W2: Community Media Arts Vancouver BC

W2 Culture+Media House

UPDATE: The W2 Culture + Media House was a special project of W2 conducted while we waited for renovations to be completed at our new home in the Woodward's heritage building - directly across the street. It was a special project that W2 created for the 2010 Winter Olympics and we operated it with people-power and a half-year lease of the Perel Building at 112 W Hastings (ending April 15, 2010.) Since that time we have been located one block north at W2 Storyeum (151 W Cordova).

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What we are about:

W2 Culture + Media House is making history as the first and likely last independent social media centre during an Olympics. Beijing was too controlled and London is expected to integrate social media having learned from Vancouver's inability to control and monetize the social media community.

W2 is taking it a step further and presenting 150 Djs, Vjs, visual and media artists, filmmakers, designers to reflect a diverse mix of Vancouver culture. We are also flying over a dozen artists and media makers from Europe and the USA. The W2 social media team will blog and tweet throughout the day and night maintaining the buzz and webcasting our programs live to a global audience. W2 has 25 in-house videographers, as well as our Fearless City Mobile team of 20 DTES mobile streamers. Lots of content, lots of excitement 24 hours/day across the street from the revitalized Woodward’s site.

W2 is largely volunteer-run with 175 volunteers trained and working on several working groups (operations; technical; events; cafe/catering; security). With a strong foundation of community interest, and without public subsidy, the W2 Culture + Media House relies on private sector sponsorships and a high volume of participants to be sustainable. W2 provides the infrastructure for unaccredited media to work and play, and brings our 13,000 sq ft of space to life with an influx of Vancouver artists, designers and not-for-profits for daily media events and public celebrations. Our front facade is packaged up with a super hot “Fire with Fire” video installation that plays nightly on Hastings Street, courtesy of the Cultural Olympiad and Quebec video artist Isabelle Hayeur.

The W2 provides resources and support for independent journalists and bloggers from BC and around the world who are covering events for their local publication or media outlet. W2 collaborates within the social media and community media landscape in Vancouver and has invited key players to work with the project and make a major impact throughout the Olympics. While there are other social media promotion projects, the W2 Culture + Media House is the only physical space and infrastructure provider for social media during the Olympics outside of the BCIMC.

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