Blim: the Little Resource Centre that Could
Recently voted “Best Place to Whip up some Art” in the Georgia Straight reader’s poll, Blim is an independent community-based art resource center that has been operating for the past seven years out of a small storefront on Main Street. The multi-use space is used for any number of creative activities including screen-printing, button making, drawing, knitting, local underground audio, film screenings, animation, video, dance, spoken word, visual art, creative workshops, and crafts, in fact, just about anything you can think of that fits into the independent, creative field.
Blim has outgrown its current space at 197 east 17th Avenue and is in the process of relocating to a new, larger premises at 115 E Pender, with the grand reopening schedule for May 1.
I spoke with Blim’s founder, Yuriko Iga, via e-mail.
What does Blim mean?
Blim blim was the name of my imaginary animal kingdom when I was four. It was a place where my animals would be immune from pain. I just shortened it to Blim.
What made you start Blim?
I started Blim with my friend Richard Farand of United Congress. At the time, Blinding Light and The Sugar Refinery had just shut down, so there was a need for experimental film and music venues. First Blim was more of this. When we moved to Main Street we became more of a day venue with craft events and retail.
What is Blim’s mandate?
We are a community art space open to artists, and non artists, or just people with creative needs. We are a business with grass roots ideals. We strive to be a business with integrity and ethical intentions. We’re used by artists, non artists, crafters, non crafters, musicians, non musicians, self employed people, film people, kids, graphic designers, photographers, moms, etc, etc.
You’re moving to a new location in a few months . . .
We need more space. We need to replant Blim in a larger pot so its roots can expand and grow. We also want more people to get involved with Blim on an ongoing basis and a larger space would help us achieve this goal. We’re going to have a big party, some food, my friend Daniel will dj. And hopefully many folks will come out to check out the new space. I’m excited to be back downtown, I look forward to working with Chinatown BIA. And local surrounding art organizations. It will be nice to be in a place with more like minded folk working and being creatively active. I like that we are closer to Japantown too.
You have chosen to operate independently, without government funding – why is that?
I like to be more organic with my business practice. I like to make decisions right away. I don’t have time for extra paper work, I barely have enough time to run Blim. Funding is a full time job separate from running a business, if I sought funding than I would have to change too many things. So we rely solely on retail, workshop, sales and service.
If someone was interested in getting involved in Blim, how do they go about it?
Contact firstname.lastname@example.org check out the website www.blim.ca, come visit us, attend and event, volunteer, buy a shirt, have a show, take a workshop, etc, etc.
Blim Art and Craft Facility, 197 East 17th Ave, Vancouver, BC
Monday – Thursday 2:00-10:00pm
Fridays 2:00-6:00pm (except for special events)
Saturdays 12:00 – 6:00pm (except for special events)