Vancouver Mayor Gregor Robertson proclaims the beginning of Vancouver Pride Week 2011. Photo taken July 24, 2011.
Posted on June 17, 2011. Tags:Clippings
This article was first published in Metro Vancouver on June 17, 2011.
Embarrassment and anger over the Stanley Cup riot brought hundreds of volunteers downtown Thursday in a massive effort to clean Vancouver’s streets and its soiled reputation.
“I’m clearing up other people’s mess,” said volunteer Annabel Heath. “I’m from the U.K., and this is my safe place. It shouldn’t be ruined by other people being stupid.”
Tim McMillan of the department of sanitation provided volunteers with equipment.
“It sounds like close to 1,000 people showed up, and the city is as clean as I’ve ever seen it,” he said.
Nearby, plywood sheets covering the destroyed windows of the Bay became an impromptu shrine to the city’s regret and outrage.
“I just wrote that today is the real Vancouver,” said Claudia McNeilly. “Everyone who is really from Vancouver is getting together and trying to rebuild what a few people ruined.”
“It’s emotional down here right now in front of the Bay,” said a man who declined to give his name. “People are showing their support and also their sadness for a group of people that were prepared to have a riot.”
Carolyn Sorial summarized the views of all of the volunteers.
“I don’t know whether they were drunk or high or just upset about the game,” she said. “That sample did not represent the rest of the population.”
I'm David Proctor, Vancouver-based freelance journalist. I graduated SFU with double majors in communication and political science in 2011, and was news editor of The Peak for over two years. I have also written extensively for the Vancouver edition of Metro News. Today, I seek freelancing opportunities and regular news-writing work.