The Victoria Event Centre (VEC) “came to be” in 2003, established as a non-profit, by the name of the Victoria Multi-Cultural Society (VMS). We are not entirely sure of the exact history of the building, but it’s known that the immediate previous use of the space was as an all ages club, called Club Hollywood. They were the folks that brought in the infamous guitar bar, purchased from a Hard Rock Cafe in Vancouver. The venue was once an official Legion, and I’ve been told that there used to be a bowling alley in our basement!
The entire building (built in 1903), which includes the two retail stores below us (Broad St. Bikes and Coastline Surf), was purchased by Brotherhood Properties in 2003. Brotherhood Properties (Colin McKean and Tom Galimberti) weren’t sure at first how to best utilize the space (VEC) and eventually found inspiration from an existing non-profit/business model in San Francisco.
The Fort Mason Centre was an old military establishment that fell into disrepair and was subsequently converted to an event centre in 1977. Similarly, 1415 Broad St (VEC address) was an old Legion Centre that was empty and fell into disrepair and was considered part of the City of Victoria’s “red zone”. The top floor of the building was converted into the VEC in 2003.
The Victoria Multi-Cultural Society (VMS) had ‘borrowed’ Fort Mason Centre’s multi-tenant, multi-purpose, non-profit business model and is self-sufficient regarding day-to-day operating expenses through earned income.
To produce arts and cultural events and work in partnership with local arts and cultural groups and individuals to experiment with and develop and present new events/shows/opportunities. To provide an affordable, flexible, accommodating multi-purpose venue for arts and entertainment groups, cultural organizations and non-profit communities to hold their shows/performances, fundraisers, cultural and community celebrations.
- Supportive of local arts and culture
- Professionalism & Excellent Customer Service
- Freedom of Artistic/Creative Expression