Memories of Summer 2015…

From July through August 2015 my garden celebrated the lives of Sim and Joan Chang through a patch of crocosmes which I transplanted from their garden at Little Mountain to mine.

Sim and Joan were among the “champions” of Little Mountain, including Ingrid and Antonia Steenhuisen, Karin Nicholetti, David Chudnovsky, and many others who fought to save the social housing project from destruction.

Here they are on my boulevard. Local bees and crocosmes. Caught by my camera. Saved from blades of Holborn’s lawn mowers. The editing of the documentary film, “Champions of Little Mountain” continues.

Enjoying the rain,
David Vaisbord

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The view of Little Mountain this morning.


This gallery contains 8 photos.

Every few months I walk a portion of the periphery of Little Mountain to add media to an experimental film I’ve been shooting for 7 years.  The film strings together a series of thousands of stills which played at 4 … Continue reading

Last week: the Little Mountain Project in pictures

Hello friends and colleagues,

In case you missed it, here’s a few photos from the conference and my installation at the Interurban Gallery:  May 20 – May 23 with UBC SCARP: Housing For All: a series of events on the future of public housing. This installation was a sampling of media and sculptures from a much larger exhibition (TBA).

The installation works included the 19th Birthday Party, by community engagement project mentored by Corin Browne and Patti Fraser, visible above. For more information on the event, check out my blog last week (May 23).

David Vaisbord

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Housing for All with SCARP

This is the last day of the UBC’s SCARP’s (School of Community and Regional Planning) series of events on the future of public housing

Vaisbord installs "Sim's Garden" in InterUrban Gallery, Vancouver Canada May 2015

Vaisbord installs “Sim’s Garden” an installation art work, at the Interurban Gallery, Vancouver Canada May 2015

I was pleased to accept the  invitation to exhibit iterations and excerpts from The Little Mountain Project and speak at the conference. A detail from “Sims’ Garden”, an element from an installation art work displayed at the Interurban Gallery is currently the banner photo for the Little Mountain Project website.

Congratulations to Dr. Penny Gurstein and her illustrious team of graduate and undergraduate students for putting on such a fine series of events.

UBC SCARP's Penny Gurstein introduces Keynote Panel.

UBC SCARP’s Dr. Penny Gurstein introduces Keynote Speaker and Panel at InterUrban Gallery: Speaker:  Peter Marcuse  Panel (L-R) Ray Gerow, Anaclaudia Rossbach, Ethel Witty, David Hulchanski. Wednesday May 20, 2015

David Vaisbord and Ingrid Steenhuisen (Community advocate and Little Mountain resident)at Community Dialogue at Dodson Centre, Friday May 22, 2015

David Vaisbord (filmmaker, educator, advocate) and Ingrid Steenhuisen (Community advocate and Little Mountain resident) at Community Dialogue at Dodson Centre, just prior to their interview with CBC Radio’s “On The Coast” Friday May 22, 2015.

Following Wednesday’s Keynote address, there were academic sessions Thursday and Friday morning at the University of British Columbia. In addition, on Friday afternoon there was a well attended Community Dialogue at the Dodson Centre (25 East Hastings) from 1pm to 5pm.

If you missed the Media and Art Installation at the Interurban I hope to soon have a few of the 4 Interurban screens streaming on this site, as well as a full length interview with International delegate Anaclaudia Rossbach from Brazil, Regional Adviser for Cities Alliance.  She offers an international perspective on housing difficulties in Canada, as well critique of the last 7 years of the Little Mountain Housing Project.

I also wish all of the delegates a safe journey home and renewed inspiration for their projects around the world.

All for now,
David Vaisbord

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Champions of Little Mountain

Welcome back to The Little Mountain Project.

Many of you are financial supporters of The Little Mountain Film ( through the Indiegogo Campaign I created last May, and I would like to invite you to see how your investment has grown over the past 10 months!

