Over here at I&S it’s easy to imagine a loft of bustling creativity and long hours spent nose-to-nose with a Mac screen or drawing pad. But, every so often, some of us do get to go out and explore the world for opportunities to work with some great people. This time it was my turn.
Vancouver, British Columbia, is hardly just a skip across the pond but the air-miles were worth it for the chance see some of the brilliant displays of urban creativity that Canada has to offer. Downtown Vancouver alone, with a population of 90,000, is home to some of the quirkiest and most interesting set-ups. A particular favourite was Granville Island; an amalgamation of modern industry in action and artistic flair, Granville Island can be epitomised by the enormous cement works, adorned with the pop-coloured mural ‘Giants’ produced by Brazilian street artists.
Back in Downtown, another of the city’s famous (formerly infamous) spots is the newly transformed saloon quarter of Gastown. The Old-English charm of the cobbled streets and antique lampposts underlies the effortless cool of the industrial architecture and independent fashion boutiques. I have to say, I felt right at home sporting my Austin A35 shirt in a corner of town renowned for housing up-and-coming creatives.
From the exciting beauty of urban art to the classic charm of the country’s vastly differing landscapes and the consistent references to First Nations culture which is now so warmly embraced after so many years of repression. Canada is a place of synthesis; whether that be vast cities blooming between mountain ranges, or First Nation Reserves cropping up side-by-side with western settlements, or the reinforced notion that ‘Nature is King’ in this environment. As we traversed the winding path of the Inside Passage, between the smaller isalnds off the coast of BC mainland and Vancouver Island, it was a unique experience to feel so big and so small at the same time (and, of course, a chance to show off my Flying Merkel tee).
Industry and Supply, on our own scale, endeavour to breathe life into that balance between old and new, classic mechanics and fresh design. The 'Vancouver cool' has definitely inspired our outlook here at I&S.
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