Posts in Articles
Life Between Umbrellas
Photo via VIVA Vancouver

Photo via VIVA Vancouver

Bridging communities through a rain friendly design competition
and showcasing what happens in life in between umbrellas.

Public spaces are something we hold near and dear to our heart at Public Disco.  They give people a place to gather and build communities, which in turn provide a sense of social connectedness and belonging.  Being a part of a community can have positive effects on both our emotional and mental well being. It’s one of the many reasons we do what we do at Public Disco.  So we are thrilled to be partnering with the new design project – Life Between Umbrellas – in an event on May 11th that will help draw awareness to the program and why it’s so badly needed.

Earlier this spring the Vancouver Public Space Network (VPSN), an organization that champions the importance of public space to the liveability of a city, and VIVA Vancouver, a city run program that transforms road spaces into thriving people places, such as the Jim Deva and Bute Robson plazas, have teamed up to create a new design competition to address our rainy city public space challenges.

VIVA Vancouver works with local businesses and community groups to enhance the city’s sense of community by facilitating short and long term public spaces. The Life Between Umbrellas competition aims to do just that, by bringing new rain friendly spaces to the city.

Photo via VIVA Vancouver on Facebook

Photo via VIVA Vancouver on Facebook

Raincity needs more Rain-Friendly spaces

Love it or hate it, rain is part of what makes Vancouver, well… Vancouver.  It’s even a part of our city’s identity, with names such as Raincouver, Raincity, and Wet Coast.  Surrounded by temperate rainforests, rain brings lush flora, endless blossoms, green parks, clean water and fresh air. These are just some of the many reasons we call Vancouver home, and why we love it so much.  But while Vancouver has a number of excellent public spaces, most are ill-equipped to support gathering and other activities in the rain.

In a city like Vancouver, which sees on average the equivalent of five months of rain a year (more than 160 days), it’s easy to get lost in the endless gloomy, grey days. It’s during this time that we tend to get stuck indoors, often alone or with limited activities – it can be an isolating and lonely time. So, while we want to believe the rain doesn’t stop us from much in this great city of ours, the truth is, for the rain we experience we are seriously lacking in appropriate public space which keeps us from connecting with our communities.


The Life Between Umbrellas competition will encourage ideas on ways that improve public spaces and life, reduce social isolation and strengthen our sustainability during our city’s rainy months.  The competition (open to anyone) aims to unite Vancouverites by awarding prizes for designs in three streams: a rain-friendly public space, a rain-friendly design feature or seasonal structure, and a rain-friendly event or celebration.  Find out more about this initiative at

There’s more to Vancouver then what meets the eye
While rain may be part of what Vancouver is best known for, it’s just that… one part of the many aspects that make Vancouver, Vancouver.  In fact, Vancouver has a number of thriving arts and culture scenes – from drag to dance to comedy and live music, there are a number of experiences on any given day or night, you just have to know where to find it.

Photo via Continental Breakfast on Facebook

Photo via Continental Breakfast on Facebook

So, while Vancouver may be known as a “pretty”, yet “no fun”, city, we are here to change the perception and bring awareness to all the great things this city has to offer other than the great outdoors.

That’s why, on May 11, we are partnering with VIVA Vancouver to celebrate the Life Between Umbrellas competition.  In true Public Disco fashion, the laid-back social will include music with a dance floor, hooping zone, vendors, food trucks, and a place where Vancouverites can gather as a community and connect.

In addition to our usual fanfare, we are very excited to share that this event will feature an opportunity to meet and chat with several members of our community to learn about their art, community initiatives, events and any other questions you may have.  Connecting the community to local art scenes is core to Public Disco, so we are excited to host Larisa Sanders from the Stew Jams, Chris Reed aka local drag icon Continental Breakfast, Steph Parkes from Public Disco and Char Loro of ShapeShifterStudio and Vancouver Street Dance Festival.



  • Date: May 11th, 2019

  • Time: noon to 6pm

  • Where: Cambie and 2nd (under the Cambie St bridge)

  • Things to do:

    • Check out local music, with dancing and a hula hooping zone

    • Connect with a local community arts members!

  • RSVP here.

To stay up to date with Public Disco news, music and events sign up for our newsletter.