Ingrid Mesquita Painting

Conquering The Culture Crawl


The year’s most anticipated visual arts, design and crafts festival is around the corner – the East Side Culture Crawl (ESCC).  The 4-day festival runs November 15-18th and as always, is sure to deliver on its mandate to transform the community through visual art. This year 456 artists in 76 buildings are opening their studio doors to all of Vancouver.

The event is focused on the East Vancouver area bounded by Main Street, Commercial Drive, and the Waterfront and includes painters, jewelers, sculptors, furniture makers, weavers, potters, printmakers, photographers, and glassblowers. Visitors are annually blown away by the variety, complexity and wonder of the work created by both emerging artists and internationally acclaimed ones – all living in our midst.

Needless to say, there’s a lot to take in!

We thought we’d offer up some tips & tricks for enjoying your 2018 crawl!

Parker Street Studios
Photo: Parker Street Studios

Tips & Tricks

  • Consider visiting Parker Place Studios on opening night, Thursday, Nov 15th, 5-10 pm. This building houses the Crawl’s largest number of artists under one roof  – over 150,000 sq feet of studio space over 4 floors. On Thursday eve, the majority open their doors to Crawlers and many are serving wine and nibbles making for a very fun, convivial eve. You can the rest of the Crawl days exploring the other studios.
  • “Pre-shop” – Do some research beforehand  – check out all the artists that will open their studio doors and determine which ones most interest you. This will make it easier to tackle the
  • Plan – Devise a route that makes sense. ETSS has a route planner tool available on their website.
  • Parking – if you have to drive, there is street parking around many of the studios. Be forewarned, it is more of a challenge to find a spot near the bigger building like Parker Place. We recommend parking once and walking between studios.
  • Getting around – As mentioned, walking is optimal but this year Modo is offering a free Crawl Shuttle on Saturday and Sunday from 12pm – 6pm. The Modo minivan leaves Parker Street Studios, Railtown Studios, and Portside Studios in a clockwise and counterclockwise loop every 30 minutes. Thanks, Modo!
Vancouver Culture Crawl Map
Photo: Culture Crawl map
  • Bring an umbrella – it’s Vancouver. What more can we say!
  • Bring your kids, not your dog. Expose them young and raise creatively aware, inspired little humans! Check out Crawling for Kids for details on a Saturday afternoon, free hands-on creative collage workshop for kids at Melk Art & Design (936 Clark Dr.).
  • Be respectful of the artists and ask if you can photograph their work (I have never been told ‘no’), then tag your Crawl posts #eastsideculturecrawl
Letterpress Demo Vancouver Culture Crawl
Photo: Porchlight Press doing a Letterpress Demo
  • In addition, to the open houses, the ESCC is hosting a number of other affiliated events that are definitely worth checking out including:
    • Letterpress Demo – For all you Graphic Design/Typography nerds, this is a must-do. Learn all about the rich history of letterpress printing, experience it firsthand and take home a special keepsake.  November 15, 5-10pm 585 Maclean Drive
    • Or how about a Chainsaw Carving Demo for all the aspiring lumberjacks out there (yes, you lot, sporting beards and plaid shirts) – Nov 17, 18 @3pm Outside Studio #101 at 1000 Parker St.
    • This is just a sample – for a complete list of these eclectic hands-on, interactive ESCC events, click here.

And come away with something. Invest in our local artistic community – buy a piece of art! Your hearts and minds will love you for it!

(NOTE: For your new purchase(s), check out our post on how to your hang art by Parker Place artist, Christine Breakell-Lee Studio  #212)


Eastside Culture Crawl 2018 – Hours

November 15 Thursday 5-10pm
November 16 Friday 5-10pm
November 17 Saturday 11-6pm
November 18 Sunday 11-6pm


A Little Preview of Some Culture Crawl artists…

Anyuta Gusakova
Photo: Ceramics from Anyuta Gusakova
Eikcam ceramics by Grace Lee
Photo: Eikcam ceramics by Grace Lee
Ben McLaughlin Furniture
Photo: Ben McLaughlin
 Drew De Panicis Furniture
Photo: De Panicis, Drew
SHIPWAY Living Design
Photo: SHIPWAY living design
Fran Alexander Bear Paintings
Photo: Fran Alexander

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