Video Inn

Video Inn was the first Canadian video collective, it opened in 1973.

Video Inn

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The first International Video Exchange Directory was published in 1971 after 1000 postcards were send around the world calling for groups and individuals working with or interested in video to form a network to facilitate the free exchange of non commercial videotape.

Two years later, a dozen artists interested in video came together at the Matrix Video Conference, in Vancouver. The conference admission involved depositing a videotape, which were dubbed during the conference for other participants, and filling out a Video Exchange Directory card. This became the base of a new video collection of approximately 80 tapes. The Satellite Video Exchange Society was founded shortly there after, and Video Inn was opened as a new video resource space where the tape collection could be publicly accessible.

Various members of the collective lived at Video Inn at times, and the space in its first inception became something of a drop-in centre, with a loft, kitchen, lounge and meeting areas. One half of the space was a library with tape shelves, a loft and several viewing spaces. It became a place where groups who came to use the space could show tapes of their own. The other half of the space held desks, communication materials, books, filing cabinets, an editing room, a dark room with a shower, two lofts, and a fully functioning kitchen with an adjacent long wooden table.

In the 1970s, video production equipment was distributed around Canada by the Challenge for Change program at the NFB. Other equipment, such as two portapak video cameras, came to the centre after being passed along by artists who had been working with Intermedia. Video Inn built up their compliment of equipment in order to facilitate new production, and house workshops. The early focus of Video Inn included numerous workshops for artists, students, community groups, and members of the community at large, including: Two-way video, an exploration of live communication; The Video Inn Visits the Vancouver Public Library; and KIDVID, a children’s television workshop.

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