W2: Community Media Arts Vancouver BC

The W2 community

W2 is a globally-networked community media arts organisation located in Vancouver's Downtown Eastside.

Our flagship facility is the W2 Media Cafe, a 10,000-square-foot crossmedia centre located in the Atrium of Vancouver's Woodward's complex. 

W2 provides people with access and empowerment through technology and infrastructure.


W2 Media Cafe offers:

  • Crossmedia Lab (cable TV, fibre network, FM radio)
  • Fearless City Media & Community Wifi Mesh Network
  • Video Cube - 34’ media art installation
  • Creative Technology Incubator
  • Social enterprise cafe & catering
  • Open Web Tech Lab
  • Letterpress Studio
  • Educational programs and workshops
  • Public lounge and washrooms


From W2 we broadcast via fibre optic networks, cable TV (Shaw/Novus), and FM radio (CJSF/CFRO).

W2 specialises in multi-platform broadcasting, telepresence, interactive live screens, mobile technology, open web, and delivers a wide variety of urban digital culture initiatives, residency and educational programs.

W2 partners with 10 other Vancouver organisations to coproduce and present festivals, as well as our own annual festivals: Surge Festival of Urban Digital Culture (August) and Utopia Festival of Women in Digital Culture (March).


W2’s mandate is to:

  • Break the digital divide
  • Promote social inclusion
  • Encourage cross-cultural dialogue
  • Advance issues of redress


We do this by providing access to:

  • Technology
  • Training
  • Means of production
  • Channels for distribution 


W2 promotes access to tools that facilitate communication and the distribution of people’s crossmedia stories, believing such tools should be in the hands of people and not limited to high tech research labs or corporate board rooms. The future involves telepresence, interactive live screens, mobile technology, ubiquitous wireless, web 3.0 and other means of helping people impact their own future.


Technology in the hands of people can increase the effectiveness of their communication, especially in the DTES where 6,000 people have no phone, internet or computers. Technology can help make society more just and fair, and we believe this is a human right.


W2 provides access to technology, training, production, and distribution of people’s stories with multi-platform tools.


W2 is people powered! W2 currently has more than 5,000 individual members (on and offline) and several core organizational members:

  • Kootenay School of Writing
  • Coop Radio (CFRO 102.7FM)
  • CJSF FM Radio
  • Open Media
  • Image Society (formerly Indigenous Media Arts Group)
  • Other core and associate members include Knowledgeable Aboriginal Youth Association (KAYA), Redwire, KickstArt Disability Arts Society, VANDU, Redwire, Roundhouse CC, and Carnegie CC.


W2 is largely run by volunteers and is a great way for people to contribute their ideas and labour to bring this longterm project into reality. What we build today will be used for decades.


Please consider joining as an intern or volunteer in the following committees: Technical; Open Web; Social Media; Communication; Fundraising; Community Wifi Mesh Network. Volunteer crews include: technical and event production, and catering.


Until May 1, 2011, W2 operated W2 Storyeum, a 31,000 sq ft site for conferences, exhibitions, and festivals. That location is now closed.


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