Granville Island Council – Year 1 Wrap Report

FROM: Heather Deal, Chair, Granville Island Council 
DATE: December 3, 2020

The first year of the new Granville Island Council has been remarkable, to say the least. In September 2019, we met for the first time, full of enthusiasm, embarking on a journey to help realize the Granville Island 2040 vision. No-one could have predicted that we were on the verge of a global crisis that would put Granville Island’s very existence into question. 

Thanks to all of you, the staff of CMHC, and the Government of Canada, we have been able to persevere during this difficult time and look ahead to the road to recovery in 2021. 

In keeping with our commitment to maintain communications with you, we’d like to share the experiences of our first year together, and our vision for the future. 

Getting to know you 

The first half of our term involved considerable effort getting to know the staff and Island community (and each other). We participated in Town Halls, tenant meetings, a wonderful Christmas celebration and many walks around the island to greet the members of the community. We conducted consultations with tenants to hear their concerns as well as their hopes for their businesses and the Island as a whole. We were heartened by the incredible passion and pride so many people have for the island. 

Staff and G.M. 

After developing a process for working with staff, we created a Council email address, provided public access to Council meeting minutes, and struck a recruitment committee to fill the General Manager position permanently. We are pleased to welcome Tom Lancaster as General Manager and look forward to working with Tom on revitalizing the gem that is Granville Island. 

Hearing from others 

We also invited subject matter experts to address the Council, to hear perspectives on opportunities and challenges in implementing key actions of the Granville Island 2040 report vision. These guests included:  

  • Erica Tao, Regional Director General with the  Department of Canadian Heritage 
  • Angela Danyluk, Senior Specialist, City of Vancouver – Sea Level Rise design challenge 
  • Jay Wollenberg, Wollenberg Munro Consulting 
  • Gordon Harris, the CEO of SFU Community Trust 
  • Chuck Brook, independent consultant 
  • Jacquie Gijssen, Social Purpose Real Estate Collaborative 


When the unthinkable happened, our top priority shifted to advocating for relief for the shuttered businesses on the Island. After several months of intense work, we were able to secure $16.7 million in emergency funding from the Government of Canada, enabling CMHC to continue island operations and provide rent relief for tenants through 2020 and into 2021. 

We continue to attend many of the staff-led tenant sector calls on the impact of Covid-19 on your businesses. Your tenacity and entrepreneurial spirit is evident in every conversation.  

GI 2040  

One of the 2040 report recommendations was to create a governance structure that further strengthens local authority, autonomy and decision-making, resulting in the formation of this Council.  

We are evaluating all of the recommendations of the report with the goal to implement those that align with the “shared pursuit to make this place remain at the emotional heart of Vancouverites for many generations to come”. Rest assured that this work will be done through ongoing communication with the island community, while keeping in mind existing island needs. 

Moving ahead 

We’ve learned a lot about Granville in our short time as a Council: 

Granville Island is a treasure – its longevity is vital.  

There is a shared desire to maintain its unique vibrant culture. 

We must work collectively to support growth of the island, while recognizing its uniqueness in the Vancouver area.   

The pandemic crisis only fortifies our desire to realize the long-term vision of Granville Island to be the most inspiring public place in the world. 

There is significant work to be done to update infrastructure, revitalize the Island and attract diverse businesses. It is clear that we must continue to garner support from CMHC and various levels of government. 

Granville Island will only be able to realize its potential if funds are available to do this work. 

Our second year will be focused on recovery, but, in keeping with this grand vision. 


The Council would like to thank the tenants and staff on Granville Island, with special thanks to: 

Sabrina Lakos: for her hard work and perseverance in the face of tremendous stress 

Sebastian Lippa: for his incredible patience as we found our feet 

Sylvie Bourdon: for being accessible and open 

Evan Siddall: for his unwavering support of Granville Island 

CMHC/Government of Canada/The Honourable Admed Hussen: for providing emergency relief at a critical time. 

The Honourable Dr. Hedy Fry: for her continued support for Granville Island 

Heather Deal 

Chair, Granville Island Council 

New Parking Management Strategy

As part of Granville Island’s Transportation Strategy, a new parking system for Granville Island has been developed.

Granville Island’s new parking system aims to increase parking availability, improve traffic flow, and simplify parking for visitors and tenants. The new parking system will be implemented in summer 2019.  Granville Island’s new parking system aims to increase parking availability, improve traffic flow, and simplify parking for visitors and tenants. The new parking system will be implemented in summer 2019.  

For information on the strategy, CLICK HERE.

Come join our volunteer team!

Help us make Granville Island the most inspiring public place in the world! CMHC-Granville Island is assembling a team of year-round volunteer ambassadors to fill roles such as Granville Island Host, Event Volunteer, and Bike Volunteer.

What we’re looking for:

  • People who enjoy helping others
  • People with a regular schedule who want a weekly or bi-weekly daytime shift
  • People with an irregular schedule who want to volunteer when they’re able
  • People who love Granville Island and Vancouver and want to share their passion with others
  • People who know their way around Vancouver
  • People who want to lend a hand during events
  • People who are able to communicate fluently in English
  • People who are able to communicate in languages other than English

If any or all of these sound like you, come join our volunteer team! Sign-up at

Granville Island Council Announced

Following a Public Notice of Opportunity, we are pleased to introduce you to the members of the seven person Granville Island’s first Council, who are composed of citizens from the local community who bring combined expertise in the areas of arts & culture, community and government relations, leadership, finance, and property management.

