Vancouver History Tidbits: On this day

October 22nd, 2009 @ 12:09pm (PT) by Rebecca Bollwitt

ITEM #: SGN 113
Photographer: Bailey Bros.

I thought of continuing my weekly Then and Now photo series until I realized that most “then” images would not accurately depict the city’s fall hues in black and white.

However, as I glanced at one of my favourite local history resources this morning, I found the following and decided to continue the Vancouver History Tidbits series instead.

  • October 22, 1949 – 60 years ago today—the first “official” tree was planted at Queen Elizabeth Park. It was called Little Mountain Park back then, carved out of a rock quarry and chosen as the site of Canada’s first civic arboretum.
  • Courtesy of, here are a few more items of note in our city’s history that happened during this season and in particular, on this day.

  • October 22, 1938 – Mart Kenney and his Western Gentlemen instructed dancers at the Hotel Vancouver in a new dance craze, the Lambeth Walk.
  • October 22, 1965 – Alvo von Alvensleben, one of BC’s first millionaires and an important Vancouver realtor, died in Seattle, aged 86. It’s estimated he pumped $7 million into the provincial economy in the years before WWI.
  • October 22, 1968 – Scuba divers found the drive shaft of the SS Beaver, sunk off Stanley Park more than 70 years earlier.
  • October 22, 1986 – The Province’s Page One headline: SHA-ZALM! That announced the election of “millionaire gardener” Bill Vander Zalm as premier.
  • October 22, 2009 – The Olympic Torch Relay for the Vancouver 2010 Winter Games begins in Greece.
  • And just for kicks, tomorrow in local history…

  • October 23, 1930 – Contact! The Vancouver branch of the Aviation League of Canada, an organization promoting the growth of the air industry, began formal proceedings today.
  • October 23, 1953 – The Burnaby Lake interurban tram line—the route of which roughly correlates with the Trans-Canada Highway today—closed after 42 years, replaced by a bus service.
  • October 23, 1983 – The Kuan Yin Buddhist Temple at 9160 Steveston Highway in Richmond was dedicated.
  • All this and more information will be in Chuck Davis’ book about Metropolitan Vancouver History. Companies can sponsor years and if I had enough, I’d buy 1980 for although it already looks like Polygon Homes beat me to it.

    Cinema Salon with Larry Campbell and The Big Lebowski

    October 21st, 2009 @ 10:45am (PT) by Rebecca Bollwitt

    The Vancouver International Film Centre (aka the Vancity Theatre) is hosting a Cinema Salon screening of The Big Lebowski on Tuesday November 3rd.

    Cinema Salon takes place once a month when “Melanie Friesen invites a distinguished guest to present his/her favourite film. After the screening, audiences and guests will have the opportunity to discuss the film over drinks and snacks in our spacious lounge.” The guest this month (and the person who selected the film) is Senator Larry Campbell.

    Senator Larry Campbell established Vancouver’s first District Coroner’s Office in 1981 and was the Chief Coroner for British Columbia in 1996. He became the inspiration behind the popular CBC drama Da Vinci’s Inquest, as well as its spin-off, Da Vinci’s City Hall. In 2002 he was elected Mayor of Vancouver, spearheading the approval and establishment of North America’s first legal safe injection site and championed the Four Pillars Drug strategy. In addition to drug and crime prevention, he was also instrumental in the successful Vancouver bid to host the 2010 Winter Olympic and Paralympic Games. In August 2005, Campbell was summoned to the Senate of Canada. As a Senator, Campbell has continued his work on drug policy, mental health and aboriginal issues.

    Tickets for the Cinema Salon screening of The Big Lebowski with Senator Larry Campbell are $10, which is a treat for this type of event in this venue.

    If you’d like to meet Senator Campbell before that time, you can book your table this Saturday on Main Street as I’ll be serving Dim Sum alongside him to benefit the Asian Society for the Intervention of AIDS.

    Bridge to a Cool Planet

    October 21st, 2009 @ 8:40am (PT) by Rebecca Bollwitt

    This Saturday is International Day of Climate Action and will see events and symposiums taking place across the globe. In Vancouver, we’ll have Bridge to a Cool Planet kicking off with a banner draping on the Cambie Street Bridge at noon.

