Opening Reception: YORK


The private homes inside Edmonton’s crime hotspot are exposed in YORK, the latest exhibition from the Alternator Centre for Contemporary Art. Scenes from the notorious York Hotel, now demolished, are depicted to examine the displacement of its low-income residency, opening at 7pm on Friday March 11, 2016.

Once a central point of Edmonton’s urban core, the York Hotel evolved from a bustling traveler’s hotel into problematic housing. In 2007, the York Hotel was the most visited spot by the city’s police, EMS, and fire department with up to two or three calls in a single day.

The York Hotel was shut down and scheduled for destruction in March 2010 as a part of efforts by the City of Edmonton to revitalize the area. In response to its removal, Edmonton Police Association president Tony Simioni said to the Edmonton Sun “Hallelujah, and good riddance. This was a den of iniquity, where lives were lost, people were maimed and we’re overjoyed to see it go.”

In September 2011, artists Sydney Lancaster and Marian Switzer took over three hundred photographs of the defunct space. In repurposing slums, the lives and experiences of the residents are often overlooked. Lancaster and Switzer expose some of these private worlds, telling fragmented stories of individuals who struggle to claim an unstable and often unsafe space as their own.

The Alternator will host an opening reception for YORK on March 11th at 7pm. Lancaster and Switzer will be present to speak to their work. The event is free and open to the public. YORK will be on display through to April 23rd, 2016.

The Alternator Centre for Contemporary Art is a non-profit organization dedicated to the development of our creative community.

Since 1989, the Alternator has shown the work of emerging Canadian artists and helped develop the talents of local artists by providing a network of collaboration and sharing.

We foster energetic, creative, critical discussion on art & culture.

We believe in the greater positive potential of our creative community and value our role as key contributors to the cultural life of Kelowna and beyond.

The Alternator Centre for Contemporary Art is run by the Okanagan Artists Alternative Association.