About The Blue Cabin Floating Artist Residency

The Blue Cabin Floating Artist Residency is a mobile artist residency located in Vancouver British Columbia on Canada’s Pacific Coast. Currently located on a floating platform in False Creek in downtown Vancouver, the residency gives the artist a unique perspective on the city from the water. The deckhouse is an off the grid home with modern appliances and comforts and a 360-degree view of the small harbour, while the cabin acts as a studio for the artist’s activities. Located on the foreshore in close proximity to shopping and amenities, the Blue Cabin provides a home base in this waterfront city. The six to eight week time frame allows the artist time for solo production as well as opportunities for engagement within the community.

The Blue Cabin was built in 1927 as a float home by a Norwegian carpenter and shipbuilder and in 1932 was towed to a small cove by Cates Park where it was lifted on pilings above the intertidal zone where it sat for the next 83 years. During those years, the cabin had various occupants most notably artist, musician, and writer, Al Neil and artist Carole Itter. Neil moved into the cabin in 1966 and was joined in the 1970s by Itter. In 2014, three Vancouver arts organizations–gruntgallery , Other Sights for Artists’ Projects and Creative Cultural Collaborations (C3) – came together as The Blue Cabin Committee to organize storage, remediation and develop programming for the cabin including the artist residency.

The Blue Cabin committee is dedicated to ensuring the cabin’s legacy continues, benefitting both artists and broader publics alike. The artist residency provides a unique space for regional, national, and international contemporary artists to research and make work, engage with the local arts community, create dialogue with artists outside the Vancouver region, and expand audiences for contemporary art. More than a residency, the cabin also acts as a conduit for Vancouver’s lost histories, offering programming that educates the public about the region’s foreshore history and the communities connected to it. The mix of heritage and contemporary culture in this project creates a rare interface, one that presents opportunities to examine and celebrate where these concepts meet, and how they interact.


Photo: Jeremy Borsos