Call for Submissions: Mount Pleasant Community Arts Screen (MPCAS, Vancouver)
“We accept submissions on an ongoing basis.
To be considered for the Fall/ Winter 2020 program, submissions must be received by July 31st, 2020 at 4pm.
Submissions received after this date will be considered at a later time
The MPCAS is a 7×4 metre outdoor community and media arts LED screen, located on unceded Coast Salish territories at Kingsway and Broadway in Mount Pleasant. Broadcasting from 9am to 10pm most days, it is programmed by grunt gallery, an artist-run centre that has been in the neighbourhood since 1984. For more information please visit mpcas.ca
*please note the screen does not have audio capabilities, therefore all submitted content is currently limited to image and captioning only.
The current programming theme of the MPCAS is PLACE, which looks at a changing Mount Pleasant and Vancouver through works by artists, curators, and residents who live here or are connected to the area, exploring its past, current, and future vitality.
Mount Pleasant was one of Vancouver’s earliest neighborhoods, built along a large salmon and trout creek that ran from the swampy higher grounds down to the ocean — the same path as what is now Main Street. The area became a focus of colonial settlement in the mid-19th century and local Indigenous communities were forced out to make way for businesses that grew into a bustling destination neighbourhood. By 1910, business moved west with Shaughnessy becoming the preferred neighbourhood, and Mount Pleasant fell into economic decline for almost 100 years. With working-class roots, abundant rental housing, and transient tenants, it was the poorest neighbourhood outside of the Downtown Eastside. A community of immigrants, urban poor, and artists created the conditions from which much of Vancouver’s early modern cultural life grew.
Beginning in the 1990s, Mount Pleasant’s gentrification started to take hold, initially through the live/work studio condos that gradually began to appear in the area. In 2010, with the development in the Olympic Village area, aggressive upzoning began, and many residents were evicted from their long-held homes as rents doubled and tripled within a few years. Mount Pleasant’s gritty characteristics suddenly became its new selling points. Developer marketing highlighted its arts community and heritage buildings—although ironically both became early targets in the gentrification process. Mount Pleasant quickly transformed from one of Vancouver’s cheapest neighbourhoods to one of its most expensive, ground zero for the increasing unaffordability of the city.
The MPCAS engages with this complex and, at times, tense history of displacement, creativity, expansion and grit
Our vision is to provide an urban screen with content received from and responsive to its viewers, in contrast to the advertising/consumer paradigm that is the rule with most highly visible screens in a public space.
As we build a program that reflects, engages with and enriches the complex cultural history of Vancouver’s Mount Pleasant neighbourhood, our call for submissions welcomes contributions from artists, collectives, curators and other community members, organizations and community festivals. Topics could include (but are not limited to) identity, language, housing, city streets, food, neighbourhoods, landmarks, loss, memories, narratives of the past, and potential futures.
The racialized, immigrant and working class communities that have been the backbone of Mount Pleasant have also been disproportionately impacted by the economic swings and recent gentrification of the area. Without a doubt, the history of this unique neighbourhood is entwined with colonial legacies and systemic inequities, and we invite submissions that explore the idea of place from the angle of disPLACEment, too.
Generally speaking, submitted works should be ten minutes or less in length and could include (but are not limited to) still images, time-based media, animations, performance works, archival video, interactive pieces, GIFs, experimental video, event proposals, and curatorial/screening proposals.”
For more information and submission details, please see grunt gallery’s newsletter.