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Voices From The DTES: Housing, Healing & Poetry

July 5 @ 6:00 pm - 8:00 pm PDT

Join Massy Arts, and The DTES Writing Collective, for an evening of poetry, community, music by Wendy Gaspard and the unveiling of a 3D art installation by organizer, artist and curator Pari.

This project centres around an art installation featuring a 3D-printed model of the Winters Hotel—a symbol steeped in history and tragedy within the Downtown Eastside (DTES) community. This low-income housing facility, tragically consumed by flames in 2022, serves as a stark reminder of the housing crisis that continues to plague our neighbourhood. The purpose of this endeavour is a concerted effort to bring attention to the pressing issue of housing instability in the DTES.

This project was partially funded by the DTES Small Arts Grants Program and Vancouver Foundation

Venue & Accessibility:

The event will be hosted at the Massy Arts Gallery, at 23 East Pender Street in Chinatown, Vancouver. We are located in the former MING WO building.

Registration is free or by donation and required for entrance.

The gallery is wheelchair accessible and a gender-neutral washroom is on-site.

Please refrain from wearing scents or heavy perfumes.

For more on accessibility including parking, seating, venue measurements and floor plan, and how to request ASL interpretation please visit: massyarts.com/accessibility

Covid Protocols: Masks keep our community safe and are mandatory (N95 masks are recommended as they offer the best protection). We ask if you are showing symptoms, that you stay home. Thank you kindly.

About The DTES Writer’s Collective: https://dteswriters.org/

We write because writing illuminates reality and lays foundations for positive change.

We write because art massages sensibility, shifts perception, and crafts budding vistas.

We write because social justice needs voice and we aspire to be that voice.

We write because a trail of ink on paper pulls us in and creates new worlds to explore.

We meet at the Carnegie Centre every Thursday afternoon, 1:00-3:00pm. At present, due to Covid-19 restrictions, we are meeting in the Theatre (next door to the library) on the ground floor. At the moment, we are limited to 12 participants, due to social distancing requirements.

The DTES Writers Collective evolved from the Thursdays Writing Collective, which ran from 2008-2018. TWC published eleven chapbook anthologies with the support of Canada Council, City of Vancouver, Simon Fraser University and Carnegie Community Centre.

About Gilles Cyrenne: Gilles Cyrenne has self-published one book of poetry and is writing a second one with significant help from the Vancouver Manuscript Intensive. When Thursdays Writing Collective ended after ten successful years, Gilles and friends who wanted to keep writing together created Downtown Eastside Writers Collective which continues to meet every Thursday. Gilles won first prize for a Downtown Eastside writer in the 2023 Muriel’s Journey Poetry contest and has won first and second prizes for his essays and poetry in the Carnegie Newsletter’s Sandy Cameron Memorial contest. He also is a mentor with the UBC Hum Writing 101 Program, a series of free lectures for DTES Vancouver students and is a mentor for the UBC Science 101 Program, where he mines the physical sciences for metaphors. He also served as President of the Carnegie Community Centre Association Board of Directors for five years. He is a founding member of the DTES Writers Festival.  

About Wendy Gaspard: Wendy Gaspard is an Aboriginal Folk Musician from the Canoe Creek Band of the Shuswap Nation in British Columbia Canada. She writes and composes her own music which is a blend of traditional chanting, contemporary melodies and acoustic sounds. Her lyrics are poetic and delivered in a sweet and clear vocal style rich with harmony.

About the curator Pari :(he/they) is a non-traditional artist, whose self-taught artistic practice draws from the rich art-learning opportunities in their DTES community and is informed by their lived experiences as a BIPOC settler on unceded lands. Accordingly, Pari is a multidisciplinary creator, working across genres in poetry, arts-writing sound, 3D work, and archival photography.




July 5
6:00 pm - 8:00 pm PDT
Event Category:


23 East Pender Street
Vancouver, BC Canada
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