The Artist Resource Centre

Please Note: The statements or opinions on this site may or may not be the opinions or Reliance Properties Ltd, the owners of this incredible building. In fact they may or may not be the opinions of myself either... the creator of this site and,  as of now, official building manager once again. 

     The ARC shown in the image above is a collection of 79 artist live/work studios and one gourmet cafe all under one roof.

These studios are suitable for any artistic process imaginable.

They are very sound proof.

The building is also extremely fire proof.

We also have the following ammenity rooms in the basement:

Wood shop with tools

Metal shop with tools

Kiln room with two kilns

Darkroom with equipment

Air conditioned dance room with a professional sprung wood dance floor.

Fully equipped gym

Music practice rooms for 24 hour music practice

A large passenger elevator

A huge freight elevator

Three laundry rooms that use smart cards

Huge tax advantages

An extremely friendly community

Secured parking

1701 Powell Street Vancouver BC

The very north end of Commercial drive






In order to save some of you reading time

The ARC no longer allows pets.

You can read more about this below.

     Hi, I am Roy and will be your guide for this tour.

     I have been living in the ARC for about 20 years or so and still not tired of it. If you are interested in checking it out read all of the following. It will go over everything that you need to move here ahead of anyone else.

Yes there is a waiting list of sorts. If you are a serious artist the ARC could be the one of the best investments you make in yourself!!


     Thanks for your interest in the ARC! If you are seriously interested in getting a live work studio here reading this over will be a huge advantage to you. If you have any other questions after reading it over  feel free to call me. If you are a serious artist wanting to expand your passion then it will be worth your time. Everything written below is what I normally tell you during my long and tedious building tours which take 45 minutes, plus you have to drive here to get one This could save you having to slog through a tour if you realize early that you would not want to move here anyway. If I don't talk you out of it then the application is near the very bottom of this page.  : )


Just inside our front door.

      If you are an artist, sculptor, actor, inventor, musician, potter, designer or any other artistic type then the ARC could very well be perfect for you! The building has 79 studios and a cafe. We are located in an industrial area right at the very north end of Commercial Drive on Powell Street. Vancouver's incredible East Side. The building is owned and operated by Reliance Properties Ltd. A stable Vancouver company who has been around for over fifty years. Originally the building was built in 1932 as industrial storage and was reworked into live work studios in 1995. The ARC is one of the first few "real" live/work studios built in Vancouver. If you are an artist and think you can't afford it here then you really need to go over this info!

     The trains and industry right over the fence from us create the perfect ambiance of all night noise. Smells from West Coast Reduction keep out all the yuppies, trendites and wanna-be's. This makes more room for people like you who are more concerned about pursuing your passion than you are about your surroundings. The sense of community this building has is also incredible. Our extremely slow elevators make sure that before long you get to know everyone in the building by first name. Either while waiting for it on the ground floor or during the long journey to the seventh floor. Here you will never have to worry about accidentally making eye contact with your neighbors. They welcome it! I have often been told by new tenants that this is the friendliest building they have ever seen. So let's begin...

Our Incredible View from the Seventh Floor Lounge Area

(short of the distracting mountains that is)


     To start with here I am going to go over all the reasons that you don't want to move here. There are a few... The first is the noise. We have trains working right out the back doing their shunting 24/7 (hooking and unhooking train cars). From what I can tell they must do most of their drinking over there at night because some nights they ram them cars so hard it jars the whole building! The first two weeks you live here you swear you are going to go crazy! Of course once you actually do go crazy you barely notice the train noise any more. Just the same some nights it's so loud you would swear Armageddon is here early. What I like about the noise is it keeps out the weak and unfocused whiners. I just plug in an old kirby vacuum cleaner I have here at night to create some ambient noise. That pretty well drowns out everything and I sleep like a dog in the park.

     The next reason is the "Chicken Plant"... West Coast Reduction... right across the tracks from us. See above image.Unfortunately they do create some wretched smells over there processing the remains of your chicken Caesar salad or better said the remains of what made your chicken Caesar salad. Do you smell it inside the studios? Almost never if ever.

     Though some new comers here still do complain West Coast Reduction has made some absolutely incredible improvements to the smell over the years. Eighteen years ago when I first moved here uncontrollable vomiting was common for those walking in the area. Now there is the odd day here and there where you may smell something but nothing even close to the good ole dayz!!! Will it kill you? Not likely but the exhaust coming out of the car you rode up in or the thirty five thousand cars that drive by the street every day sure will. (Yes... 35,000)Humans will last about three minutes in a sealed room with a car running. If you are worried about your breathing health I have one piece of advice... GET OUT OF THE CITY... at least until Tesla catches on a little more!! We just gotta hope they put the coal fired electric generation stations to charge the electric cars out in the country where they can afford a little more smog. As far as the chicken smell... it's there but not that bad or that often.

