On February 3rd, SCARP held its 60th Anniversary Gala at the Four Seasons Hotel in Vancouver. Over 300 people turned out for the event, including alumni from the first graduating class in 1953. The event was suggested by celebrated regional planner Ken Cameron, a SCARP alumnus, and it was a real success. Our MC for the evening was Vancouver planner Mark Holland, and he was well-suited to this task, with his deep voice and great sense of humour. Special guest for the evening was Cornelia Oberlander, Canada’s most famous landscape architect. Cornelia’s husband, the late Peter Oberlander, was the first director of SCARP and instrumental in the 1976 UN Habitat Conference. This year the entire Oberlander family joined us in celebrating a scholarship fund started in Peter’s honour. Other speakers included the Honorable Stephen Owen, SCARP Director Penny Gurstein, and Nick Sully from SHAPE Architecture, who will be working on SCARP’s new home, the Integrated Planning and Design Facility.
The second part of the evening featured reflections on SCARP’s past, present and future: Larry Beasley (former City of Vancouver planning co-director) addressed SCARP’s amazing past, I was pleased to speak for a few minutes on SCARP’s present, and Dr. Maged Senbel eloquently spoke of the future.
What stellar alumni we have…the heads of virtually every planning firm in Vancouver, many of the municipal and regional planners in BC, local developers, UN researchers, and the first PhD in planning granted to a Canadian woman (Ann McAfee, Larry’s co-director of planning at the City of Vancouver). Wow. Having been at SCARP for six years, it was also great to see many recent graduates who are now working at TransLink, BC Housing, HB Lanarc, and many other public, private, and non-profit bodies.
Fred Lee, sneaky photographer that he is, snapped these shots of us at the Gala. I’m sure there are more hovering around; a waiter at my favourite restaurant tipped me off to these in the Vancouver Courier (note: the captions are theirs, not mine).