Four new Commissioners have been appointed by Council for a two-year term ending December 2019: CityHive co-founder Veronika Bylicki, Happy City Director or Operation Omar Dominguez; urban planner Mike Fujji; and development manager Jacint Simon. Trustee Janet Fraser was also recently appointed as the Vancouver School Board Liaison. The bios of these Commissioners and Liaison are listed below.
Council also reappointed retired journalists Robert Matas and Karenn Krangle to a new term. SFU Urban Studies professor Anthony Perl was reappointed as one of two Commission-appointed Commissioners. Each will also serve a two term term ending in December 2019.
Veronika is an engagement innovator, community builder and sustainability strategist. She is the Co-Founder and Co-Director of CityHive a social enterprise on a mission to transform the way that young people are engaged in civic processes, in particular planning and decision making. A lifelong Vancouverite, she is passionate about creating more sustainable, liveable cities and amplifying the meaningful engagement of citizens, particularly youth, in addressing urban challenges.
Veronika completed her BSc in Global Resource Systems at UBC, with a specialization in Urban Sustainability, Policy and Planning. Her experience includes working in Sustainability Education Facilitation with Metro Vancouver, Student Sustainability Engagement at UBC, and in Environmental Assessment with Environment and Climate Change Canada, and as a Director at Co-Design Engage, which leads participatory design processes in city planning. She was awarded as a Top 25 Under 25 Environmentalist in Canada in 2015, has delivered a TEDxYouth talk on Urban Sustainability and was a RADIUS Fellow. Veronika is an outdoor enthusiast, avid cyclist and can often be found on Vancouver’s seawall.
Omar leads business planning and operations of Happy City . He co-conceives ground-breaking research and interventions to improve community wellbeing, and directs Happy City’s interdisciplinary team. With a background as a sustainable investor, Omar focuses on ways to ensure that new urban developments maximize public benefits and mitigate risks to society, investors and the environment. Omar also has a background in the creation and delivery of community development programs for vulnerable populations in Vancouver.
Omar completed a degree in International Business from the Technological Institute of Monterrey in Mexico City and an MA in Community Development and Social Planning from the University of British Columbia.
Mike is a Master of Planning (MPlan) Graduate from the University of Calgary’s Faculty of Environmental Design. In addition to completing his MPlan, Mike completed his Bachelor of Arts with a concentration in Geography and Urban Studies from the University of British Columbia.
As part of his Master of Planning program, Mike completed a study abroad semester and gained valuable experience designing internationally with design taking place in Tokyo, Hong Kong, and Melbourne. Mike believes that quality of life reflects how cities and urban spaces are designed; the better the design, the better the quality of life.
Jacint grew up behind the iron curtain in Hungary. During a successful U.S. collegiate swimming career, he earned a Bachelor’s in Business Administration with an emphasis in Marketing and a minor in Real Estate. After several entrepreneurial years in a volatile real estate market as an analyst, later as an industrial broker and developer, he moved to Vancouver in 2010 with his Canadian wife.
While awaiting permanent residence, he had the luxury of a year-long sabbatical which he used to re-evaluate his purpose and path forward. He earned his Masters degree from SFU’s Urban Studies program by 2015 and re-entered the real estate industry, first in real property appraisal and quickly transitioned to development. Jacint continues to work within the real estate industry with a big picture focus towards building resilient, healthy and culturally rich cities for current and future residents.
Janet Fraser (VSB Liaison)
Janet has lived in Marpole for 16 years and has three teenage children – two in Vancouver’s public schools and one attending post-secondary in BC. She volunteered on Parent Advisory Council executives at her kids’ schools for ten years and continues to be active in the local community. She was elected in 2014 as a Vancouver School Board trustee, re-elected in 2017 and is currently serving as Chair of the Board. Janet was born and educated in the UK, with BSc and PhD degrees in chemistry from the University of Bristol, and since moving to Vancouver, she has worked as a scientist, project manager, at-home parent, and program administrator.
The VSB’s vision is “We inspire student success by providing an innovative, caring and responsive learning environment“, and how our VSB schools and their school communities interact with their neighbourhoods is an essential aspect of student learning. In her role as the VCPC trustee liaison Janet’s aim is to learn more about planning in Vancouver, to relay this knowledge to the VSB and trustees, and to bring the VSB’s perspective, on behalf of students, families, and staff, to the VCPC.
About Commission Appointments
Under City of Vancouver By-Law 5064, eleven (11) Commissioners are appointed by Council, and two (2) are appointment by the Commission itself. The two Commission-appointed Planning Commissioners are appointment for alternating two-year terms. All Commissioner can served up to three consecutive two-year terms.
About Commission Liaisons
The Planning Commission also has five non-voting members:
- 2 Councillors, appointed annually by City Council;
- 1 Commissioner, designated by the Vancouver Board of Parks and Recreation;
- 1 Trustee, designated by the Vancouver School Board;
- 1 Staff Represented, designated by the General Manager, Planning, Urban Development & Sustainability
The role of liaisons is to provide advice and information on City Council, Park Board, School Board and Planning, Urban Development & Sustainability policies and activities relevant to the work of the Planning Commission . Liaisons also communicate Commission ideas and perspectives to their respective bodies for consideration in their deliberations
About the Vancouver City Planning Commission
The current Planning Commissioners are: Nola-Kate Seymoar (Chair), Jennifer Marshall (Vice-chair), Dave Crossley (Treasurer), Janice Abbott, Veronika Bylikci, Omar Dominguez, Daniella Fergusson, Mike Fujii, Karenn Krangle, Robert Matas, Anthony Perl, Leslie Shieh, and Jacint Simon.
Councillors Adriane Carr and Andrea Reimer provide liaison with Vancouver City Council; Commissioner Casey Crawford provides liaison with the Vancouver Parks Board. Janet Fraser provides liaison with the Vancouver School Board. Chris Robertson provides liaison wit the City’s department of Planning, Urban Design and Sustainability
The Executive Director of the Planning Commission is Yuri Artibise.