Have you ever been someplace you could find neighborhood artists, observe a cooking discussion, commemorate the launch of a regional publication, participate in a D.R.A.M. show, opt for a photography walk and take part in an all-girls skate center– all in the very same location? I have not. But in between September 21 to 23, we both can. Because House of Vans is turning up at Toronto’s The Bentway for the weekend, and everybody is welcomed.
House of Vans– referred to as “a place where imagination lets loose over concrete bowls, art installations, workshops and concert stages”– is where “Off the Wall” lives. I constantly believed Vans’ universal “Off the Wall” motto was a creative method to identify the life of a rubber-soled, canvas shoe when it leaves the We st49 wall– however the brand name keeps it more comprehensive than that. And more articulate. “Vans mission is to enable creative expression, whether it’s through skateboarding, art, music or street culture,” states Alex Auchu, Marketing Manager at VansCanada, “That’s what we do. That’s we stand for.”
This values of self expression is something that House of Vans has actually taken around the world. There are long-term areas in Brooklyn, Chicago and London, and pop-ups that occur all over from Hong Kong to Calgary,Alberta. Wherever they are, House of Vans is responding to its environments. “In each city we go to, our role is to fuel the creative community,”Auchu states, sharing how regional professional photographers, skateboarders and artists get included. The most apparent example is the The Community Market, where Auchu describes that House of Vans “partners with up-in-coming creatives in the area and support their craft by giving them platform that offers exposure, but also a place to sell their products.”
There’s something you’ll observe isn’t for sale when you go to House of Vans:Vans “We don’t sell any Vans products at House of Vans,” Auchu describes, “Everything is free. The only people allowed to sell products are people in the community market.” (And when they state whatever is totally free, they really indicate it. At the House of Vans in Chicago, where I participated in a Wolf Parade show previously this year, even the band merch and posters were totally free. Even the BEER was totally free.)
There’s another thing you’ll observe when you head to the Bentway this weekend: variety. Vans are a brand name of shoes that practically everybody uses, and this is reflective their shows. “The loyalists—my generation—we love Vans for a reason,” Auchu states when I ask who particularly House of Vans is for, “And I think maybe the younger generation loves Vans for something different. But it’s all around creative expression. Whether your 15-years-old, or 41-years-old like myself, there’s something to enjoy at House of Vans.”
So whether you’re a Vans- using dad of 6 who enjoys cooking and curating art or a preteen woman who aspires to shred some deck– or basically anything in-between– here’s what you need to anticipate at House of Vans Toronto this weekend.