Island at Work Awareness Program
Canada Mortgage and Housing
CMHC Granville Island
The 1995 expansion to the Emily Carr University of Art + Design required a communication strategy that would minimize disruption and maximize safety for both visitors and the Island community. Granville Island’s already hot parking issues were exacerbated by construction closures and traffic gridlock. Tenants were confronted with their own access and parking issues along with impacts to their businesses.
The Island Awareness safety messages (ArtWork/ParkSmart/PlaySafe) created by public relations firm Burson-Marsteller were translated by illustrator Mike Lee into a playful visual shorthand that communicated serious issues. Tenants and visitors received regular updates to ensure that everyone was aware of construction progress and kept safe. The friendly Go Green! Program was a parallel initiative (a counter to all the neon red safety graphics) that encouraged people to bypass the disruption caused by the long construction months entirely—especially the major parking issue—and visit the Island by any number of alternative modes of transportation. It was a call to make the journey an adventure in itself. Once visitors arrived at Granville Island, they were invited to continue exploring.
Note from Arlene
This archive is nostalgic not only because I’m an alumna of Emily Carr University of Art + Design but because Emily is on the move again. In 2017 Emily Carr University of Art + Design will move from its current location on Granville Island (since 1980) to a vibrant new campus on Vancouver’s False Creek Flats.
Site photography by Peter Timmermans © 2017