Contributed by Alicia Neptune, Communications Specialist

23rd Annual Eastside Culture Crawl. A visual arts, design, & crafts festival. November 14-17, 2019.

Alternative Creations Studio is opening its gallery doors once again for the Eastside Culture Crawl. This year’s festival is a celebration and a call to action. With a special exhibition that tackles an important issue for Vancouver’s art scene, the focus of the Crawl is on the spaces that make the neighbourhood a vibrant community for artists.

Vancouver’s Eastside Arts District is an important part of the city’s cultural landscape. The area boasts the highest density of visual artists in Canada. The Culture Crawl—a visual arts, design and crafts festival—is the neighbourhood’s annual invitation to come and explore artists’ work. Artists welcome the public into their creative spaces (their studios, garages, homes, or wherever they make art) to showcase their work and engage with the people encountering it.

Putting a spotlight on those spaces is more important than ever. Vancouver has lost many of its production spaces over the past decade due to rising rents and redevelopment.

Displacement is the central theme of this year’s Crawl and the name of the special exhibition now on display at multiple venues, including Alternatives Gallery. This salon-style exhibition features works by artists who have faced the challenges of eviction or found ways to survive displacement.

A report from the Eastside Culture Crawl Society (ECCS) highlights the stories of artists who have struggled to find or keep affordable studio space and calls for the protection of the spaces that remain. Displacement aims to raise awareness of this issue.

The exhibit includes paintings, sculptures, glassworks and other mediums. Some works deal directly with the themes of displacement and eviction. Others represent the range of art the city is losing because artists lack places to work. The display at Alternatives features works by: Jeff Burnette, Chantal Cardinal, Rojia Dadashzadeh/Allison Hardy/Heather Craig/Monic McGarry, Espiritu Design Studio, Lee Gerlach, Claudine Gévry, George Rammell, and Connie Sabo.

Alternative Creations Studio is dedicated to providing the space and opportunity for people with developmental disabilities to share their creativity. Being part of the East Van neighbourhood has provided opportunities to develop new relationships and partnerships within the community. As a Community Affiliate of the Eastside Culture Crawl, Alternatives is proud to welcome art lovers and curious guests into the studio for a closer look at what the artists are up to.

Recently, they have been hard at work on their animal cards. Both everyday cards for all occasions and a special set for the upcoming holiday season will be available for purchase. It’s a perfect way to snag a (lightweight) piece of art you can carry with you during the Crawl!

Be sure to visit Alternatives and check out the other open studios from November 14 to 17. Join us in celebrating the spaces where artists work and share their work in this vibrant creative community.

Alternative Creations Studio

Studio address: 1659 Venables St, Vancouver | Map Code: E16

Crawl Hours

Thursday, November 14 | 5 pm – 10 pm

Friday, November 15 | 5 pm – 10 pm

Saturday, November 16 | 11 am – 6 pm

Sunday, November 17 | 11 am – 6 pm

For more information, visit: 

The mission of the Eastside Culture Crawl Society (ECCS) is to:

  • Inspire, educate and engage the community in visual arts
  • Foster excellence and professionalism in the visual arts
  • Provide opportunities and create programming for the public to connect with visual artists

Find more information on their report A City Without Art? No Net Loss, Plus! at