I remember the conversation that started everything. My husband and I were talking about how disappointing it was to be leaving the city all the time to check out art events. "Why can't we experience the kind of art that we enjoy here?" was the question that spawned everything. We love contemporary art (especially installation art), but we hate having to leave Burlington to experience it. The driving, or cabs and trains if you're drinking, the logistics of it all can be so daunting sometimes. So No Vacancy just HAD to be born. The concept for No Vacancy has always been pop-up contemporary art events in vacant spaces; here one day gone the next. Interestingly, we wanted our first event to be at a motel and originally approached The Ascot Motel, on the waterfront but the business end of things didn't work out, so we gave up on them and approached The Waterfront Hotel instead and they were gracious enough to let us do our first multi-artist installation on an entire floor of their hotel. The evening was a success. It was a much smaller ticketed event, and really a pilot test for us to take the temperature here.
But what we discovered is that Burlington is hungry for more contemporary art.
So now here we are about to embark on our most ambitious art event ever. Last year's event at The Waterfront Hotel was great and exceeded our expectations. But this year's event is scary ambitious. With 30 unique art installations, an art market, a beer garden and being a FREE event open to the public - we are kind of at a loss for words to explain the magnitude of what we are doing here. There is really no way to gauge how successful this event will be, or how many people will attend. But if the word on the street is any indication, it's gonna be a big deal.
That very important conversation between my husband and I... that idea, is what gave birth to No Vacancy. And now we are a registered charity, so our impact in the community will continue to grow. That makes us excited, because we have SO many things that we want to do here.
Never give up on your ideas. They are so important and can create magical things.
Peace & Peaches,
Selina Jane Eckersall is a content marketing strategist, freelance writer and entrepreneur living and working in Burlington ON. Selina is the Executive Director of No Vacancy.