The Need for a Creative Solution
Since its inception more than 20 years ago, the DVBIA has been actively involved with numerous stakeholders in improving and evolving Granville Street. Downtown Granville Street is at the heart of our city. It connects the northern and southern ends of the downtown peninsula – and all points in between. This iconic street is a mix of high-end and funky retail, the entertainment district, hotels, restaurants and more.
While it attracts diverse visitors, its new re-design particular, on the electrical boxes located on public sidewalks were easy targets for graffiti.
So, the Downtown Vancouver BIA partnered with Emily Carr University of Art & Design to celebrate the creativity of students, highlight the unique character of each city block along Granville and help deter graffiti while adding to the aesthetic appeal of the street.
The result? The Wrap project.
Each of the utility boxes, located along the 10 blocks of sidewalk between West Cordova and Drake Streets, is covered with a uniquely designed vinyl overlay created by one of twelve students from Emily Carr’s illustration program. The 11 striking designs are visually diverse – from whimsical to impressionistic to realistic – showcasing the breadth of individualistic style and theme Emily Carr University is well-known to foster through its degree programs. The designs were chosen by Emily Carr faculty, members of the business community and an environmental security consultant.
Each wrapped box is a stand-alone art piece. Together, they're a collection of public art that can be toured by walking from West Cordova to Drake Street on both the east and west sides of the street.
“We’re excited to continue contributing, with the DVBIA , to the vibrancy of Vancouver’s city streets and art culture,” says Susan Stewart, Dean, Faculty of Community + Culture. “Partnerships like WRAP can develop solutions to municipal challenges while benefiting students, the public and driving positive community change.”
The $20,000 cost of the project was paid for by the members of the DVBIA.
The inaugural collection of wraps was released in November 2011, with a new collection of wraps with different artists released in November 2013.
Tell us what you think of the project: firstname.lastname@example.org or to the hashtag #wrapvancouver.