Vancouver Introducing Gender-Neutral Washrooms in Parks

(Vancouver Park Board)

Two options for gender-neutral washroom signs, as presented by the Vancouver Park Board.

Vancouver is on its way to becoming the first municipality in Canada to officially offer gender-neutral washrooms in public buildings.

The Vancouver Park Board is taking the lead and is currently drafting plans to install or retrofit washrooms to accommodate transgender people in park facilities. “For some transgender people, going to a public washroom can create anxiety and fear,” explained Vancouver Park Board Commissioner Trevor Loke in an interview for the CBC.

The design of the washrooms themselves is unlikely to be revolutionary. They will probably take the form of single-occupant facilities with a locking door, similar to offerings currently available at select community centres around the city. What’s attracting more debate at the moment, however, is the signage used to designate them. Continue reading:
Vancouver Introducing Gender-Neutral Washrooms in Parks

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Star Wars Trilogy Production is Officially Coming to Vancouver

Photo credit: Scott Smith (SRisonS) | Flickr

Photo credit: Scott Smith (SRisonS) | Flickr

Grab your lightsabers. Star Wars is officially coming to Vancouver.

Industrial Light & Magic, the George Lucas-founded effects company that handles the Star Wars movies, has put down roots in Vancouver’s historic Gastown neighbourhood.  The company currently has some 130 employees and will be ramping up with up to 200 additional employees by this summer to handle the latest Star Wars trilogy.

The Gastown effects studio will be responsible, in part, for bringing the new Star Wars: Episode VII movie to life.  Scheduled for release in December 2015, the movie is part of the third trilogy of Star Wars movies.  It takes up where 1983′s epic Return of the Jedi leaves off.

The studio will occupy the 30,000-square-foot space on Water Street (not far from the iconic Gassy Jack statue) that formerly housed Pixar, according to an article in the Vancouver Sun.  While the initial focus of work will be on Star Wars: Episode VII, plans are for the studio to spend the next eight-10 years on Star Wars projects, including Episodes VIII and IX of the new trilogy.

Continue reading:
Star Wars Trilogy Production is Officially Coming to Vancouver

Giant Outdoor Sculptures Coming to Vancouver: Vancouver Biennale 2014

Photo credit: tofuart | Flickr

Photo credit: tofuart | Flickr

Get your cameras ready: Another round of giant, outdoor art is coming to Vancouver.

The third instalment of the Vancouver Biennale begins later his month.  Every other year, the celebration brings massive works of public art to locations throughout Vancouver and surrounding communities. As part of the 2014 Biennale, some 20 sculptures will be installed in Vancouver and an additional 10 will go in New Westminster, North Vancouver and Squamish.

The big news this year is that one sculpture has been crafted by none other that China’s most famous dissident, Ai Weiwei.  No word yet on what the piece is or where it will be placed, but it’s bound to turn heads.

Oftentimes, the sculptures go on to become permanent icons on the Vancouver landscape. Past examples include A-maze-ing Laughter (the giant bronze men near English Bay), Engagement (the huge engagement rings above Sunset Beach) and 217.5 Arc X 13 (those weird rusting metal ribs at Sunset Beach).

So what inventive, whimsical and absurd creations can we expect to be seeing in the weeks ahead? Continue reading:
Giant Outdoor Sculptures Coming to Vancouver: Vancouver Biennale 2014

Giant $1.2-Million Chandelier Proposed for Granville Street Bridge

An artist's rendering of the new project.

An artist’s rendering of the new project.

It’s definitely not the first place you’d think of putting an elegant, 18th-century-style chandelier.

The underside of the Granville Street Bridge at Beach Avenue may soon be home to a rather unique lighting fixture: a $1.2-million, spinning chandelier measuring more than five metres tall.

The unusual piece of public art has been proposed by the developer of nearby Vancouver House, the 52-storey futuristic high-rise going up near the Howe Street on-ramp to the bridge.  The chandelier would be made out of a special hard-plastic polymer, designed to mimic the look of crystal, with glowing LED lights inside, according to an article in the Vancouver Sun.

But there’s more.   Continue reading:
Giant $1.2-Million Chandelier Proposed for Granville Street Bridge