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Lasting relationships and fresh ideas bring us inspiration for the year ahead
One of the most rewarding experiences working at Vancouver Foundation is exploring the connections and relationships that tie us together as a community.
Our Annual Reports, which we have recently licensed CC-BY 4.0 and published on our website, often reveal delightful insights into the contributions that our families, friends and local luminaries have made over the years.
Clark Wilson LLP
One example of this was revealed to us when we met last week with our friends and recent co-hosts of the 2015 Charities Forum, Clark Wilson LLP. The Clark Wilson law firm and Vancouver Foundation have a long and interesting history spanning over 40 years.
Our annual reports show that Clark Wilson co-founder Donald M. Clark (Q.C.), son of John Arthur Clark, was appointed to the Vancouver Foundation Board as the Vancouver Bar Association delegate in 1971. Donald served as our Board member until 1978 and also served as Chair of the Youth Activities Advisory Committee, from 1972 until 1979. He continued as honorary legal counsel to Vancouver Foundation from 1980 until 1992.
In 1975 he wrote, "The problems of youth, and of ‘Growing up’ require strong, capable leadership, and vigorous programs of activity in order that young people may be prepared to meet the challenges of today's society." During his early tenure he guided an advisory committee that was dedicated to supporting local clubs such as YMCA, YWCA, Boys & Girls Clubs, Boy Scouts and Girl Guides supporting well-being, healthy activity, leadership and participation.
This advisory committee moved towards more complex issues and goals as the decade progressed. By 1977 and onwards, the team was exploring innovative new ways to tackle issues such as youth homelessness, youth crisis support, funding research on rehabilitation strategies for youth who had committed serious criminal offenses, and exploring new employment programs to engage and inspire youth.
Issues like these are still at the forefront of our work in 2016, and although solutions and goals have evolved greatly since the mid-seventies, Donald Clark’s work stands as a strong foundation for us to build upon today.
We also had the opportunity to meet with Charles Gauthier to discuss Re-Imagine Downtown - an open invitation for Vancouverites to dream big and share their vision of a better Downtown Vancouver with each other, and with the people best equipped to make it happen.
In 2015, the Downtown Vancouver Business Improvement Association (DVBIA) conducted a comprehensive community engagement process that connected with thousands of downtown Vancouver residents, community members, and business people in order to “re-imagine” downtown Vancouver.
They have recently released their report, available here, that identifies a high-level vision, along with some specific ideas that the DVBIA and other stakeholders can implement to improve the experience for people when they are downtown.
The report is intended for community groups, businesses and the City to use to help implement ideas that most resonate with them, and it is one we're reading with great interest.
It is a promising start to what looks to be a productive and healthy year ahead.
Happy New Year, BC!
Best, Kevin McCort.