     The third reason you may not want to move here.... We are ground zero. When world economies get stressed (like they are now) the governments, who created the problems in the first place by creating massive debt  by buying suckers... I mean voters, also get stressed. Thus to avoid the embarrassment of looking stupid they blame other countries and start throwing bombs around. Usually when the bombers bomb they like to hit the ports and other places similar. This shuts down the country's ability to ship goods and apparently really teaches them a lesson. Now if they ever bomb here we here at the ARC will be the first ones to see a millisecond of radioactive flash before turning to vapor. The poor people in areas outside the ARC and surrounding areas  though will likely just get burnt bad and die slowly. If you are someone who would rather die quickly then this could be an advantage!


     Well that seems to have thinned out the crowd quicker than yelling "job" at an artist gathering!!! Great!!! That leaves a better selection and less competition for all you serious artists still here!!! Now for the good stuff!!!!



     There are a few really good reasons to want to move here if you are an artist. Because of the above paragraphs I always tell people that the ARC is not a place you nescissarily "want" to move to it is a place you "have" to move to!! The advantages here to any ambitious creative person make it almost as good as it can get... at least here in Vancouver anyway. Of course once you hit the big time in New York then it's "ocean view, hot tub, pool, butler and all the take out you can eat!!!" In the meantime though you can't beat the ARC!!!


     First things first, you can write off 70% of your rent against any art income you have. Now in case you are not aware of this artists can now carry over their losses indefinitely. The government finally noticed/realized that most artists don't get rich right out of the gate. Some work for years before getting recognized and rich. Thus if you don't hit the big time with your art until ten years down the road no worries. You can still go back and write off 70% of all the rent you paid here during your stay! This can make a huge difference to how much taxes the mob.... I mean government takes. Now most artists not making a lot of money say they don't care if they have to pay some taxes as long as they are selling enough work to live off of. That may be true now but when you do get there and realize how much the feds want to grab you will be wishing you had these write-offs, believe me!!!

     The fire proofing and sound proofing here is incredible and is what allows you to do almost any type of artistic process you want in your studio. This is a huge relief not having to keep one eye over your shoulder watching for city inspectors and other hired thugs trying to shut you down!

     You will never have zoning problems with the city. The only time you will have zoning issues is if you want to start a business here other than anything art related. The zoning here is artist live work. I myself am a metal sculptor and have a full on welding shop in my studio to do my sculpture. (Strangely I feel safer here fire wise than I do when I stay at my mother's electrically heated house up in the mountains!) The only thing that can really burn in the ARC is the possessions you have in your studio. Even then they would not burn very long because of the sprinkler system.

     Your ability to be productive here with your creative form will skyrocket. I could not believe how productive I was able to be here vs my last place where I had less than a block to walk to my studio. Here you are only a few steps away from doing whatever your creative passion is.


WOOD SHOP that includes all the top of the line tools you could imagine like a General table saw, compound miter saw, General 15" planer, General 24" drum sander, General 48" belt disc sander, General 6" jointer, Dewalt scroll saw, General 17" band saw, General wood lathe, drill press, 5hp Oneida cyclone style dust system, a paint room for finishing and 24 hour access

METAL SHOP that includes a drill press, metal band saw, two metal chop saws, a gas torch, a Miller plasma cutter, a Miller mig welder, an arc welder, bench grinder, metal shear, air compressor, sandblast cabinet, also 24 hour access etc. etc

NOTE: the wood/metal shop (they are joined) is the only amenity room that you have to pay to use. The cost to use them is $50. from when you pay until the end of that month. It is an incredible deal. You only have to pay for the months you need or intend to use it. On top of that the dues you pay do not go to the company. I stash them in a separate bank account and then use them to buy new tools and upkeep. Using dues we just recently updated our miter saw to a new Dewalt sliding  compound miter saw. With some details it was around $800. We also use the dues to keep sharp saw blades, planer blades, sander belts etc etc on hand. Thanks in part to the dues (and Reliance Properties) the works shops are steadily improving all the time.

KILN ROOM with a pottery kiln and a glass slumping kiln. Free to use if you know what you are doing. No charges for the hydro either.

DARKROOM fully equipped with all that you need short of chemicals and paper for those nostalgic types. This is a large darkroom with a lot of stuff. If you have the chemicals and paper then you can book it in and use it whenever you want 24/7! As strange as it seems there are still people who like to play with film!

DANCE PERFORMANCE ROOM with a professional grade sprung wood dance floor, mirrored wall and air conditioning!!! This room can be used to work out in, teach classes, have an art show, party with your friends or whatever else you can think of.

