In Loving Memory of Ulrike Bemvinda Rodrigues

We are sorry to share the news that Ulrike died unexpectedly on January 3, 2021 due to a stroke caused by a brain tumour at age 59. As far as we can tell she died at home in her sleep.

Ulrike will be missed by many, including her mother Ursula Rodrigues, widowed, brother and sister-in-law Jürgen and Kim Rodrigues, brother and sister-in-law Yvan (Tiger) and Sarah Rodrigues, high-school friend Chris Sprague, and countless friends across the world.

Ulrike spent her youth in Guelph, Ontario.  She attended Centennial High School, involved in the school newspaper and Guelph's emerging punk rock scene. She graduated from University of Guelph with a Bachelor of Arts, and worked in graphics and commercial art before moving to Vancouver in her late twenties.

In recent years she has focused on writing, cycling, and travel, and has played a key role in Vancouver's homes-not-hotels movement as Vancouver residents found affordable housing displaced by Air-BnB rentals. Throughout her life Ulrike has welcomed a diverse array of friends. She has contributed to the music and arts communities, and has been heavily involved in the Vancouver bike scene.

A few months ago Ulrike started experiencing symptoms of loss of memory, difficulty writing and using the computer, and fatigue resulting in her quitting her job to pursue testing. Sadly the problem was more severe and acute than anyone realized, and she passed away before her scheduled MRI appointment later in the month.

Ulrike generously willed her apartment to Atira Women's Resource Society to be used as furnished housing, and her savings to create an endowment fund called Basic Needs + Mitey Deeds – a legacy fund to connect women and girls to shelter, support, and potential.

Respecting her wishes, there will not be a funeral. Please help commemmorate her by sharing your memories here.

Share Your Memories

Please take a moment to share your memories and photos of the time you have spent with Ulrike by clicking this link: Share a memory.

by James T on Friday, January 8, 2021 - 08:47

I am deeply sorry - this is so incredibly sad.

You were wonderfully obstreperous, adventurous and indomitable, and when you set you mind on something, unrelenting. And you were, for a time, my love. 

It was so beautiful how you lived life large, and you so deserved to keep enjoying it as fully as you would have wanted. 

I know you will be missed.


by Carmen Mills on Thursday, January 7, 2021 - 20:21

Uli always had a mischievious twinkle in her eye. I worked with her on Momentum magazine, where she would often come up with some cheeky twist for an article. She joined a Non-Moms Group I was facilitating, and came up with the clever title, The Egg Club. She liked to play the devil's advocate, pushing people to think outside the box. She inspired me to long solo adventures. Uli was a warrior. Long may her legacy ride.

by Sharon Burdette on Thursday, January 7, 2021 - 17:14

Ulrike was the oldest cousin when we were grew up in the Toronto Suburbs. Being the first two families immigrating to Canada from our extended family meant that our two families spent countless hours together in our early years, and many weekends and vacations together as we grew older. I know I was often the annoying little cousin, but to me, Ulrike was just a little older and oh so grown up and sophisticated. As she grew older, her unique personality developed and she became a vibrant, adventurous woman.

Ulrike moved West early on, and as she would say, Vancouver was her adopted home town. As adults, we didn't stay in touch for years, but through the magic of FB we connected online, and I followed her global travels with admiration. In 2016, when our daughter spent a Spring semester on a photogrpahy internship in Vancouver, Ulrike was wonderful. She trekked to the airport to meet her by public transit, escorted her to her accommodation, acclimatized her to Vancouver, and generally took her under her wing. When we visited Van at the end of the internship, we were able to spend a week with Ulrike. I loved getting re-acquainted, and she dedicated days to taking us all over Van to explore her favourite digs.  We walked for hours and hours, and her energy and enthusiasm was limitless! We spent hours chatting about growing up and recalled our family memories. It was truly a special week, and I am forever greatful to Ulrike for her generosity, and for the chance to spend such quality time together. 