In May of this year there are of events that highlight my 7 years of work on The Little Mountain Project:

1 East Hastings St. Vancouver B.C.
Multimedia Art Exhibit May 21 – May 23, 2015
I’m exhibiting excerpts from The Little Mountain Film — a feature documentary to be completed in 2016 — on several large media screens in the gallery space, as well two installation art pieces from Champions of Little Mountain (a full scale art installation work currently seeking a gallery...) along with the work of other talented artists, exhibiting as part of the housing conference and community dialogue.

All of it In conjunction with “Housing For All: a series of events on the future of public housing” produced by UBC SCARP, The School of Community and Regional Planning.

For more details, visit

At 4:30pm on May 22, I’m interviewed on CBC Radio’s ON THE COAST, by host Stephen Quinn about my new work at the Interurban Gallery,

I am also presenting an academic paper on The Little Mountain Housing Project at the University of British Columbia on Thursday May 22nd, as part of UBC SCARP’s Housing for All: a Series of Events on the Future of Public Housing, co-sponsored by the Housing Justice Project and the Peter Wall Institute for Advanced Studies.

Housing for All: a Series of Events on the Future of Public Housing includes an academic workshop at UBC which brings together top housing researchers from around the world, as well as Futures for Public Housing: A Dialogue with International and Local Housing Stakeholders, Friday May 22nd, 1:00pm-5:00pm at the Dodson Conference Centre.

David Vaisbord


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Neighourhood Conversations


I meet Ingrid Steenhuisen at the event, who presented her perspective as long time tenant and activist at Little Mountain.

Hey everyone, Last night I showed a couple of short excerpts from the documentary work in progress: The Little Mountain Film. Also screening a short film I just edited for Marine Gardens, one of the next social housing projects in Vancouver to meet the wreckers ball.

The event was at Little Mountain Neighbourhood House:


Engaged and diverse community group brings together international perspectives to social housing and community building in Mount Pleasant.

Upcoming events include participation with SCARP UBC in upcoming International conference on The Future of Social Housing, and a solo exhibition at the Centre A Gallery on the subject of Sim and Joan Chang titled:

Champions of Little Mountain.

Both events are coming up in May 2015.  More info to come.


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Happy Holidays from Little Mountain

Hello Everyone,

Happy Holidays to you and your loved ones.
Here is a holiday greeting I posted last year in Dec 2013, I hope that you enjoy it.

Xmas at Little Mountain 2013 from David Vaisbord on Vimeo.

2014 had many ups and down:  Sim (Sammy) and Joan passed away; I launched a major crowdfunding campaign; the last and most stalwart tenants moved out, and their building was demolished.

I hope that you are looking forward to a new and eventful 2015.
I look forward to many new projects, including the completion of The Little Mountain Film!

Snow lounge at Little Mountain

Snow lounge at Little Mountain

With your financial support we can make a truly great film.  It’s never too late to make get involved. Find out more about the fundraising campaign at
David Vaisbord

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Big day for BC Housing as last building goes down at Little Mountain

BC Housing finally flattens the last of 45 buildings at the Little Mountain Housing Project this week. The demolition took place on Tuesday December 16, 2014.


Karin Nicholetti, the last tenant to move out, payed her respects.


The last 3 Tenants had fought for and won a 5 year demolition reprieve. BC Housing attempted two times, in 2009 and 2012 to evict them.

The redevelopment of Little Mountain has been a failure. So much so that BC Housing is now taking a new approach: they intend to sell all their social housing assets to non profit organizations. This new intiative (as always with out any public consultation) will transform the housing portfolio from government responsibility to charity work. Such a profound change deserves some sober second thought, yet the Minister of Housing is rushing forward with it. The first will be Stamps Place. What are the long term ramifications?
This is the last scene of my documentary film.
Now, it’s time to head into the editing suite.
With your financial support we can make a truly great film.  It’s never too late to make get involved. Find out more about the fundraising campaign at
David Vaisbord

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BIG newsday at Little Mountain – and you thought it was over!