FULLY EQUIPPED GYM that has pretty well everything you need to get in shape including a treadmill, elliptical trainer, weight machine and free weights, bicycle and apparently some other stuff but I never get in there much....

MUSIC PRACTICE ROOMS that you can use for 24 hour music practice. There are actually two. One small one and one larger one. They are joined by a double wall and two double doors that can be opened to make it feel like one larger room.... kind of.

HUGE FREIGHT ELEVATOR:  The one cherished bonus we have here is a huge freight elevator. It is great for moving your sheets of plywood, equipment, and even motorcycle if you are so inclined up to your studio on the seventh floor. As you can see in the image above  it is a classic vintage beauty that lets us down quite often but never for that long before it gets back up again.

REGULAR PASSENGER ELEVATORWe also have a regular passenger elevator for slow but steady departures to and from the seventh floor. Because it is so slow we call it our social club mostly because it is where you get to know the other tenants in the building! Mostly while you are waiting for it to come back down from the seventh floor on on the journey up to the seventh floor. It almost never lets us down


     All the studios here are open concept with a bright clean  bathroom in one corner and a kitchen down one wall. The ground floor studios have sixteen foot ceilings with a bedroom and bathroom in the loft. All the upper floors have ten foot ceilings. Most of the upper floor studios have incredible views as an added bonus. Soundproofing between studios is very good. The building is also beyond overkill as far as being fire proof.  The floors and ceilings are cement, the walls between studios are double layered 5/8th inch gyproc supported by steel studs and fiberglass insulation. Even the team that faked the collapse of the trade towers would have a hard time with this one.  All studios have the red terracotta tiles as can be seen in the photo above. The doorways into each studio are also extra wide as are the hallways. Thus making the moving of works in and out a lot easier. On top of our real slow passenger elevator we have the huge and rickety freight elevator. This cranky but dependable beast is great if you have a motor cycle and want to keep it in your studio on the seventh floor. Or if you just want to lug a hundred sheets of 3/4" medite up to your studio.

Here above is one the standard bottom of the line but highly functional kitchens.

Here is a shot of our standard bottom of the line but very clean bathrooms.

Incredible View From One of the Studios on the East Side of the Building.

Living in an artist building where you can do something to expand your creative or artistic passion is incredible. Especially when compared to the factory condo's where all you can do is sit around and watch TV in your spare time. Or do what they were designed to make you do... go out to eat drink and be merry stimulating the economy at the expense of your life!!

Inside one of our medium sized studios

     All the studios here have the almost bullet proof red terra cotta tiles shown above. They are very easy to clean. The room in the corner is the bathroom. The door into the studio is wider than most at 42 inches. The ceilings on the upper floors are two inches give or take less than ten feet. Though the ceilings look like painted wood it is actually cement that took an impression from the wood forms used back in 1932 when the building was built. All studios have the beautiful cement columns also.

A Quick Look Inside One Of The Studios

(This ones rated at about 860sq ft)



     Heat and hot water here are included in with your rent. Most of the tenants here rarely turn their heat on. The hot water is also endless. No matter how many people shower at the same time the water is always hot.

     Hydro you have to pay for. Most units here I believe are around $35 to $50. per month depending on how often you bake cookies, leave your lights on or run your mig or tig welder...

     Don't forget that if you move here you have to transfer your BC Hydro bill over to your new address here yourself! Don't let the excitement of moving in make you forget!!! A quick call and some DNA samples and they will hook you right up.


Front Load Washers and Quality Dryers Well  Maintained by Coinomatic


     We have laundry machines here on every second floor, two washers and two dryers. They are modern front loading units.

     They also use smart cards and the debit machine to load your card is on the second floor. No fumbling with change. Even though I wash my own clothes every three or four months I still can't remember what it costs... the price is reasonable though.

The Smart Card Loader

Large Chain Link Storage Lockers


     Every studio here gets one chain link storage locker. They are about three feet wide, seven feet deep and nine feet high. For those more simple minded people like myself you can also use the very convenient Maple Leaf Mini storage next door. If you have got worthless junk just sitting around you can rent a locker over there and accumulate more tax write offs.... to carry over... and over and over...

     Though if you are a lot smarter we have two large dumpsters out the back that you can't write off but will save you a ton of up front cash! We also have recycle bins and compost bin as per city bylaws etc.

"Bernadette".... the ARC's Latest and Very Incredible Moving Dolly!!!

     When moving in or moving junk in and out of the building we have some great dollies for that purpose. The gurney above is by far the worlds best moving tool any building could ever have. It will hold a pile of boxes on both levels, rolls very easily and even the height can be adjusted with the built in hydraulic lift. We have an older version here along with this one. They are irreplaceable as you will quickly find if you do move here. Not only that they will cut your move in time and effort in half!! I even get use out of them moving tenants back to their studiosfrom the interrogation room for not paying their rent.

