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Swans | Victoria | Pandora Ave. at Store St.


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#181 Greg

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Posted 22 April 2019 - 07:39 AM

I don't see any of Michael Williams' art collection.

 

 

Yesterday the Michael Williams statue had a giant construction cone on its head. The thing was easily 2’ tall. And of course, tourists were having a great time with that visual.

The lesson here is that what organizations really want is your money with no strings attached, and whatever legacy you might have wanted preserved is only as good as the ironclad will you’ve got drafted and the willingness of the recipient to follow through.

 

Isn't his collection on display now at Legacy Art Gallery now. I think that is probably consistent with the spirit of his donations.


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#182 Mike K.

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Posted 22 April 2019 - 07:52 AM

Williams’ pride and joy was Swans, which devoid of its most prominent art pieces is a symbol of the indifference towards the Williams legacy.

We have enough kitsch in modern interior design and Swans is just another spin on the Ikea-like template everyone follows. A little bit of quirkiness and originality goes a long way and a few of the art pieces redefined within a modernized space would have been appreciated, I guess.
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#183 Rob Randall

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Posted 22 April 2019 - 08:31 AM

Isn't his collection on display now at Legacy Art Gallery now. I think that is probably consistent with the spirit of his donations.

 

That was his intention but the gallery is used for a variety of UVic-associated exibitions. Once in a while art from Williams' collection is incorporated into a show if it fits the theme but if you walk in there on any given day you probably won't see anything from his collection.

 

To be fair he only had about a thousand pieces including antiques so it doesn't take long to burn through that and it wouldn't take long before locals are bored of it. So to be fair the current policy is probably fairest to all.


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#184 jonny

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Posted 22 April 2019 - 09:00 AM

Swans was dying a slow death before the renovation. It desperately needed a reinvention.

(Not saying they hit the nail on the head, ai have not been in years, but the place was crying out for more than a little TLC.)

#185 sdwright.vic

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Posted 22 April 2019 - 09:06 AM

All the art disappeared well before this renovation even started.
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#186 jonny

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Posted 22 April 2019 - 09:21 AM

Is it dated?

Was it sold? Where did it go? What do you mean disappear? Moving the are may have been phase 1, sort of like getting rid of the dance floor.

#187 Mike K.

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Posted 22 April 2019 - 09:26 AM

Oh I agree it needed an update, absolutely. But the life essence of the place was discarded, and that’s a shame.

Modern aesthetic quickly becomes dated. Without the art as the heart and soul of the place Swans is now a meaningless name for a pub that once brought life into Old Town in an era when Old Town was still a less than desirable neighbourhood.

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#188 sdwright.vic

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Posted 22 April 2019 - 11:01 AM

Is it dated?

Was it sold? Where did it go? What do you mean disappear? Moving the are may have been phase 1, sort of like getting rid of the dance floor.

Its all is being displayed at the university now. I am talking disappeared as in removed. More than a year b4 the renovation, when there was the talk of bringing in an outside operator.

Edited by sdwright.vic, 22 April 2019 - 12:58 PM.

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#189 Benezet

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Posted 22 April 2019 - 12:30 PM


I quite enjoyed describing Swans as a bar where patrons could be found arguing over paintings. And on lonely rainy days I would read through the beat-up copy of an Art History 101 textbook that lived on the shelf above the butcher’s block. I miss all that.

It was my understanding that there was a covenant (or other arrangement) on Swans that it was to be left substantially “as is” for ten years after Williams died. It was more or less followed, although there was very little rotation of the artwork.

#190 Victoria Watcher

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Posted 22 April 2019 - 01:28 PM

Oh I agree it needed an update, absolutely. But the life essence of the place was discarded, and that’s a shame.

Modern aesthetic quickly becomes dated. Without the art as the heart and soul of the place Swans is now a meaningless name for a pub that once brought life into Old Town in an era when Old Town was still a less than desirable neighbourhood.

 

that's a bit over the top.



#191 jonny

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Posted 22 April 2019 - 07:48 PM

It was my understanding that there was a covenant (or other arrangement) on Swans that it was to be left substantially “as is” for ten years after Williams died. It was more or less followed, although there was very little rotation of the artwork.


I don't think Williams wanted his brewpub going belly up, either.

It was a dated concept that obviously wasn't working anymore, otherwise they wouldn't have changed anything.

#192 jonny

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Posted 22 April 2019 - 07:49 PM

I heard management didn't like the dancers essentially because they were cheapskates and teetotalers.

#193 Benezet

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Posted 22 April 2019 - 08:11 PM

...
It was a dated concept that obviously wasn't working anymore, otherwise they wouldn't have changed anything.


Perhaps, but several friends and I were put off the place years ago by other issues that had nothing to do with the decor, the beer, or the food. Nuff said.

#194 FogPub

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Posted 26 April 2019 - 02:06 AM

Worst aspect of the reno in my opinion is that they took out the "alcove" that used to be an immediate hard right after going in the (old) entrance.  That was perhaps the best place in any pub in town to sit and have a beer with some friends, and when the live music started later in the evening there was a wall in the way that blocked some of the sound so you could still talk.



#195 SimonH

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Posted 26 April 2019 - 02:59 PM

Perhaps, but several friends and I were put off the place years ago by other issues that had nothing to do with the decor, the beer, or the food. Nuff said.


Me too.

#196 pontcanna

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Posted 28 April 2019 - 06:15 AM

I heard management didn't like the dancers essentially because they were cheapskates and teetotalers.

If memory serves, one dancer in his senior years was renowned for creeping out the ladies. I believe he was barred from Swans and later showed up with a picket sign alleging unfair treatment by the management of the place.



 



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