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Animation Students Join the Fight Against Bike Theft

Posted on December 06, 2018 | Emily Carr Stories

For many Vancouverites, their bicycle is their most precious form of transportation. Yet many riders fail to consider the possibility of their beloved bike being stolen until it happens. 529 Garage, an innovative app launched in 2013, is helping change that.

Users of 529 Garage can upload information about their bike, establishing ownership and documenting essential information for insurance companies and police in the event of a theft. If a user's bike is stolen, they can hit the app's "panic button" to alert the 529 community and let them know to be on the lookout. 529 Garage has been credited with decreasing bike thefts in Vancouver by 30% since its launch, and almost one bike per day is returned through the app. First launched in Vancouver, it has since spread to other cities across BC. 

Since 529 Garage's launch, the Vancouver Police Department has hosted countless registration events promoting the use of their app in an effort to improve reporting of theft. However, the VPD noticed that while many people attend the events and get excited about the app, they forget to register their bikes after. That's why the VPD and CityStudio Vancouver teamed up with our Animation students to make a variety of engaging, story driven instructional videos that make an impression on viewers of all ages. 

529 GARAGE Short films

Although these stories are told through a variety of animation mediums (2D, 2D/3D integration, and 3D), they're all focused on a single theme: the emotional weight of losing a bike, making theft feel much more personal than just a statistic. 

The ECU + 529 Garage exhibition presents the work of 20 students who worked in five teams to produce five films in total, and hosted a wide collection of concept art from the film's creations as well as behind the scenes footage. The exhibition was hosted in the RBC Gallery from December 3–5, but you can also watch all the videos on YouTube!