2nd Story

Screening & Storytelling at Heart of the City Festival October 30, 2014 | Interurban Gallery

Selected video stories from the over 60 community tales of Blood Alley, as well as the 9 video shorts created for the 2nd Story augmented reality experience. Share your own Blood Alley tale!

2nd Story: Blood Alley  Launched September 27-28, 2014 

Blood Alley Square (enter from Carrall Street, between Cordova & Water Streets)

2nd Story is available now as a self-guided augmented reality experience.   Download and print instructions here.  Download the 2nd Story app and content while connected to any wireless network. We suggest bringing a friend, and always respect the residents and neighbors by not taking pictures without permission.  Feel free to show and tell any curious onlookers what you are doing.  Please use the Audio Guide and Map in the app to improve your experience!  And send us feedback to help us improve 2nd Story in other locations.

The experience lasts approximately 30 minutes.  The free 2nd Story app works on Android or iPhone and is available from The App Store and Google Play*

Mature content not intended for children.  14+ recommended.

*Android version fully operable, iOS Live View coming October 31, works via Map view only.  Email with any questions.

What is 2nd Story?

2nd Story uses augmented reality technology to map personal stories onto local places.  

Imagine holding up your phone to an empty staircase in Vancouver’s Blood Alley. The 2nd Story app recognizes the location, and a woman appears sweeping the stairs.  At other locations a voice in your ear tells of arriving in 1973 during Gastown Days; working in the 80s for the Friendship Centre; a love affair celebrated with an annual collision.   Time is yours to travel. What is hidden can be shown. Multiple perspectives mingle with your present day experience as your explore the visible and invisible social architecture of this much-mythologized and little known place.

For this project, personal stories from and about the area known as ‘Blood Alley’ in Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside have been gathered and documented. The area has been chosen for its long, often constructed, history, and as a microcosmic example of a neighborhood in transition: a Single Room Occupancy hotel and shelter stands across the alley from a new condo development with boutiques and restaurants on the ground floor. Nine of these stories were adapted into short videos by a team of film and theatre artists. The videos download onsite into the 2nd Story app developed by media artist and creative coder Jesse Scott, making it possible for visitors to discover these hidden stories for themselves.

Our interest is in cultivating human connections in fragmenting times: using the ancient power of storytelling together with our portable powerful technologies. In association with PHS Community Services and the SFU Office of Community Engagement, we’ve created an artistic experience unlike any other, and a set of tools we can take to other places.

The more than sixty stories gathered during the project are being collected in a DVD and will be uploaded to the web on our YouTube archive.

Thanks to all the storytellers that participated, the residents of The Stanley Hotel and New Fountain Shelter, and all the Downtown Eastside community members who have supported this project.

Project Director: Eric Rhys Miller

1st Camera/Editor: Colin Askey

Production Design & Costume Design: Florence Barrett

2nd Camera/Editor/DVD Design: Sepehr Samimi

Application Development: Jesse Scott

Application Design: Jessica Butler

Assistant Producer: Kaylin Metchie

In Association with PHS Community Services and SFU Office of Community Engagement

We acknowledge the financial support of the Province of British Columbia.

Supported by Creative BC, BC Arts Council and the City of Vancouver