VANCOUVER, BC — In recognition of the large gains in membership over the last few years on Canada’s west coast, and British Columbia in particular, International President Thomas C. Short, with the support of the General Executive Board, approved the establishment of an IATSE Canadian West Coast Office.
The IATSE Canadian West Coast Office was opened in Vancouver on November 1, 2007. It is housed in the Marine Building, which opened in 1930 and is the city’s finest example of art deco architecture.
The office will be staffed by newly appointed International Representative Julia Neville, who is a member of both the Directors Guild of Canada and a 20-year member of IATSE Local 891. Julia served on Local 891’s Executive Board in the capacity of Corresponding Secretary and is currently a Health and Welfare Trustee. She has worked for a number of years as a Production Manager on motion picture and television productions; notably, “Flight 93,” which was nominated for an Emmy (Best Dramatic Program, Longform), in 2006, and “Da Vinci’s Inquest,” which won the Gemini (Best Dramatic Series) in 2004.
When it opened in 1930, at a cost of $2.3 million ($1.1 million over budget), the Marine Building was the talk of the town. Uniformed doormen stood by massive brass doors opening onto the dazzling lobby and sailor-suited women waited to escort passengers in five high-speed elevators, the walls of which were inlaid with 12 varieties of British Columbia hardwoods. It was by far the most glamorous structure many visitors had seen in their lives.
Over $30 million dollars has been spent over the last 15 years to restore the Marine Building to its former glory.
According to President Short, “It is our intention to use the IATSE’s enhanced presence in western Canada to take advantage of organizing opportunities in legitimate theatre, trade and convention work, the 2010 Vancouver Olympic Games and the shops and rental houses that service the motion picture and theatrical industries. Julia brings with her an understanding of issues from the perspective of both the working member and production, which will undoubtedly prove beneficial as we move forward with these new opportunities.”