Here are a couple more high grade dollies we have on hand for your junk moving needs!! These usually lurk about in the hallways near the freight elevator waiting to be of service.

     Reliance Properties, the owners of this fine building, recently removed all the old rough and ugly tiles throughout the building and installed the new granite ones you see in the picture. Though a huge and noisy job it has been a huge two part improvement. First off it makes the hallways hugely brighter. Second unlike the previous tile this stuff is very smooth. This means you no longer hear "clunk, clunk, clunk clunk" everytime you try to move stuff down the hallway with the dollies.

Bernie The Gurney

     Last but not least we have "Bernie" see above. Bernie has been serving the ARC for around 14 years now and even though he has been "through the war" and patched up with major surgeries numerous times he still serves us well. Since Bernadete has come along though Bernie has been demoted to the "dirty work" department. He now handles are the "ugly" loads that would not be suitable for Bernadette.


Here Is Our Incredible Freight Elevator!!!

     The top image is with the gates closed. Unfortunately the images here make it look smaller than it actually is. The actual size is about 10ft wide and eight feet deep... and high enough... This vintage beauty is a godsend here for moving large stuff up and down. IE: your motorcycle up to your studio!!! This gem is around 80 years old and still works perfectly thanks to duct tape and zip ties!!!

Our Now Always Faithful Passenger Elevator

     This is our passenger elevator which almost always serves us well. For awhile there it was trying to eat someone every two or three days. During that time a lot of praying took place in the elevator. About two or three years ago Reliance decided to bite the bullet and getter completely rebuilt!!! They opted to use City Elevator!!! These guys are now our new Heroes!!! Man what a cool bunch of guys they are. The best part unlike the previous company we dealt with ("Owed-Us") these guys know how to actually repair elevators!!! Since they  took over both our elevators they have worked perfectly non stop.

ARC Security

     The ARC is a very safe and secure building. The front entrance is key-less and uses a electronic fob system to enter the building. You need your same fob to access the basement and a code to operate the passenger elevator. We also have an extensive camera system.

     When moving to the ARC your studio door lock gets re-keyed and your mail box lock gets changed for your peace of mind. We have all moved into places where the landlord gives us (most of)  the old worn out keys that the previous tenant had. God knows how many crack heads have copies. You won't find that here. Your security is our security.

     Just to note security wise the ARC has not had one studio break-in for the last twenty years! There are a couple of reasons for this. The first being you would really have to be a brick short of a full load to trying stealing something from a building full of "starving artists" Ok not everyone here is starving here but everyone here does watch out for their neighbors. Also we are just outside of the downtown freak zone. We have very little walking traffic here short of a few dumpster divers drifting by and the odd coyote. I often go out for a hike and some sun around midnight or later and never see a sole... short of the stretch near Princeton Pub and the Husky gas station.

     Car break-ins here have been really rare also. Of course with the area gentrifying it is expected to get worse over time.


Here is an Un-staged Older Clip of the ARC's Now Artist's Resource Room

(click photo to watch)

     The ARC's Artist's Resource Room is incredible as it is always improving. With the user dues collected and support from Reliance Properties we are able to make constant improvements to this room. We are about to embark on some more cool improvements very soon here.

     The other nice thing about this room is that you can use them 24/7 making all the noise you want! (short of using the thickness planer past nine pm) This is great if you want to just build your own bed or table and are not even a full time wood or metal worker. As of right now use of the shop is only $25. per month for any months that you want to use it. I am also in the process of figuring out a system that would make it even cheaper if you only needed it for a week or less.

     The other cool thing about this room is once you book it in it is yours alone. You can work in privacy and without distraction... (minorconditions apply)

NOTE: There is one drawback to this room.... You have to be an ARC Tenant and actually living in the building to have access to it. This means that an outsider is not even allowed to help you carry something into the room. Unfortunately there are no negotiable exceptions to this rule.

Here is a Shot of Our Common Room or Dance Room.

     The ceiling in here is just under ten feet. It now has air conditioning which makes it great when we have art shows down there or when you are teaching classes etc. The floor is a professional grade sprung wood dance floor. You can use this room 24/7. There is no charges but if you want to make sure you have it for your party next weekend you have to book it in which you do using an online calendar. At some point we will be installing a black and a white curtain in front of the mirror in case you want to block off the mirror for any reason. We also now have fifteen of the new wall sections leaning up against the wall on the right of the photo. We use them for when we have art shows down there to increase the wall space for hanging art.

