2016 was heads down, hearts up.
This last year has been the busiest one yet for Cause+Affect. In fact, we have only just pulled our heads up to look around, and surprise, it’s the end of the year. We’d like to say a big thanks to everyone who has put their trust in us this year, and also those who have helped us earn other people’s. Here’s our top 9 projects of the year, in no particular order.
BC Housing is a Crown corporation that provides assistance to renters, as well as emergency and subsidized housing.
Over the past few years, BC Housing has been going through some significant organizational changes, transitioning from direct managers of subsidized housing for the most vulnerable, to a leadership organization that empowers a network of experts to find innovative solutions for the delivery of affordable housing.
Our work with BC Housing focused on cultivating the organization’s internal culture around this evolution, before developing a new brand identity system that better symbolized where BC Housing is today. We look forward to continuing to work closely with the team as the brand roles out, to ensure the organization is connecting with its diverse audience groups.
Our longstanding relationship with Odd Society Spirits continues, and this year we were able to finally deliver on their inaugural batch of single malt whisky, named Highbrow. Highbrow begins in the tradition of Scottish methods but with a distinct local flavour distilled from 100% BC grown malted barley. Aside from whisky, we have developed other new branded products that will see the light of day in 2017. Watch this space.
Moresports is a community-driven, collaborative and inclusive approach to give ALL kids a chance to play. As a city-wide strategy, it allies with the School Board, Parks Board and communities to meet kids where they are and turn local youth into coaches and leaders. One of Moresports’ guiding principles is to “include always” so they included us on their team! Together, we have helped the organization develop its delivery model and new brand. We have worked closely with leadership but more importantly, with the kids and youths to create a brand that they’d be proud to be a part of and maybe even wear on a t-shirt.
This year, Cause+Affect has been working with the City of Vancouver on the reset of their current Housing and Homelessness Strategy. Over the last 6 months, we have been focusing on developing and facilitating a new strategic process that encourages greater community engagement.
Rather than the traditional “present and defend” model, where a strategy is produced and citizens are then asked for feedback, we developed a new model; Re:Address, where experts and engaged citizens are actively weaved into the strategic process, allowing the strategy to inform our community, while our community informs the strategy.
A cornerstone to this process was Re:Address Week and the Re:Address Summit which convened hundreds of people across a wide diversity of topics all centred on improving dialogue around housing affordability.
A new strategy is expected in early 2017 that will be shared with the public through a variety of different methods of community events.
VIFF (The Vancouver International Film Festival)
VIFF is a 35 year-old cultural institution in our city. It’s beloved by locals and one of the largest film festivals in North America. Even with all that success, VIFF became fully aware that their audience was shifting in their needs and the organization needed to adapt along with them. At the same time, VIFF wanted to take the opportunity to better serve the diversity of Vancouver’s filmmaking community, embracing the next wave of technologies used to tell stories on screen, and of course attract more corporate partnerships.
What began with the restructuring of their organization and the way they communicate, soon moved into a new brand for the festival and the year-round programming they deliver at the Vancity Theatre.
When one if every five Canadians is affected by a mental illness, it’s important we all speak and hear the words “Me Too.”
They’re just two simple little words, but they carry so much meaning: empathy, sympathy, understanding and support. They tell us we are not alone. And they are powerful weapons against the prejudice and stereotypes that surround mental health and hold people back from the treatment, respect and dignity we all deserve.
This made MeToo the perfect name for a new mental illness awareness initiative from the VGH/UBC Hospital Foundation. The brand is led by a event series that brings people with mental illness to the stage to share stories of struggle and success.
VAHA (Vancouver Affordable Housing Agency)
VAHA was established by the City of Vancouver as a new vehicle to deliver a variety of housing options with greater levels of affordability for people who live and work in Vancouver. Tasked with providing 2500 new homes by 2021, VAHA continues to develop innovative partnerships with a project pipeline of over 20 sites and 1000 units, with more sites to come.
VAHA engaged Cause+Affect to help with a new brand and communications framework, as well as to facilitate the engagement of local communities in Vancouver as they look to add more and more homes into our neighbourhoods.
Our work with Metro Vancouver began with the Regional Parks service area. Cause+Affect helped this passionate group clarify the aspects of their service that mattered most and identify the unique attributes and personality that supported them. An evolved brand was developed to bring clarity and consistency to their communications.
As a result of this great work with the Regional Parks team, Cause+Affect was recently engaged to deliver a more substantial chunk of work; the development of a holistic and streamlined brand system for Metro Vancouver, that included new identity and service architecture… soon to be revealed.
Our new digs
And lastly, and maybe most importantly, we found a new home for Cause+Affect this year. Since our founding in 2004, we have always been in Gastown. In fact, our previous 3 offices were all within shouting distance of Gassy Jack…or Six Acres, whichever makes a more obvious location marker. Our new office is no different as its entrance is just off the courtyard of Gaoler’s Mews in The Garage Building at 12 Water Street.
We are up on the 5th floor with views looking out to the North Shore mountains and rooftops of Gastown. If you are in the neighbourhood, drop by and say hello. We almost always have a pot of coffee on the go.
What’s Up for 2017?
We have a remarkable project in progress with the City of Vancouver which we hope will see the light of day next year. Meanwhile, we are working with HFBC Housing Foundation to create a powerful new brand. A 100% packaging-free grocery store very close to our hearts will be launching their new identity in the coming months, and of course the completion of the City of Vancouver’s Housing and Homelessness Strategy is one of our key priorities. Ongoing work for BC Housing, Metro Vancouver, VIFF, and Odd Society will also keep us busy and a very, very new project with BC Hydro appears to be something quite special.
Here’s to those that continue to make our city better. If we can help, just ask.