Woodward’s Welcomes New Arts Groups
Four not-for-profit arts organizations will be moving into the city-owned cultural amenity space in the Woodward’s building, located in the Downtown Eastside of Vancouver. City Council unanimously approved Kokoro Dance Theatre Society as the lead tenant of the 7,200-square-foot space (previously occupied by W2), which will also be the new home for the Vancouver International Dance Festival Society, Vancouver Moving Theatre, and the Raven Spirit Dance Society.
The groups all have strong ties to the Downtown Eastside, and will enrich the neighbourhood’s cultural landscape with their unique mandates and artistic vision. Kokoro Dance—named for the Japanese word meaning heart, mind, and spirit—has been promoting cross-cultural exploration and multidisciplinary collaboration through dance for over 30 years. In 2000, Kokoro founded the Vancouver International Dance Festival.
The Vancouver Moving Theatre creates original works that connect culture and community, and aims to give a voice to residents of the DTES. Raven Spirit Dance shares stories from an Aboriginal worldview through contemporary dance, traditional dance, puppetry, theatre, and multimedia.
The facility includes second-floor office space, an area at street level, and a large basement that will be renovated and used for performances and rehearsals. In addition to accommodating the four new arts groups, plans include renting out the venue to community groups at affordable rates to further support the DTES’s rich arts and culture scene.
[Top Image: Life | Kokoro Dance | Photo by Chris Randle]