Healthy City for All


Recognizes those who lead projects that create a thriving, healthy, and liveable city for everyone. In particular, projects that advance these Healthy City Strategy goal areas:

  • Healthy Human Services (destigmatization, harm reduction, and peer-support related to the overdose crisis)
  • Making Ends Meet and Working Well (community economic development, social enterprise, and jobs for youth or other groups with barriers to employment)
  • Cultivating Connections (helping Vancouverites connect with each other and reduce social isolation)

2018 recipients

Ellen Sy

Individual youth category

As a student at David Thompson Secondary School, Ellen Sy is a dedicated advocate of promoting equality of access to opportunities for youth regardless of socio-economic background.

She founded a national non-profit aimed at supporting and engaging disadvantaged students in pursuit of a better education, by matching them with prestigious science and business internships. The organization also provides financial support for students who attend underfunded schools in urban areas. 

In addition to excelling in her school work and going above and beyond as a volunteer peer tutor, Ellen is a student activist serving as the President of the BC Federation of Canadian Secondary Students. She is intent on ensuring that the youth voice is heard in matters that directly affect them.

Her personal experience, sharp intellect, and passionate belief in the rights of all students to have equal access to opportunities drives her unyielding resolve to continue to advocate for students who don’t always have a voice.

Carole Christopher

Individual category

For over 35 years, Dr. Carole Christopher has been dedicated to changing our world for the better through her involvement in social, economic, and environmental justice organizations and activities.

Her background in nutrition led to her investigation and involvement in food security and food justice issues which has expanded to a decades-long crusade to effect social and economic change through hands-on community involvement and leadership. She is known and respected for collaborative leadership, proactive involvement, and a lifelong curiosity and interest in understanding and connecting people and cultures. She was instrumental in creating the Vancouver Food Strategy, which will serve as an invaluable legacy.

Carole has spearheaded community-based initiatives like the SPEC (Society Promoting Environmental Conservation) School Garden Project which encourages youth to learn about gardening, along with food security and sustainability and the SPEC Elders Circle focused on reinvigorating elder wisdom within the current cultural milieu. She has also been involved with broader based organizations like Food Secure Canada and international programs that promote peace and social justice in war torn parts of the world like Bosnia, Nicaragua and the Soviet Union.

Through all of her efforts, Carole has demonstrated an infallible grace and wisdom which supports Vancouver as a thriving and healthy city of which we can be proud.

Local Economic Development Lab

Organization category

The Local Economic Development Lab (LEDLab) aims to support sustainable economic development in disadvantaged urban communities. It does this by serving as a leader in providing impactful ways to promote community health and wellness through the community based strategies and the projects it sponsors.

LEDLab is a place-based social innovation lab (initiated and supported by Ecotrust Canada and RADIUS SFU) that partners with community organizations to test and scale solutions which create an income stream for Downtown Eastside residents. This offers a practical and logical response to creating a more vibrant and inclusive economy in Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside. 

By supporting programs like The Binners Project which provides opportunities for binners to organize their efforts in a way that generates income, reduces the stigma around their role as informal recycling collectors, and helps reduce the amount of recyclables going to landfill, LEDLab is playing a key role in making the Downtown Eastside a more vibrant community.

The LEDLab strategy is modelled on other social change efforts around the world taking a ground up approach to utilizing local knowledge, shared skills, and working with experts in various fields. It is proving to be a powerful driving force for making positive systemic changes in the economic system of the Downtown Eastside and beyond.

A healthy city for all: Vancouver's strategy

Healthy City Strategy

The Healthy City Strategy a long-term, integrated plan for healthier people, places, and planet.