Since its opening in spring 1997, the Chan Centre for the Performing Arts has earned an international reputation for its striking design and stellar acoustics. Artists, critics and patrons alike are unanimous in their praise of this multi-faceted facility, winning it a place among North America's premier performing arts centres.
Nestled amid the lush landscape on the University of British Columbia campus, the Chan Centre's distinct, cylindrical shape has become a noted landmark. Its silver exterior is clad in pre-weathered zinc panels, complementing the building's verdant surroundings. A glass corona set atop the roof further enhances its reflective quality, while subtle outdoor lighting illuminates the neighbouring walkways and towering trees.
Inside, the Chan Centre boasts three unique venues: the superb Chan Shun Concert Hall; the flexible Telus Studio Theatre; and the intimate Royal Bank Cinema. The spectacular glass lobby faces a mature evergreen forest and outdoor patio.
A variety of performances and events are offered year-round, from classical recitals and jazz concerts, to avant-garde theatre and opera productions, to folk and world music. To view the entire calendar of events, please click here.
The Chan Centre presents a dynamic, annual series of performances featuring the best in roots, world and jazz artists today. Click on Our Seasonto find out more about the performances on this year's series or to purchase a subscription.
Strong professors inspire, as well as instruct, their students, and they have to balance two important roles: teaching and research. In assessing the calibre of faculty, Maclean's looks at the success of full-time professors at winning national awards from more than 40 awards programs. In addition, Maclean's examines the success of faculty in securing peer-adjudicated research grants from each of the three major federal granting agencies.
The five-year tally (2007-2011) of the number of full-time professors, per 1,000, who have won national awards.
The Greater Vancouver housing market saw a slight increase in the number of home sales, a slight reduction in the number of listings, and a slight decrease in home prices in October compared to the summer months. With those changes, the sales-to-active-listings ratio increased to 11 per cent in October from 8 per cent in September.
The Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver (REBGV) reported 1,931 residential property sales of detached, attached and apartment properties on the region’s Multiple Listing Service® (MLS®) in October, a 16.7 per cent decline compared to the 2,317 sales in October 2011 and a 27.4 per cent increase compared to the 1,516 home sales in September 2012.
October sales were 28.5 per cent below the 10-year October sales average of 2,700.
“Buyer demand increased slightly in October compared to the previous few months,” Sandra Wyant, REBGV president-elect said. “Overall conditions in today’s market remain in favour of buyers, with low interest rates, more choice, and less time pressure in terms of decision-making. This translates into a calmer atmosphere for those looking to buy a home and it places more onus on sellers to ensure their homes are priced to compete in today’s marketplace.”
New listings for detached, attached and apartment properties in Greater Vancouver totalled 4,323 in October. This represents a 1.2 per cent decline compared to October 2011 when 4,374 properties were listed for sale on the MLS® and an 18.8 per cent decline compared to the 5,321 new listings in September 2012.
At 17,370, the total number of residential property listings on the MLS® increased 12 per cent from this time last year and declined 5.3 per cent compared to September 2012.
Since reaching a peak of $625,100 in May, the MLS Home Price Index® (MLS HPI®) composite benchmark price for all residential properties in Greater Vancouver declined 3.4 per cent to $603,800 in October. This represents a 0.8 per cent decline compared to last year.
“There’ve been modest price changes since they peaked in the spring. The largest reductions have occurred in the areas and property types that experienced the biggest price increases over the last few years,” Wyant said.
Since hitting a record high in April, the benchmark price of a detached home on the Westside of Vancouver has declined 8.6 per cent while detached homes in Richmond and West Vancouver have seen declines of 6 per cent over the same time period.
Sales of detached properties in Greater Vancouver reached 790 in October, a decrease of 18.9 per cent from the 974 detached sales recorded in October 2011, and a 19.1 per cent decrease from the 976 units sold in October 2010. Since reaching a peak in May, the benchmark price for a detached property in Greater Vancouver has declined 4.1 per cent to $927,500.
Sales of apartment properties reached 803 in October 2012, a 16.2 per cent decrease compared to the 958 sales in October 2011, and a decrease of 18.4 per cent compared to the 984 sales in October 2010. Since reaching a peak in May, the benchmark price for an apartment property in Greater Vancouver has declined 2.9 per cent to $368,800.
Attached property sales in October 2012 totalled 338, an 11.5 per cent decrease compared to the 382 sales in October 2011, and a 10.3 per cent decrease from the 377 attached properties sold in October 2010. Since reaching a peak in April, the benchmark price for an attached property in Greater Vancouver has declined 2.9 per cent to $457,700.
