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Remembering Jim Green, looking forward to 312 Main

For the fifth consecutive year, SFU’s Vancity Office of Community Engagement hosted the Jim Green Memorial Lecture in honour of Jim Green (May 25, 1943 – February 28, 2012), who was a city councillor, a community activist, and a formidable advocate for — and developer of — social housing in the Downtown Eastside.

This year’s lecture was delivered by Ashley Proctor, the Executive Director of 312 Main, Vancouver’s Centre for Social & Economic Innovation. The project is in line with Jim Green’s vision for the redevelopment of the former headquarters of the Vancouver Police Department, situated on the corner of Main and Cordova, into a community space and hub for social innovation. Once completed, 312 Main will be Canada’s largest and most inclusive coworking community, and it will house a number of community of entrepreneurs, artists and organizations committed to economic and social democracy.

The evening opened with a live musical performance by local artist and SFU alumnus Corbin Murdoch. The lecture was introduced by Jim Green’s daughter, Alexandra Rutherford, who is the director of the Jim Green Foundation, and Bob Williams, a former Vancity board member and board member with the Jim Green Foundation. Ashley shared her experience of building inclusive and collaborative spaces in Toronto that led her to becoming involved with the development.

Following the lecture was a reception, featuring a performance by the Woodward’s Community Singers, who invited all to join in singing a tribute to Jim Green’s legacy.

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Watch the full video recording of Ashley’s talk here. She speaks to her previous projects, the overarching vision for 312 Main, and talks through the plans for the new building, floor by floor.