Vote now for Metro Vancouver's Unofficial Ambassador: Round of 64
Cast your ballots to determine which of these 604 notables best represents the region
When Seth Rogen was named the voice of TransLink for a transit campaign, it seemed most media had the same question: did this mean he had surpassed the celebrity of Ryan Reynolds to become some sort of avatar for Vancouver and its wider metro area?
"One of my main goals also for doing this was to defeat Ryan Reynolds," Rogen told CKNW.
"I'm trying, though, I'm trying! I'm putting in the man hours to dethrone Ryan Reynolds," he said to the Vancouver Sun.
It made us think — who would win between Reynolds and Rogen? And is there anyone else from Metro Vancouver who would rival them?
That's why we've created a 64-entry, NCAA-style bracket competition to determine Metro Vancouver's unofficial ambassador. We've put together local artists, rising stars, local legends and high-profile entrepreneurs — along with a certain crow — and we want you to determine who best represents this region.
Before you begin voting, a couple of points:
- Yes, this is all a bit silly.
- Yes, many of these people no longer live in Vancouver (not that that stops any hometown from bragging).
- And yes, we're sure we've missed one or two of your personal favourites on this list.
But the Internet is full of arguments and rankings that are completely subjective, yet we continue arguing them anyway. Consider this our very West Coast contribution to that list.
(Voting for the first round closes at 11:59 p.m. PT Thursday. If you're viewing this through a Google AMP page, click here so you're able to vote)
Celebrities Over 40 bracket
Despite being best known for a certain sitcom based in Saskatchewan, Butt has lived in Vancouver for two decades. The New Pornographers, formed as a sort of Vancouver supergroup in the late 90s, continues to crank out critically acclaimed indie rock albums every three years or so.
While he was born in Edmonton and lives in New York, Fox went to high school in Burnaby and is still deeply affiliated with the city. For her part, Bif Naked now lives in Toronto ... but you probably didn't realize that since she was such a pivotal part of the Vancouver's music scene for more than 20 years.
If this competition took place anytime during the 1990s, Adams, who was raised on the North Shore, would be one of the top favourites. To advance, he'll have to advance past Jazzy B, the Surrey-raised "Crown Prince of Bhangra."
A tournament favourite, Bublé recently built a home in Burnaby, where he attended Seaforth Elementary and Cariboo Hill Secondary. He'll face the Rascalz, the Vancouver hip hop group that played a major role in advancing the genre throughout Canada.
The year is 1994. The place is the Commodore. There's a 50 per cent chance one of these bands is playing. Ocean Pearl vs. Home For A Rest: who you got?
Suzuki has been a Vancouver institution for decades, and continues to speak out on local environmental issues to this day. But to advance, he'll need to defeat Grace Park, the former Battlestar Galactica and Hawaii Five-0 star who grew up in Kerrisdale.
The Battle of the West Vancouver Songstresses. Neither was born here, but both Krall and McLachlan have made the city their home for some time. Only one can survive.
Art and Business bracket
The richest person in British Columbia for decades, Pattison has received almost as many honours as the number of businesses he's founded. He faces Michael Audain, who helped found the B.C. Civil Liberties Association before starting Polygon Homes and becoming a well-known art collector.
Holmes was born in Vernon but has spent his adult life in Vancouver, where he founded Hootsuite in 2008. He faces off against Emery, who now lives in Toronto, but is inextricably linked with the city where he started his cannabis advocacy, which involved businesses of various repute.
While both deceased, we included both Erickson and Thom because their work still defines Vancouver's architecture, literally and symbolically. Thom is known for Surrey City Centre and the Chan Centre for the Performing Arts, and Erickson is known for SFU's central campus, the Vancouver Law Courts and Robson Square, among others.
Owner of Vancouver's most expensive home, Wilson is the founder of Lululemon and still active in local philanthropy (and dock building). He faces Stan Douglas, a longtime Vancouver artist who uses film and photography to examine social issues.
