Saint John — Nothing brings out Saint Johners quite like a building demolition. Organizers of Area 506 have taken note.
On Thursday, Director May Eastwood announced that the demolition of a former Bargain Shop will headline the festival.
“The vibe is hypnotic,” said Eastwood. “I could watch all day, which is why I’m pleased to announce this year’s headlining performance will be a 36-hour demolition of a four-storey building. Community masks and CSA-approved hard hats are mandatory.”
According to the property owner, the demolition site is being prepared for “unaffordable housing” and “a grocery store, maybe, but probably not.”
Opening for the headline demolition will be an old man talking about what was there before it was Bargain Shop, followed by former city councillor Blake Armstrong and his mini-excavator performing his hit Environmental Destruction at Seaside Park.
Asked if he obtained a Watercourse and Wetland Alteration permit for the performance, Armstrong replied, “A wa-what?”
Top boss at Envision Saint John, the region’s newly founded economic development agency, is also noticing the city’s affinity for excavators.
“Saint Johners are more likely to support a demolition than a potentially controversial construction project,” said Envision CEO Paulette Hicks. “Therefore, our mission will change from encouraging development, to accelerating the demolition of the south and north ends of Saint John.
“By 2022, nothing will be left of these neighbourhoods, if we’re lucky.”