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Opus & Emily Carr University

Yes, Opus is (Still!) Open

Watercolour painting by Alfonso L. Tejada • alfonsotejada.com

With the relocation of Emily Carr University of Art + Design (ECU) in September, we’ve been hearing the question, “Is Opus Granville Island going to remain open?” The answer is a resounding, “YES!” Opus’ original store plays such an important part in the visual arts community and we intend to continue to be a hub for creative individuals.

Opus arrived on Granville Island in 1978, in the early days of the revitalization of the urban industrial area. In fact, the Opus store preceded the establishment of the Granville Island Public Market in 1979 and ECU’s (formerly the Vancouver School of Art) move to the Island in 1980. As the Island evolved into a unique and vital piece of Vancouver arts culture, so did we, and we celebrate our pride in being part of its success every single day.

While the Opus store on Granville Island is well-established after almost 40 years in the same spot, it also responds to the changing needs of visual artists, and ECU’s departure from the Island continues that evolution. The energy of the ECU student body, many of whom have become staff members at Opus, will be greatly missed.

While some in the arts community view the university’s departure from the Island with a degree of sadness, there is so much positivity surrounding the new campus on Great Northern Way for the approximately 1800 students, faculty and staff who will blossom in a purpose-built campus. In a recent tour of the new site, we were very impressed by the
thoughtful planning and allocation of collaborative space that will be of great benefit to the artists that will graduate over the next 50+ years.

We greet the upcoming changes to Granville Island, sans ECU, with enthusiasm. Why? We anticipate that there will be less vehicle traffic on the Island, opening up more parking spaces, especially close to Opus, and a little extra room for people on transit, bike, and on foot. We hope this makes visiting the Island an even more pleasurable experience.

Many of you have told us what a special place our Granville Island store is – a "candy store for artists" – and you can expect we’ll continue to serve up our expansive selection of art materials and creative services, informative and inspirational Visiting Artist Demonstrations and Workshops, exciting events that engage the art community, and the excellent service you’ve come to expect from Opus for many years to come.