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Artist Spotlight

David Vaisbord's Little Mountain Project


Photo by David Vaisbord, used with permission.

In 2008 David Vaisbord began filming at the
Little Mountain Housing Project. The documentary
No Place Like Home is the result. Currently in post-production, No Place Like Home is the first in a series (documentary/blog/new media/installations) he calls The Little Mountain Project.

 

David Vaisbord in front of last standing building. Photo courtesy of David Vaisbord.


The Little Mountain housing project was built in 1954 and demolished in 2009. The 15-acres of prime Vancouver real estate is close to the filmmaker's home. As a community member and artist/activist, David is engaged in the site’s redevelopment.


Photo at demolition of Little Mountain Housing in 2009 by David Vaisbord, used with permission.

“This documentary talks about the value judgements we place on residents of social housing,” says David. He believes that lower income groups are subject to preconceptions and stereotyping. His films humanize the people and clarify the issues, bringing awareness and understanding.


David films each meeting of the community consultation process. “It's an exciting place to be," he says, “because the new vision for Little Mountain is state-of-the-art urban planning."

Ingrid Steenhuisen and sisters at Little Mountain in the early 1960's. Photo courtesy of David Vaisbord


Social planners in the 1950’s designed Little Mountain to be family friendly, with common grounds and green space. Community groups are looking for similar features in the new development.

 

The digital age has changed filmmaking. Instead of bringing in a crew of strangers, David works solo within a community he knows well. “I’m a one-person film crew,” he says, “in charge of camera, lights, sound, action and editing.”

David was pleased to receive funding from the BC Arts Council. “Knowing my peers support my work is very important,” he says. He adds that Canada has a proud history of public issue documentaries. These films support independent thought outside of political agendas.

 

David Vaisbord received funding from the BC Arts Council’s
Media Artists Project Assistance program in 2010.