern making workshops help people make their own personalized lantern. About 30,000 people come to this event on the last Saturday of July each year.
Sunset, East Vancouver
Sunset residents appreciate single-family neighbourhoods and cultural diversity. Memorial Park South and the Sunset Community Centre are well-used by families in the area. The Sunset aka South Hill-Fraser Street is a community where people come to settle down and raise a family. Residents are a multicultural mix of immigrant and young families, with a South Asian population majority. Fraser Street and Main Street are the commercial centres of the community, providing a range of shops and services. Most businesses are micro-sized – less than five employees. Sunset is one of the city’s oldest shopping areas, with commercial roots dating back to when a streetcar route ran over the Fraser Street Bridge to Richmond that once served as farmland. The area is a well-known destination for specialty ethnic foods and textiles as well as general supply stores.
Sunset has more than three times as many food stores and heath service businesses than the city and regional average, and double the amount of eating and drinking establishments, banks and personal services. Sunset is also home to “Little India’s” Punjabi Market, a commercial district and ethnic enclave six blocks along Main Street around 49th Avenue. The market has become a shopping destination for many weddings due to numerous Indian ethnic clothing and bridal goods. There is also a significant number of jewelry stores, making it the highest concentration of jewelers in Canada.
Fraserview, East Vancouver
Fraserview is a large and multiculturally diverse area, including a large Indo-Canadian population. Much of the commercial development in the neighbourhood is focused along Victoria Drive. The area features a range of ethnic shops and services, with some of the city’s best prices for produce, and the greatest selection of local and exotic fruits and vegetables, as well as traditional European baked goods or any kind of Chinese dining. Most businesses are micro-sized – with less than five employees The neighbourhood also features a large park, Fraserview Park and a golf course, Fraserview Golf Course.
Fraserview residents enjoy Fraserview Golf Course, an old course feeling in a relaxed West Coast setting. Overlooking the Fraser River, this well-maintained and traditional-style course features topographical changes along majestic, tree-lined fairways. The Fraserview Clubhouse also provides a beautiful setting for hosting private parties, luncheons, cocktail receptions, banquets and other special events, all year round.
Killarney, East Vancouver
Killarney consists of Champlain Heights and Fraserlands, in the extreme southeast corner of the city. The area contains single-family residences, with a few multi-family homes as well as townhomes and high-rises. The area was largely rural until the 1950s and abundant green spaces are still visible between Killarney’s houses. Killarney residents shop at Champlain Square mall, which includes a large grocery store, fresh produce market, financial institutions and a library, as well as a variety of shops along Kingsway. Most businesses are micro-sized – with less than five employees. Everett Crowley Park with 40 hectares bordering Burnaby and Fraser River, offers walking trails and an off-leash area for dogs.
Casual, fast food and family-style restaurants abound in Killarney, along with sports and recreational offerings at the Killarney Community Centre, which includes a fitness centre, leisure pool and ice-skating rink. The area also boasts one of Vancouver’s largest public parks, Everett Crowley Park at 40-hectare or 100 acre, built on a former landfill. Located at Kerr and Marine Way, in southeast Vancouver, Everett Crowley Park is a unique place for recreation, nature appreciation, and wildlife habitat. The park rests on an escarpment and looks out over the North arm of the Fraser River. Nature trails and walking paths offer magnificent views for Killarney residents.