It's not hard to find artistic inspiration at the old Andres Winery warehouse in Port Moody.
There's the iron rod doors, 40-foot cathedral ceilings and a bar area where the wine was once sipped and sold.
Leave the outside world for a moment and you could imagine being in a studio in New York or London.
For the last two years, the space has been local artist David Bizzo's muse.
"This is a phenomenal place," he told The NOW.
But in just a few short days, Bizzo, who founded the Burrard Inlet Artist Association, which has been renting the space, will have to make way for progress.
After a few months delay, the entire warehouse will need to be empty by Aug. 31 to make room for the Evergreen Line.
The warehouse's other tenant is the SHARE Family & Community Services Society.
The building itself will be used as a staging area for the Evergreen project's contractor.
Bizzo said he always figured the rapidtransit line would move him out, but he was hoping to get a bit more time.
"I felt like 'here we go again,'" he said. "I live here, I didn't want to leave Port Moody."
With 6,000 square feet of industrial space and the rent a fraction of the actual cost, Bizzo knew the old warehouse would be tough to replace.
So the search was on for another location for the non-profit association.
But unlike SHARE, which has had no luck finding a new home, Bizzo and the association have managed to find an alternative canvas.
After reading about a major renovation at the Burrard Public House on St. Johns Street earlier this year, Bizzo approached the owners to see if there was some space available in the pub for rent.
That turned out to be a fruitful inquiry.
This fall, Bizzo will begin work on the first stage of what he's called the Spring Street Studios.
The new space, about 2,000 square feet on the ground level of the building, will include six studios and a public gallery, which is expected to be complete by the beginning of 2013, just in time for Port Moody's centennial.
Bizzo plans to build the studios using movable walls.
The artist believes it will be an ideal spot, given its proximity within the "cultural precinct" of the city.
"We hope to offer professional working artists and artistic companies space to operate their businesses from, that all share a commonality," he said.
In the meantime, Bizzo is hoping local businesses will step up and sponsor either the labour or material to help build the studio.
As for SHARE, its search for a new home continues.
Originally, the food bank was given until the end of June to move out of the warehouse, but that deadline was then extended twice - to July 31 and now finally Aug. 31.
"We have not found a good solution yet, we're hoping to still," said SHARE's chief executive officer Martin Wyant.
He said there is no shortage of space in the Tri-Cities, but the organization wants to avoid paying a premium, if anything at all.
SHARE inquired about using space at the former Riverview Hospital, but was turned down.
Meanwhile, SHARE is in the final stages of moving items from the operation into other locations, which includes putting some into paid storage.
Wyant noted the situation would become dire during the Christmas season and SHARE's hamper drive.
To pull off the hamper drive, the food bank needs a lot of space.
The possibility of not having enough room has SHARE looking at contingency plans.
"If we don't have a decent sized available space to unload, sort and pack hampers, we're going to have to think about ways to try and do this differently," Wyant said, adding the organization would prefer not to wait until the last minute.
SHARE is looking for about 5,000 square feet of space for its food bank - space that does not dip below freezing, or much above the outside temperature on warm days.
The organization is also looking for 15,000 square feet of space for its Christmas hamper program that is accessible to trucks to sort and store food for the hampers, with 10,000 square feet for hamper packing. The space needs to have heat, lights and access to a washroom so volunteers are comfortable.
SHARE also needs 10,000 square feet of heated space with a functioning bathroom to receive and sort toy donations. It would also distribute toys from the site. The toy shop also needs year-round storage of about 3,000 square feet that is heated in winter.
For more information about the Burrard Inlet Artist Association, call Bizzo at 778227-8480.
If you know of a suitable available space for SHARE, contact the society at 604540-9161.
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