The York Theatre Saved

Early this afternoon, City Council unanimously passed a motion to allow a density bonus equal to 100% of the cost of the restoration and renovation of the York Theatre. This means that the developer, who can now be named, who wants to buy and restore the theatre can proceed with negotiations to purchase. His name is Bruno Wall, and he is a long time supporter of the arts, and a theatre enthusiast.

It is his intention—and we enthusiastically agree—to put the restored facility into the hands of the Vancouver East Cultural Centre. This will guarantee sound operation and rental agreements affordable by local arts groups. It now remains for the current owner Paul Phillips and Mr. Wall to sit down together and work out an agreement acceptable to both parties. Once that is done, we can look forward to construction, not demolition. What a jewel will now be added to our community!

This is a great day for Vancouver! It clearly demonstrates that we now have a City Council that is sending a positive message of support to arts and culture groups and their audiences. Please email the mayor and members of Council with your thanks and appreciation.

Thank you for your support and help in getting this to happen.

Tom Durrie
Save the York Theatre Society

Awesome and congratulations Tom. If you haven’t seen them, you will find community responses at the end of the page at this link. Some very eloquent. Have a great holiday Tom. You did well.

Thank you,
Roger Chilton

Roger, thanks for this and for all your help. I’m still on cloud nine! The reaction in the council chamber yesterday was joyous! I think the new Council is a force to be reckoned with—and a force for our side!

Tom Durrie

Permit me to point out that it was Tom Durrie — personally — who saw all of this as necessity and hope 27 years ago, and NEVER gave up. Thanks to City Council, and in particular to Clr Heather Deal. And all congratulations to Tom. Best wishes to our colleagues at the Cultch.

Dr Charles Barber (MA, DMA Stanford)
Executive Director, Interim
Pantages Theatre Arts Society

Dear Tom Durrie;
You can be justly proud of all your efforts to see that the York Theatre will survive. Those of the community at large may be unaware of all you have done but everywhere I have gone this holiday those who know about theatres are celebrating. Congratulations and enjoy your holiday season.

Rodney Ward

Hi Tom,
This is such great news! I’m so happy to hear about this decision and I look forward to the restoration and renovation of the York theatre.
I hope you have a very happy holidays & best wishes in the new year! All the best,

Michelle Barile
Executive Director
Commercial Drive
Business Society

That is such great news! Quite a Christmas present. Thank you for letting us know.

Bill Turner

It’s a great and exciting beginning. It seems we have a Council that will give more than lip service to the arts. The York Theatre (possibly to be renamed) will be an ideal venue for music, and I’m sure that the Cultch will be looking for bookings as soon as the project gets underway.

Tom Durrie

I can hardly believe it. Congratulations.

Anthony Norfolk

This is fantastic news for all of us! What a day and date to celebrate! Congratulations on all your hard work and lobbying to make this happen.

Diane Loomer

Great to hear this news and thanks for the elbow grease to make this happen.
Can you tell me if there is a theatre community that hopes to use this exclusively?
I should update you that the contemporary music community has formed a networking group called Sonic Presence and venues are a priority on our advocacy list. We are planning to consolidate our efforts to pitch for a music space – i.e. commit to so many nights per year at a venue in order to consistently brand contemporary music in one place, where audiences know where to go to.
Any thoughts as to whether there would be room for this with the York?

DB Boyko
Music Curator/Director
Western Front New Music

FANTASTIC !!! Congrats Tom. You really made it happen. So rare. Cheers

Tom Cone

Great news Tom……………I hope my “two bits” to City Hall counted !!! ……………….Cheers

Cliff Cox