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A spectacular exhibition of donated art and creatively painted umbrellas filled the Roundhouse Great Hall in November 2005 as a catalyst for discussion and action around Homelessness. 

 A month of citywide events culminated in a Gala Evening + Silent Auction and Fundraiser at the Roundhouse on the evening of November 17th 2005. Over 100 contributed works by individual artists where auctioned.  There were also group efforts and individual works from the community involving organizations such as  Coast Foundation, Correction Services of Canada, Gallery Gachet, Brenda Carr Studio Society, various local elementary schools and community centers. It was an exciting and festive event and the evening was well attended with many of the artists in attendance.  All members of society were present  as admission to this event was free.  Hank Bull,  executive director of Centre A Gallery and well known in the art community, swung the gavel with great aplomb,  helping to bring in over $15,000 in the course of the evening.  Funds raised were directed to Brenda Carr Studio Society and 29 West Hastings Street.  Both organizations provide rehabilitative art programs that work with youth and adults at risk, as well as individuals already living on the street.   The delicious hors d’oeuvres were donated and served by the Salvation Army Belkin House Catering and Pair Bistro managed the bar.  The crowd was entertained by The Out of the Rain Choir, who sang the Out of the Rain song and by Charlette Mouton on the harp.  Of course, the event would not have been possible without the many Roundhouse Community volunteers and staff.

Other Events -

Many Vancouver galleries, community centres, businesses and agencies participated in Out of the Rain, a community art project to raise awareness about homelessness.  The Roundhouse Community Arts & Recreation Centre was the hub of the activities and every surrounding neighbourhood participated in some way – Gastown, Downtown Eastside, the West  End, Yaletown, Uptown-Mt. Pleasant and others.  The following is a range of the community workshops, events, and forums which happened in fall 2005 to express  people’s concern about homelessness and the desire to see change:

Sept. 10 (Sat)  - WECAN(West End Citizen’s Action Network) promoted Out of the Rain at the West End Community Centre Neighbourhood Day with umbrella painting demonstrations. www.wecan-vancouver.com

Sept 10 (Sat) What Do Neighbourhoods Mean Today? A discussion at Centre A  -  425 Carrall Street at Hastings  Entrance – 23 West Pender Street  www.centrea.org

Sept. 10, 17, or 24 – Saturday volunteer training sessions for people wanting to facilitate umbrella painting/decorating workshops at the Roundhouse and in their communities were held at the Roundhouse Community Centre.  www.roundhouse.ca

Oct. 5 (Wed.)  – a joint umbrella painting workshop with Killarney Community Centre Seniors and Killarney Youth. Seniors were  paired up with youth and together they
decorated an umbrella. After the completion of the workshop, coordinator Ashley Beattie had both seniors and youth approach her to say how much they enjoyed painting the umbrellas and that they were surprised at how talented their partners were!

Oct. 17 – 21 (Mon-Fri) Camping: Out of the Rain.  When the rain started, participants in COAST’s week long camping trip headed inside and began painting on umbrellas for Out of the Rain events. 

October 20 -22 (Thur-Sat)   Arts in Action, Global Responses, and the Downtown Eastside  An afternoon forum by DTES artists on community cultural development
29 West Hastings St.  www.heartofthecityfestival.com

October 20 (Thur) Youth joined Canadian poet bill bissett, famed for his unconventional style, in a free poetry workshop and reading at Gallery Gachet. The work produced was part of a final performance piece, out uv th storm, performed Nov. 4 at 10 pm at Gallery Gachet.

October 20 (Thur) – Evening umbrella painting workshop at Renfrew Community Centre (604) 257-8388  www.city.vancouver.bc.ca/parks/cc/renfre/index.htm

October 22  An umbrella painting workshop at Emily Carr’s Great Northern Way campus (between Main + Clarke) as part of Judith Marcuse’ earth(ling)  event on youth, arts and activism. Some art umbrellas were shown at Gallery Gachet’s November exhibit.

ctober 22 The debut performance of out uv th storm at Judith Marcuse Projects’ earth(ling) festival, Emily Carr’s Great Northern Way campus (between Main + Clarke).

