EllisDon is overseeing the construction of a new campus for the Emily Carr University of Art and Design that is expected to open next fall. The university is British Columbia’s only post-secondary institution that focuses exclusively on the visual and media arts, as well as design.
“The new campus will be the beginning of a creative cultural precinct and a centre for 21st-century learning in art, design, media and applied research,” Emily Carr University of Art and Design President Ron Burnett said.
The university has outgrown its current Granville Island campus in Vancouver because of increased student demand, as well as current and emerging program areas. Emily Carr University of Art and Design’s new campus will be located at the Great Northern Way Campus, an 18-acre site on the False Creek Flats in Vancouver that is owned and developed by The University of British Columbia, Simon Fraser University, British Columbia Institute of Technology and Emily Carr University of Art and Design.
“Our new campus at Great Northern Way recognizes the vital role that Emily Carr plays in the creative economy – and the importance of universities offering post-secondary education in the arts, media arts and design,” the university says.
Emily Carr University of Art and Design will join the Centre for Digital Media, digital media companies and art galleries on the Great Northern Way Campus. The new campus will accommodate 1,800 students and provide more modern, spacious facilities that the university expects will attract even more students.
“We are now building a bigger and better home for Emily Carr University of Art and Design,” Advanced Education Minister Andrew Wilkinson said during the project’s groundbreaking in April 2015. “An important consideration in the design is the use of distinctive features to reflect the special character of Emily Carr University of Art and Design.”
Wired for the Future
The $134 million Emily Carr University of Art and Design campus will include state-of-the-art technology at every turn, allowing for learning and interaction through integrated displays. Advanced technology will be included on the exterior of the buildings to encourage public programming and illuminated outdoor spaces will create an inviting atmosphere.
“[The campus is] a forward-thinking infrastructure wired for ‘futurity’ – anticipating the evolution of studio teaching and new technologies, anticipating new ways of learning on and off campus, anticipating increasingly agile methods of learning including part-time, online, residential and low residency,” the university describes.
Common spaces in the campus will be open and flexible to encourage interaction among students studying different disciplines and informal social gatherings. The Emily Carr University of Art and Design’s new facility is designed to achieve LEED Gold Certification and wood finishes will be selected to reinforce the objectives of the Wood First Act.
The Big Idea
Emily Carr University of Art and Design is building a larger campus in response to the growth in Canada’s creative and cultural economy. The university says the Great Northern Way Campus will “inspire the transformation of Vancouver’s newest and most concentrated social-cultural district.” British Columbia’s creative sector is the second-largest of the province’s six major industrial sectors and generates $4 billion in economic activity annually, according to the university.
The university says it is a place where big ideas come to life. “We have all of them: imaginings, dreams and ideas – thoughts filled with the concept of ‘what could be,’” it says. “Here at Emily Carr, we believe in pursuing these dreams and making them reality. We see this happening every day in our students and in our alumni. They are proof that big ideas turn into real projects, websites, paintings and businesses that impact our community, our lives and our future.”
Building on that mindset, the new campus at Great Northern Way is step one of three in the university’s “THE BIG IDEA Capital Campaign.” The strategic plan’s three priorities include building the physical campus, enhancing student access and empowering a culture of research and sociality.
In its pursuit to build a campus that will accommodate creativity in all forms of expression, the Emily Carr University of Art and Design’s campaign also is looking for donations. After a provincial investment of $113 million, the remaining $21 million will be raised. Contributors are placed in a donor circle depending on their level of giving.
The Emily Carr Students’ Union (ECSU) invested $315,000 in the new campus in November 2015. The ECSU’s support was made possible by Students’ Union funds designated specifically for capital projects. “We are excited to make this investment to support fellow and future students at the new campus,” ECSU Chairperson Gloria Han said. “This is the perfect opportunity for ECSU to play an integral role in defining and enhancing Emily Carr University’s new campus.”
Alumni are also invited to contribute to the new campus while enjoying the benefits of full circle membership, which helps support past, present and future students. “Emily Carr University has always been generously supported by the many alumni who give through our annual campaigns,” the university says. “Alumni are at the center of the Emily Carr University Art and Design community. They represent the best in art, design and media practices around the world, and stand as our greatest ambassadors, advocates and leaders.”
The ECSU challenged the Emily Carr Alumni Association to collectively meet or beat the $315,000 investment by fall 2017 when the campus is scheduled to open its doors. “The Emily Carr Alumni Association is thrilled to accept this challenge,” said Dave Humphrey, the association president. “We call on all alumni to celebrate our past and contribute to the new campus. Alumni support of the new campus connects us to each other and celebrates the creative community that converges at Emily Carr University.”
EllisDon is working with Diamond Schmitt Architects and Chernoff Thompson Architects on the new campus, which is expected to generate more than 1,000 new construction jobs. EllisDon, based in Mississauga, Ontario, has been a respected, dependable and traditional Canadian builder for more than 60 years.
The company has 11 offices located throughout the country to better serve its customers. “We’re moving into new markets and new sectors across Canada and around the world, increasing our expertise and accountability while strengthening valuable partnerships with subcontractors, consultants and clients,” the company says.
EllisDon prides itself on being thinkers before builders. “That notion permeates every facet of our enterprise,” the company says. “Why? Because we want to get as much out of our employees as our business can possibly muster. We begin by giving them freedom – because every job is different and we need to be flexible enough to accommodate anything that comes our way.”
The company says it strives to deliver projects to its clients in the most effective and beneficial manner possible. Its Client First program is tailored and developed around continual communications and superior execution. EllisDon protects its clients’ interests with its Client First program by addressing their concerns, communicating openly, being professional, providing qualified staff and treating everyone equally.
Although providing a superior project is a top priority at EllisDon, the company looks to achieve that through a superior process. “At EllisDon, we regularly commit to exploring newer, faster and more efficient ways to get the job done,” the company notes. “This is where we’re most comfortable – on the cusp of the upcoming.”