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AIDS Vancouver: The 30 30 Campaign

To celebrate its 30-year anniversary as the first AIDS service organization in Canada (opening in 1983), AIDS Vancouver wanted to connect with the community in a unique and thoughtful way. Be the Change Group envisioned and developed the 30 30 campaign, a comprehensive timeline of the history of HIV in British Columbia, told by the people who were there. The project required nine months of research using numerous archives, interviews, and historical documents.

Our team’s hard work resulted in 59 interviews with the leaders and community members who were on the front lines of the epidemic, and the filming of 37, including medical health officers, community organizers, nurses, doctors, and the loved ones of those who were lost. One video story was released each day in July 2013, culminating in the release of the final video at a fundraising gala and celebration on the day of AIDS Vancouver’s 30th anniversary.



      See the campaign


      The Change

      The campaign is the most comprehensive HIV timeline in Canadian history. We now have a historical archive like no other, documenting the fight against HIV in Vancouver and ensuring that we’ll never forget the stories and voices of those that survived and those who died.




      Research and historical timeline

      In producing one of the most comprehensive timelines to date, we reviewed and extracted over 500 unique sources from the BC Gay & Lesbian Archives, AIDS Vancouver historical documents, and academic sites to create a long-standing resource for our community.


      Interviews and storytelling

      We interviewed 59 leading clinicians, government officials, community workers, families, and people living with HIV, and filmed 37 individuals who shared the stories of their personal and professional experiences working and living through the HIV/AIDS epidemic in Vancouver.


      Cherry Tree Memorial

      Shrouded in historical secrecy due to discrimination and stigma, one of the first known AIDS memorials was located in our research, and is being honoured with an official dedication from the Vancouver Park Board for all future generations to remember.

      Read and hear the story

      featured video

      A Love Story

      This powerful love story was screened at the Vancouver International Queer Film Festival and went on to win the Judge’s Award at the 41st Northwest Filmmakers’ Festival.

      key videos

      Before 1983

      This is the story of our city’s West End before the epidemic hit, and how AIDS Vancouver came to be.

      The Result

      Coming together to celebrate

      The 30 30 campaign culminated in a fundraising gala for more than 400 people held at the historical Commodore Ballroom in Vancouver.

      Because of the work and passion of Be the Change Group the campaign turned into a remarkable story that we had never dreamt it could be. It is not just about AIDS Vancouver, it is really about all of us.

      —Dr. Brian Chittock, Executive Director, AIDS Vancouver