WePress Community Arts Space Society was incorporated under the BC Society Act on September 21, 2016 and our first Annual General Meeting was held on April 29, 2017.
WePress Report for 2016
WePress acknowledges that its space is and activities take place on the unceded and occupied Coast Salish territories of the Skwxwú7mesh (Squamish), xwməθkwəy̓əm (Musqueam), and mi ce:p kwətxwiləm (Tsleil-Waututh) Nations.
Founding and Operating WePress
WePress was founded in 2016 by professional artists who are long-time community organizers (now the WePress collective), to create a dedicated space for arts-based community development. Through WePress, we:
- share and combine artistic skills;
- research new and innovative art-making techniques and practices;
- bring together different artists (established, emerging, and community) to create new work;
- build capacity and community in the DTES;
- connect diverse audiences;
- promote the value of art-making to a broad audience; and
- work for social justice with allies.
In its first year, WePress successfully:
- led over 40 workshops (free and paid) for over 200 participants covering a variety of topics, including:
- Letterpress Printing
- 3D Printing
- VR (Virtual Reality) with Google Cardboard
- Block Printmaking
- Bookmaking: Coptic Binding, Cord Binding, and other types of bookmaking
- Modern Japanese Calligraphy
- Clay Stop Motion Animation
- Crazy Quiltmaking
- Poster-making – ‘We Can’t Afford Poverty’ Campaign and DTES Heart of the City Festival
- Holiday Card & Wrapping Paper Making
- held 8 public events (independently and in collaboration with other organizations) for 350 attendees
- hired 15 different artists to lead a variety of workshops and paid them a total of over $2,100 in artist fees
- UNTOLD STORIES: voices of Chinatown seniors in collaboration with Youth for Chinese Seniors Project, Chinatown Action Group 華埠行動小組, and hua foundation
- Open House with Check Your Head and Repair Matters
- Oppenheimer Park Thursdays Art Group’s visit to WePress, supported by Carnegie Community Centre and Oppenheimer Park
- Workshops for Super Cool Tuesdays, funded by the SFU Vancity Office of Community Engagement
- Open House and Free Bookmaking Workshop with Karen Ward and Art Installation Opening (Women’s Washroom) funded by the Vancouver Foundation’s Neighbourhood Small Grant
- We Can’t Afford Poverty Campaign Art- and Poster-making Workshops
- Raise the Rates, Positive Living Society HOTC
- Japanese Canadian Vegetables and Flowers Haiku and Block Printmaking Workshops in collaboration with PSFS, funded by Metro Vancouver
Many Thanks to Everyone Who Supported Us
Cecily Nicholson, Anthony Meza-Wilson, Kristin Lantz and everyone at Gallery Gachet; Brian McBay and 221A; Chris Gilpin, Eric Rhys Miller, Kelty McKerracher, and everyone at the Community Arts Council of Vancouver (CACV); Emiko Morita and everyone at the Powell Street Festival Society (PSFS); Candie Tanaka, Fran Heng, Cindy Patton.
Thank you to our funders, sponsors, and donors
Vancouver Foundation, City of Vancouver (DTES Planning Department’s DTES Capital Grant) CACV, PSFS, Gallery Gachet, SFU Vancity Office of Community Engagement, Metro Vancouver, Raise the Rates and Positive Living Society, DTES Heart of the City Festival, Check Your Head, Carnegie Community Centre and Oppenheimer Park, 221A, St. John’s School.
Cindy Patton, Anonymous, Shirley Lum, David Sexton, Karen b k chan, Jayce Salloum, Leanne Dunic, Jane Shi, Jane Good, Heather Simonsmeier, Beth Carter, Michelle Smith, Rika Uto, Emiko Morita, Michelle and Mo von Roeder, Erica Isomura
Building Community and Capacity
Thanks to everyone we worked with
Community Arts Council of Vancouver, Powell Street Festival Society, Gallery Gachet, Aboriginal Front Door, Queer Arts Festival, Broadway Youth Resource Centre, Directions Youth Services, Carnegie Community Centre & Oppenheimer Park, Nikkei National Museum & Cultural Centre, Raise the Rates, Positive Living Society, Japanese Canadian Young Leaders, Hua Foundation, Youth for Chinese Seniors Project, Check Your Head, Repair Matters, Chinatown Action Group 華埠行動小組, Vancouver Japanese Language School & Japanese Hall (VJLS-JH), Youth Collaborative for Chinatown 青心在唐人街, SFU’s Vancity Office of Community Engagement, Super Cool Tuesdays (members of the Drug, Users Resource Centre), Gallery 221A, Vancouver Moving Theatre and DTES Heart of the City Festival, The Other Press (at Douglas College), Downtown Eastside Neighbourhood House, St. James Music Academy, Gordon Neighbourhood House, Vancouver Contemporary Art Gallery, Vancouver Art Book Fair, BC Housing.
Thanks to all our volunteers
Too many to name!
New Purchase with 2016 DTES Capital Grant – furniture and shelves (incl folding tables and chairs), roller repair, more type, aluminum plates (to make image plates from 3D printer type high), 3D printer supplies, computer and laptops, dolly, paper and art supplies.
The Community Arts Council of Vancouver sold the letterpress and type collection to WePress for $1 in January 2017.
Plans for 2017
Workshops already held with
WISH, SFU Publishing Program, St. John’s School, SFU’s Vancity Office of Community Engagement, Super Cool Tuesdays (members of the Drug, Users Resource Centre).
We will be sharing a new space with Gallery Gachet at 9 W. Hastings – it is a BC Housing subsidized space on the ground floor of the Beacon Hotel. Plan to move August 2017.
Continuing to Expand our Capacity
Evening Workshops in the new space
Upcoming Projects and Workshops
Block Printmaking Workshop at Carnegie Centre + Carnegie Learning Centre on Tues, May 16th from 2 to 4 pm
Tonari Gumi Seniors Gardening Project
SRO Collaborative Block Party in July
Fall Workshops with Super Cool Tuesdays
New and exciting programming with Gallery Gachet in our new space
- Working to provide ASL and Chinese language interpretation at workshops
Improve Environmental Sustainability and continue working towards Zero Waste
In 2017, WePress has applied for these grants:
- City of Vancouver Community Arts Fund Grant – $10,000
- Downtown Eastside Capital Grant – $20,000
- With the Powell Street Festival Society
- Vancouver Foundation Arts & Culture Field of Interest Test Grant – Results expected June 9 – $25,000
- BC Arts Council Arts-Based Community Development Grant – $10,000
- BC Artscape Mentorshop Program – free strategic planning and consulting – $5,000 – CONFIRMED
- With Gallery Gachet
- Community Arts Council of Vancouver Community Arts Fund Grant – $5,000 – CONFIRMED