Projecting Neighbourhood Stories - Inspired by Strathcona and Downtown Eastside Neighbourhoods


TRACES: Projecting Neighbourhood Stories was a community engaged public art project that involved youth, seniors, and artists from East Vancouver’s Strathcona and Downtown Eastside neighbourhoods. TRACES resulted in outdoor projections of three multimedia artworks inspired by stories about the neighbourhood.

A team of three mentoring artists and three arts-based facilitators guided eleven youth interns through an exploration of their neighbourhood’s layered stories and histories. Together mentoring artists and youth interns interviewed more than thirty seniors and longtime neighbourhood residents. The stories shared through this process became the foundation for the production of three multimedia artworks in video, animation, and shadow puppetry.

For two evenings in late July 2009 these works illuminated the 400 block of East Hastings Street. A vacant lot, a storefront window, and a former funeral parlor became neighbourhood cinemas in which four outdoor projections (three produced through the project, and one by a visiting artist) cast neighbourhood stories into the local landscape. The works were presented again at the Powell Street Festival in Woodland Park, (August 2009).