1.  Police called to Little Mountain Housing AND

Karin calls Vancouver Police

2.  The last tenant leaves Little Mountain.

This week on monday morning Karin Nicholetti – the last remaining tenant of the last building at Little Mountain – called Vancouver Police to report a violation of the BC Tenancy act, claiming that BC Housing personnel had entered her suite at Little Mountain without her permission. Apparently the BC Housing operatives became somewhat cavalier after winning a court order to have Nicholetti evicted. They had neither the order itself nor any authorization to enter her suite at that time.

Karin Leaves Little Mountain

Later that day they returned to hand-deliver the order to Karin. This time Ms. Nicholetti had no cause for distress. The order granted her an additional 48 hours of tenancy.  That 48 hours ends at 4pm TODAY (Wed. November 19) when she hands over the keys to BC Housing. I’ll be there to open a bottle of champaign to celebrate her 2800 days of resistance, and the contribution that she and the last tenants made, to the history of community action in B.C.

If you want to come by and witness the passing of the keys, bring some glasses or better, a bottle of bubbly and toast with us!Police investigate violation of BC Tenancy Act at Little Mountain

David V

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The Long Goodbye to the Last Rowhouse at Little Mountain

BC Housing prepares the last Little Mountain Rowhouse for demolition.

Long_Goodbye2Last week a good friend of mine who is a Vancouver artist, informed me that she had just received an eviction notice from her studio.  I thought right…here’s another instance of how its getting harder and harder for anyone except the international business class to afford to live here.  The Vision party is doing what they can, a couple of months ago they held a lottery to chose one arts group – out of dozens – who would get one new studio space in Vancouver.  Forgive me if I’m underwhelmed.

Meanwhile a building at Little Mountain with 6 good suites of over 12,000 total square feet awaits demolition.  Any major dude who knew Vancouver development politics would tell you that this spot on the Little Mountain site won’t be ready for construction for at least five years.  But who’s counting.

It will be gone by Christmas.

ps:  I voted today.  I hope you did too.

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Thanks DOC BC for sponsoring my Hyperlocal workshop

DOChyperlocal1websizeOn Wednesday this week DOC BC presented: 6 YEARS AND COUNTING: Reflections on The Hyperlocal Documentary at the Pull Focus Film School. I had a great time, and I hope that my experiences with The Little Mountain Project will inspire others to take a more active role in the stories that they tell. Thank you to friends, supporters, DOC members and all the sponsors who make events like this possible.  A shout out to my friend Claire Yargeau, who had the brilliant idea to take out her Iphone and snap photographs during the event.

DOChyperlocal3websizeAnd a reminder to DOC members that our annual AGM and holiday/year end party is on November 26th. Check your email for the event notice with time and place.

David Vaisbord

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What does $75,000 buy in Vancouver’s 2014 Election?

75000websizeThe 2014 election data is out. Holborn gave $75,000 to Vision and $2,500 to NPA, so they’re betting that Vision will win this race.

What will the contribution buy them? Peace of mind? A sense that they contributed to the democratic process? After all they did fund two parties. Or do they share like many of us, a concern that a vote for the NPA might strengthen Kinder Morgan’s fight to ram a new pipeline through our city. Many big issues at stake in this election.

But most importantly for me and the community that I live in, what will this mean for Little Mountain? Especially since there’s been some talk that Holborn might renege on its committment to build community amenities as part of the redevelopment plan for Little Mountain.

For more info on $$$ look at: City Hall Watch

For more info on candidates look at: NSV Neighbourhoods for a Sustainable Vancouver.

Get out and vote!!!

David Vaisbord


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My upcoming workshop on the Hyperlocal Documentary!

Six Years and Counting: Reflections on the Little Mountain Film, Crowd funding and The Hyperlocal Documentary.

Find out more about Tickets, Time & Location HERE.

The Six Block Documentary: Vaisbord's thesis, that within a 6 block radius any filmmaker can find compelling subjects for his artistic practice.

The Six Block Documentary: Vaisbord’s thesis, that within a 6 block radius any filmmaker can find compelling subjects for his media practice.

Is the next great Canadian documentary waiting to be made in your neighbourhood?  Perhaps only a short walking distance from your home?

