Visiting Progress Lab in Vancouver

While we were in Vancouver, Tim and I spent time visiting Progress LAB 1422, and providing some mentorship and coaching support to its founding companies.
Progress LAB 1422 is a 6,000 square foot space developed from a former garment factory in Vancouver’s Eastside in 2009 through a joint venture of 4 theatre companies, Electric Company, Boca Del Lupo, Rumble Productions, and Neworld Theatre.  In developing the space, the four companies collaborated to create a theatre creation centre unlike any other previously available in Vancouver, and to benefit the creativity, capacity and productivity of the groups and artists interacting with the space.

Central to the producing strategies of these four independent and innovative theatre creation companies has been the acquisition and renovation of a shared studio space.  When the space is not being used by the four companies to develop their own work, it is available to other local performing arts organisations to hire for creation and rehearsal.

Kirsty Munro (with puppy Java), Managing Producer at Neworld Theatre, Laura Efron, General Manager at Rumble Productions, Jay Dodge, Artistic Producer at Boca Del Lupo, Nathan Medd Managing Producer, Electric Company Theatre and Tim Jones, Artscape, in the Progress LAB 1422 Studio during our recent mentorship and coaching program visit to Vancouver.

The four companies also have shared company offices and a small shop facility along with loads of sneakily hidden storage.

Progress LAB 1422 is a great example of how small arts organisations may not, by themselves, have the capacity or resources to take a facility project forward but by collaborating they can leverage their ideas, talents and passions into a great new cultural space in their city.

Click here to see a slide show of the renovation of the Progress LAB 1422 space, courtesy of Progress LAB 1422.


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