With the continuing popularity of pools and beaches in Vancouver, the Vancouver Park Board recognized the vital role these facilities, and places play within the community. Supporting personal and communal well-being and enhancing social inclusion. A 10-year aquatics strategy to chart a course for the future of aquatics in the city was launched. This would inform a larger 25-year vision in anticipation of a changing and ageing population.


VanSplash was born. A vibrant identity and approach that successfully engaged the community through various touch points. Open houses and other events took place at local pools and beaches to engage and gather vital input from the public. Over 4,500 survey responses were collected, the highest response the city has ever received.


People have a deep connection with water and swimming. We created a series of illustrations depicting people of all ages interacting with aquatics. Conveying joy and happiness. The illustrations have a nostalgic quality, they evoked personal memories and stories surrounding the activity from the public.


The initial public engagement included a life guard chair which was wrapped with important messaging and information. Acting as a beacon on the Kitsilano foreshore. The dedicated team interacted with the public, sharing key information about the aquatics strategy, answered questions and encouraged participation.


A draft of recommendations for the future of aquatics for Vancouver was prepared in phase two. And led to further public engagements. The engagements shared the findings of the work undertaken in phase one. A large scale interactive map of the region was prepared. It represented the location, current facilities, and proposed plans for facilities within the region. The map also asked the public to consider new innovative aquatics such as a harbour deck or natural pool.


2016 - 2018
Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada
Design by Femi Coppi and Bonnie Retief. Creative Direction by Bonnie Retief.
Images courtesy of Vancouver Park Board and HCMA Architecture and Design.