Valentina Ruiz Leotaud

Valentina is the Observer Media Group's social media director. She is a multimedia and multiplatform journalist from Venezuela, proficient in both long-form and 140-character pieces. She has eight years of work experience in Venezuela, covering national, international and arts and culture information for different media outlets and different platforms. She has a master's degree in journalism from the University of British Columbia. Follow her Vancouver-based journalism.

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Wildfires expanding by the moment in B.C.

Wildfires are expanding at a rapid pace in B.C. In the span of a few minutes that journalists spoke on the phone with B.C. Wildfire Service Chief Fire Information Officer Kevin Skrepnek...
central city foundation, Downtown Eastside, DTES Neighbourhood Council,

Party with a purpose at Victory Square

Downtown Eastside neighbours got together at Victory Square for an afternoon of music, food, art, and information.

Leonardo DiCaprio and Darren Aronofsky receive gift of moccasins in remote Fort Chip

Leonardo Di Caprio's car drove into town and the megastar jumped out and walked straight to the banks of  the Athabasca Lake. He  took in the beauty. A small group consisting of chiefs and...
Cecilia Point, from Musqueam Nation, protesting against Imperial Metals

First Nation leaders protest Imperial Metals and company's ties with government

“Hey, ho! Imperial Metals has got to go!” demonstrators chanted angrily as they marched downtown toward the company's main office.  At around 2 p.m. on Monday August 11, the Secwepemc Women’s...

Justin Trudeau and LGBTQ activists march in the 2014 Pride Parade: photos

Activists, members of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer community, supporters, tourists, and politicians packed the streets from Robson Street to Sunset Beach at the 2014 Vancouver...

Mayor DJs and cracks up Pride audience with BenDeLaCreme

Gregor Robertson’s last Monday of July was a long one. It marked the kick-off of Vancouver’s Pride Week and started with a discussion panel at City Hall, where issues regarding queer refugees were...
United We Can bottle depot

United We Can and City of Van bring new bottle recycling depot to False Creek and binners get more work

Christine Smith has been a binner for 14 years. The Downtown Eastside is “her area.” With her bike, which has a suitcase attached to the back, she wanders the sidewalks looking for cans and plastic...
Philip Mwimanzi, internationally trained dentist.

Underemployed immigrants a loss for Revenue Canada

When you look like a foreigner--as I do--you get to listen to many stories from immigrants who feel cheated by “the land of opportunity” they thought Canada would be. For example: A chef with eight...

Protesters at Oppenheimer Park vow to stay and fight for low-income housing

The protesters want to negotiate with the City and remain at their camp, installed at Oppenheimer Park in the Downtown Eastside.

Thousands stranded as SkyTrain Expo and Millennium Line stopped in tracks

As rush hour approaches, SkyTrain staff have closed the gates for Expo and Millennium Line SkyTrain stations for public safety. The Canada Line is not affected.