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VIFF 2008: Road Construction Gets Filmgoers and Fest Staff Down


Update: Great news! The situation written about in the VanRamblings blog post below has been resolved, as of 1:30 p.m. this Thursday afternoon.

Festival Director, Alan Franey, spoke to City and BC Hydro officials early this afternoon, and was successful in reaching an agreement that will see a halt to construction along Granville Street, outside the Empire Granville 7 Cinemas, until the end of the next week, Friday, October 10th, the final day of the 27th annual Vancouver International Film Festival.

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VanRamblings received the following e-mail, this morning, from Ellie O'Day, Media Director for the Vancouver International Film Festival.

The management of the Vancouver International Film Festival (VIFF) is doing everything in its power to avert a serious disruption of our event by construction work just now beginning outside the Empire Granville 7 Cinemas, at 855 Granville Street.

granville-street-construction.jpgThe noise generated from this work could well mean the cancellation of many of the 200 screenings remaining at this venue. We received assurances from street engineers that consideration would be made of the fact that the Film Festival attracts 100,000 attendees to this block between September 25 and October 10.

That consideration appears to be inconvenient now.

We have received sympathetic counsel from everyone we've spoken to at City Hall and at B.C.Hydro, but nothing has so far averted this extremely serious blow to the Festival. Since no explanation has been forthcoming as to why this work absolutely needed to coincide with our brief event, it is time to warn our public. Hopefully a more public airing of our concern will encourage reasonable action to be taken in time.

We will immediately alert you as soon as a decision has been taken to cancel screenings in the 4 screens most badly affected by the jack hammering and street excavation: Theatres 3, 4, 5 & 6. Meanwhile, we apologize to the thousands of festival-goers who have already assembled each day in front of the theatre and found it difficult to make themselves understood against the noise of asphalt sawing.

The time has come for Festival-goers to get onboard, and contact City officials to hold off on Granville Street construction until after Thanksgiving.

Here's what you can do ...

E-mail your Vancouver City Councillors, by clicking here to send an e-mail to Mayor Sam Sullivan, and all Vancouver City Councillors.

Let them know just how you feel about the decision taken by BC Hydro, and the City's Engineering Department, to commence road construction along Granville Street during our the Vancouver International Film Festival, and ask them to hold off on further construction until Festival's end.

Write to Tom Timm, General Manager of Engineering Services, and Peter Judd. By clicking on their names, you'll be taken directly to your e-mail programme. Compose a letter expressing your concern respecting the decision taken by the City to begin road construction along Granville Street during the 16-day running period of the Vancouver Film Festival.

VanRamblings will provide updates on this situation as they occur.

Posted by Raymond Tomlin at October 2, 2008 11:19 AM in VIFF 2008


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