In Loving Memory of Ulrike Bemvinda Rodrigues

We are sorry to share the news that Ulrike died unexpectedly on January 3, 2021 due to a stroke caused by a brain tumour at age 59. As far as we can tell she died at home in her sleep.

Ulrike will be missed by many, including her mother Ursula Rodrigues, widowed, brother and sister-in-law Jürgen and Kim Rodrigues, brother and sister-in-law Yvan (Tiger) and Sarah Rodrigues, high-school friend Chris Sprague, and countless friends across the world.

Ulrike spent her youth in Guelph, Ontario.  She attended Centennial High School, involved in the school newspaper and Guelph's emerging punk rock scene. She graduated from University of Guelph with a Bachelor of Arts, and worked in graphics and commercial art before moving to Vancouver in her late twenties.

In recent years she has focused on writing, cycling, and travel, and has played a key role in Vancouver's homes-not-hotels movement as Vancouver residents found affordable housing displaced by Air-BnB rentals. Throughout her life Ulrike has welcomed a diverse array of friends. She has contributed to the music and arts communities, and has been heavily involved in the Vancouver bike scene.

A few months ago Ulrike started experiencing symptoms of loss of memory, difficulty writing and using the computer, and fatigue resulting in her quitting her job to pursue testing. Sadly the problem was more severe and acute than anyone realized, and she passed away before her scheduled MRI appointment later in the month.

Ulrike generously willed her apartment to Atira Women's Resource Society to be used as furnished housing, and her savings to create an endowment fund called Basic Needs + Mitey Deeds – a legacy fund to connect women and girls to shelter, support, and potential.

Respecting her wishes, there will not be a funeral. Please help commemmorate her by sharing your memories here.

Share Your Memories

Please take a moment to share your memories and photos of the time you have spent with Ulrike by clicking this link: Share a memory.

by Ros Coventry on Wednesday, January 6, 2021 - 22:58

I met freewheeling bike rider, Ulrike, in a roundabout way, thanks to cousin Peter, in France, a bike enthusiast. She arrived in South Australia, looking to get a bike and travel south and east.  We met up in the pretty little town of Robe. She was a little disappointed I was not on my motorbike, as that was in times past. We camped out by the beach and shared rosé and stories, and she took off for Melbourne on the Rebel.

I missed my old bike then. Handing it over to me later, I am still the owner of the cute Rebel. We met up again later, and kept in touch. Via her intro to her lovely friends in France I also got to stay in a tiny viilage there, cat-sitting, as she did. Plans were made to meet up and travel Scotland in mid 2020, camping out, even to stay in a remote castle, bookings made in Edinburgh, but....Covid, not to be. 

Devastating that fate has taken her now, far too soon. She will be so much missed by many friends and family. So pleased she left us some great writing of her travels to re-read.  RIP, Ulli, go easy.

by Sue Smith on Wednesday, January 6, 2021 - 20:26

Ulrike (Uli) casually appeared in our lives one sunny day in late 2016 during her Aussie Sojourn. She was a breath of fresh air, and had the most charming approach to life. Leith and I spent considerable time with her in Willunga and surrounds, wine tasting, enjoying music, exchanging stories and solving the Worlds problems.

We introduced her to our dear friend Brett, who has also since passed, and they became 'bike buddies', she loved his Harley and his 'Je ne sais quoi', and he admired her for her adventurous spirit (and the fact she was so darned cute). He helped her buy, fix and, ultimately sell her Aussie 'wheels', which took her on her journey along the Great Ocean Rd, and on to Sydney, before conveying her safely back to us in Willunga.

After returning to BC Uli kept in touch, with little cards, messages, and Facebook comments. Until COVID closed the worlds doors she was intending to come and stay with us (about now in fact) so she could take part in another Aussie adventure...the Outback Postie run, as her 60th birthday gift to herself.

I like to believe she rides now, with Brett at her side, and her beloved PH riding pillion, and that this is just the start of her next big adventure. See you on the flip side, Ulrike xxx

by Shannon Rae on Wednesday, January 6, 2021 - 18:44

I am stunned to hear about Ulrike's passing...I keep seeing her around a corner, with her jaunty kerchief, riding one of her bikes or motorcycles - and I hear her lilting voice as she talked about her amazing travels: I mean "Girl Gone Goa"...that was Ulrike: adventurous & whimsical, with laughter in her voice, she was ready to experience, and take on, anything!

We worked together as owners and strata council members on operating our strata building and yes, she was instrumental in moving us all forward on many "real" issues with respect to housing, landscaping, and waste: she arranged that we have our refundable bottles collected by a firm that turns much of our wasteful but valuable items into income for others...

We all knew how to spell her name, however, we all said it differently, and even discussed it once when she was not present, "how do you say her name", and "well, I heard her say it this way..."

Ulrike, I look up to your lovely balcony every time i come home now and see your bright light is out...you are very missed...however you have left so much of yourself here with us...thank you...

by Pam Drucker on Wednesday, January 6, 2021 - 18:44

Ulrike was an active member of the local chapter of the Society for Technical Communication, a professional association dedicated to the advancement of the field of technical communication.

