They knew it was coming.
Before all the i’s were dotted and the t’s were crossed to move into a new space on Fort and Cook streets, CineVic’s staff were well aware of the demolition clause stated in the lease.
It was possible that two years down the road they’d be forced to pack their bags and find another new home as a new development moved into the location. And when that day arrived two years later, it wasn’t a huge surprise.
They were given six months notice, sparking the hunt for a new home for the third time in about six years. But this time, executive director David Geiss wanted to find somewhere that was more long-term, affordable and preferably downtown.
“It was stressful, partly because of the market, partly because of our needs, which are pretty diverse,” said Geiss, who found a space downtown after three months of searching. “This was basically the only affordable space in downtown for us.”
It took a while to fix up the new space, which is similar, but a bit smaller than the old one, but now CineVic is ready to officially open the doors of its new digs at 764 Yates St. to the public. The non-profit, artist-run independent film and videomaking society is also marking the launch of a number of upcoming events, such as the CINESPARK script competition on April 6 and the Short Circuit Pacific Rim Festival in May.
Now in its 26th year, CineVic offers artistic development, screenings, seminars, discussions, equipment access and hands-on experience in media arts production to professionals, beginners and all those in between. Its film library has more than 700 16 mm films available for the public to borrow and is one of the only places to find 16 mm film and NFB classics on the Island.
Averaging about 100 members each year, most people join because they need the equipment, noted Geiss, who got involved with CineVic shortly after he moved to Victoria nine years ago. He’d been involved with other film co-ops in Saskatchewan and knew CineVic was the place to go if he wanted to make films in Victoria.
The key for CineVic’s more than two decades of success, said Geiss, is the city’s vibrant filmmaking community.
“There seems to be enough activity to keep us going and the other groups in town,” said Geiss. “For us to be in business this long just speaks to the vibrancy of the people out there who not only want to make the art, but also view the art, enjoy the art and talk about the art to learn the skills about it too.”
CineVic hosts a full slate of filmmaking workshops throughout the year along with recurring programs such as CINESPARK, Film Festivus, Short Circuit Film Festival and the popular monthly CineVic Lounge social. Its film, video and book library is open to both members and the public, and equipment inventory includes a RED Scarlet 4K camera, LED lights, as well as an analogue 8 mm and 16 mm film cameras and projectors.
The open house will take place on Friday, March 31 from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. at 102-764 Yates St. For more information visit cinevic.ca.