Youth Engagement in Mount Pleasant

At the end of May 2008, fifteen local youth were given disposable cameras and asked to visually document their lived experience of the Mount Pleasant commercial area through photography. The intent of this documentation process was to better inform the City of Vancouver’s Mount Pleasant Community Planning Program by ensuring that youth views would be incorporated. Although youth engagement was specifically sought during the shopping area component of the planning program, data collected by the youth was intended to inform all components of the program with additional / ongoing youth engagement to be incorporated as appropriate throughout the remainder of the program.

  • Click here for the report on Phase 1 & 2 of the Youth Engagement Process
  • Check out the video’s youth created on Parks and Art in their community
  • Wanna hear what youth learned through their participation? Check out this video !

Phase 1 & 2 - Using Photo Voice
Photo Voice is a community-based, participatory research method that was utilized as a vehicle to engage local youth in defining and reflecting on the issues important to them. This method was developed by Caroline C. Wang and Mary Ann Burris, and is based on the idea that images are powerful teachers that can inspire and influence public policy.

Local youth were supplied with cameras and asked to document their lived experience of the community.
The photographs offered a creative and effective medium to record and reflect on the community’s strengths and concerns. Participants were engaged in a process in which they selected photographs for discussion, contextualized and told the stories behind these photographs, and arranged them according to themes that had emerged during the discussion.

Exhibition of the findings to youth groups and at community events provided a way to gather additional feedback and presented an opportunity for community members and other youth to contribute their own comments and insights into the research. Drawing from this data, the participants set forth a series of vision statements for how they would like to see their community develop. A photo collage exercise was then undertaken to visually represent these visions. Finally, the findings were compiled and presented to policy makers and at a community forum to draw attention to the perspective held by youth from the community.

Phase 3 - Youth in Focus
The Youth in Focus project was a year-long video mentorship project run out of the Mount Pleasant Neighborhood House. Seven youth participants learned all aspects of video production and created two videos looking at the future of Parks and Arts in the Mount Pleasant Neighborhood. The videos were successfully used to outreach at City Open Houses, and at other youth organizations in the area. A third video was also created looking at what these youth learned through the video-making process.