In 2011, the Canada West Coast chapter of STC awarded Ulrike the Julia Broderick Scholarship. Its intent was to reward deserving students who embodied Julia’s legacy of excellence, determination, and devotion to the field. The scholarship namesake embodied all that technical communicators should be: intelligent, inquisitive, and enthusiastic. That was Ulrike, professionally and personally.

by Chris Sprague on Wednesday, January 6, 2021 - 15:26

On April 22, 2021 Ulrike would have been 60! She was planning to celebrate this by (can you guess?) going on a trip, probably in Canada.

Maybe if you are out for a bike ride on Earth Day next year you will take Ulrike with you in your heart. She'd have loved to go for the ride with you! Especially if there was a beer, a cocktail or a fun snack involved.

by Meme Thorne on Wednesday, January 6, 2021 - 15:22

Uli rode into our lives in January 2017 and into our hearts forever. The small community of Willunga, here on the Fleurieu Peninsula of South Australia, took to Uli’s cheerful and vivacious joy of Life and touched us greatly. The photos I share with you show us with bubbles in hand, because being with Uli was always going to be an occasion for celebration. At the Tour Down Under, at the Groove Garden, at the various wineries and beaches we went to, exhibition openings or with friends.

I am devastated by her untimely death. I send the family and her friends in Vancouver and all over the world, my deepest condolences. Please know that she will always be remembered in Willunga with love and affection. Mémé

by Stephan on Wednesday, January 6, 2021 - 14:32

Hello,

I was Ulrike's hairdresser for the last few years and found her to be vivacious, full of life, and with such community spirit.

I often admired Ulrike getting out and about exploring her 'great backyard' that was Vancouver with true excitement and wonder, as well the stories she would tell about her various adventures overseas.

Ulrike lived nearby and would often come by my shop with a delicious little treat for me keeping her from 'taking the scissors' to her own bangs'. In fact she came to see me just before Christmas, excited to give me a little gift of Scottish shortbread in the shape of Scotty Dogs (I'm Scottish and have a Scotty dog theme). She was excited for me to open it there and then just so she could see my reaction. I really appreciated her thinking of me with such thought and consideration.

Here is an 'after' picture I took of Ulrike quite recently when I did her hair, which appears on my website.

I am absolutely devastated by this sad news and I will really miss seeing Ulrike's smiling face every couple of months.

Condolences to family and friends. x

by thinkpol.ca on Wednesday, January 6, 2021 - 12:07

This is an excerpt from this article on thinkpol.ca.

Vancouver housing advocate Ulrike Rodrigues, who fought to stop Airbnb and other short-term rentals platforms displacing renters, has died at the age of 59 from neurological complications, her family announced today.

Rodrigues, who founded the “Homes not Hotels” movement in Vancouver, advocated for stronger regulation and more effective enforcement of short-term rentals in a city gripped by a housing crisis.

In 2019, Rodrigues compiled a comprehensive report to Vancouver City Council citing 47 gaps in the short-term regulation bylaws that allowed illegal short-term rental operators to carry on with business as usual.

In the report, Rodrigues made 12 recommendations to address those gaps in the short-term rental regulatory framework, including setting a cap on the number of nights an operator can list a unit, and negotiating a more meaningful memorandum of understanding with Airbnb.

Rodrigues, a writer who enjoyed cycling and travelling, considered herself an accidental activist.

“I created the Homes Not Hotels Facebook page to increase awareness of the effect of Airbnb (and websites like it) on housing, especially in shared rental and condo apartment buildings,” Rodrigues said in 2019. “It contributes to unavailability, unaffordability, increased rents, and increased home prices.”

“I love to travel, but I also love my home,” Rodrigues said in 2019. “And I hate what Airbnb is doing to homes around the world.”

Rodrigues led a five year battle to shut down a large scale commercial operator who had converted 10% of the units in her condo building into vacation accommodation listed on Airbnb.

Rodrigues and her neighbours celebrated victory earlier in 2020 when B.C. Civil Resolution Tribunal ordered Zulkider Jiwa to stop using them as tourist accommodation.

by Yvan Rodrigues on Wednesday, January 6, 2021 - 11:07

This is kind of funny. Our family is in disagreement about how to spell Ulrike's middle name. Our mother and I are sure it was spelled Bemwinda (but pronounced Bemvinda) but others, including Ulrike in her will, spell it Bemvinda. Hopefully we will find her birth certificate to settle this once and for all.

The name is a tribute to our late grandmother, Bemvinda D'Souza of Nachinola, Goa.

by Susan Gallotti on Wednesday, January 6, 2021 - 11:06

Yvan and Sarah,
I just wanted to formally extend my condolences to you and your family for this unexpected loss. Based on the pictures and comments here, Ulrike certainly seemed like an outgoing, free spirit. I think I would have gotten along with her fabulously. I hope your thoughts gravitate towards warm memories and those memories comfort you during this difficult time.
Much love and virtual hugs to you both,
Susan

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