The Granville Island Council Nominating Committee, chaired by Jane Shackell, who represents the Granville Island Trust, with Gloria Loree and Sadhu Johnston both representing the Granville Island 2040 Implementation Committee, as well as Linda Morris, a local resident and Board Member with CMHC and Lois McGrath, interim General Manager of Granville Island were responsible for evaluating the candidates against the advertised criteria and making a recommendation to the Minister responsible for CMHC. Criteria can be viewed on


Andeen Yvonne Pitt, Vancouver, British Columbia

Dale McClanaghan, Vancouver, British Columbia

Domenic Caminiti, Ottawa Ontario (CMHC)

Gracen Chungath, Vancouver, British Columbia (City of Vancouver)

Heather Deal, Vancouver, British Columbia

Johanna Lauyanto, Vancouver, British Columbia

Paul Larocque, Vancouver, British Columbia

While the Granville Island Trust’s role was as an advisory body, the new Granville Island Council will have greater decision-making powers and influence over the strategic direction of Granville Island.

This new Council is key to Granville Island’s future, because it puts decision-making into the hands of local residents who understand Granville Island and its importance to the community. It is responsible for key decisions pertaining to Granville Island’s budgeting, planning, and long-term strategy. Members will not be involved in the day-to-day management of Granville Island. Their role is similar to a typical non-profit Board of Directors.

Council members appointed by Minister Duclos will serve a term of 4 years with appointees from CMHC and City of Vancouver serving a term of 3 years to ensure that the terms of incoming members overlap with existing members in order to provide continuity. The first meeting of the new council will be September 24th with the first order of business to elect a chair, and to assess applicants and recommend the next General Manager for Granville Island.

This is another important milestone in fulfilling the recommendations of Granville Island 2040: Bridging Past & Future; specifically:

‘Looking long term, CMHC should continue to explore options for renewal of Granville Island’s formal governance structure with a redefined role that further strengthens local authority, autonomy and decision-making, while remaining accountable to the Government of Canada through CMHC,’ (page 3, Granville Island 2040: Bridging Past & Future, May 2017).

Granville Island Mission

To steward this public land for meaningful urban and social experimentation among diverse, creative, cultural, and business models, engaging local First Nations and communities, and welcoming the world.

Granville Island Vision

The most inspiring public place in the world.

Council Bios


Andeen Yvonne Pitt, Vancouver, BC

Profession: Vice President, Partner – Wasserman + Partners

Andeen Pitt is a senior marketing-communications professional with extensive local, national and multinational experience. She has worked with Ontario Place in Toronto, the Canadian Museum of History in Gatineau and the H.R. MacMillan Space Centre in Vancouver as well as Tourism Whistler, Tourism Kelowna and Tourism Richmond. Born in Trinidad and Tobago, Andeen grew up in Toronto and moved to Vancouver in August of 1996, following a career in both Ottawa and Toronto.

Andeen studied Fine Arts at York University and Musical Theatre at Sheridan College, passing on her love of the arts to her daughter, who attended Arts Umbrella for many years while Andeen spent hours at the Emily Carr University’s library researching her quilting passion.

Andeen is a current Board Member of the Civic Affairs Committee, Greater Vancouver Board of Trade; former board member of the VanDusen Botanical Gardens Association; past president of the Vancouver Media Directors’ Council and past chair of the Douglas Park Youth Support Committee.

Andeen is a talented and accomplished quilter, a ukulele player and is passionate about jazz.

Dale McClanaghan, Vancouver, BC

Profession: Housing Development & Consulting / Venture Capital CEO

The former Chair of the Granville Island Trust for ten years, Dale was also a member of the Granville Island 2040 Implementation Committee.

As CEO of VanCity Credit Union’s affordable housing subsidiary (1995-2001), Dale developed market and non-market housing throughout the region. Dale continues to provide housing research to numerous civic, provincial and non-profit agencies. He is currently CEO of a mineral company and Lotus Ventures, Inc., a cannabis production business.

His volunteer activities include Sanford Housing Society (Director) with previous volunteer positions with the Vancouver Heritage Foundation, Langara College, Dr. Peter AIDS Foundation and as Chair of the City of Vancouver Planning Commission.

Dale spends weekends building and restoring small wooden boats with the Oarlock & Sail Club.

Domenic Caminiti, Ottawa, ON

Profession: National Key Account Manager, Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC)

With expertise in governance and oversight, Domenic Caminiti brings a broad background of knowledge and experience important to Granville Island, including finance, risk management, and client relations drawn from roles in portfolio insurance, homeowner insurance, multi-unit insurance, financial risk management, and enterprise risk management, from CMHC and Export Development Canada. He recently joined CMHC’s Financial Institutions Team as National Key Account Manager.