Join me for a workshop sponsored by the Documentary Organization of Canada on November 12 about the the 6-Block Manifesto, the Hyperlocal documentary and the future of the documentary film making.

This presentation will excite and engage attendees in a wide-ranging discussion on how to create a hyperlocal documentary from challenges to successes. 

Find out more HERE, and I hope to see you there!
David Vaisbord


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Visit Holborn Properties Little Mountain Haunted House!

A Holborn Halloween for Little Mountain 2014

A Holborn Haunted Halloween for Little Mountain in 2014!

Last week Holborn’s Joo Kim Tiah was in downtown Vancouver promoted his ultra luxury Trump Tower project with Donald Trump’s children.  If that wasn’t scary enough, across town in my neighbourhood, the Holborn Properties Little Mountain community office had a downright haunted look about it!

We visit new construction sites in Little Mountain vicinity

We visit new and active construction sites in Little Mountain vicinity.

Vaisbord's UBC tour visits Holborn Office

Vaisbord’s UBC tour visits Holborn Office.

We finish our tour at the last heritage bldg

We finish our tour at the last heritage bldg.


I was giving a tour of the area to UBC students when we came upon it. I decided to photograph it and send it to you for your enjoyment.



And be sure to check out my workshop on the Hyperlocal Documentary on November 12th.  Find out more on FACEBOOK or buy tickets here.

Have a happy and safe Halloween from the Little Mountain Project.
David V


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BC Housing is at it again!

BC Housing is poised to sell off another major piece of it’s social housing property in Vancouver, and as per usual there will be no public consultation. I hope to have some media to post on this project soon.

Meanwhile: Read about in at City Hall Watch:

Take this link to Ray-Cam Co-operative Centre’s website where the information originates.

David V
The Little Mountain Film

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All Candidates Meet to discuss Vancouver Housing

Last night I attended SCARPE – UBC’s School of Community and Regional Planning’s all candidates debate at UBC Robson Square. Housing Debate 2014_websize

This meeting is required viewing for the upcoming election, and you can click on the link at the bottom of the page to view it.


I was very impressed with Cope’s Lisa Barrett, two-time former mayor of Bowen Island, and Adriane Carr of the Green Party.


One City’s RJ Aquino has his heart and policies in the right place, and I have a huge amount of respect for David Chudnovsky, who’s the fire behind One City.


Meena Wong met with audience and debate participants afterward. I spoke with her after the debate and agree with her housing policies. If she wins she will be the first woman and person of Asian descent in the mayor’s chair! They say that she has an uphill battle against the Vision machine. This will be an interesting election!


The entire debate can be viewed here:

Kudos to Dr. Penny Gurstein and colleagues at SCARP for putting together a great event.

David Vaisbord
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At Langara University with Dr. Wendy Sarkissian and Guests

Last night I joined Dr. Wendy Sarkissian‘s Urban Planning class at Langara University in the company of dedicated civic activists including Eileen Mosca of Grandview, Gudrun Langolf of Marpole, Ned Jacobs of Riley Park/South Cambie, Randy Helten of Neighbourhoods for a Sustainable Vancouver and Jak King, president of the Grandview-Woodland Area Council.


Vaisbord speaks to Langara University Planning Students on Oct 21, 2014

It was a great conversation. King’s overview of the event is here on his blog:  Jak’s View of Vancouver.  And kudos to students April and Elona who did a great job of of organizing the session.

Undergraduate Student, Ned Jacobs, Jak King in Sarkissian’s Langara Classroom

Dr. Wendy Sarkissian was featured in a video I posted last year titled: Densification Wars: A Conversation with Dr. Wendy Sarkissian PhD.  Sarkissian’s students who come from all parts of the globe, were eager to be informed about the current state of community and urban planning in Vancouver.

The Langara class began with a discussion of the Little Mountain Project.  A key discussion point was the clip A Moment of Truth.  The flaw within the community consultation process is clearly visible. Planner Ben Johnson must inform the community that their recommendations will never be accepted:  “a higher level of direction” controls the process that includes both senior staff and City Council  — all Vision Party dominated — rendering the entire process, nearly irrelevant.


