Paying homage to the neighbourhood


the drive the peak

The Drive centers around the eccentricities of Commercial Drive

By Alicia Wrobel
Photo courtesy of Anna Williamst

Transition. Inspiration. Growth. Acceptance. These concepts are deeply meaningful to the creators of the web series The Drive. The fictional drama, created by several SFU grads, follows the lives of five young adults and their experiences living in Vancouver’s Commercial Drive neighbourhood.

The show begins with a character named Chris struggling to discover his place in the world and to find himself while living with roommates of a similar age. Producers Lindsay Drummond and Nick Hunnings insist to preserve its vibrant arts and culture scene, all while operating with a strong social conscience and an intense loyalty to its local businesses. Drummond and Hunnings both believe though, that one of the most important characters of the show is the drive itself, a place that they claim engenders a culture of acceptance.

For decades, residents of Commercial Drive have supported and looked after one another. These reasons may begin to describe why the drive is alluring to those in transitional phases of their lives. The struggles associated with this transitional phase in young adult’s lives has become an active discussion as of late — a stage that Hunnings describes as “a time where you work towards discovering what drives you.” In some ways, the show’s producers and long-time residents of Commercial Drive feel that they did not choose the neighbourhood, but that the neighbourhood chose them.

The inclusive nature of the drive means that there is a concentration of talent in the area, with an immense opportunity for growth. Drummond and Hunnings are not shy in stating that one of their main aims is to highlight the area’s “wealth of talent while looking for a way to expose it.”

Before his rise to fame and two JUNO wins, Vancouver- based musician Dan Mangan was one of these artists. Still a strong supporter of the project, he wrote the song used in the trailer for the series and says, “I like the idea of being involved in a kind of community project — or artistic project — that has to do with the place I know and love.” It’s clear that the show’s producers share the same sentiment.

Perhaps what is most enticing about the series is the representation of the neighbourhood’s community values in the characters — and creators — themselves: Drummond and Hunning are down-to-earth, passionate and welcoming. At one point during our discussion, Hunning says that if the show inspires even one person to have the courage to explore what “makes them tick,” he would be happy.

The show currently has 10 episodes written for their first season, and the creators have been fundraising in order to raise the necessary funds to film their full pilot, which has now surpassed its goal of $7,500. While some may not be familiar with the eccentricities of Commerical Drive, the web series is sure to tell a compelling story that is near and dear to the hearts of its creators, and hopefully introduce viewers to an array of talented Vancouver-based artists.