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Downtown Eastside Vancouver

Downtown Eastside Vancouver

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Bob Garlick

Bob Garlick is a Vancouver photographer who began his career shooting for a weekly Canadian newspaper. We stumbled upon his book Living on the Edge that displayed portraits of people from Downtown Eastside Vancouver. Bob captured the essence of a community, asking respectfully to take their photos with a promise to return with prints to share. While exchanging photos, he received testament to the resilience of the human spirit. The Downtown Eastside is a blend of family, friends and individuals relying on each other to survive.

We asked Bob if he would join us to capture images of people interacting with Big Love Ball in the community. In the peak of summer, we rolled five Big Love Balls along the streets of Main and Hastings sharing moments with open hearted spirits along the way. Like anywhere else we have been, we were met with astonishment, excitement, delight, confusion and playfulness. People from blocks away laughed, amused onlookers whizzed by on public transit and Big Love Ball was squeezed tight by those we’d never met.

These are powerful photos and we are proud to include them in our Universal Family Portrait. Thank you, Bob, for your time and talent. We’d also like to thank the ‘Ballers’ who helped roll them around and to the many friends we met that day.

And a special thank you to David Malcolm Williams for his strength, his sensitivity and his eternal open heart.

Photos by Bob Garlick


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