Poly­gon Gallery rises in Lolo

Real Es­tate Car­l­ito Pablo

The Georgia Straight - - Books -

There are many rea­sons why Lower Lons­dale is a pop­u­lar neigh­bour­hood in North Van­cou­ver.

Its wa­ter­front set­ting, prox­im­ity to the moun­tains, and easy ac­cess to tran­sit are some of the draws to this old com­mu­nity that has grown into a mod­ern hub.

For art lovers, Lower Lons­dale, a.k.a. Lolo, has some­thing fresh to of­fer with the open­ing of the Poly­gon Gallery on Novem­ber 18 this year.

The 24,000-square-foot cul­tural fa­cil­ity will be the new home of Pre­sen­ta­tion House Gallery, a renowned lo­cal venue for artis­tic pho­tog­ra­phy.

De­signed by Patkau Ar­chi­tects, the two-storey build­ing at the foot of Lons­dale Av­enue is on prop­erty do­nated by the City of North Van­cou­ver.

Mayor Dar­rell Mus­satto said that the Poly­gon Gallery will take his city to a “dif­fer­ent level”.

“It puts us on the artis­tic map, so to speak,” Mus­satto told the Ge­or­gia Straight in a phone in­ter­view. Ac­cord­ing to Mus­satto, the

Poly­gon Gallery is just one piece in the city’s vi­sion of be­com­ing a cul­tural hub in the Lower Main­land.

The mayor said a new 16,000-square­foot mu­seum, in Lower Lons­dale as well, will be open­ing in 2019. Con­struc­tion has also started on an­other site for an at­trac­tion fea­tur­ing an ice rink and a plaza.

Launched in 1976, Pre­sen­ta­tion House Gallery has show­cased the works of cel­e­brated lo­cal artists like Fred Her­zog and in­ter­na­tional artists such as Andy Warhol.

Pre­vi­ously based in an old school­house at Ch­ester­field Av­enue and 3rd Av­enue, the gallery will be as­sum­ing the name of its new home, where it will be able to ex­pand the reach of its pro­gram­ming and dou­ble its space.

Pre­sen­ta­tion House Gallery di­rec­tor Reid Shier is con­tin­u­ing in the same ca­pac­ity at the Poly­gon Gallery.

“Pre­sen­ta­tion House Gallery has al­ways had a well-re­spected role, a very unique role in Van­cou­ver and in the re­gion for pro­duc­ing in­cred­i­bly high­cal­i­bre ex­hi­bi­tions that had been rooted in pho­tog­ra­phy but in a very outof-the-way, in­ac­ces­si­ble lo­ca­tion that has not re­ally pro­vided any way for au­di­ences to re­ally ap­pre­ci­ate them on the level that they have been de­vel­oped,” Shier noted in a phone in­ter­view with the Straight.

“So what we feel is that, you know, we fi­nally have a fa­cil­ity that will do jus­tice to the types of ex­hi­bi­tions that we’re do­ing, and that will be a real land­mark for new au­di­ences,” Shier con­tin­ued. “Peo­ple will be able to dis­cover us in a way that they have not be­fore.”

The three lev­els of govern­ment con­trib­uted $2.5 mil­lion each for the con­struc­tion of the gallery. Poly­gon Homes, es­tab­lished by devel­oper Michael Au­dain, and the Au­dain Foun­da­tion do­nated $4 mil­lion.

Ac­cord­ing to Shier, the cap­i­tal cam­paign for the project is rais­ing the rest of the $20 mil­lion re­quired to cover the cost of the $18-mil­lion fa­cil­ity and a $2-mil­lion en­dow­ment.

The Chan Fam­ily Foun­da­tion also made a sig­nif­i­cant con­tri­bu­tion, and Shier said that a space is named af­ter the char­ity.

Restau­rant and retail spa­ces will be lo­cated on the ground floor, which was de­signed to be trans­par­ent with a glass enclosure. The ex­hi­bi­tion floor will be on the up­per level.

With the Poly­gon Gallery, Shier said, vis­i­tors will see “one of the most ar­chi­tec­turally sig­nif­i­cant and, cer­tainly, most gen­er­ously lo­cated cul­tural fa­cil­i­ties in Western Canada”.

The Novem­ber 18 open­ing co­in­cides with the start of a three-month show called N. Van­cou­ver, which takes a look at the gallery’s home­town.

With the Poly­gon Gallery open­ing in the fall, Mayor Mus­satto may have ad­di­tional am­mu­ni­tion for his ar­gu­ment as to why a Sky­train tun­nel con­nect­ing Wa­ter­front Sta­tion in Van­cou­ver and Lons­dale Quay needs to be con­sid­ered.

“It just adds a new di­men­sion to the wa­ter­front,” Mus­satto said about the gallery. “It gives a new per­spec­tive.”

The Thingery will op­er­ate out of ship­ping con­tain­ers in three neigh­bour­hoods, al­low­ing lo­cals to do­nate items to be bor­rowed by oth­ers in­stead of throw­ing them out. Kara Bur­man photo-il­lus­tra­tion.

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