     This room gets used for almost everything. Someone was teaching acrobatic yoga in there once, a guy did a mural for the children's hospital in there. Occasionally the wood shop guys will assemble something large in there. Parties are another popular use. Though with parties you have to watch the noise. Most acoustical instruments are fine though. Any parties involving gunfire, fist fighting and heavy metal must be kept to the music sound proof rooms as they are far more sound proof. 

The ARC Gym

     Another nice perk at the ARC is our gym. Pretty well a bunch of old equipment stuffed into a very nicely painted room. No... you can't look trendy in there but you can get in shape if you want... a painful process at best. It does have a rubber mat floor and good ventilation. Not to mention it is hooked up to cable in case you are weird like your parents and actually watch CNN's hypnosis sessions they call "news". The nice thing about this gym is the fact it is rarely busy. Most people in Vancouver are scrambling to pay their rent let alone fiddling around burning expensive burgers lifting dead weights. If you want to work out just grab your feather duster, gym towel, six pack of beer and head on down for some serious sweating.  We also have some more improvements planned for this room at some point soon.


     Unfortunately we no longer allow pets. They changed the rules when I first took over managing the building years ago. The main reason for changing the rules was do to the incredible amount of pet complaints we got. Any pets that were already here were grandfathered in. As of right now the only pet in the building is my parrot which I have had for 38 years. So if you have a pet I feel your pain. Had they changed the rules before I moved in I would have had to pass.

     At the same time you had to see it back then to believe it. I got complaints almost daily it seemed. The trouble is we are Canadian and thus can't say what we think. Even worse now with facebook's censoring program!!! You could get death threats for saying you don't like dogs or worse like Donald Trump!!!! The days of risking personal opinions are over!! Thus the tenants would phone me screaming mad that I had to do something. Of course as soon as I asked them to write me a formal complaint letter they started back tracking big time. No one wanted the violating tenant to know that it was them complaining!!! This happened almost every time. During the process I learned some interesting stuff about dog owners and non-dog owners. If you are bored here is the link to my post.... everyone hates your dog....

     Thus it is good to note that it was not Reliance that forced the changes it was tenant complaints.


     The sense of community here is a little unusual. If you are walking down the hallway and see someone coming from the other direction it is safe to actually  make eye contact. Yes this does take some getting used to. In fact not only can you make eye contact but you can even say hello. The oncoming tenant will not quickly toss you some change and keep going like most normal places. They also won't assume you stalking or staking them out or even selling something.

     There are often social events in the building like potlucks etc. that are open invitation to all tenants. Thus when moving here you can be as social as you want! Or if you prefer a more hermit like existence like me then that is fine also. In fact I am the head of the ARC's anti-social committee we have here. We have meetings every Tuesday  night. To join all you have to do is not show up at our meetings and you are in!!! No dues, no obligations, no being friendly to people you don't like just the life of Riley.

     Though tenants here really do watch out for each other it is not like some kind of hippy commune lost in time. It is just a great place where you can do and live how you want... of course as long as you abide by the rules and laws created by our controllers... I mean government.

A short clip from our studio during the 2016 Eastside Culture Crawl




     The ARC has also been a part of the Eastside Culture Crawl for years now. This incredible 4 day open studio event has been growing bigger and bigger every year. I think last year there were over 400 to 500 artists in Vancouver's east side who opened their studios to the public. As an artist living in one of the larger buildings gives you a huge advantage. Mostly because of the number of visitors the larger buildings get. Reliance Properties Ltd,  the buildings owners, have been avid sponsors for years now. They also allow us here to hire tenants not in the crawl to help out for the event.

     Last year's Crawl (November 17ish or so) we had four thousand people come through our front doors!!! That is a lot of people walking through your studio if you decide to be a part of it. The cost to get in is $175ish and is the best deal for exposure you will get anywhere. I am convinced this year we will have closer to 4500 attendance for reasons unexplained here. Definitely a very fun event that gets the building buzzing! As an added note Reliance bought everyone who opened for the crawl last year lunch on Saturday and Sunday from the cafe we have here.

     For more information on the Eastside Culture Crawl check out this link below: This is one cool event that you don't want to miss out on where you are in it or not.


     We now have a great new Cafe at the ARC!!! It is owned and operated by Simon Song. They also have a collection of very friendly staff!! They serve coffee, soups, salads and sandwiches at great prices. On top of that they do serve both beer and wine. Simon has also installed a cash machine for an added convenience to visitors and tenants. It is a great place to take clients or visitors when your studio gets too out of control. He also runs the candy machine by the elevators for those late night cravings.


     Another nice feature about the ARC is that we are close to Commercial Drive. A mere ten or fifteen minute walk up the street and you are there for shopping, dinning, coffee or to just "grabaslaba" pizza.


