Rise of the East Van Cross


 New pendants based on the iconic Vancouver sculpture sell for $175 to $325, raising money for legal advocacy in the Downtown Eastside.

New pendants based on the iconic Vancouver sculpture sell for $175 to $325, raising money for legal advocacy in the Downtown Eastside.


Jewelry project pays tribute to East Van graffiti, raises money for legal advocates.


By Sarah Berman


The East Van Cross is an iconic symbol of Vancouver’s blue collar roots, a time when the timber industry and Hell’s Angels seemingly ruled in equal measure. First seen as a common graffiti tag during the ‘50s and ‘60s, then adorning youths’ jean jackets through the ‘80s and ‘90s, the cross was recently immortalized as a massive fluorescent sculpture on the corner of Clark and Great Northern Way.


Officially titled Monument for East Vancouver, Kevin Lum’s installation is no longer the the sole output of the East Van Cross Project. Inspired by this memorable piece of public art, designer Susan Fiedler has conceived a fundraising initiative to benefit a local legal advocacy organization called Pivot Legal.


Pivot Legal Society works to create social and systematic change in the Downtown Eastside of Vancouver. Supported by the City of Vancouver through a licensing agreement, Fiedler has designed two pendants based on the sculpture. She’s the first individual to be granted a license from the City of Vancouver to reproduce the iconic East Van Cross in the form of jewelry, beginning with two sterling silver pendants.


“I have always loved the Monument for East Van; it is emblematic of East Vancouver,” says Fiedler. “I wanted to find a way to link the power of that emblem with the incredible work done by Pivot Legal Society.”


Fiedler has raised $200,000 for cancer causes with the F Cancer Embrace Life initiative she launched in 2008. This success and her admiration for the work of Pivot Legal Society inspired the East Van Cross Project.


“We are so excited and honoured that Susan has chosen our organization and the community we work with as the beneficiaries of her amazing art,” says Katrina Pacey, executive director of Pivot Legal Society. “The Monument for East Vancouver is an icon of the neighbourhood. It represents the place so many of our clients call home. Susan’s generosity will help us to continue to fight for the rights of marginalized people in this community.”


The first East Van Cross Pendant will be auctioned off at Pivot Legal Society’s annual Passion for Justice fundraising event on Thursday, November 13, at Ironworks Studios in Vancouver, B.C.


The pendants range from $175 to $325. $25 from each pendant sold will be donated to Pivot Legal Society. A larger range of jewelry based on the Monument will follow in the Spring of 2015.


Kevin Lum’s Monument for East Vancouver.

Kevin Lum’s Monument for East Vancouver.