Civic Engagement: How to be totally ignored by your locally elected government

The news of The Media Club's closing hit us pretty hard. We've released albums there, made fans there, connected with other awesome bands there and feel as comfortable on that stage as we do in our own jam room.

The email we sent to the mayor, city council and the development office at the City of Vancouver was quoted in the Vancouver Courier, but completely ignored by our elected officials. Below is the message in full. Never give up being passionate about what you love: not because you'll always make a difference, but because there is really no other way to be.

 

 

We are contacting you to register our extreme opposition to the redevelopment of 688 Hamilton St/675 Cambie street into another Browns Socialhouse location. 
  
(http://development.vancouver.ca/pc688hamilton/documents/plans.pdf) 
  
The building, which we understand is owned by the city, is located in the Queen Elizabeth theater complex and is the current home of The Media Club, possibly the very last dedicated live music venue in Vancouver accessible to local artists. While there are a handful of bars that do host live music and several large capacity, dedicated live music venues in the city, The Media Club is the only existing dedicated music venue that operates on a scale that offers local talent a foothold for developing a following and media attention. 
  
As a part of the performing arts complex, this building should under NO CIRCUMSTANCES become yet another chain restaurant. There are currently many, many eating/drinking establishments in the area including the following which are within 2 blocks of the site: 
  
Shark Club 
Library Square Public House 
Ricky's All Day Grill 
Chambar 
Moxies Grill 
Triple O's 
  
And that is only in the immediate 2 block radius! 
  
This location needs to be preserved as a performing arts space! The continued hollowing out of the city and its arts community is a shameful, short-sighted strategy which will hurt Vancouver's reputation as a world class city, degrade civic life and engagement, accelerate the flight of the creative class, further homogenize the bland and nearly completely corporate-dominated public space and anger citizens who value the enriching environment that a vibrant music community provides.  
  
Certainly commerce is a driving force in 2017. We are full-time employed professionals for whom music is a hobby (because professional artists have fled this expensive city years ago). We understand that the pressures of economics rarely favor roses over bread. For this reason, we find it reprehensible and completely unacceptable that the city of Vancouver would resist preserving this one single shred, this poor fig leaf, of cultural real estate in favor of the mercenary and reprehensible forces that favor only expansion for the sake of market share. The metastasizing of these interests are robbing Vancouver of its character, diversity and identity. 
  
We urge you in the strongest possible terms to reject this redevelopment application. 
  
Sincerely,

Hazel Blackburn

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