2020 Downtown Street Banners – Public Vote

Vote for your favourite downtown Street Banner!

As part of our mandate, the DVBIA promotes and enhances the identity of various streets and districts by installing street banners on the light poles. These are changed every two years, and in early January, the DVBIA opened the opportunity to the general public to create new street banners for Granville Street and Hastings West.

After receiving nearly 150 submissions, the DVBIA and various committees shortlisted these designs down to five.

Now, this is where you come in! We want you to help us decide which designs will be the new street banners for the next two years. Please vote below on your favourite designs and remember to click on each image to read the artist’s statement and learn about their process.

The winning designs will be installed from June 2020 to May of 2022, and selected artists will receive $1500 for their work.

Granville street designs

Option 1

Gina Ortiz

Granville Street was one of the first areas in downtown Vancouver that I visited when my family and I first moved to the city back in 2011.

I moved back to Vancouver in 2011, and Granville Street was the first area my family and I visited. My first impression remains with me to this day: The Art Deco style architecture hidden behind posters and billboards of current and past events. A mix of people walking up and down the street all day; locals, visitors, musicians, bike riders and many, many pigeons. The ray of summer sunlight cutting through the building facades and making everyone and everything illuminate. And lastly, at night, the neon signs lighting up Granville and showed new details of past and present.

Today, almost nine years later, I find myself participating in an artist residency program just a block away from this bubbly area and feeling thrilled to be a part of the stories that are woven every day.

My submission captures the colours of Granville Street: its people and their stories, the sun-kissed afternoons, neon light evenings, and the always present pigeons.

View the full-sized design here.

Option 2

Aurelia Kong

As a resident of downtown Vancouver, the walk down Granville Street is a familiar one. This design is an homage to the colourful assortment of food, shopping, music, and nightlife options that characterizes one of Vancouver’s most iconic streets.

Whether you are stopping by for weekend brunch with a few old friends, catching a comedy show over at the Vogue, or thrifting for a pair
of jeans, there is a little something to do for everyone— locals and visitors alike.

I hope that this banner will accentuate the vibrant spirit of the strip and encourage passersby to take a brief moment in their busy day to stop and smile!

View the full-sized design here.

Option 3

Peter Forde

Granville Street is a gathering place for celebration in our city. It is a place where our spirits are lifted with the optimism of play. Granville is where we can celebrate birthdays with friends, enjoy cultural events, stroll through shops, and feel the pulse of the city.

The balloons in this banner represent the uplifting joy that Granville Street brings to life through celebration. By using neon lighting to illuminate the balloons, the banners reflect some of the nightlife that surrounds it.

I hope my work adds an element of positivity along with a sense of fun. Pedestrians will look up to these banners and see the floating balloons as if they are drifting up to the sky playfully, reminding them to look up and smile.

View the full-sized design here.

Option 4

Tina Palmer

Born and raised in Vancouver, I have many memories of Granville Street beginning in my youth through to adulthood, high school graduation at the Orpheum, catching a movie at the Capitol 6 theatre, and concerts at the Commodore, to name a few.

Granville Street is a stretch of pedestrian-friendly city blocks, where one can find a diverse range of structures, decor and details – such as retail shops, restaurants, nightclubs, theatres, and office buildings. The entertainment district boasts a vibrant nightlife filled with neon lights.

I chose to express the following characteristics of Granville Street in my banner design:

  1. Basic shapes and forms are combined to reflect architectural details of various buildings. The different sizes and layers are to give a sense of depth and perspective of the street.
  2. The colours of blue and yellow are used in gradient steps to imply the luminosity of neon lamps – emitting the glow of light, such as in the neon signs of the entertainment district.
  3. The typeface, Titular Light, was chosen to complement the vertical shapes of buildings and to mimic tube shapes of neon lamps.

View the full-sized design here.

Option 5

Ilan Volovich

This design concept is inspired by Granville’s Theatre Row and its neon signs, which in the 1950s made Vancouver the world’s second neon sign capital.

Each letter is based on recent and past neon signs of iconic establishments on Granville street. A subtle design abstraction based on the real neon signs is exercised on each letter of the layout to convey a nice modern design and bring coherence to the composition.

The bright neon colours express the vibrancy of the neon signs and the street’s liveliness. It is a design meant to evoke memories, to raise a smile, and to awaken curiosity.