    Photo credit: ecstaticist on Flickr

    This December, world leaders are meeting in Copenhagen to agree on a treaty to stop global warming. The Canadian Government must be a strong leader at these talks. Here is an easy way to tell them that you want action:

    Come to the Bridge! On October 24 we need to send a powerful message to Ottawa. Public pressure — large numbers of people in the streets, calling for action — is the most important way we can influence our government right now. We need to talk to each other about the kind of world we want. Let’s start working together to build a better future! The climate talks in Copenhagen this December are crucial.

    The Cambie Bridge will actually be closed to traffic and open to the public at 11:00am and all are encouraged to come out and drape a banner along the side with their climate action calls. You can also dress up as your favourite endangered species or come as you are to this event that will then take over False Creek. A parade will march from the bridge down Pacific Boulevard, and then over to Science World where there will be a stage and exhibition booths. Booths will also be setup along Quebec Street and on the Cambie Bridge.

    Science World will then be the main hub of activity after the banner drapings and there will be a Kid Zone complete with arts & crafts, performers, and story-telling from 1:00pm – 4:00pm. Other bands will perform on the stage including Mojave at 4:15pm.

    The idea is to make a statement, make a stand, and support climate action initiatives in Vancouver, BC, Canada, and the world on this day. You can read all about the key issues on the Bridge to a Cool Planet site and find out how to get more involved. You may also follow @B2CP on Twitter.

    Yellow Pages Custom Delivery

    October 20th, 2009 @ 9:48am (PT) by Rebecca Bollwitt

    The Yellow Pages phone book directory is set to be delivered to homes and businesses this fall and they’ve got a new way of going about it.

    Image source

    In this digital age, people are just no longer looking to paper directories for their information. To accommodate this yet still supply the printed version for those not online, Yellow Pages has come up with a Custom Delivery Program:

    Since June 2009, Yellow Pages Group offers to residential consumers a Custom Delivery program which allows them to select their Yellow Pagesâ„¢ directories and/or to be removed from the distribution list. To access this program, consult

    The Vancouver deadline to remove your name from the delivery list is November 19th and you can do so easily, by clicking the link above and entering your contact information.

    Now that we have the books sorted out, Yellow Pages also has their mobile site for digital users, They compliment this with Blackberry®, Apple iPhone™ and Google™ Android™ applications as well.

    I know that I see stacks of unused books lining our building’s lobby walls each year and that the waste had to stop. I also know that my Oma still uses the Yellow Pages book and I wouldn’t want her to be without the printed copy.

    Story source: YellowPages press release via email blast.

    Thrill The World Vancouver 2009

    October 20th, 2009 @ 8:24am (PT) by Rebecca Bollwitt

    I first heard about Thrill the World Vancouver a few weeks ago and when I received a follow-up email yesterday, which included a link to my friend John’s videos (below), it was the reminder I needed.

    Thrill the World is far more than a zombie dance flash mob and in preparation for the event, over 150 attended the rehearsal/dance lesson this past weekend. The performance will take place Saturday October 24th outside the Roundhouse in Yaletown at 5:30pm on the nose as participants dance to a choreographed Thriller.

    If anyone is interested in being a zombie for the Thrill the World event but missed the rehearsal, they can arrive early at 1:30pm and pick up on the moves the group will be performing. You can also check out the dance script, moves, and audio they will be using online.

    This is an annual and simultaneous group Thriller dance performed by thousands across the globe as a tribute to Michael Jackson. The goal is to break a world record which was set in 2008 when 69 Vancouver zombies danced at the same time as 4,179 people at 79 other events around the world. The Vancouver event last year also raised $1,400 for the Greater Vancouver Food Bank through donations from the dancers and the audience that gathered.

    Photo credit: Scott Prince on Flickr

    Organized by Gravel Road Design, Ceroc Vancouver, the Roundhouse Community Centre, and you can contact Graham Lea if you have any questions or follow or @ttwvancouver on Twitter for updates. There will also be a costume contest for the contestants and I’ll be a judge in two of the categories.

    The public and media are highly encouraged to come out and document this event. Please bring along a donation or non-perishable food item for the Food Bank if you make it out as well.

    Update: Yesterday I met up with hundreds of zombies at the Roundhouse in Yaletown for Thrill The World Vancouver. I was able to take a few photos but also had to pay close attention to the dancers as I was a guest judge for the costume contest.

