Legendary music venue honored by DTES business community in Living History Documentary Series


Vancouver BC, February 12th 2014

The Hastings Crossing Business Improvement Association (HxBIA), which represents over 600 local businesses and property owners in Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside, has produced the first of what it plans to be several short documentaries celebrating the lesser-known history of the area. The first Living History Documentary is scheduled to be screened in multiple small venues later in March and it will share the incredible story of the Smilin’ Buddha Cabaret, whose iconic sign now glows in the Museum of Vancouver.

But first the organization is turning to the public to help crowdfund the remaining six thousand dollars needed to finish post-production and spread the word.

Wes Regan, Executive Director of HxBIA says that this is likely one of the first times that a Business Improvement Association, an arms length community development non-profit funded through a commercial property tax levy, has engaged its own members and the public through a crowdfunding campaign of this sort. This is in keeping with its identity as Canada’s first Social Innovation BIA. The organization is giving local gift certificates from merchants and tickets to screenings scheduled in March to crowdfunding contributors, everything from dinners, coffee gift cards, autographed guitars from Bruce Guitars, sword lessons from Acadamie Duello and even a skateboarding session with Canadian hip hop legend Moka Only (Swollen Members) and a pro skater at the newly opened indoor skate park and sandwich stand that now operates where the old Smilin’ Buddha Cabaret used to be. SBC Restaurant.

The documentary includes rare interviews with people who frequented, performed in or worked at the Smilin’ Buddha from the 1950s to the 1980s including radio Icon Red Robinson, Vancouver socialite Fay Leung, photographer Bev Davies and never before seen performances from punk rock icons Joey Keithely of DOA and Neil Osborne of 54-40.

The indiegogo campaign can be found at and begins this Thursday February 12th and will run until early April.

For more information contact:

Wes Regan

Executive Director, Hastings Crossing BIA


[email protected]


Leave a Reply

image description