The Best Hike in Downtown Vancouver is Back for its Fifth Year
Screenshot 2019-05-30 10.32.00.png

Every Tuesday in March, thousands of Vancouverites await their chance to take on the best hike in downtown Vancouver, the Harbour Centre Urban Grind.  

The Urban Grind is a 633-step stair climbing challenge that takes participants to the top of the Vancouver Lookout. At the top, 'Grinders' are rewarded with a stunning view of Vancouver, DJ entertainment, and a refreshing Steamworks beer. Additionally, every participant received a $5 Food Court voucher to redeem at any of the Food Court vendors downstairs. 

On the last night, participants are invited to pick up a chip-timer and set a personal record or compete for the fastest time. Outstandingly, the fastest male and female completed the circuit in under four and a half minutes and won the grand prize of two tickets for the Sea to Sky Gondola in Squamish, BC. 

Anyone who used the hashtag #urbangrindyvr on social media had a chance to win some weekly prizes.

Check out Harbour Centre’s new Urban Grind Instagram page @urbangrindyvr and watch this year’s event video here:

We love working with Harbour Centre and the Vancouver Lookout on this annual event. It’s one you don’t want to miss!

Victoria GiddingsComment
Helping One Another: Tsleil-Waututh Nation Annual Report

Elettra had the honour of working with Tsleil-Waututh Nation on the Nation’s most recent annual report. The theme of the report was the legacy of Leonard George, late Chief of the Nation and inspiration to countless people locally, nationally, and internationally.

Elettra provided project management, copywriting and design services. Our Art Director, Lisa Edward, conceived of the stunning timeline that graces the cover and inside front leaf. We are very proud of this work!

Simone AbtComment
GWL Realty Advisors Breaks Ground on the First New Rental Tower on Robson Street

Today we helped GWL Realty Advisors mark the groundbreaking of 1500 Robson with an industry and media event. Winter outdoor events are always a fun challenge. Many thanks to our tenting (and heater) supplier and to our special guests, pups Hazel and Trink! Here’s the key news:

The 128-unit building will bring much needed rental housing to the West End; Groundbreaking ceremony attended by Mayor Kennedy Stewart

GWL Realty Advisors , joined by Mayor Kennedy Stewart, formally broke ground today on a 21-storey market rental tower at 1500 Robson Street. Located at the corner of Robson and Nicola in the West End, the new building will add 128 purpose-built rental units to a neighbourhood experiencing extremely low rental vacancy rates. GWL Realty Advisors is developing the project on behalf of the project owner, the London Life Insurance Company. 

“We are proud to be increasing the supply and diversity of rental housing in the West End of Vancouver,” says Ralf Dost, President, GWL Realty Advisors. “This new development will provide the neighbourhood with desperately needed rental units – especially those suitable for families – in a professionally managed building with great amenities. This project represents the type of community building we want to undertake in the City of Vancouver and for our investment clients”.

In response to the shortage of family-oriented rental housing, a third of the building will be made up of two- and three-bedroom units suitable for families. 

 The Lower Robson neighbourhood has some of the highest land costs in the city and new developments have tended to take the form of luxury condominiums. However, this new building at 1500 Robson breaks with this trend by being a purpose-built market rental tower from an institutional developer that intends to hold and manage the building on a long-term basis. 

By increasing density in a highly walkable neighbourhood like the West End, this development will help reduce car dependency as residents will be able to live, work, shop and play within the downtown peninsula. 

 “Developments like this one at 1500 Robson are adding much-needed supply to the downtown rental market,” says Mayor Kennedy Stewart. “In order to alleviate the housing shortage in our city, we need more of all types of housing – especially purpose-built rental. By incorporating larger units suitable for families into the design, this new tower at 1500 Robson will also help diversify the housing mix in the Lower Robson neighbourhood”.

Simone AbtComment
Emily Carr University to Hire Five Permanent Indigenous Faculty

Emily Carr University of Art + Design (ECU) announced today that it is recruiting five full-time Indigenous faculty members. The cluster hiring initiative, designed to introduce an interdisciplinary group of Indigenous academics to the university at the same time, will double the number of tenured and tenure-track Indigenous faculty at ECU. 


Indigeneity is one of the core priorities of ECU’s strategic plan. The path towards indigenizing the university includes a commitment to increase the number of full-time Indigenous faculty. Aside from teaching and research in their respective fields, the new faculty will contribute to ongoing initiatives to build cultural competency at every level within the university through strategic planning and community workshops.


“Universities have a crucial role to play in responding to the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s Calls to Action by integrating Indigenous knowledge systems into their curriculum, pedagogy and governance,” says Gillian Siddall, President of ECU. “One of the most important ways we can do this is to increase the number of Indigenous faculty at the university who can lead that process. Hiring five faculty members at one time also creates a cohort of new Indigenous faculty and signals to both Indigenous and non-Indigenousstudents our genuine commitment to indigenization and creating a safe cultural space for Indigenous students.” 


ECU has a long history of supporting Indigenous creative practices and research methods. A concerted effort to increase Indigenousrepresentation among the faculty began in 2007, and the 2015 appointment of Richard Hill, Canada Research Chair in IndigenousStudies, marked another key milestone. 


The Aboriginal Gathering Place, a purpose-built facility designed to provide the 100 Indigenous students studying at ECU with support, cultural programming and a home away from home on campus, was established in 2010. Today, ECU offers courses such as Aboriginal Design and Technology, Studies in Contemporary Aboriginal Art, and BC Aboriginal Art History.

“Although we have amazing support throughout the Emily Carr community with working towards decolonization, there is still much to be done,” says Brenda Crabtree, a practising artist who has been leading Indigenous programming at ECU as the Director of Aboriginal Programs since 1999. “Our goal is to infuse Indigenous ways of knowing throughout the university. Hiring five new Indigenous faculty members is an important step in reaching that goal.” 

The hiring process is led by Bonne Zabolotney, ECU’s Vice-President Academic and Provost, and coincides with the recruitment of five other permanent faculty positions at the university. Interested applicants are invited to review the employment opportunities section of ECU’s website and submit their application online ( ECU will start reviewing applicants in March, and will accept applications until the positions are filled.

Nichole KapalunganComment