CANNABIS CULTURE – Plans to build a new $400-million Vancouver Art Gallery at a different location have received little support from the public. Now, volunteers at the historic downtown location have come up with another important reason they MUST move: marijuana smoke.
“It wafts in from the front steps,” Gallery volunteer David Allison told the Globe & Mail. “So here I am in this room surrounded by Emily Carrs and Group of Seven pieces and all these amazing, amazing contemporary artworks that we have in our possession as a city and as a citizenry, and there’s dope wafting through the air.”
The volunteer made the comments during a public information session about the VAG’s relocation efforts. Its board of directors has plans for an expensive new building to be erected in Vancouver’s last empty city block, which haven’t been going over well with the public according to city council.
It’s true that Vancouver’s cannabis community has claimed the Gallery as their own to some degree. The VAG plays host three times a year to large protests – large CANNABIS protests – 4/20 on April 20, Cannabis Day on July 1, and The Global Marijuana March in the spring. And it is true, on those three days a year, massive purple clouds waft up from the grounds of the Gallery, and I’m sure the smell is strong and unmistakable.
But what about the rest of the year? I make my way past the gallery quite often, and have undoubtedly seen smoke sessions take place on the main steps. It is a central location that provides a nice place to sit and smoke, like many other Vancouver locations.
To be honest, I haven’t looked at the facts enough to know if moving the Art Gallery is a good idea. I love the current location, but understand the building is old and a Heritage site, making it very difficult to renovate or expand on.
I must say, however, that this has to be one of the lamest excuses I have heard, and is evidence that VAG officials are grasping for anything they can use to gain support for their dwindling hopes of a move.
It is also a cheep-shot at Vancouver’s cannabis community. VAG board members should be ashamed of themselves for attempting to use anti-marijuana stigma to scare Vancouverites into believing that rampant pot smokers are destroying our treasured pieces of art, simply to further their own relocation efforts.
Just my critique.
Read “‘High art’ may be another reason to move gallery” in the Globe & Mail for more lame quotes from Gallery officials.