Advocacy, education and outreach in support of Vancouver's public spaces

What, if any, role do you think privately owned companies should play in the management, operation, or naming/branding of Park board facilities?

Cliff Relph (Independent): “Naming: Of Facilities, off the table. Of some events? I’m open to that. Management and Operation: I believe we can attract the right people to keep it in-house. But there are things that we’re going to need to look outside for. It takes a lot to develop particular technologies, and that’s something we should be using. There’s a lot we’re already doing in this area, and I think overall, we’re doing pretty good.”

Gwen Giesbrecht (COPE): “None.”

Rick Hurlbut (Pro Vancouver): “As previously mentioned, Park Board is significantly underfunded by City Council. It seems were on the cusp of needed to hold a bake sale in order to repaint a community centre. The funding shortfall means Park Board has increasingly turned to commercial operations to raise revenue. I would entertain naming/branding rights, so long as it didn’t constitute a billboard in a park. Both Bloedel and VanDusen are named for benefactors. But in the current situation, Park Board has become more landlord than steward, which is troubling. Each successive Board has adopted new commercial enterprise, as at the time it seemed reasonable, but without any consideration of the long-term implications. We need a governing policy by which any existing or future commercial enterprise can be measured, with a defined cap as to what and how much is acceptable.”

Dave Demers (Green Party): “I will fight for a limited role of commercial interest on Park Board grounds and facilities. It has always been and will remain a priority for the Green Party of Vancouver to limit such commercial interest, for the sake of inclusivity and impartiality.”

Stuart Mackinnon (Green Party): “One of the greatest forethoughts of the city was the creation of a park board. This has ensured that public spaces, like parks and community centres, are open to all. I have fought the continuing commercialization of our public spaces for 20 years. Corporate branding and naming have no place in public spaces. Our park workers are some of the best in the world with unique local knowledge and experience. All park board facilities should be managed and maintained by park board workers.”

Mathew Kagis (Work Less Party): “Let me state this loud and clear: I am NO FAN of P3 arrangements, especially when it involves large corporate entities being allowed to advertise in our parks.”

John Coupar (NPA): “We have always had relationships with Public Corporations. Many facilities,gardens,art and venues have been funded wholly or partly through donations or partnerships these include The Bloedel Conservatory, VanDusen Botanical Gardens, Macmillan Space Centre, Henry Moore Sculpture,Laughing Men Sculpure, Rich Hansen Playground, Nat Baily Stadium to name a few. However generally my preference is to keep Parks clear of any permanent association with corporate branding or management.”

Ann-Marie Copping (NPA): “We currently have parks and facilities named after individuals we celebrate or those who donated the space. With thoughtful guidelines on where private funding can assist the overall liveability of our city, I believe we can build additional innovative spaces for Vancouverites to enjoy now and in the future.”

Casey Crawford (NPA): “Over the years, there have been several spaces and facilities in the park system named for donors that helped acquire or build the space. That reflects the attitudes in the past for acknowledging these relationships. I would support naming for individuals (not corporations) that support the park system with significant contributions to build programs (supported by a transparent policy). The management and operations or our park system should be the responsibility of Park Board staff.”

Leo Heba (YES Vancouver): “I am very much in favour in partnerships, and working with all groups of people. In terms of planning for new park spaces, I am in favour(prefer) of the new park land being obtained and being owned/managed by the PB.”

Chris Fuoco (Vancouver First): “I believe we should look at these possibilities. As a public servant I sometimes worry about a private management company running our facilities but I have seen many cities such as Burnaby, Richmond, Delta, Abbotsford and maple Ridge/Pitt Meadows all thrive with private operators. I think Non-profits might also play a role. As for naming, I have seen a “lion’s park, Rotary Park which are non-profits, I have also seen Minto Field (Ottawa Developer) and believe the public has benefited from these ideas and realities. We must both be careful yet open minded to these ideas NOW and into the future.”

Tricia Barker (NPA): “In the past I believe our parks have been able to benefit from some private support without “selling out”. I would be very cautious about allowing this to happen without very strict rules. I enjoy the Bloedel Conservatory, I love Nat Bailey Stadium and VanDusen Botanical Gardens is a gem, but we should be very careful with any step in this direction in the future.”

Gregory Edgelow (Pro Vancouver):

  • “Confusion between naming, branding, management and operation can occur when you add local CRA and City staff.
  • As a general rule of thumb it may not be prudent considering how it may effect the CRA staff and city union staff. That said, where applicable, joint operating agreements must ensure the best interest of the public is protected.
  • If agreements that incur a loss or control of facility or entity, then not prudent to proceed. If the net benefit of the naming/branding favours the local community or citizens of Vancouver as a whole then it may be prudent to explore.
  • Creating a committee to review naming strategy that would provide recommendations of going forward or not and if does go forward, a Branding/Naming Committee that would include parks Board, park commissioners, local community representation and First nations representation.
  • If naming of park board facility was on the discussion table, this process should involve community engagement to ensure mindfulness of community desires, needs and sensitivities.”

Pall Beelsa (NPA): “I feel that anyone should be allowed to contribute to a legacy or sponsorship fund for different items needed in our parks (ie benches). In order to ensure that we maintain a sense of community in public spaces, we need to find a balanced way to acknowledge the contributions of anyone that sponsors a project. My recommendation would be to acknowledge using a sort of wall or website away from a sponsored project so as not to commercialize public spaces.”

Camil Dumont (Green Party): “I’m not a supporter of private sector involvement or commercialization of Park space. I understand that it is already happening. The need for Parks to generate revenue has often been tied to private sector involvement. It’s something I think needs to be managed very carefully and limited. Parks are public spaces that belong to all of us. They should be accessible, managed based on equitable values. I feel PB staff should manage and maintain our networks and assets.”

Ray En-Jui Chang (Coalition Vancouver): “Very little to none. Parks are not a place for commercial activity.”

Winnie Siu (Coalition Vancouver): “Very little to none. Parks are not a place for commercial activity.” [Duplicates response from Ray En-Jui Chang].


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