Posted by: VPSN | August 19, 2011

VPSN – Public Space News & Events – August 19, 2011

Hey folks – some cool public space events are taking place around town this weekend… and Saturday in particular promises to be a good one – with public karaoke, zombies and a smoochfest to name but three of the things going on.  Check out the events section below!  But first…

Robson Square – Update on the 800-block Petitions

Just under a week ago the VPSN launched a series of petitions on the future of the 800-block of Robson Street (between the Art Gallery and the Law Courts).  Right now the space is home to an awesome and diverse array of activities – all of which are animating this short block and transforming it into something quite excellent. 

Sadly, vehicle traffic is due back on the street on September 5.  In response to this, we developed two petitions to measure support for the idea of keeping the area vehicle free.  Response has been quite good so far, and we’re encouraging people to take a stand one way or the other (VPSN democracy in action!)

If you haven’t already done so, lend your voice to this debate.  The Mayor and members of City Council have said they want to see the results of the petitions… so if you haven’t already done so, please take 30 seconds to click on one of the following.  And please let your friends, family and networks know about the initiative. The more signatories we get, the better our chances of saving this space.  Thanks!

YES, I support the expansion of Robson Square and the closure of the 800-block to vehicular traffic.

NO. I want vehicles back on the 800-block of Robson. Please DO NOT expand Robson Square.

Here’s some of the things people are saying about closing the 800-block:

– We’ve upped Vancouver’s game as a livable city with new bike lanes, let’s stay on course and open up more spaces to human-scale enjoyment instead of regressing to the agonized gridlock that characterized Robson Square before the renovation. – TG

– One more place for potheads and malcontents to make Vancouver look even more like a craphole.  NO THANKS. – Anon

– As a citizen of Vancouver who regularly visits Downtown Vancouver leisurely, I do believe that Vancouver is lacking a public square where people can just relax in the heart of the city… – GI

– The original design intent for this space was vehicle free. This is an opportunity to honour the design of Arthur Erickson and Cornelia Hahn Oberlander and their vision for this public place. – BA

– Vancouver has become a hotbed for half-baked (pun intended) ideas to flourish in the name of public space. It’s easy to be for public space and public this or that if you don’t own a car or own a home (ie. pay a mortgage on actual property). – DG

As you can see – lots of interesting debate is taking place.  What do you think?  Sign on to a petition today.

You can hear and read more about the petition via media coverage on CBC , CTV, the Georgia Straight, and Vancouver Sun.

:: More information – robsonsquare [at] vancouverpublicspace.ca

EVENTS

Saturday, August 20 @ 12:00 – Kissing Flash Mob/Smooch Mob

As part of the Downtown Vancouver BIA’s Summer Love Social Media Campaign, this Saturday August 20 people are invited to pucker up for a spontaneous expression of love at Vancouver’s first Kissing Flash Mob/Smooch Mob.
 
Against the scenic backdrop of the North Shore Mountains, Stanley Park, and the Burrard Inlet, Smoochers will gather on the north pier at Canada Place before noon to enjoy the scenery and act like it’s any other Saturday.  At 12:00pm sharp, Canada Place’s Heritage Horns will play the first four notes of O Canada, signalling the start of a minute-long kiss.  After the kiss they’ll be handing out complimentary lip-shaped chocolates from Mink a chocolate café and a rose from Vivio Flower Gallery, while supplies last.

Saturday, August 20, Vancouver Zombie Walk – 4:00-6:00pm

Braaaaainss!  Once again the undead will roam the streets.  Vancouver’s annual zombie walk has continued to get bigger, scarier and gorier.  Get out the face paint and fake blood, start the chant, and get ready to take the streets.  Meet at Robson Square at 4:00pm. 

:: More info – Zombie Walk Facebook Event Page

Saturday, August 20, 4:00-8:00pm – Sing! Outdoor Karaoke Kiosk

Vancouver’s Urban Republic Arts Society hosts Sing! – a participatory karaoke event taking place on the 700 block of Granville Street at Georgia Street in downtown Vancouver.

The Karaoke Kiosk will use a renowned and beloved form of entertainment to activate Granville Street in a fun way that crosses borders between ages and cultural backgrounds. Sing! celebrates and shares the pop cultures of Vancouver’s diverse population. Come sing and hear what grooves in French, Mandarin, Hindi, Spanish, Cantonese, English, Japanese.  The Karaoke Kiosk is free and open to all.

:: More information – http://www.urbanrepublic.ca

Saturday, August 20, 9:00pm-? – Tom and Gary’s Decentralized Dance Party (on bikes!)

Dress up in your finest, comfiest business attire, hop on your bike and pedal downtown for a night with Tom and Gary and their collection of vintage boomboxes.  The Decentralized Dance Party meets at 9:00pm at Crab Park and departs at 10:00pm on a rolling shakedown throughout the city.  Lots of stops en route.  Awesome fun.

:: More info: – Tom and Gary’s Decentralized Event Page

Other Stuff

In addition to the aforementioned shenanigans, there’s lots of other cool things taking place – including local farmers markets (http://www.eatlocal.org), free salsa and ballroom lessons, along with an Artisan’s Market at Robson Square (http://www.robsonsquare.ca), and many excellent activities sponsored by the City’s Viva Vancouver program (http://www.vancouver.ca/viva).  Have a good one!

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