If you decide to take a self-guided tour of this project on location in Vancouver, go to the first Stop, which is in Gastown at the intersection of Carrall and Water Street, across from where the Gassy Jack statue once stood (it was torn down by demonstrators on February 14, 2022).
Please be aware that 360 Riot Walk will take you through spaces of distinct communities with specific cultural and social differences. It may be a good idea to go on the tour with someone. Gastown is a tourist and entertainment district. After a few steps, you will encounter neighbourhoods where issues of gentrification and poverty, compounded by the clash between real estate development and class immobility experienced especially by seniors in Chinatown, will be evident. In what is known as the Downtown Eastside, a significantly higher density of vulnerable and marginalized people live. And the Powell Street area, with its many empty buildings, is still haunted by the forced relocation and internment of the Japanese Canadian community in World War II.
Because you will be aiming your mobile device in every direction, you may be perceived as taking photos of local residents, which may cause a reaction. Be courteous, and take the time to let them know that you are watching a recorded video.
Also please understand that if you decide to take this self-guided tour on location, you agree to accept full responsibility for your behaviour, well-being and health; that you assume all risk that may arise from participating in this project; and that you waive, release and discharge from any and all liability arising from negligence or fault of anyone for personal injury, property damage or theft, disability, or death including traveling to and from this activity.
Each summer since 2019 when 360 Riot Walk first launched at the Dr. Sun Yat-Sen Classical Chinese Garden and Powell Street Festival, live guided tours have been offered. Participants were set up with an iPad and headphones and shown how to navigate the 360 video. A tour guide and local ambassador familiar with the locals in Vancouver’s Downtown East Side lead the group to the 13 locations. At the end of the tour, participants gathered at the Japanese Language School for a facilitated discussion.
In 2020, more guided tours were planned for the riot’s anniversary and the few weeks following. But COVID-19 has resulted in only two tours being offered, in partnership with the Vancouver Japanese Language School, Carnegie Community Centre and Project 1907.
In 2021, the Powell Street Festival agreed to take on stewardship of the tours, and Henry developed a training program for new guides to lead them and facilitate the post-tour discussions. Six IRL guided tours were delivered in Cantonese, Japanese, Punjabi and English.
For 2022 and beyond, more tours are planned, as well as a guided virtual tour option for non-local participants and when the weather in Vancouver is less dry. Stay tuned!