Motion, report coming forward to protect Waldorf
11 Jan, 2013
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Photo credit: Rafal Gerszak, Globe and MailMayor Robertson has directed the City Manager to bring forward a report to the next Council meeting on protecting the Waldorf Hotel, and will be introducing a motion asking staff to meet with Waldorf Productions to discuss options for continuing an arts and culture venue in Vancouver, including options for continuing on site.

“The Waldorf is both a significant cultural amenity and a major neighbourhood asset, one that resonates with people of all ages throughout Vancouver,” said Mayor Robertson. “To lose such a historic building would be a big blow, which is why we need to do what we can to protect it – we need to be building up Vancouver’s arts and culture. I want to ensure the Waldorf Hotel is protected and that we don’t lose a valuable live performance venue.”

The Mayor has asked the City Manager to prepare a report for this Tuesday’s council meeting that would protect the Waldorf Hotel and its heritage values, including plans to prevent any demolition of the building. The staff report will include:

  • Steps to prevent any Demolition Permit from being issued, in the event the owners were to seek one;
  • Preparing a Statement of Significance for the Waldorf Hotel, based on its cultural heritage, followed by a report back to Council on retention options.

The Mayor’s motion will also ask City staff to meet with Waldorf Productions to discuss their business plan and identify possibilities for continuing an arts and culture venue in Vancouver, including partnerships with other organizations. The motion will also ask staff to consult with the current and new landowners to see if any accommodations can be made to keep Waldorf Productions on site.

“It’s disappointing that Waldorf Productions is intending to stop operations – we need more cultural venues in Vancouver,” added the Mayor. “City Hall has done a big push in the past few years on increasing artist space, whether it was saving the York Theatre, offering city-owned buildings for lease to arts groups, or delivering over 20,000 square feet of new studio space in 2012. I’m hopeful we can find a new solution.”

UPDATE: Mayor Robertson’s Jan. 15 email note on City Council’s action on this issue can be found here

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