Tag Archives: City of Vancouver

A Dream is a Wish Your Heart Makes, Even if all you Wanted was a Tiki Bar

Among the many negative comments directed to the City of Vancouver, one that’s recently returned is ‘no fun city.’ This name reflects strict bylaws and limited support for the arts. Earlier this month, it was announced that a property developer had purchased land being leased by a popular hotel bar called The Waldorf. A unique space with a 1960s theme in one room and a Tiki Bar in another, the popular destination was a breath of fresh air for locals. Once the announcement was made, local discourse led to protests, meetings with City Council, and now The Waldorf is being reviewed as a potential heritage building, which would save it from demolition.

What makes Vancouver so great is the diversity of its people, and their personal goals. The uproar surrounding The Waldorf for example, shows that on one hand, there are focused business people looking for any opportunity to find space for the city’s ever growing population to call home, and on the other hand, there are performers whose care most about cultivating a strong community through entertainment.

Our Coffee Shop HR World Cafe this month was a challenge to our contributors to shine a light on people who love their jobs. While it’s inspiring for some to see people succeed, for others it’s a negative reality check for their own status.  But why be jealous of someone else’s success?  It probably didn’t come overnight, and even if it appears that it did, be mindful of all the small decisions that person made leading up to his/her triumph.

Kim Bunka

Kim Bunka

Everyone has to start somewhere, and everyone has a hidden dream that reflects who they really are.  I interviewed a young local artist named Kim Bunka. A vocal instructor and musical theater performer, Kim’s greatest ambition is to work for the Walt Disney Company:

1. Why do you want to work for Disney?

This is a hard question for me to answer because I have so much passion about working for Disney, I could easily write an essay on it! But I’ll try to narrow it down… I think one of the main reasons I want to work for Disney is I could spend my days making people happy. I love it when I have the chance to make someone’s day better or make them smile and I think I would have a lot of opportunities to do that while working for Disney.

2. What exactly is your goal, and have you set a deadline to achieve it?

My goal is to acquire a job working as a performer with Disney Cruise Lines, Disneyland Paris, Tokyo Disney or Hong Kong Disneyland. As a Canadian it is very hard to get work as a performer in either of the American parks. I had my first audition in June of 2012 so I have told myself that if I haven’t been hired by June of 2013 I need to regroup and re-evaluate my goals. 

3. What sets you apart from others who audition?

I think a lot of the people who audition for Disney also love Disney so it’s hard to say if my love (bordering on obsession!) sets me a part, but I think it might. Also I have over 15 years of experience with performing Musical Theatre and graduated from a musical theatre college program where as some people don’t have that experience or it’s their very first audition ever. 

4. If you could play any Disney character, who would you choose and why?

Well, at the parks or on the cruise lines the characters portray themselves of course, I’ve been auditioning for the chance to work with them. However if I could be a Disney character for a day I’d love to be Tinkerbell, Belle or Cinderella as those are some of my favourite girl characters. I dressed up as Minnie Mouse for Halloween a couple of years ago and that was fun too! 

5. Lots of people target specific companies they want to work for. If HR was to ask you in an interview, ‘why are you a good fit for the organization?’ how would you respond?

If I were asked that question I think I would say something like…”I believe I am a great fit for the Disney Company because of my love for the magic that Disney has brought to people all over the world for decades. I am passionate about the way Disney tells stories in their movies, parks and on the cruise lines and I want to be a part of that. I have an upbeat personality and willingly flash smiles at strangers in hopes of making their day brighter. My extensive training in musical theatre and my strong work ethic give me the tools to entertain guests at Disney’s high-standard level. My experience teaching children gives me the knowledge of how to interact with people of all ages. Working for Disney would be my dream come true because I would be a part of making other people’s dreams come true and spreading happiness in a world that needs all the happiness it can get.” 

You can feel Kim’s enthusiasm and admiration for Disney in her words, and you can’t help but admire her fearlessness.  I heard someone once say that every man has a dream for his family. But certainly, every one of us has a dream for ourselves!  It’s Friday, and so my challenge to you is to take some time to remember what you originally set your mind to achieve when you started working.

What is your greatest professional aspiration?
Where are you now?
What are you willing to do to achieve success?

And remember, not all dreams require that you completely change who you are, and where you’re already going in your career; not all buildings need to be demolished to build something new. After all, Disneyland Park has a Tiki Bar.

Corporate Green Initiatives Require Small Behavioural Changes

When people think of The City of Vancouver, they think of different things depending on who they are, what they’ve heard, and where their values lie. Some think of the City of Vancouver and remember the 2010 Winter Olympic Games, while others only remember us for rioting after losing the Stanley Cup Final … twice.  Some think of the City of Vancouver as being one of the most livable cities in the world, while others see locals as bourgeois hypocrites who ignore a homelessness issue that continues to grow.

The City of Vancouver has very publically set the goal of being the greenest city in the world by 2020 in its Greenest City 2020 Action Plan.  Perhaps the goal was set to preserve the area’s natural beauty, but perhaps it was set to improve the city’s global reputation.

I work in an office which has chosen to take on the City of Vancouver’s Corporate Zero Waste program. Ultimately, that means city employees have removed all of the garbage cans in our office, and replaced them with a collection of communal and personal bins that are used to separate all wastes that would have otherwise been thrown in the landfill.

We’ve been issued five communal bins, one for each of the following categories:

1. Paper Products (this includes paper cups, newspaper, cardboard)

2. Soft Plastics (this includes any plastic bags)

3. Mixed Containers (this includes plastic bottles, cans, tin foil, glass, disposable coffee cup lids)

4. Organics (this includes any organic matter including food, tea bags, coffee grounds)

5. Landfill (this is meant for any product that does not belong in one of the recycling bins listed above).

City of Vancouver Corporate Zero Waste Program

All of the communal bins are sitting in our hallway, with the exception of the organics bin which is located in our kitchen.  Each person was also issued a small blue recycling box that resides by their desk (in place of the garbage can).

The concept is that at the end of the day, you take your small bin to the designated recycling area, and sort your refuse into the appropriate bins.  Each day, the five communal bins are emptied by City of Vancouver staff. However, it is your responsibility to take care of your small blue bin.

When a representative from the City of Vancouver came to speak with our office about the program, a challenge he kept bringing to light is the importance of ‘sorting at the source.’  In other words, all refuse must be sorted right there in your office.  Otherwise, when city staff collects the product found in the bins, any ‘contamination’ is cause to throw that batch of recyclables into the landfill.

In other words, if food is found with the soft or hard plastics, that collection of plastic would be thrown into the landfill instead of being recycled. The same thing goes if plastics are found in the Paper Products bin.  It’s a lost opportunity that’s sent to the landfill.

I think it’s a great program, but it will take time for people to fully adapt to it. A behavioural shift is required for the program’s success. Because at the end of the day, if an office of 50 employees include 49 coworkers who sort their garbage into the appropriate pails, and 1 coworker who throws all refuse into inappropriate bins, then the system is broken.

Then again, I work in an office setting full of human resources people. Workplace health and safety is something we all care about, and we agree (for the most part) that small behavioural changes that are made to improve our environment are a positive thing. It will be more interesting to see how this corporate initiative is extended outside the office setting: to parks, schools and theatres.

While various recycling bins can be found throughout the City of Vancouver, the concept of trying to avoid ‘contaminating batches of recyclables’ is something I hadn’t heard of before.  No doubt this green initiative will continue to require education for the public, as well as their buy-in and adaptation to be successful.