Collection MsC-146 - Occupy Vancouver Collection

Title and statement of responsibility area

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Occupy Vancouver Collection

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  • Textual records
  • Photographic materials
  • Artefacts
  • Moving images

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Dates of creation area


  • 15 Oct. 2011-25 Nov. 2012 (Creation)
    Occupy Vancouver

Physical description area

Physical description

0.68 m of textual records and other material

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Archival description area

Name of creator

(15 Oct. 2011-22 Nov. 2011)

Administrative history

Occupy Vancouver was a collective of peaceful protests and demonstrations. It was part of Occupy Canada that was also part of the larger Occupy Together movement which first manifested in the financial district of New York City with Occupy Wall Street in March 2011. Occupy Wall Street had initially been organized to answer the call-to-action by the Vancouver-based, advertising-free, anti-consumerist organization Adbusters. Subsequently, the movement spread to over 900 cities around the world.

On October 15, 2011, in Vancouver, around 4000 to 5000 people participated in rallies and the local general assembly. In the days following its inception at the Vancouver Art Gallery there was the arrival of over 150 tents, food, health and safety services, operating on a volunteer basis nearly around the clock. On October 16, 2011, the activists began formalizing their work and agreeing on broad principles at large gatherings called General Assemblies. The group adopted the general format of Wall Street and they declared themselves leaderless and not hierarchical.

On November 7, 2011, city notices asking protesters to pack up their tents were immediately posted at the site. On November 15, 2011, police, firefighters and city workers moved in and started removing several tents and tarps that were described as fire hazards. The City of Vancouver applied for an injunction order to remove the entire camp, but the judge adjourned the hearing to allow protesters to prepare their legal response. On November 18, 2011, Justice Anne MacKenzie granted the city's request to order the removal of Occupy Vancouver's structures by Monday afternoon. Protesters were given until 2 p.m. on November 21, 2011, to remove their tents and other structures.

On November 21, 2011, protesters abandoned the encampment at the Art Gallery zone and relocated their tents to Robson Square, just outside provincial court facilities. Justice Anne MacKenzie granted the Attorney General of British Columbia an order to remove Occupy Vancouver's new tent city by 5 p.m. November 22, 2011. Just before 5 p.m. the tents were packed up and occupiers moved onto the SkyTrain, and over to the Commercial Drive neighborhood where they moved into Grandview Park.

As of late January 2012, Occupy Vancouver was still holding weekly meetings at the W2 media cafe.

Custodial history

Scope and content

The collection consists of records associated to the Occupy Vancouver movement covering the years 2011 and 2012. It comprises records related to Occupy Vancouver Committees (General Assembly, Volunteer Coordinating Committee, Info Tent), photographs of activists and objects (teddy bear, pins, flags). The collection includes records associated with the court case between the City of Vancouver and Sean O’Flynn-Magee, Jane Doe, John Doe and other unknown persons. The records have been arranged in the following six series: Committee records (2011); Court case records (2011); Photographs and moving images (2011); Notebooks (2011); Publications (2012); Adbusters ([2011-2012]).

Notes area

Physical condition

Immediate source of acquisition

Materials donated in 2013 by Adbusters and Stephen Collis, and in 2014 by Mathew Kagis and Sue Wilson.


Arrangement of the files into series provided by the archivist.

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      Access to some files is restricted for privacy reasons. Consult staff for more information.

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      File list is available.

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      Further accruals are expected.

      General note

      Administrative history based on information from Dispatches from the Occupation: A History of Change (2012) by Stephen Collis and “Occupy Vancouver: Leaderless and Recordless?” (2012) by Joy Rowe.

      Physical description

      Includes 10 photographs, 1 CD : 50 photographs, 18 videos, and 4 objects

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      Dates of creation, revision and deletion

      Created May 5, 2014 LZ

      Language of description

      • English

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