     Then of course we have Maple Leaf Self Storage right next door!!! Thus once you horde up too much junk, art etc you can rent a storage locker from them. They are a weird bunch over there also. For some strange reason they are always super friendly and smiling!!! They seem to think and   act like offering good service is still a good thing??? 

     On top of that you seriously have to check out their customer appreciation days!!! These guys don't mess around like most cheepo businesses do! Most toss a bowl of cheep candies on the counter next to the till where they grab your cash. Nope not here!!!! Check out this Halloween spread below!!!! Even better is their Christmas spread they put out!!! These guys really know how to show REAL gratitude towards their customers... not just a cheep jar of obligatory treats like most "cash grabbing" places do!!!! I had to go back four times to get a decent shot!!!

Halloween Customer Appreciation Day at Maple Leaf Self Storage Next Door!!!

     The best thing about them being right next door is you don't need to lug stuff into your truck and then head across town to store your "acquisitions" so to speak. Just load them onto one of our great moving carts and wheel them out the back, down the ramp and a few feet more into the storage bays. This makes it especially good if you are storing materials you need access to often. Needless to say they have all the sizes you could be looking for.

     When you do need storage talk to Sherry, Bill, Erin or Juanita. They will find just what you need!



     Here you got two options... telus or shaw. You pick and pay. Personally I like telus..., or at least did up until they lost my email for two weeks. Their accountants had no concept of how important email is to people and businesses these days. Hmmm whoda thought??? Service like that happens when companies let their accountants out of their dark caves and into where important decisions are made. Think I will head over to Shaw for beating just to get a change.


     A lot of people living here have done changes to their studios as in color change etc. This is not a problem though every change no matter how small has to be approved. Also once you move out you have to make sure the studio is put back into original condition. The only exception to that rule is if the new tenant I have picked likes your changes then they can take over responsibility for them. Thus you don't have to do anything.

     Each studio has a 125 amp electrical panel. Thus in my case I wired a 60 amp cable over to my welding area to run my TIG welder and CNC plasma table. Again this is not a problem but approval is needed before any changes are done. Plus any wiring changes need to be done by a licensed electrician and inspected by our electrician.

     There have been some people over the years that have wired in their own kiln also. Quite often tenants will build their own raised beds etc also. Thus getting the most use out of their space as possible.This all makes it easier for you to tailor your studio to work best for you and your artwork. Unlike most apartments where they get tense if you put a screw hole in the wall we don't care. In fact when you leave we even fix all those screw holes for free!


     Because the ARC is a commercial lease we are not governed by the Landlord Tenancy act. The reason for this is the Landlord Tenancy act does not cover commercial buildings. This fact is one of the biggest bonuses and godsend here for artists. First off it is one of the main reasons is the fact  that we are able to deduct 70% of our rent at tax time. It is also one of the reasons we are allowed to do almost any artistic process you can think of. This may look like a typical apartment building but believe me it is not.

     There is one disadvantage though and that is if you don't pay your rent on time or violate your lease in any way then we can issue you a 48 hour eviction notice. You can't do this in a normal apartment building.

     Now this one disadvantage also has some advantages. The first is I don't care if you have a job as long as you always pay your rent on time. In  a typical apartment the landlord needs to know for sure if you have a job or not mostly because once he gets you in it is almost impossible to get you out if you don't pay! Here if you don't pay I issue you a 48 hour eviction and two days later we can start repainting it for the next tenant. This works for artists as they often do not have great full time work as they are pursuing their own artwork.

     The other advantage is in a normal apartment if some psycho moves in next door and blasts heavy metal 24/7. You pretty well have to move yourself as it can take forever to get out a bum tenant like that actually evicted. Thus you get stuck with the noise or end up moving. You won't have to worry about that here!

     Generally there are two points where we get really fired up and start evicting here aside from the obvious. The first one is if you get a dog or pet. In cases like that we immediately terminate your lease. The other time we do the same is if you sublet. Subletting caused huge problems in the past and threatened the security and safety of other tenants living here. Thus if we think you are subletting we terminate your lease and then ask questions. This includes things like air  BNB. 

     Now since I have lived here as both tenant and building manager I have a fairly good grip on the lease. Though it seems rather rigid in some ways it is designed to protect the artist's living here as much as the company that owns it. The percentage of people who we have had trouble with the lease here over the twenty years or more is incredibly small. In those very few cases it was almost always a case of the tenant either not understanding or outright violating some obvious  part of the lease.


     There is a city bylaw that states no more than two occupants per studio here. Thus you can have any one of the above five  options. We don't care what you pick as long as there are no more than two of you in the studio. This bylaw is designed to protect the building for artists by keeping it from evolving into a family oriented building. There are plenty of family oriented buildings in the city yet very few real live/work buildings like the ARC! If you are a couple then the artist of the two needs to apply. The contract then goes in their name and you get signed on as a room mate.


