Thursday, October 24, 2013

Great Northern Way (Campus Trust)

We turn right at the sign and drive north towards a second sign, screaming at us, orange in its urgency.

Left, says the arrow.

And there it is, like the sign itself: this big orange building with yellow letters, like the McDonald's three blocks away.

There it is again, looking north -- two galleries, one paint job.

But for how long?

Yesterday I attended the Great Northern Way Campus Trust's open house at that trojan horse known as the Centre for Digital Media, where it was revealed that the former Finning Tractor site (recently re-branded the False Creek Flats) will one day include not only a new campus for Emily Carr University of Art and Design, retail space, an "open space," and student and market housing, but provision for a commuter train connection to a yet-to-be-approved Broadway train whose footprint would, in the process, require the demolition of this building.

Of course by the time a Broadway train gets approved (if it ever does), this building will have served its purpose: lending colour to a canvas whose true ambition is not public education/public space but the kind of activity art and education are in service of these days -- real estate.

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