Student Insider
by Carrie Braybrooks
November 3, 2022

Emily Carr University of Art + Design: Student life on campus

An insider’s guide to the best place to live, campus food and more

Carrie Braybrooks (Courtesy of Dave Adams)

Carrie Braybrooks, 22: Communication design

Why did you choose Emily Carr?

Location was definitely a huge draw for me. I grew up just a ferry ride away in Victoria, so I was familiar with Vancouver by the time I moved there. You can’t beat the near-perfect balance of city life and the outdoors. I was also drawn by the school’s reputation.

Describe some of your best experiences so far.

Fourth-year communication design students in the advanced typography course put on an annual exhibition called Pop-Up Type Museum. I attended the event in my first year and couldn’t wait to be a part of it myself. My exhibit was called Type Terroir, and it addressed the semiotics of wine labels and typography’s power to influence consumers. Another great experience occurred when a couple of friends and I were asked to exhibit a project that we had worked on in an exhibition about environmental issues. It was a sustainable restaurant concept where local food and materials were repurposed. We were first years, and it meant a lot to have our work featured.

Are you involved in extracurricular activities?

I’ve worked at the student-run magazine, WOO, since I was in second year. Currently, I’m the creative director, leading a team of seven designers. Being a part of WOO has allowed me to connect and collaborate with people from other years and programs and contribute to the ECU community.

What do you think of your professors?

Overall, the professors at Emily Carr are extremely approachable and supportive. The upside to attending a smaller university is most of your profs will know you by first name. A select few will take the time to get to know how you work as an artist or designer to give you the best feedback possible.

What do you think of the school’s administration?

The mornings of our course registration days are always mayhem. My friends and I will be frantically texting each other at 7 a.m., saying “Is it working for you?” or “Mine isn’t loading!” But while I know people who have had some trouble getting into courses, in my experience it’s been pretty smooth sailing.

What is off-campus life like in Vancouver?

The Emily Carr campus is in a pretty industrial area, but that means there is plenty of craft beer nearby, so I can’t complain. Nearby in Mount Pleasant, Chinatown and Gastown, there are tons of funky places to go for food and drinks, as well as a few clubs.

Emily Carr University of Art + Design

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If I wrote the school motto: Mount Pleasant

Best place to study: The bottom floor of the library—nothing beats all the natural light

Best campus events: We have a lot of free food events; my favourite is the multicultural week every year

Best cheap lunch: Nuba. Decently priced and generous portions.

Best pizza: Di Beppe Ristorante

Best place for a fancy dinner: Savio Volpe

Best giveaway: Pre-COVID, we had free bagels from Rosemary Rocksalt every Wednesday morning

Best bar for hanging out: The Narrow or the Keefer Bar

Best live music venue: Fox Cabaret

Best hangover breakfast: Fable Diner and Bar

Best place for a nap: The Oasis Student Wellness Lounge

Best weekend activity: Book an Airbnb and explore Squamish, Bowen Island, Salt Spring Island or Pender Island

The thing that surprised me most about the school: In first year, I expected to spend more time learning how to use the Adobe programs than nude figure drawing

If I could change one thing about the school: On-campus residence would help build community and create more of that ‘classic university experience’ that is lacking