Monday, February 11, 2008

A word from the west coast

Toni and Colleen staff the Vancouver office, along with a cast of unseen freelancers

In 1999, Annick opened an office in Vancouver so we could be in contact with creators on both sides of the country. Annick West handles the editorial and production of about half of the Annick list, while maintaining close contact with the Toronto office by Skype and email.

Not only do we work with exciting authors, designers, editors, and illustrators, but the office itself and the neighborhood are full of character. We’re on the second floor of an old garment factory in Vancouver’s historic Gastown. While our actual floor space might be small, it has a big personality. We share the space with a magazine, an adult trade book publisher, an arts publicist and a dance company. There’s a lot of camaraderie within the office. In the late afternoons, we listen to the acting classes on the floor above as they go through their vocal warm-ups. They sound like a herd of huffing buffalo. (“Are you sure they’re OK up there?” we ask when the noise gets especially boisterous.)

The last tenants painted the beautiful tin ceiling a decadent gold.

On the way to work, we jostle past clusters of tourists enjoying an ice cream or browsing through gift shops. Our neigbours are the homeless people from the downtown East Side or students from Simon Fraser University’s downtown campus; high-end shops, restaurants, design studios, and galleries. The whistle of the steam clock down the street punctuates our day, and in the summer the voice of the guide on the open-air tour bus floats through our open windows. As we write this, a large crane is setting up outside our window for a movie shoot. We are not in the movie.
Preparations for a movie shoot are underway beneath our window.

We’re convinced this eclectic mix gives us energy for the exciting task of working on new Annick titles. Combined with the enjoyment we take from the other people working within these walls, we feel we have the best office situation imaginable. And the bonus? Gelato is only a few steps down the street.
This is our street in historic Gastown.

We’ve got to have the best view from a bathroom in all of Vancouver.

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