City Center Motel is transforming into Vancouver Mural Fest’s largest mural yet

Inside the former City Center Motel building in Vancouver’s Mount Pleasant district, 75 former guest rooms have now been transformed into low-cost artist studios.

And outside the building, now a giant canvas for artists, work is underway on what will be the largest mural yet done by the Vancouver Mural Festival (VMF), with 30,000 square feet of surfaces getting a new coat. of colorful paint.

But these post-motel building uses are only temporary, until the property’s new owner, Nicola Wealth Real Estate, lays out its redevelopment plans. The new ownership group first announced these temporary uses in December 2021.

Earlier this year, The Narrow Group, which also operates artist studios elsewhere, converted former motel rooms into artist studios. The artist studio component of the property is now called the “City Center Artist Lodge”.

VMF commissioned local artists Fiona Ackerman, KC Hall and Joon Lee to provide the building with a complete mural. The design is said to be “a mirror of what the City Center Artist Lodge aspires to be: artists discovering each other’s work processes, being pulled in unexpected directions, and working together to shape this city.”

downtown vancouver mural festival artist studios

Artist’s rendering of the new 2022 mural design at the City Center Motel in Vancouver. (Vancouver Mural Festival)

downtown vancouver mural festival artist studios

Progress of the mural installation at the City Center Motel in Vancouver, late May 2022. (Sabrina Miso Creative)

downtown vancouver mural festival artist studios

Progress of the mural installation at the City Center Motel in Vancouver, late May 2022. (Sabrina Miso Creative)

downtown vancouver mural festival artist studios

Progress of the mural installation at the City Center Motel in Vancouver, late May 2022. (Sabrina Miso Creative)

The organization claims it has come full circle with its return to this property, as the motel was home to several of VMF’s first murals during its inaugural year in 2016.

In the summer of 2022, VMF will use the old motel as a center for its events and festivities. The interior surface parking lot will be transformed into an event space with a public stage for emerging artists, curators, and community partners.

This will kick off with the City Center Block Party during the last weekend of June (June 25-26), which will mark the building’s opening celebrations with the official unveiling of the mural, free entertainment for all ages, DJs, dance, a bar, food trucks and activities for children.

VMF’s annual festival will return in 2022 from August 4-14, creating 30 new murals in nine neighborhoods, and with the former motel hosting 10 days of free live entertainment. More details about the festival schedule will be announced at a later date.

downtown vancouver mural festival artist studios

Progress of the mural installation at the City Center Motel in Vancouver, late May 2022. (Sabrina Miso Creative)

downtown vancouver mural festival artist studios

Progress of the mural installation at the City Center Motel in Vancouver, late May 2022. (Sabrina Miso Creative)

downtown vancouver mural festival artist studios

Progress of the mural installation at the City Center Motel in Vancouver, late May 2022. (Sabrina Miso Creative)

downtown vancouver mural festival artist studios

Progress of the mural installation at the City Center Motel in Vancouver, late May 2022. (Sabrina Miso Creative)

Records retrieved by Daily Hive Urbanized show that Nicola Wealth Real Estate purchased the property at 2111 Main Street in May 2021 for $60 million.

The Narrow Group and VMF will be able to use the motel site for their arts and cultural purposes for the next two to three years, until the property can be redeveloped under future City of Vancouver policies under the Broadway Plan. The location is just a five-minute walk from the future Mount Pleasant SkyTrain station.

At this early planning stage, Nicola Wealth Real Estate has not indicated potential uses for the future permanent redevelopment.

downtown vancouver mural festival artist studios

Progress of the mural installation at the City Center Motel in Vancouver, late May 2022. (Sabrina Miso Creative)

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