Anyone who’s spent much time in Vancouver lately knows it’s an expensive city with a housing market alternately described as “red hot,” “insane,” and “in crisis.”
And you’ve more than likely run across at least one the recent thinkpieces floating around about “breaking up” with the city because of it’s coldness, it’s high cost of living, or its lack of childcare.
So has Vancouver become an unlivable city, filled with people who want to move away?
Not so, say the minds behind #VancouverIStay – a new campaign aimed at focusing on what’s good about our city… and what it is that makes people stay.
Cassandra Anderton, Mary Sheridan, and Josh Rimer say they started the campaign after the latest editorial about dumping the city and moving away.
Anderton says it was it was the last straw, and prompting her to speak out on Facebook.
“Good riddance, whiner” was the phrase. And it was basically we’re here to stay and we want to build community.”
She says the response, both positive and negative was immediate, but that it tapped into real feelings about people’s love for the city.
The trio have now started an online campaign under the #VancouverIStay hashtag encouraging people to voice what they love about the city.
Rimer says they’re also shooting a video, dropping in at various landmarks around the city with signs and asking Vancouverites what it is that motivates them to make it work.
“You know, we have to make sacrifices, but lets talk about why we make those sacrifices so lets talk about why we make those sacrifices because it’s worth it.”
And they’re getting a response – the hashtag was trending in Vancouver today, as the tweets poured in.
None of the projects creators deny that Vancouver can be a tough city sometimes, but they say that doesn’t mean it’s not worth it.
And Anderton says sometimes people just have to be willing to put themselves out there if they want a payoff.
“Negativity breeds negativity. So people aren’t smiling at you, smile at them. So you don’t get a cup of sugar, go next door, introduce yourself to your neighbour. You ran out of a job, look for another one. It’s not that simple, but… We’ve built the community that you can see in front of us here, and we’re willing to go that extra effort so that we can enjoy what the city has to offer.”
And she says there are plenty of people willing to do it, and to share their positive stories about the city.
“Some of it’s been food, some of it’s been wine, some of it’s been family. A lot of it’s been the great outdoors – but it’s all a lot of positive vibes coming.”
The completed video will appear on Rimers’s YouTube channel later tonight.