Video, Past Event, Community, Social Justice
Ken Lyotier: Celebration of Life and Fund Launch
At this community event, we celebrated Ken Lyotier’s life and vision for a Downtown Eastside where people come together to create social, economic, and environmental change.
A champion of the people in Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside, where he lived and worked since the 1970’s, Ken Lyotier led a number of initiatives that created opportunities for people in the Downtown Eastside to improve their lives and community.
In 1995, he founded United We Can Bottle Depot, a social enterprise that has inspired similar efforts in cities around the world. Ken believed creating meaningful change in the Downtown Eastside requires people from all walks of life coming together with the right intentions, resources, and opportunities. When Ken passed away last year, he wanted to find a way to leave all he had to continue to help the people he loved, the people of the Downtown Eastside.
As a binner and lifelong community activist, Ken lived a modest life and yet managed to save $170,000, all of which he has donated to create the Ken Lyotier Fund. The Fund will build upon Ken’s incredible vision and commitment to the neighbourhood that centred the voices and needs of the community and pushed and challenged institutions to create positive change.
Ken’s Celebration of Life was a chance to remember and love Ken’s legacy, while acting as a fundraising event to help grow his fund — so it can catalyze new forms of cooperation and collaboration to support the Downtown Eastside and find innovative solutions to the neighbourhood’s growing social challenges.
SFU's Vancity Office of Community Engagement and the Ken Lyotier Fund