February 12, 2016 – St. James Community Square is saved!
Here is a press release from City Hall:
City preserves St. James Community Square for community use
Letters of support from the community
“The community centre is VITAL to health of every aspect of the community – recreationally, culturally and spiritually. It weaves a thread of the best of our society through three generations of citizens. St. James Community Square has filled an important gap in concert venues in Vancouver. It has been host to thousands of concerts from artists from all over the world and its loss would be beyond regrettable and would reverberate throughout the local, national and international folk community. As an audience member, the Rogue Folk Club presentations at St. James Community Square, are the only concerts I’ve attended in the past 15 years because the caliber of the artists is so high. There is no replacement for a venue of this type and size.” – Shari Ulrich
“This is a letter of support for the continuation for the St. James Community Square to remain a community space; a place for Phoenix Gym Club and their formidable teaching of gymnastics and for other practice, performance and discourse.
My family has used the site as far back as the 1930s when my dad played basketball there with his friends. I taught gymnastics there with Phoenix from 1994 – 1999. My children took lessons there. I have attended concerts and workshops in the facility. So three generations of my family have participated in activities available in the space.
Community space is precious and a vital place like St. James Community Square provides much-needed space for activities.” – Tami Knight
“It would be a disaster to lose St. James. I know it as the best concert and dance venue in Vancouver, but it is obvious that thousands of others use it for dozens of other activities. It is not only a huge part of the local community, in its role as a concert venue, it is part of the worldwide community of folk music. Losing it will have ripple effects across the country and around the world.” – Rob MacDonald
“Facilities such as SJCS are rare and becoming rarer in greater Vancouver. This unique place serves a wide range of needs for our community; even from my own personal perspective, two organizations I belong to have either used, or currently depend on, this venue. But there are many more that also depend on this venue; what recourse will the many organizations served by SJCS have, if it is ‘redeveloped’ ?
Amid much of the rhetoric we hear of the ‘livability’ of Vancouver, I often wonder what criteria its citizens use to define that term. (It can’t include the price of homes!) In my view, ‘livability’ doesn’t just mean being able to walk along its beaches, or hike in its nearby forests, or casually enjoy its various retail amenities. … These kinds of cultural considerations, in my view, go far beyond economic rationalizations – and, indeed (& ironically), do not seem to figure into many of the ‘business decisions’ that get made from day to day. … We need more places – not fewer – where musical and/or theatrical artists can rehearse and present for reasonable cost.
Loss of this facility would further compromise the real quality of life for many citizens & groups in greater Vancouver. Surely there are other things more important than more condominiums! I strongly support the retention of St. James Community Square and its irreplaceable educational, social service, cultural, and recreational programs provided, and I hope you will feel the same way. Please do everything in your power to help Save St. James Community Square! – Art Price
“We Love and need this building!!
PLEASE do NOT tear it down!!!!
What a terrible waste that would be.
Preserve what is good, and St James Hall is a community treasure.
Sincerely and emphatically – Claire Vogelhut
“I wanted to take a moment to write to you about how extremely important the St. James Hall is to both myself and to our dance group, who organizes contra dances held monthly in the St. James Hall. Contra dance is a true community dance. We do not make much money, despite almost filling The Hall on most occasions … For this reason, we depend on the reasonable rents charged by St. James for our dances. Due to the obscenely burgeoning property values in Vancouver, more and more old (affordable) halls with wood floors are being demolished to build more condos (which will increase the isolation and loss of community) in Vancouver.
Please keep the St. James Hall alive for more dances (and all the other wonderful events which Rogue Folk Club stages.) Please don’t sell it for condos!” Anonymous
“I strongly support the continuation of the St. James Community Square as a community resource centre. For as long as I can remember, they have provided space for a variety of services, activities and clubs. We need to retain this kind of space in our community to encourage a dynamic, interactive community. We do NOT need another housing development. – Aileen Stalker
“I am a Kitsilano resident who has attended numerous concerts and events at St. James Community Hall. My daughter practised there for a few years while a member of the VYSO. I spent numerous weekend evenings at Rogue Folk concerts, listening to wonderful bluegrass, folk music, and jazz, and dancing to country dance. The acoustics at St. James are exceptional. Anyone who has listened to a concert there can vouch for that … In the name of the almighty dollar, Kitsilano is becoming bland and boring. Any square inch of land that does not bring in the bucks that condos can is deemed useless. Communities need cultural centres and venues. Those of us that actually live here, in contrast to the numerous absent property owners, note, not homeowners, whose numbers are increasing on the West side, need places to experience culture.” – Alida Mackenzie
June 9, 2014 – Wonderful news!
We have received a generous donation from an anonymous donor, which will go towards the Trutch Street wheel chair ramp door replacement and automatic door opener!
We are delighted that we are able to proceed with this long-awaited upgrade to The Square.
Thank you, thank you!
One of St. James Community Square’s co-chairs, Mel Lehan, accepting a cheque from Tereza at Whole Foods Kitsilano. Whole Foods Kitsilano selected St. James Community Square as one of their Community Chest recipients. This fundraiser channels customer bag refunds to community organizations. As one of 3 recipients for a 3 month period, Whole Foods donated $2,261 which St. James Community Square is going to use to help replace the old wheel chair ramp doors and add an automatic door opener. We had $2,000 set aside and this donation from Whole Foods Kitsilano takes our fund raising to for this project to the 50% mark.
A big thank you to Whole Foods Kitsilano! The new door and automatic door opener will provide easier access to the building for people attending meetings, activities and special events who have mobility challenges and it will also make life easier for parents with strollers.
We have restored our Sherlock Manning up-right piano to teaching standard. It is now available in Room 111 for anyone who would like to book our space for piano practice, or to conduct their own piano classes. If you are interested, please contact our office by email at email@example.com or call 604-739-9373.