Happy trails on your next Great Adventure Cuz- you will be missed :(

by Julie Normand on Thursday, January 7, 2021 - 17:00
My friend Ulrike, you welcomed me in your home and in your heart, with your natural warmth and loving smile. You were looking for a roomate, I needed a shelter and we both found a friend. I never forgot our nights out, our walks in Stanley Park, our numerous excursions in the city. You have been in my heart since then and will be forever. Until we meet again. Love.
by Michelle Eisele on Thursday, January 7, 2021 - 16:05

I met Ulrike in the spring of 2005 when I saw her standing in the check-in line with a bicycle box at YVR. I approached her and told her I was doing the same in Cuba and we even had booked a room at the same little hotel in Varadero. We ended up bicycling to Havana together and she joined me in a rented car to Vinales. We met up in Havana at the end after she cycled back and I hung out and drove for a while.

We developed a great friendship and travelled together again when I was honoured to be invited as her +1 on her Epic Western Canadian Train and Folding Bicycle Trip. We enjoyed having her in our lives and her visits to our Cowichan Valley home.

Ulrike has kept my travel flame alive and I'm eternally grateful to have had her in my life. I hope that her passion for social justice stays alive in those of us who knew her.

Be in peace

by Mel O’Brien Montgomery on Thursday, January 7, 2021 - 11:40

I have a collection of memories with Uli... Our journey of friendship started at the Georgia Straight and has continued since. I am heartbroken to learn of Uli’s death, more than a little lost for words.
R.I.P., my fearless friend. Xoxo

by Audrey Schumann on Thursday, January 7, 2021 - 10:57

So sorry for your loss! I remember only pleasant interactions with Ulrike when she started with Digital! I supported her and I know she will be a void in your lives!!

Kindest regards and warmest of hugs virtually!

by Joe C on Thursday, January 7, 2021 - 08:42

I worked with Ulrike this last year, and she was a pleasure to work with. Always positive, and looking to learn. Seeing at the pictures on the site here, it's clear that she took advantage of every moment she had and touched many lives. May her soul rest in peace and the memories of her burn brightly.

Ride on, Ulrike.

by Alex Rodrigues on Thursday, January 7, 2021 - 08:41

As her Dad’s brother and an uncle to Ulrike, my memories of Ulrike are too numerous to elaborate on as they are cherished memories embedded in my head and in my heart. I’ve known her as a babe in arms to womanhood and as a middle-aged niece. Memories date back in time with the many childhood family picnics, camping trips, BBQs that our two families have participated in – trips to our cottage in Bobcaygeon to her last visit to Caledon East where she spent the afternoon with her friend.

Through the years we managed to “keep in touch” with each other Perhaps her connection with her dad or the lack of it led her to seek her roots bringing about her quest to travel again - deemed a “Rodrigues” trait.

Finding tranquility and peace in Goa helped stabilize her urge to expand her writing skills. Her Dad Leo (Sanu) had spent very little time in Goa through his growing years but loved the place never-the-less. He somehow developed a love for it as it was truly the ancestral bode of our parents – Ulrike’s grand-parents. She loved Goa to the extent that she even chose to buy a house and retire there but that did not materialize.

Ulrike’s quest to find her roots seemed fulfilled. She accepted Vancouver as her home and her interests switched to other avenues to pursue. Ulrike will be missed but knowing that she is in a better place, we can all say goodbye with a heavy heart. REST IN PEACE! Ulrike.

by Claire on Thursday, January 7, 2021 - 08:37

Through my work here at the City, with short-term rentals, I have come to know Ulrike and her passion and commitment to the community. In 2019 my colleagues and I met with Ulrike to talk about the Unintended Opportunities report and for her to share her experience on the impacts of short-term rentals.

We have had a number of communications over the past couple years and I recently spoke with her just a few days prior to Christmas as she had been chosen to be part of the Short-term Rental Working Group and we were reviewing a meeting from November.

I admired Ulrike’s passion, her kind and thoughtful demeanour, and her commitment to her community here in Vancouver. She has left a strong legacy in her work and in her generosity to help others in her death.