While he died 20 years ago, Reid is given an exemption in the bracket because his art still symbolizes Vancouver, most notably with the Spirit of Haida Gwaii, which welcomes visitors at the Vancouver International Airport. But to advance, he must defeat William Gibson, the famed innovator of cyberpunk who has made Vancouver his home for decades.
A graduate of Sentinel Secondary, Coupland is perhaps the city's most famous literary export, known for coining the term "Generation X" and for artwork that has been displayed around the world. Fluevog's shoe company can also be found around the world — and his son is continuing in the family business.
Before they were known for owning the Canucks, the Aquilinis had stakes in several other businesses, from real estate to cranberry farms. They face Vrooman, who has been CEO of Vancity for over a decade.
Celebrities Under 40 bracket
The new voice of TransLink and recent inductee in the Canadian Walk of Fame, Rogen goes up against Wanting Qu, the Chinese pop star who has lived in Vancouver for more than a decade and gained further fame for a relationship with Vancouver Mayor Gregor Robertson.
The Vancouver-born home improvement brothers have slowly taken over reality TV since their local start a decade ago, though both Drew and Jonathan have since moved to Las Vegas. Fielder also now lives in the U.S., but the Point Grey Secondary School grad hasn't forgotten his roots: one of his famed pop-up pranks took place in Vancouver last year.
With starring roles in Stranger Things and the recent adaptation of It, Wolfhard has quickly become one of the most prominent actors from Vancouver at just 15 years old. He faces off against Chung, the Maple Ridge-born Hong Kong actress best known to audiences across the Pacific Ocean.
The multi-talented Claire Elise Boucher was back in her hometown winning the Juno for video of the year in May, but can she move past the Star Wars actor seen by most as a divisive genius who began working on innovative vehicles and now may be bent on space domination?
Rocha has been one of the world's most famous models for years, but her career started when she was still a student at Richmond's Hugh McRoberts Secondary. To advance, she'll need to defeat West Vancouver grad Mitchell, who showcases Vancouver to her 20 million Instagram followers whenever she's in town.
The Battle of the Mission musicians.
In a matchup of people more famous outside Vancouver than in it, the actor/model/Canadian Tourism Commission ambassador Godrey Gao goes up against Bollywood star Bajwa.
Athletes and Local Icons bracket
As Vancouver's official ambassador, Robertson deserves the No. 1 seed in this bracket. But can he defeat Vancouver's most famous knife-stealing denizen?
It's the California Roll vs. Lamb Popsicles in this cookoff, as Vij — who is so ubiquitous he was flown to India to cook for Justin Trudeau during a series of diplomatic meetings — goes up against Tojo, who can still be in the kitchen of the eponymous Broadway restaurant he founded 30 years ago.
Born in Vancouver, Santa Ono was a famed biologist at Johns Hopkins University and Harvard and president at the University of Cincinnati before being recruited to return to his hometown and lead the University of British Columbia. But he'll be in tough, because Burnaby-born Christine Sinclair is one of the greatest athletes Canada has ever produced.
Some first-round matchups have a certain symmetry to them, where there are similarities in background between the two people. And some of them are like this: a Paralympian known for circling the world in his wheelchair more than 30 years ago, and a Syrian refugee who became a local online celebrity for his delicious pastries less than 30 weeks ago.
Battle of the NHL All-Stars from the 1990s. Burnaby Joe's contributions to hockey are arguably greater than Linden's — but will Linden's legacy in Vancouver carry him through?
Maté has been one of Vancouver's pioneering doctors and speakers on addiction and palliative care for more than a generation. Nardwuar has been an iconic tartan tam cap-wearing interviewer of celebrities, politicians and everyone in between for over a generation. It's your call.
While they now live in Whistler, Demerit was the leading figure for the Whitecaps in their first seasons and McIvor, a 2010 Olympic gold medallist, was born in Vancouver. The Sedins are, well, the Sedins.
One was the voice of the Vancouver Canucks for decades. The other was one of the NBA's greatest players who, while not from here, was selected as the Vancouver Island representative for this bracket in a poll last week.
Choose which of your athletic icons advance, and we'll let you vote in Round 2 beginning on Friday.