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John Gibbard Memorial Award: Nominate a young person working for a better world

Do you know a young person, or a group of young people, who deserve to be recognized for their commitment to making the world a better place? Nominate them for this year’s John Gibbard Memorial Award!

On the occasion of United Nations Day, October 24th, the United Nations Association in Canada – Vancouver Branch annually presents the John Gibbard Memorial Award to celebrate the United Nations and their work towards peace, justice and security.

The Vancouver Unitarians are proud to be long-time supporters of the John Gibbard Memorial Award. Each year’s winner is honoured on at a ceremony held in our Sanctuary at 49th and Oak. 

About the Award
The John Gibbard Memorial Award is presented annually by the Vancouver Branch of the United Nations Association in Canada in recognition and memory of John Gibbard who was a supporter of the League of Nations from its creation in 1919, in the wake of the First World War.  When the League ceased to exist, John Gibbard continued to support the ideals upon which the League had been founded.  When the United Nations was formed after the Second World War, John Gibbard became an active member of the United Nations Association in Canada.  He was dedicated to involving youth in the creation of a better world for all.  

The Award is given to a young student or group of students in recognition of their dedication and commitment in working for humanity and a better world.

The Award will be presented at a ceremony to be held at UCV on Sunday October 22rd, 2023. 

The deadline for nominations is Oct. 2, 2023.

To submit a nomination, go to this website

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Introducing Our New Outreach Opportunities Recipient: Aboriginal Mother Centre Society

From July to October, 2023, our Outreach Opportunities Fund recipient will be the Aboriginal Mother Centre Society (AMCS)AMCS is dedicated to supporting Aboriginal families by providing cultural, traditional services through a holistic grass roots approach. It empowers mothers to transform their lives.

“Aboriginal Mother Centre Society is a place where Aboriginal mothers, who are facing homelessness and/or dealing with their children in care of the Ministry, can come to stay. The women can rebuild their sense of self-worth and identity for a better future for themselves and their children. AMCS is a place where they can come to be together as a family.”  – Aboriginal Mother Centre Society

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Got ideas on the housing crisis? Join us tonight

The Vancouver Unitarians have been part of the life of this city since 1909. We know it’s now harder than ever to find affordable, secure housing. Many members of our congregation and their friends and family in the wider community have felt the impacts of the city’s unaffordability first hand, facing precarious living situations or having to move out of the Metro Vancouver area altogether.

That’s why we’re excited to participate with Metro Vancouver Alliance (MVA) in helping formulate a new campaign on these issues. MVA is looking to identify concerns and priorities of member organizations so as to decide how to focus their collective resources and energies in helping solve the housing crisis facing Metro Vancouver right now.

The Listening Circle on Housing will be online on Zoom this evening Thursday, June 22 at 7p.m.

In case you’d like to think about the questions we’ll be discussing before hand, here they are:

  • What is the most significant thing happening in the lives of you and your family?
  • What challenges are you facing?
  • What are your concerns about living and working where you live?
  • What would you most like to see changed?
  • What do you think MVA should be prioritizing?
  • What are you willing to work on?

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Still some tickets available! Concert tonight featuring Luke Wallace in the Sanctuary

There are still some tickets available for what promises to be an amazing evening of songs, storytelling, and solidarity tonight in our Sanctuary at 49th and Oak. (You can purchase tickets on a sliding scale here:

Luke Wallace headlines tonight’s show, which will bring together storytellers, spoken word and a chorus of voices to sing songs of praise and protest for our world. This event is a fundraiser for RAVEN’s Breathing Lands campaign, supporting 10 Indigenous Nations who are in court to protect Canada’s boreal peatlands: lands and waters that sequester more carbon than the Amazon rainforest.

All funds raised tonight go towards RAVEN Trust’s Breathing Lands campaign.

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Participants wanted! Share your ideas on housing

Do you have experience you’d like to share to do with housing affordability and housing insecurity? If so, we’d like to hear from you!

Metro Vancouver Alliance is asking participating organizations to organize Listening Circles on the topic, to help inform a new campaign they’re planning on the issue of housing affordability. MVA is a coalition of faith-based, labour and other civil society organizations in the Lower Mainland. Several members of UCV attended their recent meeting to relaunch MVA’s public activities.

If you have experience to share, or ideas about what a campaign on housing should focus on, please email and we will work to schedule the Listening Circle at a time convenient for the most people.

(Image: Scott Webb / Unsplash)

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HomeStart Foundation – Outreach Opportunities Fund Recipient

Our OOF recipient for the months March 2023-June 2023 is the HomeStart Foundation that furnishes homes to help families in need rebuild their lives.

The Refugee Team suggested HomeStart as an OOF recipient. A few months ago, George from the Refugee team, visited the HomeStart warehouse and selected furniture for our recent Burundian refugee. This included dressers, shelving, kitchen table+chairs, end tables, lamps, sofa, and armchairs – a complete apartment excluding beds which we are required to supply new. Homestart delivered all of this to the apartment on the same day at no cost to us. This saved the refugee team hundreds of dollars and much time, eliminating a major worry!

Homestart could also benefit the UCV congregation by providing our members with an economical means for down-sizers to donate unwanted furniture. Homestart charges donors a reasonable $75 to have 2 people come to a location in their serving area and pickup donated items which are taken to their warehouse for re-distribution to those in need. They accept pre-arranged drop-offs at no charge to donors. Refugee team members are often approached by UCV members who offer donations of furniture which we can’t accept.

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Justice for DeeCee Spirit Zone

On Sunday, March 12th, Vancouver Unitarians signed letters that call on the Premier, local MLAs and other officials to change the policing approach when it comes to de-escalating mental health crises.

March 12th marked the 4 month anniversary of Dani Cooper’s (DeeCee) death.  Dani died after being shot by police during an episode of psychosis. The Social Justice team set up a table in Hewett Hall  that displayed the sign “Justice for DeeCee Spirit Zone”. People stopped by to sign pre-written letters to officials and to learn more about who Dani was and what we can do to support.

Dennis Cooper, Dani’s father, made this video for Vancouver Unitarians.  Please watch it and share it with those who might be inspired to write letters and/or want to gain a better understanding of the reality of police involvement in mental health crises.


The North Shore Unitarian congregation, of which Dani was a member, has posted more information on their website.

Vancouver Unitarians will continue to hold the 12th of each month as a day  to raise awareness of this tragedy and suggest changes that could lessen the chance of future similar tragedies.

Send your letter to these email addresses:,,,,,,,

Additional Information:


Letters signed at UCV on March 12, 2023

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