You do need to be an artist of some sort. IE: painter, sculptor, potter, musician, photographer, designer, inventor, actor, jeweler, etc. When looking for new tenants preferences are given to those showing the most passion for the work that they do. If you have some kind of portfolio, preferably online I can check out that is an added bonus.

You need to have a reasonable credit rating.

We do need to set up a pre-authorized payment directly from your checking account for your monthly rent.

It is also not a requirement to actually live here. Though due to it being so hard to find a place to both live and work like you can here I tend to give preference to those that do need to actually live here also.

Please note if you are recently retired and want to putz around in our workshop making bird houses the ARC is not likely for you.

I am looking for people who are serious about the work they do and are hoping to get somewhere with it. I don't care if you have a day job either... I do.. managing a building full of wing nuts not unlike myself. Rents in Vancouver are not cheap and artist profits are not that dependable at times. Just the same as long as you are serious about your work that works for me.

Please note: I am psychic and have alien friends from the mothership that help me decide on who gets in. This helps me make sure we don't get any weirdo's in here. 


     Studio prices here at the ARC presently start at $1650. per month for the smallest studios at around 490sq ft and go up to around $3400. for the larger ones at 1700 sq ft.

     The majority of the people moving to the ARC want to be in the $1650. range but the cheapest studios here are actually the largest ones.... at least value wise.  But math is math and sometimes you just cannot swing the numbers. For me though  it is important that I get you into the right studio for what you want to do. There are a couple of good reasons for this. First is I am plain lazy and if the studio does not work for your needs it won't be long before you want to move. Which of course is more work for me finding another tenant and you finding another studio. I would rather be producing more of my own artwork. Thus getting you a studio that will really allow you to do your work is more important than getting you a cheaper one that will not allow you enough room to do your work.

     You see when taking a road trip on the cheap a five hundred dollar Volkswagen might sound like a better deal than a fifteen hundred dollar Ford van. Unless of course the Volkswagen don' t run!!! Which we all know is often the case...A studio is no different. It has to be big enough to work with what you want to do.




     I need to point out that when you see a studio here you need to note that the studio itself is actually smaller than the ad says. For example I believe a studio rated at 740 sq ft is actually about 680 sq ft or so. I know this sounds like a rip off but in buildings like this the square footage of the common space like the wood shop, kiln room, dance room etc is divided proportionately among the remaining studios. Thus, in fact, part of the "footage" you rent here is the common areas. It is how buildings like this work. The main reason I point this out is that when you look at the studio you want to look and feel out the space not based on the footage but based more on whether you feel the "space" will work for your needs. 


     Normally we are supposed to have 2.19 studios come up each month. This is, or at least was, based on the fact that the average Canadian moves every three years. If you take 79 studios multiply, divide and subtract you get 2.19. Incredibly this works out to 26.33 studios a year!! Lately though this situation has changed radically. Last year we only had eight studios come up!

     There are a couple of reasons for this but mostly the fact that in Vancouver's rental market right now the ARC offers incredible value! Especially with these type of buildings so hard to come by. Sure you might find a better deal around town if you just want to sit around and watch TV at night or surf the net but if you are a serious artist you can't beat living here. How long with the crazy rental market last in Vancouver? Hard to say. If you ask someone who just bought a house they will tell you for years. If you ask someone who studies market trends and cycles they will say the bubble is about to pop any day.


Either way we do have studios come up fairly often. Though usually by the time you see the ad on craigslist the studio is taken. This is why you want to make sure you read the following part about the waiting list and how to get in here quicker than anyone else!

     Now even though the studio may already be rented there are two reasons I still have to run the ads. The first is in case the person who gets the studio comes to their senses and backs out to pursue a career at Walmart. The second is if I never posted any ads people would think studios never come up here which is not the case. We have studios come up here almost monthly.


     Yes there is a waiting list but not a typical one. When I post an add I get tons of applications but in these days of "instant" most people, if they don't get a studio right away, move on. Thus I pile up applications here. It would take me hours to go through the piles of applications I have here just from the last 12 months only to find out that all of them have moved on!

       Thus to save everyone time I have changed the waiting list system. If you still want to move here after reading this over then all you need to do is phone me and book in for a tour. During the tour I explain to you the new "waiting list" system and how to beat out everyone else trying to get in here. 

     One thing I should point out is that the waiting list is based on priority not seniority. When a studio comes up I try to figure out who fits the studio the most. For example if you are a painter and a studio comes up with great light you would get priority over some psycho sculptor (not unlike myself) who does welding and is wearing a helmet most of the time anyway.

