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Blue Cabin lands in Steveston

Three artists in residence will use the historic cabin this year.
The Blue Cabin was brought to Steveston Monday and will be there for about two years.

An artist’s studio known as “The Blue Cabin” – originally situated in North Vancouver – floated into Steveston Monday and will become part of Richmond’s arts programming over the next two years.

The 1,200-square-foot, 170-ton structure was towed by tug boat through False Creek – where it had been moored for two and a half years - into the Strait of Georgia, passing around Point Grey and Iona Terminus, then heading up the Fraser River on its seven-hour journey to Steveston.

The original cabin has been secured on a barge and another structure is built behind it that is meant as sleeping quarters for artists. However, living aboard is not allowed at Imperial Landing, so this space might be used for programming.  

“The Blue Cabin Floating Artist Residency is a great program to support local artists, collaborate with Richmond cultural organizations and create community spirit,” said City of Richmond Mayor Malcolm Brodie in a press release.

The Blue Cabin will house artists in residence. This year, there will be three artists using the facility: Musqueam artist Debra Sparrow, Richmond-based artist Keely O’Brien and Germany-based Chilean artist Michelle-Marie Letelier.

Based at Imperial Landing in Steveston, it will allow artists to “learn, explore and engage with Steveston’s history, the Fraser River ecology and the foreshore,” said Brodie in the press release.

Three Vancouver-based arts organizations—Creative Cultural Collaborations (C3), grunt gallery and Other Sights for Artists’ Projects—came together in 2014 to remediate the cabin and transform it into a mobile artist residency that provides a unique perspective on Metro Vancouver from the water and a venue for dialogue and exchange among coastal artists and communities.

“The Blue Cabin Floating Artist Residency was created to honour and sustain the memory of Metro Vancouver’s shorelines,” said Glenn Alteen, founding member of the Blue Cabin project.

The Blue Cabin was located on the coastline of the North Shore for 89 years, occupied most notably by artist, musician and writer Al Neil and artist Carole Itter for five decades.