Finalists - 2016

Winners of the 2016 Land Awards will be announced at the Land Awards Gala on Oct. 21st, in Vancouver, BC.

deborah curran

Land Champion - Deborah Curran

The Foundation’s Land Champion is honoured for outstanding work in sustainable land use in BC. Curran, an environmental lawyer and educator, is a national leader in law reform, applied research and education.

Through her work as co-founder of Smart Growth BC, acting executive director of the Environmental Law Centre at the University of Victoria and as a practicing lawyer, Deborah has established herself as a thought leader on sustainable built environments and freshwater governance. Her current work, in partnership with the POLIS Project on Ecological Governance, matches indigenous water law with the framework of the new Water Sustainability Act.

A frequent collaborator with local governments, Deborah has helped to create sustainable and green bylaws, toolkits and sample policies that are cited by communities in BC and across the country. Not an ivory tower academic, Deborah is a frequent presenter at water and land use forums, and provides mentoring and advice to groups from all corners of the province. Deborah is often the first person people go to, testing ideas for innovative policy changes in the areas of sustainable built environments or water resource management.


Private Sector Finalists

WINNER: The Beer Farm – Persephone Brewing Company

Persephone Brewing Company, located in Gibsons, BC, demonstrates a model for integrated, sustainable community-based agriculture that is profitable, even when land prices are high. At “The Beer Farm”, PBC grows its own ingredients (hops, apples) and brews its beer on the farm site. Other ingredients, like barley, malts and grains, are sourced from BC farmers and producers. In addition to beer ingredients, the Beer Farm also leases land to farmers on the Sunshine Coast. Waste products, including byproduct and water runoff, are recycled and used to enrich the growing soil. Through a partnership with the Sunshine Coast Association for Community Living, PBC employs adults with developmental disabilities and creates opportunities for social enterprise. 

City of Coquitlam District Energy – Thermenex
Thermenex designs and builds sustainable, energy-efficient HVAC systems that use a superpipe as a hub for sharing heat energy throughout large buildings. The City of Coquitlam used this technology to share heat between buildings: the chiller which cools City Hall in the summertime sends energy to heat the public pool. This has reduced energy costs by 30% which has, in turn, reduced greenhouse gas emissions by an estimated 70 to 85%.

RED Talks – Wesgroup Properties
RED Talks brings experts, community leaders, advocates and residents together for an evening of presentations and discussion about real estate and development in the Lower Mainland. The event is designed to start conversations on ways we can build vibrant, connected communities. Speakers at the 2016 RED Talks covered diverse topics including: affordable housing, public space, walkability/bike-ability, and intelligent use of space.

Public Sector Finalists

WINNER: Squamish-Lillooet Regional District Electoral Area B, District of Lillooet and St’át’imc Agricultural Plan

Agriculture is a fundamental economic activity in the Lillooet area. Recognizing this, the Regional District collaborated with the District of Lillooet and members of the St’át’imc community to develop an inclusive regional agricultural plan. Their approach relied upon extensive input from indigenous community members as well as rigorous engagement with Lillooet residents in order to find regionally-appropriate solutions for farmland access, food market viability, sustainable agricultural practices, co-operation and collaboration within the agricultural community, and food security. The process also led to the creation of a new non-profit society - Lillooet Agriculture and Food Society - to coordinate on the ground, community-driven implementation of the plan.

Indigenous Community Planning Program – UBC School of Community and Regional Planning (SCARP)
In collaboration with the Musqueam Indian Band, the School of Community and Regional Planning (SCARP) has developed a program to train community planners who will support First Nations in achieving their aspirations for self-determination, land stewardship, cultural revitalization, and community health and wellbeing, and in managing their relationships with surrounding municipalities and other entities. The Indigenous Community Planning (ICP) program combines substantive and process knowledge, drawing on both the interdisciplinary aspects of western planning and the community processes and knowledge systems of First Nations, Inuit, and Metis peoples. The approach to training a new generation of Indigenous planning professionals is a unique combination of classroom and experiential, community-based learning.

User Network for Insect Biology in the Urban Garden (UNIBUG) – Douglas College
The User Network for Insect Biology in the Urban Garden (UNIBUG) is a citizen science project initiated by the Institute of Urban Ecology at Douglas College. In order to learn about what kinds of plants attract beneficial insects, researchers invited community volunteers to monitor insects in urban gardens. Within two years, the project grew from 30 volunteers to more than 200. In 2014, UNIBUG expanded its focus to include public education and research on the impact pollinators have on crop production in urban gardens. In all, more than 1,600 people - children and adults - across Metro Vancouver have created habitat for native bees and have monitored for pollinators and pollinator-friendly plants in their gardens.

Non-profit Sector Finalists

WINNER: Moving Towards Reconciliation – Fair Mining Collaborative

When making land use decisions, how can we balance the needs and interests of First Nations communities, governments and private companies interested in mining and resource development? The Fair Mining Collaboration works, at the invitation of First Nations communities, to support decision making and reform of local and provincial mining laws. Through tools like the Fair Mining Practices Code, the Mine Medicine Manual and the Path to Zero Failures, the Fair Mining Collaborative provides technical information and practical assistance around the benefits and impacts of mining.

Kwayatsut – Vancouver Native Housing Society
Kwayatsut, a supportive rental housing community, includes three major components: homes for people who are homeless or at risk of being homeless, commercial space, and a youth resource centre that provides social, health, education, employment and life skills service to youth ages 12 to 24.

The community was built in partnership with BC Housing, the City of Vancouver, Streetohome Foundation, the Pacific Community Resources Society and the Vancouver Native Housing Society. In addition to achieving social sustainability through supportive rental housing, Kwayatsut demonstrates a high commitment to environmental sustainability; the building has achieved LEED Gold certification for sustainable design, energy and water conservation, and use of local and recycled building materials.

The Post at 750 and CBC Vancouver Community Spaces – 110 Arts Co-operative and CBC Vancouver
Seeing a need for appropriate and affordable community arts spaces in Vancouver, CBC Vancouver and the 110 Arts Co-operative collaborated to develop a range of community spaces at the CBC Vancouver Broadcast Centre. Studio 700 and the Outdoor Stage serve as both gathering spaces and performance venues. Opened in 2015, the Post at 750 is managed by a cooperative association of Vancouver arts organizations and provides studio and production space, as well as opportunity for collaboration and sharing of resources.

Rental Housing Index – BC Non-Profit Housing Association
The Canadian Rental Housing Index is a data-driven, interactive web map that examines rental housing affordability in nearly 100 jurisdictions across British Columbia. The Index allows users to access rental affordability data across key indicators at the municipal, regional, provincial and federal levels in order to determine where rental affordability challenges are most acute and who is most impacted by affordability challenges. By mapping rental housing and population data, project partners are able to raise public awareness of housing affordability issues, and give planners and policy makers geo-specific information to plan and develop new housing.