Illuminating a Vancouver councillor’s attraction to light

Another relic of Vancouver Olympics disappears from skyline

New York City and Vancouver both have a Ball of Lights.

Times Square ball of lights
Times Square ball of lights

The one in the Big Apple drops at midnight every New Year’s Eve in Times Square.

NPA Coun. Elizabeth Ball
NPA Coun. Elizabeth Ball

The one in Vancouver was re-elected in the November 2014 civic election and has dropped a motion onto the agenda of the Feb. 3 city council meeting.

NPA councillor Elizabeth Ball wants the Vision Vancouver majority city council to order staff to develop a Vancouver OutdoorLighting Ordinance aimed at protecting human health, wildlife and taxpayers.

Ball is city council’s expert on lighting. Her reported assets include shares in Ball/Welch Holdings Ltd., Lightscene Ventures Inc. and Eos Lightmedia Corp. and income as co-owner of Eos. Lightscene is the holding company for CD/M2 Lightworks Corp.

The Vancouver Charter says: “A council member must not use his or her office to attempt to influence in any way a decision or action to be made or taken, if the member has a direct or indirect pecuniary interest in the matter to which the decision, recommendation or other action relates.”

Ball denies there is a conflict of interest.

“As a director who produced outdoor theatre productions and events for over three decades I have long thought of bringing forward a motion regarding night skies and light trespass,” Ball said. “While my motion would have no financial impact on our family business, the exposure I have had to lighting technology certainly informs me as to the health and safety issues involved and in light. This motion is about shielding light, not about fixtures. It asks for regulations regarding light spill and trespass.

“These regulations would be a great boon to tourism as visitors seek cities with dark sky preserves.”

In 2012, she was involved in a council discussion over the light pollution from the B.C. Place Stadium external video boards (one of which was removed before last fall’s civic election).

Endangered species

Another relic of the Vancouver 2010 Winter Olympics has disappeared.

(Pure Painters)
Wyland touching up VANOC’s inukshuk logo (Pure Painters)

The Ilanaaq the inukshuk logo painted on the Wyland mural “Vancouver Island Orcas” on the south face of the Continental Hotel is gone, because the 1390 Granville/625 Pacific building is under demolition.

Wyland, the famed artist who specializes in scenes of whales, restored the 1994 work in time for the Games. It was unveiled Jan. 18, 2010 at a ceremony including Vision

Vancouver Coun. Heather Deal and Los Angeles Coun. Tom LaBonge. Wisconsin-based J.J. Keller Foundation, Get to Know Program, Pure Painters and City of Vancouver contributed to the restoration.

The building was in the news in the summer of 2014 as part of a city real estate sale. The Cedar Party found hidden in the prospectus for the Eastern Granville Loop a bombshell:

Wyland mural: going, going...
Wyland mural: going, going…

the city had hoped a private partner would build a new aquatic centre on the property. That immediately called into question the future of the Vancouver Aquatic Centre on prime waterfront land beside the Burrard Bridge.

Residents were moved to a former Ramada Inn on Kingsway, bought by city hall for $15.5 million.

The prospectus remains on the City of Vancouver website, an indication that the property is still on the market.

6 thoughts on “Illuminating a Vancouver councillor’s attraction to light

  1. e.a. foster

    the NPA always was a “free enterprise” group and it would appear they still would like to get things for free by electing politicians who just might advance their “economic freedom”. With NPA councillors like this, she is making the Visionless look better and better.
    Thanks for the column.

  2. Nemesis

    Speaking of endangered species, Bob – a tasty bit ‘o ElizabethBall HistoricalTittleTattle… or, if you prefer, “TheElephantGirl”…

    No, that is not MissBall… however, it is an accurate depiction of her former occupation [I s**t you not.]…

    When you think about it, the transition from circus performer to Vancouver City Councillor probably wasn’t that difficult in the overall scheme of things…

    1. bobmackin Post author

      Come to think of it, the Vancouver city council chamber is configured like a one-ring circus amphitheatre with orchestra and balcony seating.

  3. Walter Kemble

    I want MORE light in Vancouver. Hong Kong & Shanghai are great inspirations with their wonderfully lit buildings and lasers firing into clouds from the tops of skyscrapers. This motion by E. Ball is ridiculous. Vancouver is a dark, grey city for much of the year and the coloured lighting of buildings is a mood booster. I can’t believe I voted for this woman!

  4. Lacho

    Interesting. If that picture and corresponding post are to be believed, then what we actually have here are Ball worship and a lightbringer riding the beast. Imminent prophecy has never been so easy to divine. Thank you internets!!! Lol, of course. 😉


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