Our vision for the Blue Cabin, the last squatters’ cabin on the Burrard Inlet, is to return it to a barge to be used as a studio space alongside a tiny, self-sustainable house to act as a floating compound for a unique and vital multi-disciplinary artist-in- residence program. The residency will be off-grid with solar panels, composting toilets, rainwater catchment, and a small container garden.
The Blue Cabin represents the last vestiges of a cultural tradition of artists and others living in squatters' shacks along the foreshores of this region’s waterways, Al Neil and Carole Itter's Blue Cabin was one of many structures that dotted the shores of Indian Arm. Beside Al and Carole, artist Tom Burrows, Greenpeace activist Dr. Paul Spong, writer Malcolm Lowry and many others were among those who lived, worked, and created in squatters’ cabins dispersed along the jurisdictional grey zone that separated water from land. With the exception of the Blue Cabin, all of these dwellings were removed by Port Metro and the municipality in the late 1960s and 70s. Al Neil’s cabin was spared because of its connection to MacKenzie Barge and the shipbuilder who had moved it to be closer to his work in the shipbuilding yard.
The volunteer team that continues to work to find a new home for the Blue Cabin consists of Glenn Alteen, Program Director of grunt gallery, Esther Rausenberg, Co-artistic Director of Creative Cultural Collaborations, Barbara Cole, Director of Other Sights for Artists’ Projects, and Project Manager Michael Jackson from PM Volunteers.