Action: Zombie Artists Protest Against Condos in “Dead Zone”

In the lane behind the Pantages demolition site. (Between Pender and Hastings at 140 E. Hastings)

People who live and work on Hastings in Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside say they’ve seen well-known but long-dead visual artists in the abandoned demolition site at the old Pantages Theatre.

Frida Kahlo, Salvador Dali, Vincent Van Gogh, Andy Warhol, Jackson Pollock, and Emily Carr have been sighted amid the splintered wood and naked brick walls. Zombie reports began after condo developer Marc Williams boasted that his ‘Artist and Housing Project’ (?) at the Pantages would not really kill the neighbourhood—because, he said, it is already “a dead zone.”

The formerly-living artists and representatives from DTES organizations that have joined in coalition pledging to stop condo development on the 100-block will host a salon concerning the fatal effects of more condos in the Downtown Eastside.

Frida Kahlo observed: “Williams’ bizarre sales pitch suggests that by building more condo units, he and condo buyers will help solve addiction and social problems in the neighbourhood. The reality is that condo developers and buyers will force poor people and resident artists out of the DTES.

Andy Warhol muttered: “His pitch includes a pious promise to help artists by leasing 2500sf to the mysterious “Art Space Action Society” (horrific spawn of the oxymoronic Social Purposes Real Estate
conference). These middlemen promise to sub-lease workspace to artists who can afford to be sub-lessors in a new building. Such artists will come from elsewhere, not the DTES.

Salvador Dali remarked: “Condos are being created in the DTES at a pace 3 times faster than social housing. And condo-creation is even faster compared with rooms that rent at the welfare rate… 11 times
faster. That contradicts the City of Vancouver Housing Plan for developing the DTES. Pantages condos would be deadly for the low-income community.

Jackson Pollock snarled: “This proposal is a gentrification bomb in the heart of the Downtown Eastside, and this developer’s record is a splattering of sales pitches without quality, substance, or integrity–
1) He was forced to shut down demolition work for health and safety violations
2) He left combustible debris everywhere and the Fire Dept has had to attend
3) His only interest is in making a killing.

Williams’ architect’s design was rejected by city’s Urban Design Panel. People who live or work in Vancouver, and supporters of the low-income community in the DTES should contact CoV Planning Director and demand a public Development Permit Board meeting on the condo proposal for the Pantages site.

Emily Carr referred people to “The DTES is Not for Condos” website for more information:


Organized by the Save the Pantages Site Coalition

A community coalition made up of DTES groups:
Aboriginal Front Door
Carnegie Community Action Project
DTES Neighbourhood Council
DTES Power of Women Group
Gallery Gachet
Streams of Justice
Vancouver Area Network of Drug Users


2 responses to “Action: Zombie Artists Protest Against Condos in “Dead Zone”

  1. This is great news! Just as we predicted, we start with the dead. Now, we greet the undead! Soon, we will welcome the living to Sequel 138.

    We welcome the zombies and their human overlords! Love your costumes! Thanks for coming to a great project! See you at the opening.

    Marc Williams

  2. Saved as a favorite, I really like your blog!

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