Oct. 24 (Mon)  Breaking the Fourth Wall: the Arts of the Downtown Eastside – Afternoon discussion about the future for the arts in the DTES – 4 pm - Centre A  -  425 Carrall Street at Hastings  Entrance – 23 West Pender Street  www.vacforums.com   

Oct. 25(Tues.)  An afternoon umbrella painting workshop at Atira Women’s Services Society, 101 E. Cordova St. Atira provides emergency shelter and permanent housing for women who are homeless or at risk of becoming homeless in the DTES www.atira.bc.ca  

Oct. 28  - Forum for Children About Homelessness.  Coordinated by False Creek Elementary School for students at the school prior to their umbrella painting. A school assembly was also held after the painting to further discuss homelessness and the school’s  involvement in the project.

Oct. 29 (Sat.) - 2 pm  – TRACT – an installation, performance and talk at Centre A  with artist, educator and curator, Jenny Ham. At the Vancouver Centre for Contemporary Asian Art, 2 West Hastings St. TRACT’s installation questioned familiar notions of landscape in relation to larger socio-political concerns about identity and home. For more on this NY based, Korean Canadian. Go to www.centrea.org

Oct. 30 (Sun) An afternoon umbrella painting workshop at Gallery Gachet, 88 Cordova in cooperation with the Lookout Society.  Downtown Eastside residents were  invited to paint and decorate an umbrella for the Out of the Rain exhibitions.

Nov. 4 (Fri) –  Out uv th  Storm– 10 pm -  As part of the LIVE Performance Art Biennial,  Gallery Gachet launched their month long Out of the Rain exhibition with this performance piece involving youth mentored by Canadian poet bill bissett.  Co-presented with the 2nd Annual Heart of the City Festival and The Community Arts Initiative.   www.gallerygachet.org , www.livevancouver.bc.ca , www.heartofthecityfestival.com

Nov. 6 (Sun)  –  The West End Citizens' Action Network and the West End Community Centre Association invited local artists, homeless and other residents  to participate in umbrella painting workshops at the WECC. 

Nov. 8 – 17 - A Liveable City for Everyone: Public Dialogues at the Roundhouse –  presentations, videos, and interactive displays  to engage our community about homelessness.  www.roundhouse.ca

Nov. 9 –Street Arts Works umbrella painting workshop for street involved youth at the Roundhouse.

Nov. 10 (Thur) –  Kingsgate Mall hosted a community umbrella painting including students from Mt. Pleasant Elementary School. Co-sponsored with the Mt. Pleasant Volunteer Police,  Broadway and Main Street.  For information, call 604 879-0144

Nov. 12 & 13 (Sat & Sun) –  An in-depth Roundhouse Forum on Homelessness using the newly proposed Homeless Action Plan for Vancouver as a base to encourage new initiatives to address homelessness.  www.roundhouse.ca

Nov. 17 (Thur)  – Silent Auction Gala at the Roundhouse.  Artists umbrellas were auctioned to support art rehabilitative programs which benefit youth and adults living on the street. www.outfotherain.org

Nov. 17 (Thur) – Mt. Pleasant Volunteer Police and Kingsgate Mall host a Seniors Safety Tea as part of  Seniors Appreciation Day.  Included discussion about understanding homelessness and feeling safe on the streets.

Nov. 23 (Wed)  Umbrella Painting  Workshop. 7:30-9:30pm  Dunbar Community Centre    www.dunbarcentre.ca   604-222-6060

2nd Annual Heart of the City Festival  Oct. 24 – Nov. 6 –– Downtown Eastside –umbrella painting workshop www.heartofthecityfestival.com
Carnegie Centre – Hastings and Main Street – umbrella painting workshop   http://vcn.bc.ca/carnegie/index.php

COAST Foundation art program – Member’s painting workshops – on-going throughout the fall. Produced many umbrellas which were exhibited and raffled at the Roundhouse. www.coastfoundation.com


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