Vaisbord speaks on the Little Mountain Project – Vancouver planner Ben Johnson projected on screen, from a video entitled: “Meeting 29: The Moment of Truth”.

I qualify the process as “nearly irrelevant” because the community, with the assistance of the planning department accomplished what they set out to do. The community was ready to unanimously support a final document but that document wasn’t good enough for “senior staff” who opted for a higher density than that recommended by the community. The fact that Vision staff and councillors chose to poison the well in the end was a huge disappointment to everyone, except the developer Holborn Properties, of course.
This, and many other flawed consultation processes are coming back to haunt the Vision Party as it seeks re-election by angry Vancouver communities seeking input into the future of their city.

All for now,
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UBC Planning Students view the last of Little Mountain heritage housing

UBC Urban Geography student and Vaisbord next to the Steenhuisens' family home at Little Mountain

UBC Urban Geography student and Vaisbord with Steenhuisens’ family home at Little Mountain. The last of Little Mountain’s heritage social housing.

Last Friday and Saturday (Oct 17th and 18th) I gave tours of Little Mountain to UBC Urban Geography students.

On Friday we were fortunate to catch Ingrid Steenhuisen, one of the last residents of the heritage housing at Little Mountain in the process of cleaning up and moving out. Her relatives were there to help as were neighbourhood friends.

Vaisbord, Students, Friends of the Steenhuisens

Planning Student, Friend and Vaisbord in the Steenhuisens’ basement.

While working on sorting family papers, Ingrid answered a few questions from the students.

Ingrid & UBC students

Ingrid Steenhuisen talks to planning student about the Riley Park neighbourhood while packing boxes in her former home at Little Mountain.

If any readers have had the experience of cleaning out a family home, they can appreciate how much work it took, and how difficult it was to clear out the old three bedroom suite.

Bedrooms with memories await demolition

The view from this boys’ bedroom in the Steenhuisen unit is coloured by the nostalgia for vivid seafaring tales read before bedtime.

Ingrid is moving into the new building 100 yards to the south of her family’s old rowhouse.

The old rowhouse - coming soon to a landfill near you.

The last heritage rowhouse – coming soon to a landfill near you.

Rather than being reused or remodelled, the heritage structure will be torn down by BC Housing ASAP.

This building has a relatively new roof and good structure. I know a number of artists who are desperate for studio space in Vancouver, who would move their studios to Little Mountain in a heartbeat, even if only for the two to five years it will take before anything happens here.

David Vaisbord
The Little Mountain Project & Film
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What has been going on at Little Mountain?

What has been going on at Little Mountain?
In the last rays of sun in Sept/Oct 2014 the owner (BC Housing or Holborn?) did a complete site cleanup, consisting of cutting the grass, trimming the trees, covering their root systems with fresh sod, and removing the rotting orange fences which once surrounded them.

Remains of Orange Fencing around Little Mountain trees

Remains of Orange Fencing around Little Mountain trees

The old orange fences were erected to protect the trees from damage during a construction boom that never happened. Instead they rotted in place, year upon year becoming more weathered and decrepit. As unsightly as they were, they provided a visual reminder of how much time had elapsed since promises were made to rebuild Little Mountain Housing.

Photo: David Vaisbord

Photograph: 4 Seasons of Little Mountain – David Vaisbord

Now they are gone and Little Mountain almost resembles a park. Ask anyone who walks by, and they’ll probably respond that they don’t remember what was there anymore.  Cutting the grass at Little Mountain where fencing once stood.

Cutting the grass at Little Mountain at the base of a tree once surrounded by orange fencing.

Landscaping at Little Mountain Fall 2014

Landscaping at Little Mountain Fall 2014

Stroller in waiting.

Little Mountain seems more park-like now that the orange fences are gone.  What was once the first social housing project in BC passes slowly into oblivion.

Well…not completely…more to come.
David V.

