Research / Teaching Area
Frances Bula is a journalist specializing in urban issues and city politics in the Vancouver region, which she’s covered since 1994. She covers a broad range of issues in this endlessly changing city: drug policy, bike lanes, billion-dollar development projects, homelessness, garbage debates, and more.
She writes frequently for the Globe and Mail’s B.C. section and Report on Business. From 2008 to 2015, she had a regular column in Vancouver magazine, Urban Fix, for which she won regional and national awards. Other publications Bula has written for include the Vancouver Sun (where she worked for 20 years), BCBusiness, Canadian Architect, Canadian Business, University Affairs, the American website Citiscope, Literary Review of Canada, South China Morning Post, The National in Abu Dhabi, the Georgia Straight, Western Living, Homemakers, and the Guardian. As well, she does political commentary for Radio Canada, CBC Radio, and CKNW.
Bula has been a journalism teacher since 1995. At the UBC School of Journalism, Bula works with students on basic research, interviewing, story-development and writing skills. She is also the former chair of the journalism department at Langara College and continues to teach there, sending students out to the community report on local cities and their doings in her Civic Reporting class.
Bula has an honours bachelor’s degree in French literature from UBC and a master’s in communications from SFU. She’s won several journalism awards and fellowships over the years, including a three-month Asia Pacific Foundation fellowship that allowed her to live in China for three months in 1990. She also won a one-year fellowship from the Atkinson Foundation in 1999 that allowed her to study homelessness and affordable-housing options around the word. Her work was published in the Toronto Star and can still be accessed through the Atkinson Foundation’s website.