     Studios like these are really hard to find in Vancouver thus I need to know that the people moving in are going to actually use it. You can watch TV every day in a regular apartment... you can't weld though in an every day apartment but you can here.

     When a studio comes up I go over the applicants to see who is in that price range first. Then using either logic, i ching, intuition, discussions with my alien friends, drawing straws, coin tossing, sleeping on it, or rolling dice I pick who the so to speak winner is. Thus never take it personal if you don't get the studio.

     It is always good to remember that if I picked you it was because of your amazing talent.... if I picked somebody else then it was because I sold out to their trendy schlep..... That's life.


Peaceful Pastures Golden Years Retirement Home

     Now if you made it this far I expect two things happened. First is you may have been absolutely appalled at this content. If so great!!!! That means this site has done it job and potentially saved you a ton of pain! Mostly because this would prove that the ARC would not fit for you! Instead I would turn your walker toward "Peaceful Pastures Golden Years Retirement Home" and try to get on their waiting list. The ARC is different in that it is full of of incredible "loving life" non judgemental and passionate artists with a purpose. Of course if you have studied life much you might have noticed non-judgemental people love their lives. It's how it works. The more you love your own life the harder it is to be judgemental others and their choices. You have to "love your life" not have a "life to love". In fact you can make your life magic over night if you just learn to "love your life". No matter where it is. Once you do that you judgement will cease and your life will seriously turn magic. Anyway all that BS aside the goal of this website is to let you know that before you go to all headache and hassle it takes to move here. Only to then find out your neighbors are as crazy as I am!!!

Obsessed, Passionate and In Love With Life

     Now the other option is you are half crazy and think you just found pair a dice!!! Well Alice you have!!!! .... believe me I have 20 years experience here. Is it perfect? No and yes not everyone here is loving their lives though they should be. The rat race can distract us all at the best of times. Overall though this place rocks. My favorite and subtle example of the community here is twice in the last while someone found 60 bucks in the hallways. The finders called me and we were able to track down both of the "lovers" lost sixty much to their relief. This stuff don't happen these days cept here at the ARC. Most finders in most building would have just found beer money for the next two hours!!!

     So if this website is speaking your language then give me a call any day after 11am. I am usually up by then and know how my day is shaping up. If the coast looks clear we can book you a time that suits you fine.  The live tours take about 30 minutes give or take.... If'all goes well you might just end up an inmate!!!  : )



Roy Mackey



About me...

     I moved to the ARC around 18 years ago. Way back when I was smarter. I lived here for almost a year before taking over as building manager. The building was in dire straights to say the very least. Six years later it was better than it had ever been. Thus I quit to focus more on my writing and steel sculpture. I was going to leave the building but quickly realized the ARC was going to be impossible to beat. At least here in Vancouver's skyrocketing un-real estate market with all my welding junk etc. I did find some nice places but they were either way to expensive, not zoned for living or not zoned for welding. Thus I finally realized that until Vancouver's un-real estate market crashes I would be crazy to leave! After nine years the manager that took over when I left quit the job. The next day out of pure desperation Reliance asked if I would consider the job back. I checked the fridge... "I'm in" I said!

     Now in the last eighteen years I have lived here as a tenant for one year, lived here as a manager for six years, lived here as a tenant again for 9 years and now back as a manager again for three years. I even worked at their head office for a short while to help out. Thus I have spent time on both sides of the fence here and have to say that Reliance is a pretty cool company... OK maybe a little psycho but a nice bunch overall just the same. Like any company though they have their drawbacks like stepping over dollars to save pennies but that's common these days. They even made a huge donation to Emily Carr. Over the years they have been extremely generous when it comes to buying stuff for our wood and metal shop not to mention other building improvements. On top of that they are continually open to making new improvements to the building.

     If you think I got long winded here check out my own personal website! Can't sleep? Five minutes here and you will be in dreamland quicker than you can find the bed.

 In case you are bored... here are some studio shots from our studio and around  the building....

     Here is an older shot our our studio on the ground floor. Though the ground floors are nice with the high 16 ft ceilings they do lack the views the upper floors have. Check out the CNC plasma table in the back ground! You seriously can't beat the ARC!

      Some of the junk that I make... and collect...


 Tools of fire...... in my living room of course...

     Years ago the ARC used to gather together a bunch of volunteers from the building and make all the signs for the Eastside Culture Crawl. They were all hand  painted by artists living here using templates to keep them similar. Every year we would make five to 20 of these signs. I guess the Crawl committee ditched this logo so we no longer make them. Apparently original hand painted ones like this can bring a $1000. with any high level Vancouver art collectors!!! Least that's what I heard.