Layout References

G: Vogue Theatre. 918 Granville St.
R: The Orpheum. 601 Smithe St.
A: Caprice Nightclub. 967 Granville (closed in 2018)
N: Colonial Theatre. 603 Granville St. (1915 – mid-1960’s)
V: Movieland Arcade. 906 Granville St.
I: Studio Nightclub. 919 Granville St.
L: Capitol Theatre. 920 Granville St. (based on the 1950’s sign) L: Capitol Theatre. 920 Granville St. (based on the 1960’s sign)
E: Coronet Theatre. 851 Granville St. (1964 – 1986)

View the full-sized design here.

Hastings West Design

Option 1

Alice Bessol

When designing the banners, I wanted to share the inspiration I was getting from the buildings of the Hastings West area. A mixture of old and new, which represents the authentic soul of the neighbourhood.

On both banners, I accentuated the buildings with colour. Yellow for the energy and richness that Vancouver procures and red is to show the love and the strength for people of this city. Vancouver is a green city, so it seemed obvious to me to use this colour. Lastly, a blue to represent all the glass buildings which are reflecting the sky.

I created these banners with a sketch style to emphasize the architectural curves of the buildings. The sketch style with the bursts of colour shows the mix between old and new. The font is clean, simple, and modern.

Working on these banners is an opportunity for me to show the richness of the Hastings West area and the perfect combination between cultural diversity and the open mindset.

View the full-sized design here.

Option 2

Joel Gajdos

There is a connection between nature and a city: a healthy city needs nature to exist. Time changes many things, especially a city’s streets. Hastings West over the centuries has evolved both culturally and socially and has become a street full of vibrancy and life. But even as a city inevitably changes, nature is consistent. It provides a strong foundation for a city to be built upon.

Stylistically, the bird represents these characteristics, from its encompassing beauty to its structure and consistency presented by the multiple lines that build up the bird itself. Additionally, these lines emulate the geometric layout of streets – interweaving the natural and created together.

Without healthy land, there can be no city and no sustainability for life. Stewardship is a responsibility we all possess and must act upon to safeguard the land we live within to keep it beautiful and sustainable. The land sustains us, and thus we must sustain it. The First Nation cultures valued this ideal, and as an artist and individual influenced by my Metis history, I hope this idea becomes a common value throughout our lands.

View the full-sized design here.

Option 3

Anaïs Léra

Walking through Hastings West is a unique, monumental and immersive experience. Within the street banner design, I wanted to highlight the intricate architecture collage born from multiple periods of Vancouver’s history.

The design focuses on a few geometrical elements inspired by the various edifices and responds to the towering surroundings. I choose to keep it simple and use a bright and contrasting colour palette.

The shapes in the design reflect the building’s dense structure, as well as the punctuated open space offering the ocean view. The banner integrates a colourful balanced composition in the public space and provides an artistic interpretation of its distinctive skyline.

The concept is to capture the street’s graphic essence while keeping a harmonized interaction between the architecture, the public space, the people, and the banner.

View the full-sized design here.

Option 4

Oliver McPartlin

The basic is to reflect the way our city is inextricably interconnected with the natural world.

A recurring theme in my work is the interplay between the natural and the mechanical; the fluid and organic juxtaposed with the rigid, mathematical, and human-made. With this piece, I started out thinking about how you can always find your way in Vancouver because the streets are a grid, and the mountains are north. I wanted to turn that around, have some fun with it, and show the city streets winding and knotting organically through the broader, natural landscape surrounding it.

View the full-sized design here.

Option 5

Katia Castellanos

The design’s concept is based on the pleasant feeling when the weather is sunny and bright in the city. Hastings West is usually associated with a particular office vibe, massive towers and a modern urban environment. The sunrise hits the large glass windows and reflects all over, creating a dazzling scene. Vancouver’s cityscape varies on the weather and the time of the day, and colours go from warm and summery to blue-green and modern. These concepts are incorporated into the artwork.

Based on the buildings located on Hastings directly, the shapes and colours used in the design correspond to actual places within the street. Strong lights are added to beautify and highlight the architecture and a narrow colour range was chosen, creating two different sets each one of them stands for a different time of the day.

Hastings West is one of the most important corridors in town, and the intention is to bring out a sense of enjoyment and positivity among the people who pass through it.

View the full-sized design here.

Voting has now ended. The winning banners will be announced Friday, May 29, 2020.