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Boyle is a second term Vancouver City Councillor with OneCity Vancouver. She has been a leading voice at the Council table on climate action, rental and non-market housing, reconciliation, active and public transportation, tackling inequality and the drug poisoning crisis, and more. Christine is a community organizer and an ordained United Church Minister, born and raised on unceded Coast Salish territory in Vancouver. She has done national multi-faith climate organizing, including efforts focused on divesting from fossil fuels and investing in building retrofits and other climate solutions, and was on the ministry team at Canadian Memorial United Church and Centre for Peace. Prior to that, Christine spent four years supporting progressive local governance and leading strategic communications at the Columbia Institute’s Centre for Civic Governance and supported the development of GreenJobs BC. Christine also spent many years working at First United Church in Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside, and supporting kids and families at Grandview/?Uuqinak’uuh Elementary School in East Vancouver. She has a BSc in Urban Agriculture and First Nations Studies from UBC, and an MA in Religious Leadership for Social Change from the Graduate Theological Union in Berkeley, California.
As usual, we asked Christine a handful of probing questions to give us a deeper glimpse into her life and relationship with creativity:
How do you define creativity and apply it in your life and career?
I think a lot about the ability to strengthen our creative muscles in thinking beyond the limited options that our current systems and structures present. A conservative British Prime Minister famously declared that “there is no alternative (to our current system)”, and I think of creativity as a protest and a practice and a declaration of how untrue that is. It is our responsibility to imagine better alternatives, stronger communities, healthier ecosystems, deeper justice and equity, more whole and beautiful lives. Creativity is a key muscle in the increasingly urgent project of human survival.
Where do you find your best creative inspiration or energy?
I love working on teams, drawing creative inspiration through learning and collaboration. But I also need to recharge alone, and shape ideas while I’m running or biking, baking or gardening.
What’s one piece of creative advice or a tip you wish you’d known as a young person?
I wish I had understood earlier that my almost complete lack of skill in the visual and performing arts wasn’t synonymous with a lack of creativity elsewhere. I wish I had known as a young person that activism, and community organizing, and colour-coded spreadsheets, and rebellion were all acts of creativity too.
Who (living or dead) would you most enjoy hearing speak at CreativeMornings?
Jacinda Ardern (outgoing Prime Minister of New Zealand)*
What’s your one guilty creative indulgence?
Stand-up comedy and baking shows.
What keeps you awake at night?
The Climate Crisis
How does your life and career compare to what you envisioned for your future when you were a sixth grader?
My career path has been less linear than I likely imagined when I was young. I’ve had many types of jobs, and I’m constantly learning new things that shape what I take on next. The question I keep asking myself is “how can I make the most impact on the challenges of our time?” When I was young I wanted to be an environmental lawyer when I grew up, so I wasn’t that far off. But it’s all been more challenging, more creative, and more rewarding than I could’ve imagined.
What are you reading these days?
Long Council agendas, and as many novels as I can. Whenever I don’t have evening meetings, I tuck into bed with my 8yo and we read books together before falling asleep. It’s nice time together, and it gets me off a screen and into a good book.
What books made a difference in your life and why?
I read The Ministry For The Future by Kim Stanley Robinson last year, and I still think about it all the time. I also love Alice Walker’s The Temple of My Familiar. And every book from Ivan Coyote. I am a sucker for stories that shift how I see the world.
How would you describe what you do in a single sentence to a stranger?
I once heard my younger kid tell someone that my job is to tell the builders where they can build things.