Partners & Supporters
The Vancouver Park Board is the only elected body of its kind in Canada. Formed in 1888 as a committee to manage the new Stanley Park, its history is as old as the city’s itself.
It has exclusive possession, jurisdiction, and control over more than 230 public parks in Vancouver and a large public recreation system of community centres, pools, rinks, fitness centres, golf courses, street trees, marinas, playing fields, and more.
The elected nature of the Park Board and the strength and focus of its mandate have resulted in urban parks and recreation that today hold an enviable and esteemed position world-wide.
The Park Board’s mission is to provide, preserve, and advocate for parks and recreation services to benefit all people, communities, and the environment.
Founded in 1967, BC Housing is a provincial Crown agency under the Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing that develops, manages and administers a wide range of subsidized housing options across the province.
It is located in Burnaby, British Columbia, Canada. They license residential builders, administer owner builder authorizations and carry out research and education that benefits the residential construction industry, consumers and the affordable housing sector.
ALIVE (Aboriginal Life in Vancouver Enhancement) Society exists to promote, enhance and foster the social, economic, and cultural well-being and health of Aboriginal peoples in Vancouver. Working within a place-based framework to develop inclusive strategies to support Aboriginal individuals, families, and extended families wherever they find themselves; ALIVE creates opportunities for urban Aboriginal people in the City of Vancouver to fully engage as citizens in their neighbourhoods and in the city as a whole. ALIVE was created in 2010 in response to the needs and desires of many urban Aboriginal peoples to seek supports and receive services in a new way.
We reach out to our community on an ongoing basis to ensure we remain fully accountable to our members and communities to which they belong. ALIVE strives to build effective partnerships and collaboratives, promoting initiatives and strategies that Enhance the experiences of both Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal communities. The recent, Environics Urban Aboriginal Peoples Study (UAPS), supports our findings that the majority of Aboriginal peoples in Vancouver feel empowered to contribute to community life within their neighbourhoods, and that they can make Vancouver a better place to live. The UAPS reports that success means a balanced life, close to family and friends, raising healthy well-adjusted children who contribute positively to their community.
A large proportion of Aboriginal peoples in our city report multiple barriers to participation, including feelings of stigmatization and negative experiences accessing supports and resources such as housing, education, childcare and employment. ALIVE believes that, using a place-based strategy, we can create avenues for Aboriginal citizens to have meaningful impacts in their communities and to identify their role in the urban ‘place’ on their own terms. Place-based approaches work to actively engage citizens by removing barriers, and promoting people-centred, participatory service delivery and economic involvement. It does so by creating comprehensive, holistic, and integrated strategies that target both the individual and broader community needs.
Our approach to service delivery is much broader than the current federal, provincial, and municipal government models which keep us segregated and fund programs through competitive, siloed processes. Our model is outlined in more detail in the attached Reconciliation In Action-2014 booklet. We believe that to truly be reflective and relevant, change must be progressive, evidence-based, and involve our citizens and partners. This approach is not endorsed at this time by any government level with the exception of the Vancouver School Board, which has endorsed our Graduation Strategy, a partnership developed to ensure all children are fully prepared for each level of education and that all achieve success.
This approach and the principles involved are very similar to the Comprehensive Community Planning (CCP) processes that many land-based First Nations are now developing. ALIVE has been inspired by the work of Musqueam First Nations CCP process, which is described in more detail in the booklet as presented by Musqueam Councillor Wendy Grant-John. Our challenges are very different of course from that of land-based peoples, but the Indigenous principles we have adopted of connecting the social, economic, and environmental variables are quite similar. Our strategic approach is fully supported by BC Representative of Children and Youth, who shares their thoughts in the Reconciliation booklet on the need to embrace evidence-based strategic approaches, beginning with a prenatal lens and continuing to support our children and families through to post secondary graduation.
ALIVE society is committed to engaging the principles of a place-based philosophy to, foster equitable and inclusive communities for Aboriginal peoples in Vancouver.
Our Place (Promoting Local Access and Community Empowerment) is a collaboration of residents, community-based organizations, and service providers committed to ensuring that Vancouver’s inner city children have every opportunity for success.
The Graduation Strategy is a comprehensive and holistic place-based initiative designed to improve graduation rates for inner city children. Eligible children and families live in the inner-city. The school-based programs are based at both high school and elementary levels. Comprehensive supports include: tutoring, peer support, mentorship, primary health care and assessments, family support, sports and recreation, counselling and advocacy.
The Graduation Strategy is part of Our Place, a collaboration of parents, community organizations, and professionals working together to make the inner-city a place where children and families thrive. This is a place-based initiative.
Vancouver is consistently named one of the top five cities worldwide for livability and quality of life. However, in Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside—the historic heart of the city—55 per cent of youth live in low-income households.
The 1,800 children and youth living in the Downtown Eastside face challenges most Canadians don’t have to deal with. Drug use, crime, and homelessness are prevalent. The median household income is $13,691 compared to $47,299 for the rest of Vancouver. In the community, 21 per cent of families live on income assistance; 22 per cent are single-parent families; and 66 per cent of parents worry about putting dinner on the table.
The high school graduation rate for the Strathcona neighbourhood of Vancouver, including the Downtown Eastside, is lower than the provincial average and the lowest of all Vancouver communities. According to the most recent census data only 41 per cent of young adults (20-34) in Strathcona have a high school diploma.
The community has mobilized to address the issue through the Graduation Strategy made up of key community stakeholders of which the Vancouver Board of Education is a vital partner. The DTES community is taking bold steps to change the future for young people. The Pathways Vancouver Program is delivered through Pacific Community Resources Society with the goal of putting the DTES on the Graduation Nation map.
One spring day in 1998, some kids were kicking a soccer ball around a local park, accompanied by one of the kids’ fathers. A man approached them and told them to leave; the park was reserved for soccer clubs with permits.
The father asked how the local kids could join such a club – and was told it would cost $125 per child, and each family would also have to help out with equipment, coaching and transportation. As the kids watched, a stream of cars arrived, and two teams from the affluent West Side piled out, pulled on their uniforms and cleats, and literally took the field.
Although 75% of Vancouver’s kids lived in the Eastside, the city’s sports programs mainly served the West Side kids. The problem wasn’t just money. An inner-city sports program would also need coaches, equipment and places to train and play. It would have to overcome ethnic and cultural issues, language barriers and much more. In fact, it would require that the community itself develop new skills and strengths, and build new partnerships.
East Van Soccer started up in 1999 and by 2002, this major partnership initiative called itself “Moresports”. Moresports has continued to evolve organically in the lower mainland where kids and families need it.
Moresports now includes 12 hubs across 24 Metro Vancouver neighbourhoods with thousands of participants.