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I return…with thoughts on Oppenheimer Tent City

With apologies to my readers – this new blog entry is long overdue!
This blog was out of commission during my crowdfunding campaign for The Little Mountain Film, and then I took a summer hiatus. For information on how to support the film project go to:

Today, I post a new banner photo that begs the question: What would Little Mountain look like as a tent city?  Oppenheimer Park is a city park that is now a living community.
The Little Mountain Housing Project was a living community that is now a private park.

Oppenheimer Tent City as Little Mountain Project

Oppenheimer Tent City as Little Mountain Project

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New Banners produced at Vancouver’s “Draw by Night” Event

Hey Friends,

I’m putting up a NEW BANNER SERIES, produced for The Little Mountain Film during a very successful DRAW BY NIGHTsession held in March 2014 at the VFS campus cafe.

Draw By Night for Little Mountain by Anonymous

Draw By Night for Little Mountain Film by Anonymous

The images will revolve throughout the fundraising campaign for The Little Mountain Film.

Thank you to visual artist Kristina Fiedrich and her team of volunteers.

Here is this week’s sketch in its entirety. This artist of this sketch forgot to put their name on it. Whoever drew it please contact me!

Last week’s original sketch was by Natalia Parra:

If you have a great sketch of Little Mountain or a drawing that you think represents the theme of HOUSING, send it to me and I’ll put it up.

Click on the Housing icon to the below to visit the NEW WEB SITE and participate in the campaign to FUND THE LITTLE MOUNTAIN FILM:

We can’t do it without you.
David Vaisbord

This is the icon above – just click on it!
Yes you can…

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Little Mountain Film – The Funding Campaign Launches Today!

Just click on the icon below to be redirected to the documentary film fundraising site:

I’m ecstatic to be finally embarking on campaign to fund the Little Mountain Film. After six years in the making, I’m ready to share this story with the world. Thank you all for joining me on the journey. Most of you have been involved in the fight for Little Mountain for just as long as I have. I’m hoping that finishing this film will create a way to get the word out about what happened at Little Mountain – the good, the bad, the ups, and the downs. Please join me in making finishing this film. Check out our crowd-funding campaign HERE and let the world hear about Little Mountain.

There’s a NEW website dedicated to the film here:
Come on board SHARE with your friends, and we can finish this film!

Please note, that I will be blogging on both this site and the Little Mountain Film site for the duration of the campaign.

David V

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Georgia Straight Article on the last tenants of Little Mountain

Hi Friends,

I met Georgia Straight writer Carlito Pablo at Little Mountain last week, and he included me in the article he wrote this week:  Sam and Joan article in Georgia Straight
It talks about the passing of both Joan (which I shared on this blog) and Sammy.

I’ve not had a moment to spare since I committed to launch an Indiegogo Funding Campaign for the feature documentary film, and spent the last 4 weeks in my edit studio cutting a 4 minute trailer. It boils down to a week a minute.

I regret not having time to post about the passing of Sammy (Sim) Chang, but once the campaign is up and running I’ll have to time to go back and write the post in a few days, now that the campaign is up and running.

Here’s how to get there:

Go to a new dedicated website at:

or directly to the INDIEGOGO crowdfunding site at:

The funding campaign runs from May 9 to Jun 23rd.

Please come on board and contribute to this project.


David & my Indiegogo Fundraising Team

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Heather Place draws upon Little Mountain

Warning:  Lack of truth beyond this sign  - Little Mountain 2014

Warning: Lack of truth beyond this sign – Little Mountain 2014

Barry Growe has a new article in The Tyee, in which he links the fight to preserve social housing at Little Mountain, with recent developments at Heather Place.

The article is titled:
An Authentic First Step for Affordable Housing?
Let’s Hope Vancouver’s Heather Place learns from Little Mountain’s big mistakes.

Barry and the tenants at Heather Place, including Karen Gilchrist and Tamara Szymanska will be speaking to City Council at City Hall next week, on April 15, and I will be there to record their presentations and their thoughts on the process, for a future post.

There are many lessons to be learned at Little Mountain. I’ll cover them in my documentary.

The fundraising campaign launches on May 1st!
Check out my new FACEBOOK site at Little Mountain Film.

David V

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