Maclean's Annual Canadian University Ranking has just been released. This ranking is a valuable tool for many students pursuing higher learning. Over the course of next few weeks, UBCHOMES be updating regularlly on this blog the latest ranking concerning University of British Columbia.
Top 10 Medical / Doctoral Ranking:
Universities offer a broad range of Ph.D. programs and research; all institutions in this category have medical schools.
Four of B.C.'s major universities have placed in the Top Two in their categories, according Maclean's magazine 22nd annual university rankings released Thursday.
The schools are divided into three categories based on the amount of research they undertake and whether they offer graduate programs.
In the medical/doctoral category, the UBC is up one spot this year, to no. 2, just behind McGill University in Montreal, which placed No. 1 for the eighth year in a row.
Rounding out the Top 5 in that category are Toronto, Queen's and Alberta.
Once again, Simon Fraser earned the title of top university in the comprehensive category, followed by the University of Victoria in second place.
Comprehensive universities are considered those that have a wide range of research programs, undergraduate and graduate programs, including professional degrees.
For universities in the primarily undergraduate category, the University of Northern British Columbia placed second.
UNBC, an 18-year-old school, debuted in the rankings at ninth place 14 years ago.
This year UNBC, located in Prince George, has the highest total research dollars, and the second best student-faculty, according to Maclean's study.
The rankings were first released in 1991, at a time when most students gleaned much of their information about universities from parents or high school guidance counsellors.
Over the years, the annual ranking has generated significant controversy, with some schools refusing to participate at times.
In 2006, for example, 26 of 47 universities — including the Universities of Alberta, British Columbia, Concordia, Dalhousie, Universite de Montreal, Queen's and the University of Toronto — refused to complete a ranking questionnaire. A group of 11 schools said the rankings were "over-simplified and arbitrary" and, in such areas as reputation, the universities criticized low-response rates.
To conduct the ranking, MacLean's considers 14 indicators of the quality of students, faculty, libraries and finances to assess 49 schools.
There is a lot of focus on consumer debt lately, and for good reason. The latest TransUnion report indicates that British Columbians carry the highest average debt loads inCanadaat $37,879. This is outside of mortgage debt. Debts that can start to add up and affect the size of mortgage you qualify for (and purchase price of your home) are primarily credit cards, lines of credit, car loans and car leases. The TransUnion report also mentions that there has been a large increase in car loan debt lately, most likely due to very low lending rates. Understanding how your debt load can reduce your home purchasing power is a key factor that you should consider before talking to your bank about a mortgage.
The amount of mortgage you qualify for primarily depends on your income, your down payment and your “other” debt payments. Following are the two standard calculations that lenders use:
Gross Debt Service Ratio (GDS). Generally, no more than 32% of your gross annual income should go to "mortgage expenses" such as principal, interest, property taxes and heating costs (plus maintenance fees for condo mortgages).
Total Debt Service Ratio (TDS). TDS evaluates the gross annual income needed for all debt payments including mortgage, credit cards, personal loans, car loans, etc. TDS payments should not exceed 40% of your gross annual income. The combined income for you and your spouse is usually considered when determining this ratio.
Let’s look at the dramatic effect that other debt has on the TDS ratio calculation by using an example. A couple with a combined income of $100,000 wants to buy a home and need a mortgage. They have a down payment of $30,000. They have $5,000 outstanding on credit cards and a car loan payment of $800 per month. Factoring in these debt payments and using today’s interest rates and a 25 year amortization, the couple qualifies for a mortgage of approximately $370,500. Now let’s assume they have paid off just their car loan before getting a mortgage. The couple now qualifies for a mortgage of $414,900, or $44,400 more! To further understand your own specific situation, most banks have excellent calculators on their websites to help you understand how paying off your debts can improve your situation. It should be noted that in the most extreme situations, your debt load can prevent you from qualifying for a mortgage at all!
If you need help, there are many different ways to make it easier to pay down your debt including consolidating your various loans and credit card balances into a single loan with a set repayment schedule. By consolidating debt, you could save on interest costs, you will have just one payment to make, and you may find it easier to pay off your debt more quickly. A debt consolidation loan can also reduce your monthly payments, thus helping you qualify for a mortgage.
Do your own basic TDS calculations then contact a mortgage specialist and get pre-approved for your mortgage. The application process will require you to provide details on employment, income, assets, down payment and debts. You're under no obligation when you're pre-approved, but you should still feel comfortable with the amount and terms of your pre-approved mortgage. That's why it's vital that you review all your debts and personal expenses and have some idea of your future expenses before you talk with a mortgage specialist about pre-approval. When you've got a pre-approved mortgage, a lender has made an actual commitment (subject to conditions such as a property valuation) to lend you money. Mortgage pre-approval should be your first step when you're seriously looking for a home to buy.