Pigeon's club

  • © ATSA
  • Vancouver

  • 2011

SLIDESHOW |video|conclusion



Holidays are fast approaching, do your thoughts turn to dreams of an all-inclusive getaway, complete with exterior swimming pool and deck chairs? What perfect timing! 


20-21 MAY 2011 
2 TO 10 PM 

THE PIGEON'S CLUB is an ALL-INCLUSIVE event complete with tourist iconography in the heart of Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside, an area where social exclusion and human suffering is among the most intense in Canada but also where there is the greatest concentration of mutual aid and frontline services... 

The GOs of THE PIGEON'S CLUB will greet its VIP guests between 2 and 10 P.M., giving voice to citizens by way of open mic, karaoke, free games and art performances promoting social interaction. The event is supported by an advertising campaign inviting all Vancouverites to come join in the game! 

ALSO IN THE LINE-UP IS THE PREMIERE OF THE FILM IN THIS MEAN TIME, an impressionist montage of ATSA based on images from their residence in Vancouver in the summer of 2009 with the grunt gallery, blending urban solitude and loss, the fullness of nature, and the daily goings-on at the Carnegie Center. The film will be screened in continuous loop on an outdoor screen at the PIGEON'S CLUB starting at sunset. 

What happens when we don't quite fit into the "package" ? Can we in fact resist or refuse to be “included”? What forms can this refusal take? These questions are vital and in keeping with ATSA’s approach, which is to induce a confrontation, a visual clash that serves to convey the meaning behind the message. 

In addition to creating a forum where society’s outcasts can meet and speak out, ATSA sets the stage for a thought-provoking critique of the big lie perpetrated by a society built on the facade of happiness and propped up by shiny, sleek tourism—a commentary on the marketing whitewash which reached its peak during the city’s 2010 Winter Olympics. 

A satirical critique of the glossy, squeaky-clean view of the world championed by travel agency brochures, which extol happiness as an all-inclusive package deal. ATSA is providing its own outrageous take on the whole aesthetic of the ALL-INCLUSIVE to better pull people’s strings and stir up debate. 

Beyond the ALL-INCLUSIVE, ATSA aims to emphasize respect, integration and coming together: the ALL INCLUDED.


Photos : © ATSA






On May 20 and 21, ATSA opened an All Inclusive at the corner of the streets Hasting and Carrall, in the heart of Vancouver’s Down Town East Side (DTES) neighbourhood, a concentration of exclusion and human distress.

We developed the theme of État d’Urgence’s 2010 edition in order to create an intervention related to our observations during our summer 2009 Vancouver residence in Canada’s poorest neighbourhood, where we noticed such decay and violence in this dream environment and at the same time, a lot of solidarity and compassion.

People often say that visiting DTES is an experience of tourism in itself, a sort of voyeurism on mendicancy. In the big picture, all the sumptuous scenery of the Rockies and of the sea nearby, an ultra-mediatized postcard incidentally used for the Olympics, exacerbates the whole thing and makes this poverty and the omnipresence of drugs even more indecent and unreal. However it is a settled reality, and just like pigeons in a park, everyone comes to look and find crumbs to peck for the day… Not too different from CLUB MED tourists who rush towards the best deck chair of the day… Human beings make for great pigeons… The only thing that changes is the scenery!

According to many inhabitants, it was not easy to come create an intervention in those "occupied territories". There is a strong perception of artists who "come make a visit and then leave", especially when they are not Vancouverites. But the human contact, the fact that we brightened the lives of people AND brought some food for thought rallied the public. We made unbelievable encounters, with comedians who incarnated G.O.s wonderfully as well as with "junkies" and passersby walking back and forth between us and chic restaurants and condos next by in Gaz Town. Our staging was able to divert people from their everyday routine and bring them to another reality which was offset enough.

Many would already like to reiterate the PIGEON’S CLUB every year! Do not worry, we will let you know what happens!

This event was possible thanks to the particular support of Quebec’s Conseil des arts et des Lettres. Special thanks to Carnegie Center.



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