A successful entrepreneur and creative professional, Pete Fry is also known to friends, neighbours and many other Vancouverites as a respected community activist with a collaborative, practical approach that gets things done.
Born in Ireland, his family brought him to Canada as a baby. He was brought up in Vancouver immersed in politics, community service and, eventually, DIY culture and activism with a focus on AIDS, anti-racism and the environment.
Applying his background in arts, communications and small business, Fry has been self-employed for over 20 years as an award-winning graphic and web designer, working with hundreds of businesses, cultural groups, entertainers, artists, and non-profit organizations.
An early adopter of computer technology during the transition from traditional to digital design, he earned the moniker “Digiboy”, which sticks to this day. Most of his early work involved the independent music, club and festival scene, as well as illustrating and designing for the alternative weekly Terminal City. Fry’s early poster work has been exhibited internationally, and was even the subject of a past feature in the Courier.
A long-time resident of the East End, Pete has volunteered and led on numerous community actions regarding housing, land use, heritage retention, traffic management and viaduct removal. He’s also worked hard on his neighbourhood’s 125th anniversary celebration and local fundraising initiatives.
One of his first experiences in civic politics was serving on its Dog Strategy Task Force (2006-08), where he tried to mitigate and manage conflict over park space; introduce a waste diversion system; and promote a system of engaging the dog-owning community as responsible stakeholders.
He recently served as chair of the Strathcona Residents’ Association and as an active committee member on the City of Vancouver's DTES Local Area Planning Process. Frustrated with the lack of meaningful neighbourhood consultation, Pete was instrumental in helping to organize a citywide coalition of neighbourhoods promoting Vancouver as community not commodity, and building more transparency into the planning process.
After decades of working with small business owners, Fry recognizes many of the problems they face and is committed to advocating for improving the permitting process, reducing red tape, strengthening local shopping districts and supporting small businesses — the bedrock of our economy.
Pete finds the two biggest issues facing Vancouver are: affordability and how that relates to the sustainability of the city; and the need to empower people and communities to be active, meaningful participants in planning our City as an inclusive, livable environment where everybody can thrive. Community is the lifeblood of our city; vacant houses, hollowed-out neighbourhoods, social isolation and unaffordability are the antithesis of community, and we need to fix that.
Pete enjoys a car-free lifestyle, preferring to bike and walk. He would like to see a robust, multi-modal transportation system with investments in network-wide improvements for transit, reducing congestion and improving safety and accessibility for all users.
You can often find him walking Ruby, the dog, in Strathcona where he lives with his wife. He also enjoys cooking, entertaining, illustrating and exploring urban environments.