#EastVanLove tweetup unites creatives and locals in love of their ‘hood

The iconic East Van cross at the corner of Great Northern Way and Clark Drive. Photo: Sera Akdogan
The iconic East Van cross at the corner of Great Northern Way and Clark Drive. Photo: Sera Akdogan

As Nick Hunnings gazes out the window and sees the liveliness of East Vancouver, he knows it’s going to be a great day for film production.

A trailer of Hunnings’ new web series The Drive will be shown at the #EastVanLove tweetup event at the Goldcorp Centre for the Arts on April 11.

The tweetup will also feature stories that make up East Vancouver’s historic legacy by inspiring guest speakers and slideshows, followed by a networking party.

For those not familiar with the term, a “tweetup” is an event where people can get together and meet each other, sharing their love of the community.

“Vancouver’s a huge social media community and this event is meant to take the offline and bring it online,” said Mike Despotovic, tweetup organizer.

Despotovic organizes #EastVanLove with founders Ajay Puri and Andriy Mishchenko.

The Broadway/Commercial SkyTrain station is the transit centre of the Drive. Photo: Sera Akdogan
The Broadway/Commercial SkyTrain station is the transit centre of the Drive. Photo: Sera Akdogan

Journey to Now #EastVanLove’s upcoming tweetup

“It’s a great coming together of minds,” said Jason Vanderhill, who will be one of the guest speakers at the event. “What I’m looking forward to is the great amount of knowledge that will be shared between everyone.”

Vanderhill will present a slideshow featuring a worldwide tour of the visual art history of East Vancouver, from its past to present.

“I will be speaking about artistic exploration and showing work from 100 years ago to today,” said Vanderhill. “I’m very honoured to be a part of it.”

EastVan’s own web series The Drive to start in fall

The web series The Drive will feature the lives of East Vancouver roommates as they struggle to find their way on Commercial Drive.

The series aims to be recognizable to viewers. “The businesses, entrepreneurs and artists are real people and are sort of built into the structure of the narratives, so they are part of the story,” explained producer Nick Hunnings. “What we wanted to do was showcase and reveal a lot of the hidden talent on Commercial Drive and the East Vancouver area.”

At the end of each webisode, Hunnings plans to have links and promotional tools representing everyone involved, from independent designers to local businesses and artists.

“We were lucky to have Dan Mangan and other independent artists who will have their work featured on the show,” said Hunnings, who plans on shooting in the fall. “Currently we are assembling our production team and we are amidst in rewrites as of right now.”

The Drive a story of makeshift EastVan family 

A man in one of East Van's trendy coffee shops. Photo: Sera Akdogan
A man in one of East Van’s trendy coffee shops. Photo: Sera Akdogan

“We are ultimately telling the story of our experiences living here. What we’re trying to do is show that the neighbourhood has been such a huge part of our growth and we want to pay respect to it because it is a huge part of our own stories,” said Hunnings.

The Drive has received very positive reactions, said Hunnings.

“People really like the idea and have been very encouraging and calling and asking to be a part of the show. They have been offering us their venues and artists have been sending us music,” Hunnings said. “It’s been incredibly rewarding and really reinforces what the show’s about and what’s important about the show.”

Hunnings invites the community to share their readings and, in return, he even shares the script with people.

The promotional trailer will be the same clip that will be shown at #EastVanLove, despite recent cast changes.

“Since filing the trailer, casting is not accurate in terms of the people involved, but that’s an accurate depiction of what the show is about and what it will look like.” In the fall, the trailer will be replaced.

Hunnings and his production team will be at the tweetup and looks forward to meeting people in the community.

“It’s a celebration of the neighbourhood and there’s lots of people that are working hard to put that event together and share people’s stories and talents and that’s the most exciting part of it,“ he said. “That’s why we’re doing the show, to share stories, so it’s great to be a part of an event like that.”

Reported by Sera Akdogan

Watch the trailer of East Van’s upcoming web series The Drive


No Comments
  1. Manjot says

    Wow, based on this promo, the web series presents East Van as completely devoid of any diversity. It’s whitewashed and doesn’t represent what and who East Van has been and still is today. Unimpressed.

  2. Janette says

    Majot, I couldn’t disagree more with your comment. As a minority living in East Van, I found that I could really relate to what was said in the article. I like that the promo presents East Van exactly how it should be viewed – a lively, unique, multi-cultural city. It is in no way whitewashed and the writer did a great job with representing our city. Can’t wait for the tweetup! Thank you Langara for this wonderful article 🙂

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