Rick Erickson was the producer and a curator for Thru The Trapdoor. He was also the owner of 1965 Main Street, the building he purchased in 1993 and sold in 2014.
“VIDEO OUT: Further north on Main Street, between Third and Fourth Avenue, a 21-year business-and-the-arts relationship will end April 30. That’s at 1965 Main St., the two-floor, 13,000-square-foot building that housed a furniture factory and 65 storage lockers when Rick Erickson paid $550,000 for it in 1993. The lockers remained, but the upper floor was taken over by the Video In / VIVO Media Arts Centre which, at the urging of co-founding video artist Paul Wong, leased the entire building. With stable premises after three moves, the centre quickly grew to help develop and sustain Vancouver’s role as an international video-arts centre. The lower floor eventually reverted to Erickson, and Wong took part of the upper for his own On Main Gallery.
Aged 40 in 1993, trained pipefitter Erickson was already a two-decade entrepreneur. He still owns his first purchase, a house and five-acre lot near Parksville. Ditto his family’s home, one block off Main Street, which he bought in 1975. “My theory is to hold property as long as I can,” he said this week. That certainly applies to 1965 Main, which Erickson said he would have held until Vivo’s plans to purchase it matured. When they didn’t, he somewhat reluctantly accepted “an offer that was more than fair.” As a result, Wong said: “We’re all leaving the family home in different directions.”
Not too different, let’s bet for Erickson and Wong who became friends as students at Charles Tupper Secondary. They began working together in 1984, after Erickson sold a downtown Victoria building in which he and two family members had restored, wholesaled and retailed antique furniture. With two others, Erickson ran Pender Street’s Montgomery Cafe from 1984 to 1986 and had Wong program its twice-monthly art exhibitions. Meanwhile, Erickson was amassing an art collection, small parts of which filled the On Main Gallery for two exhibitions in 2011.
Erickson continued assembling a property portfolio. Despite that long-term-hold mantra, he bought, restored and sold two or more heritage houses yearly for a decade and sometimes still does. Switching to commercial property with the Victoria facility, he later paid $1.2 million for the Sixth-off-Main Ashnola, then the Seventh-off-Main Williams Block. Former Sun food editor Eve Johnson’s Yoga on 7th studio occupies the ground floor. Johnson’s architect-husband Alan James, who handles Erickson’s projects, also tried to negotiate British Morgan sports cars’ re-entry to Canada.
Wong’s 1993 proposal for Video In /VIVO to be Erickson’s tenant once seemed equally improbable. Still, “It took only six months from that first meeting, to working out the lease, renovating the building and having them move in,” Erickson recalled. “Then I walked away and got a cheque every month.
He can’t rank with Polygon Homes chair Michael Audain, whose collection and support to the arts entails many millions. But Erickson also shows, in a smaller but still significant way, that business and art can partner successfully.”
-Malcolm Parry, Vancouver Sun, April 23 2014
The works he curated are in his private collection, these works were stored in Alderbridge Mini-Storage lockers
40, 41, 48, 63, 4A and 4B.
Rick Erickson curated Charles Rea, Michael Edward Miller, Michael Yahgulanaas, Williams Bros