Progress Lab Welcomes New Residents
Through its 10-year history, Progress Lab 1422 (PL 1422) has organically grown from a co-location space to an interdisciplinary creative hub, supporting a wide range of artistic disciplines and creating a welcoming and generative space for artists from historically underrepresented and marginalized groups. This exceptional space has been home to the creation and realization of some of Canada’s most innovative performance works of the last ten years including Betroffenheit (named the Best Dance of the 21st Century by The Guardian), the interactive and boundary-pushing Foreign Radical, radically inclusive King Arthur’s Night, The Society for the Destitute Presents Titus Bouffonius (winner of six Jessie Awards), international touring hit Winners and Losers, amongst many others.
Building on this foundation, we are excited to be welcoming three new resident organizations: Playwrights Theatre Centre (PTC), a new-play company dedicated to reimagining theatre, rice & beans, a local theatre company interested in experimenting with languages and the theatrical form, as well as Company 605, our first resident dance company. Our new roommates start arriving this November!
As our new residents join us, we will be adapting the building, improving the current studio and meeting space, and creating an additional smaller studio space. PL 1422 will become more accessible, flexible and expansive. With this substantial growth, we anticipate even more performances, workshops, auditions, circles, talks and community meetings.
“PTC was planning a move to an accessible space when the chance to join C-Space came up. We couldn’t believe our luck. We can’t wait for the new ideas that will percolate as we share morning coffee (and visions for the future of theatre) in the space,” says Heidi Taylor, Artistic & Executive Director of PTC.
For the past 10 years, Progress Lab 1422 (PL1422) has provided the theatre industry and wider arts sector with an exceptional, readily-available and affordable creative space for creation and development in East Vancouver. With a deeply-felt spirit of collaboration, community and resource-sharing, Neworld Theatre, Electric Company, Rumble and Boca del Lupo, founded Vancouver Creative Space Society (C-Space) an innovative and co-operative joint venture established to collectively manage PL1422. In 2018, after almost a decade, Boca Del Lupo took over Performance Works on Granville Island, and Theatre Conspiracy became the fourth full time resident.
Then, July 1, 2019, our rent more than doubled.
With many of PL1422’s original founders having moved on or out of leadership roles, a new generation of C-Space members were challenged to find a way to salvage or else face losing our unique home. In consultation with colleagues, funders and the creative community, we explored many approaches to the challenge of our rent increase. We considered moving elsewhere, but affordable and accessible creation space for performing arts organizations is hard to come by in Vancouver. So, we decided to stay and undertake the biggest and most ambitious project since we opened PL1422 a decade ago and make room for more organizations to join our shared space and collective.
Overseeing this transformation, Christie Watson, Managing Director of Rumble Theatre and C-Space Board Chair states “we chose to view this recent obstacle as an opportunity to reimagine our facilities and structures to better serve our community, enable greater access and provide more collaborative platforms for the creation of the kind of high calibre performance that Vancouver is renowned for. That said, the impact of real-estate prices on creative space use is draining creation and programming funds as well as our capacity to simply keep the lights on. Which is why our long-term vision is to invite members of the private the sector, to support this truly unique creation hub. What might have been the end of Progress Lab has paved the way for an even stronger organization, and we look forward to another 10 years of impactful work.”
C-Space members are thrilled with the range of companies joining Progress Lab 1422. They represent the best of Vancouver’s creative organizations, committed to making and presenting a diverse range of work with Canadian, Indigenous and international artists, locally, across Canada and around the world.
For more information or to arrange an interview with:
- Christie Watson, Managing Director – Rumble Theatre & C-Space Board Chair
- Heidi Taylor, Artistic & Executive Director – PTC & incoming C-Space Member