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“Everything is going to be alright”: Art or a Bob Rennie motto?

September 16th, 2009 · 10 Comments

I notice that people are starting to comment more and more on the neon sign atop a Chinatown building, visible from the Georgia viaduct, that says “Everything is going to be alright.”

To my amusement, it is generating all kinds of speculation and commentary, not all of it based in what we might call fact. One blogger seems to think it’s possibly a message from BC Housing, saying it’s near but not on the Chinatown building that condo marketer Bob Rennie is restoring. At Beyond Robson, there’s a link to a post from a blog called Credit Check where the writer correctly identifies the building as being Rennie’s but appears to think that Rennie came up with the saying himself and can’t even spell “all right” correctly.

There have been some media reports on this sign but apparently not enough to reach wide public consciousness.  So, for those who think that it is a Rennie Marketing slogan that he’s put on his building, um, it’s not. (Though I’m sure the famously optimistic Rennie agrees with it philosophically.)

The sign is actually the work of British artist Martin Creed, which was in Detroit two years ago before Rennie installed it on the wall of what is going to be a sculpture garden on the roof of the gallery is being created inside this heritage building. The picture below is from Martin Creed’s site and shows the sign when it was installed inat the Detroit Gallery of Contemporary Art. You can also link to it here.

Categories: Uncategorized

  • I did some research and found out about the installation. It was on Vancouver Is Awesome today too:

  • With your earlier post on the Stop Sign art installation along False Creek, maybe you should have a whole special category on your blog for “What the f&$@ is that?” sightings and accompanying explanations. 🙂


  • Frothingham

    Bob Rennie wants to be Bob Marley, cool. i like it…. no cry

  • gmgw

    I’m sure that for Bob Rennie or anyone else in his income bracket, everything will indeed be alright; barring nuclear war or global environmental disaster, how likely is it to be otherwise?

    For the rest of us, who face a daily struggle just to keep from flying off the end of the treadmill, this slogan is exactly what it appears to be: Meaningless, smug, self-indulgent pap with a distinct pong of of new-age airheadism clinging to it.

    Sorry; I’m in a cranky mood tonight.

  • Des

    Our fair city’s top real-estate mogul brought in a sign saying ‘everything is going to be alright’ from… Detroit?

    Some folks could interpret that as mighty worrying, given how ‘alright’ things have turned out for Motown. Personally I’d be ecstatic to see us shift towards a more Detroit-level housing market…

  • Frothingham

    Hey you nattering nabobs. Have you not seen the new bidding war on houses for sale. Bob is singing real loud right about now … ‘everything is going to be alright!’ Condo prices are next. ‘I said, everythings gonna be all right-a!’ Woman No Cry …. Bob’s getting a new dreadlocks look….

  • eirehead

    Alright: usage The one-word spelling alright appeared some 75 years after all right itself had reappeared from a 400-year-long absence. Since the early 20th century some critics have insisted alright is wrong, but it has its defenders and its users. It is less frequent than all right but remains in common use especially in journalistic and business publications. It is quite common in fictional dialogue, and is used occasionally in other writing .

  • Bill Lee

    In Miss Bula’s frequently contributed-to newspaper (nowadays) there was a squib on Friday, Sep. 18, 2009 in the what-can-a-dilettante-do column as follows:
    “Housed in the oldest building in Chinatown, in the heart of Vancouver’s Downtown East Side, this new private museum will house the collection of Vancouver real-estate developer Bob Rennie. With more than 1,000 ontemporary artworks in his collection, it was time to go public – or semi-public – in this 20,000-square-foot space. Access is by appointment only. The opening show draws from Rennie’s collection of 10 works by the London- and Berlin-based Palestinian artist Mona Hatoum. Catherine Grenier of the Pompidou Centre in Paris provides the catalogue essay.
    Wing Sang Building, 63 East Pender St., Vancouver, opens Oct. 24.”

    So he’s not going to openly display his erotica to the public? Are the ‘by appointment’ people going to be vetted for taste, paint spray cans, or the correct addresses?

    All sounds so Longstaffean, of the feeble modern collection that the VAG was suckered into storing for free.

    At least Rennie realizes that like the Biennale, commercial “Aht” is seen through and relegated to the trashheap of history.

  • Miguelito

    This sign is so wonderful and lovely. The first time I saw it was in late summer, one evening at dusk, driving eats on the Georgia Viaduct.
    It made be grin and believe what I was being told.

    A welcome change from eagles with tacky wallpaper and bears holding toothbrushes.

  • wcb

    You can make viewing requests at I don’t think anyone is being vetted. I know of several people who just emailed and got responses and confirmed appointments right away.