Domenic was an elected trustee of the Ottawa Catholic School Board and Director of the Child Care Corporation, representing both on various committees and public engagements, including teacher contract negotiations, school bus contract negotiations, and the Transportation, Amalgamation and Environment Committees.

An avid runner, Domenic is Director of the Xtra Mile Crew, part of the annual Ottawa Marathon Race Weekend, and is a former coach and trainer for the Nepean Girls Hockey Association.

Gracen Chungath, Vancouver, BC

Profession: Director, Strategic Operations, Planning & Program Management, Arts, Culture & Community Services – City of Vancouver

Over her 20-year career, Gracen has been a leader in business planning, corporate strategy and organization development for governments, non-profits and private sector organizations across the globe. She has an MBA from Creighton University and Master’s in Public Policy from SOAS University of London.

With an ardency for building purposeful and long-term relationships, Gracen has led cross-functional and cross-cultural teams through her various leadership roles at the City of Vancouver, the Michael Smith Foundation for Health Research, MDA and others.  The former Assistant Director of Cultural Services at the City of Vancouver, Gracen also leads the renewal of the non-market housing, social and cultural leases portfolio on City Land.  

Passionate and committed to engaging and serving community needs, Gracen also volunteers with the Immigrant Employment Council of BC and serves on the board of the Vancouver Writer’s Exchange. 

Gracen speaks multiple languages, has travelled to over 20 countries and values spending time caring for family and friends and practicing yoga.

Heather Deal, Vancouver, BC

Profession: Biologist; Former Vancouver City Councillor

A well known figure in local politics, Heather was the Mayor’s lead on Arts and Culture. She has an extensive background in governance, strategy and effective planning and is well known for her ability to engage with multiple stakeholders from divergent backgrounds seeking innovative approaches to success.

As a Vancouver City Council member (2005-2018), she was head of the Arts and Culture Committee, initiating the Creative City and Music City Strategies. She drove public art, launching a $1.5 million Public Art Boost and the Vancouver Mural Fest. During her tenure as Vancouver Park Board Commissioner (2003-2005), Heather was involved with Granville Island on numerous files, including the False Creek Community Centre, water quality, support of arts and education spaces on the Island, and traffic issues.

Previous to her role as a local politician, Heather was with the David Suzuki Foundation where she did marine ecosystem and sustainable shellfish aquaculture research. During this time she also sat on two federal committees, the Species at Risk Implementation Committee and the US/Canada Oil Spill Task Force.

Heather is very active in the choral world. She was President of the Vancouver Bach Choir and currently sings with the Jubilate Vocal Ensemble.

Johanna Lauyanto, Vancouver, BC

Profession: Manager, Communications & Sustainability – Strathcona Business Improvement Association

Johanna Lauyanto is a sustainability and communications professional who is currently developing the sustainability and public realm programming for the Strathcona BIA. Through this work she connects and works with other non-profit boards ranging from the Eastside Culture Crawl to Exchange Inner City as well as with city planners, engineers, artists, cultural groups, entrepreneurs and long-standing business owners. She knows the Island well, working as a Vancouver Foodie Tour guide from 2015 to 2017.

In the past four years at the Strathcona Business Improvement Association, she has supported the Board of Directors with strategic development of the organization’s sustainability priorities and area marketing programs; led the development of a Mobility Advocacy Plan; helped create and implement public realm programs and services based on strategic priorities, member needs and opportunities, and facilitated community and member consultation and engagement on a variety of topics including the creation and launch of Illuminate Strathcona, an exterior lighting grant program for property owners aimed at improving building sustainability and aesthetics.

She also heads up the Hastings Urban Tree Nursery, an implementation of new tree planters along East Hastings that included commissioning local artists to paint murals on the planters. Johanna has been involved with Car Free Day Main Street as a volunteer Green Team Leader.

An avid “foodie”, Johanna brings a millennial perspective to her role on council.

Paul Larocque, Vancouver, BC

Profession: President & CEO, Arts Umbrella

Paul Larocque, who has over three decades of involvement in the cultural sector, assumed his current post as President & CEO of Arts Umbrella in the spring of 2016, taking on a major building project as Arts Umbrella moves to a vast new 50,000 square foot space on Granville Island. The project revitalizes the former Emily Carr University of Art + Design South Building, and with that, the expanding arts programs, playing a pivotal role in creating an exciting future for the Island.

Engaging with colleagues throughout the arts and culture sector, Paul’s goal is to improve access to the arts for Metro Vancouver youth that will encourage creative thinking and artistic expression. Arts Umbrella assists students of all socioeconomic and geographical backgrounds and ensures that they have access to a number of free community art programs.

Prior to joining Arts Umbrella, Paul held the position of Associate Director of the Vancouver Art Gallery for more than a decade where his portfolio included administration, fundraising, government relations, strategic planning, education, and the Gallery’s relocation efforts. 

He is an active member of Vancouver’s cultural community and has sat on the boards of several organizations, including the Volumes Project, Chor Leoni Men’s Choir, Boca del Lupo and, for several years, has served as a Mentor and Selection Committee Chair with the Loran Scholars Foundation.

Paul is a member of the Chor Leoni Men’s Choir.