Inspiration Around Every Corner by Mel Yap in Vancouver, BC, Canada

These are photos of people and places in my city. As a photographer I try to enjoy the process of taking a picture, allowing myself to be a witness to the material environment. To be creative you must play, and when I have my camera I am playing with the world.

Name:Mel Yap

Photographer and composer.


Family, art, music, culture, and travel.

Tell us about Vancouver:

Vancouver is a fast paced city with many diverse communities. A short drive will take you to mountains and wilderness of epic proportions.

A perfect day?

I love a sunny day. People are in good spirits and the light is hard enough to shoot fast! I’m usually listening to the music I’m writing to give myself time to make changes or come up with different musical ideas. It makes it feel like I’m listening to the soundtrack of my life as it unfolds in front of me. I look for moments to photograph, stories to tell, or people in perfect light.

What is the best thing about Vancouver?

The best thing about Vancouver is that if you can make it here you can make it anywhere. I am fortunate each and every day to live here. There is inspiration around every corner.

What is the worst?

Like any major city we have social and economic issues that need to be addressed.

What would be surprising about Vancouver to an outsider?

It is an expensive city to live in. The cost of food, gas and housing is at a premium. Everyone is shocked when they find out what we pay for things out here.

If Vancouver was a person or character who would it be?

Vancouver is like your cool aunt or uncle, the one who has a government job, rides a motorcycle, and makes craft beer at home.

Who are three of your favorite artists?

Invasives is one of my favorite bands. They are dear friends of mine who push musical boundaries and are highly entertaining live. Sam Wiebe is a crime fiction novelist and also a close friend. His writing and wit is unmatched and he keeps me grounded as an artist. Bill Mitchell is a Vancouver photographer. He is a mentor to me.


Name:Mel Yap


Favorite place to eat:

In regards to food and beverage, my friend Kevin who runs the blog This Sandwich, That Beer will give you the ultimate lowdown on where to eat and drink!

Favorite place to drink:

I love cafe culture, but I make my own espresso at home.

Favorite shop:

Oscar’s Bookstore, which is now closing. They had an awesome selection of art books.

Local Tip:

Make sure to feed the parking meter. Parking authorities here are ruthless. Come to Commercial Drive, the realest neighborhood here.

Must Do:

Walk or bike The Seawall. Spend time in the forest at Stanley Park or in the North Shore. Eat lots of sushi, and visit the local galleries.