Moving Vancouver Beyond Prom Queen Status

city streetBy Convergent Entertainment Chair Joy MacPhail

Vancouver has been my home for more than a quarter century and is still my principal residence. However, I am spending ever more time at our home in Los Angeles and at our downtown apartment in Toronto. Each location is unique and special but Vancouver remains first in my heart.

I now know, though, that Vancouver is not as liveable as I would like it to be. It must also grow up soon or forever be relegated to a gorgeous, but ever-so-provincial, city.

If we do not increase our affordable housing stock, the city will be the enclave of the rich, and probably the old. How boring.

I want children of all ages and backgrounds around me and I want them to feel safe enough to play and learn and grow up healthy without a lot of guard labour surrounding them. I want young adults to be able to study here and then begin their occupation here. I don't want them to be forced to leave town because they cannot afford to be independent in Vancouver.

How does Vancouver mature from its current status of what I call the pretty "Prom Queen" state it is in now (beautiful but not very concerned with the pursuit of the larger questions of the universe...I know, I know – prom queens today have brains, beauty and compassion but I am a baby boomer and prom queens were not thus in my day!), to a state of sophisticated and urbane worldliness? Attract more cultural events, get more corporate headquarters and promote greater scientific research and development. And that is just a start.

People from all parts of the world love to visit Vancouver – who wouldn't?

It is breathtakingly beautiful, diverse and jolly. However, I want the permanent residents of my city to love it just as much. I want them to be able to afford to live here throughout their lives and have easy access to a sophisticated mix of culture, green space, enterprise and world-class knowledge institutions.

I shall volunteer to assist whoever shares my dream in making it come true.