Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Vancouver Polka Pals

Featuring: Johnny Tkachuk, Ed Passek, Steve Sedmak, Mike Skoreyko and George Zotek

Thursday, January 12, 2012

BC Electric Service Digest - June/July 1961

Imagine BC Hydro today giving out dating tips for teens and offering classes for "homemakers".
Note: depictions of Reddy Kilowatt.





Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Opportunity Vancouver: Expo 86

Not sure if Opportunity Vancouver can be referred to as a junk store treasure, but the 238 page glossy magazine, released in conjunction with the opening of Expo 86, does offer some glimpses into the city a quarter century ago.
Most of the glimpses come in the form of advertisements-- fully two-thirds of  the magazine's pages are just that. But even amongst those, there is some comic relief to be found.

Much attention is paid to the usual 80s selling points of the city-- SkyTrain, BC Place, Canada Place. Then, inexplicably betwixt them all, is a two page photo spread entitled "Climbing the Black Tusk". It all gives the impression that this was very much a rushed publication without any editorial direction (or perhaps content) but one that is quite clearly unadulterated Vancouver boosterism!

Cover stars are Prince Charles and Di, Premier Bill Bennett, Mayor Harcourt, PM Mulroney, Patrick Reid, Claude Richmond and, of course, Jim Pattison.

 The ketchup bottle invasion of Vancouver, 1986. They have tried to erase all records of this from the history books.

 Two photos and about 50 words of text comprised the "Black Tusk" feature..

 Woodward's Oakridge ad. The department store chain went through an unsuccessful re-branding and died about six years later.

 "Future SkyTrain extensions".

 BC Tel ad featuring a portable office in the alpine. I think those are The Lions visible rear left.

 The new, state of the art Alex Fraser Bridge.

An interesting vantage point of the Carnegie.

Friday, February 4, 2011

Exploring Richmond (1979)

Published in 1979, "Exploring Richmond", is very much your typical feel-good picture book, common of the 1970s and 80s. These are now found everywhere at local second hand stores.




Part travelogue, part homage and all gloss, these books often and unintentionally provide obsolete glimpses of places that have changed dramatically over the decades.



The book was written by Balynn Richards, author of several similar books including Victoria Calling and Vancouver Calling, both published earlier in the 1970s.
The apparent result of "five years of study", the photo heavy book's publication coincided with Richmond's centennial.

Most striking to the contemporary reader would be the complete absence of references to the Chinese-Canadian community which has come, in many ways, to define modern Richmond.
In fact, not one word is mentioned of that community though Japanese-Canadians, and their long association with Steveston, are afforded a page of text.





Equally interesting is the bucolic manner in which the city is depicted. Rural scenes and flocks of birds mingle with fishing boats and the "beautiful lake development" of Minoru Park.






Just how differently would Richmond be documented today in a book like this?