Coming up this weekend (Nov 16, 17, 18): the Eastside Culture Crawl.

Zoe Pawlak, Standard Pool
oil on canvas
1000 Parker Street, Suite 344
photo credit: Zoe Pawlak

What began in 1997 as a small artist-run endeavour is now a highly-anticipated Vancouver tradition that is well worth slogging through the rain for. Artists, designers, printmakers, jewelers, sculptors, musicians, weavers, textile artists, glass-blowers, photographers, and more all open the doors to their studios to give you a glimpse into both their body of work and the space where it all happens. Hardly a physically demanding endeavour, the weekend is nonetheless filled with a sense of adventure as visitors seek out houses, storefronts, and consolidated studio buildings marked with the Crawl's black crow emblem.

David RobinsonInterval
1000 Parker St., Suite 440
photo credit: David Robinson Studio

The Crawl is a great way to get to know local artists that may or may not be in the current circuit of shows and openings in the city. During my first days in Vancouver, I can remember being warmly welcomed into Zoe Pawlak and Fiona Ackerman's shared studio in the 1000 Parker St Building. It was a formative experience for a young rookie, and shaped my perceptions of the vibrant, forward-looking character of Vancouver's art community and the great things yet to come. The historied, labrynthine warehouse has been home to a wealth of talent throughout the years -- including Winsor-represented Ackerman (who has since moved shop) and David Robinson, who you can visit in suite 440.

Jessie McNeil, Vancouver Treasure Map
artist book
884 East Georgia St., Suite 856
photo credit: Jessie McNeil

Iconic as the Parker Street building is to the Crawl, there are plenty of other gems to be found in your foray through the neighbourhood. Plenty of artists work from smaller independent studios in the area, which are often hidden away under the guise of a picturesque Strathcona home. There are also consolidated studio buildings such as the Mergatroid Building (975 Vernon Dr.) and the ARC (1701 Powell St.), as well as the charmingly Art-Deco-macabre Chapel Arts (304 Dunlevy St.), a former funeral home turned studio space and performance venue just off Hastings.

mth woodworksBloom Coffeetable (Polar-Triangle)
salvaged Vancouver Island tree base, organic resin
1000 Parker St., Suite 120
photo credit: mth woodworks

All this and more will keep you plenty busy this weekend. I recommend checking out Scout Magazine's Guide To Making The Most Out Of This Weekend's Eastside Culture Crawl, which is very well-written, full of eye-candy, and points you to some other goodies in the 'hood.

Also happening close by on Saturday is Broken Pencil's Canzine (1-7pm, at W2, 111 West Hastings St), the annual convention for artist books, zines, comics, prints, and other awesome self-published material. It's a good spot to pick up some inexpensive prints for your living room, take part in a collaborative illustration project, listen to some lectures about political dissent in art, sit in on a Vancouver writers' panel, and of course take home some truly weird and wonderful zines.