    Thrill The World Vancouver 2009

    Thrill The World Vancouver 2009 Thrill The World Vancouver 2009

    Thrill The World Vancouver 2009

    Thrill The World Vancouver 2009

    Thrill The World Vancouver 2009

    John Biehler also documented the event with photos and video on his site. You can also view all photos from the event in the Thrill The World Flickr Group pool. The event also raised funds and donations for the Greater Vancouver Food Bank society – check out the TTW blog soon for updates.

    Boobalicious Vancouver 2009

    October 19th, 2009 @ 6:07pm (PT) by Rebecca Bollwitt

    The third annual Boobalicious Vancouver event will be happening Saturday November 7th in support of breast cancer awareness and research.

    boobaliciousTaking place at the Rocky Mountaineer station in Vancouver, this is not your average club night fundraiser. It will be a Pink Playground as art, fashion and music displays host a carnival for your senses in every way.

    The best part is that Boobalicious supports the Keep A Breast Foundation, a non-profit organization with a mission of exposing young people to methods of prevention, early detection and support. Proceeds will also go towards the Weekend to End Breast Cancer.

    Boobalicious will feature carnival games, a silent auction, and a marketplace with goodies from local vendors. DJ’s confirmed so far include SKAI (EMM Coccoon/Frankfurt) and KRAIG (Tunnel, Lobby @ Ginger 62) so the dance floor will definitely be open to all. Tickets are $50 if you purchase before October 31st.

    Your ticket includes games, art shows, entertainment, activities, and food. VIP tickets are $85 before October 31st and with VIP status you’ll receive access to the pre-party reception (including welcome beverage, appetizers, coat check), a Boobalicious Gift Bag filled with swag, and a wrist band that will grant you access to the artists lounge (and anywhere else at the event).

    They do have sponsorship opportunities available and for any more inquiries you can contact the organizers.

    Canucks Canadian Forces Appreciation Night 2009

    October 19th, 2009 @ 9:30am (PT) by Rebecca Bollwitt

    Canadian Forces Appreciation Night at GM Place is November 1st when the Canucks take on the Colorado Avalanche.

    combat diver
    Photo © Department of National Defence

    To make this event a success, season ticket holders are being asked to donate their tickets for this particular game so that someone from our nation’s armed forces can attend.

    There are three ways to donate your ticket:

  • By courier or mail – addressed to the Canadian Armed Forces c/o Vancouver Canucks, 800 Griffiths Way, Vancouver, BC V6B 6G1
  • In person during business hours – Drop your tickets off at the Chevy Pickup Window at General Motors Place (Gate 10, Monday to Saturday, 9:30am – 5:00pm) in an envelope addressed to Canadian Armed Forces
  • In person during a game – Drop your tickets off at Guest Services (Section 114 or Section 310) in an envelope addressed to Canadian Armed Forces
  • Before the game, there will be a rappel demo from the rafters by Search and Rescue Technicians and during intermission there will be a Forces hockey skills competition, pitting Army vs Navy vs Air Force. The deadline to donate your ticket is October 22nd, 2009.

    Update, November 2nd 2009:

    The following is an email note from Sub Lieutenant Tony Wright from the Canadian Armed Forces:

    “This year, 312 Canadian Forces (CF) members from Vancouver, Victoria, Comox, Aldergrove, Chilliwack and many from around the country, were able to watch some fantastic Canucks hockey. Last year, only 140 CF members were able to attend. With your help, we more than doubled our numbers. Many of the sailors, soldiers, and aircrew were hosted in catered suites donated by individuals and corporations. That was a first this year and I think much of our success can be attributed to your promotion of the game on”

    I would like to thank every reader who helped make this night a success, you are the best!

    Support Vancouver Theatre This Season

    October 18th, 2009 @ 11:00am (PT) by Rebecca Bollwitt

    Over the last year or so I’ve had the opportunity to check out more theatrical productions around Vancouver than I have in the last ten years or so. From the back of Havana to the Stanley’s stage and Bard’s towering tents, I’ve experienced musicals to shocking thrillers. With arts funding getting slashed in BC, It’s now more important than ever to support these productions no matter how big or small.

    Photo credit: ourhero on Flickr

    A few days ago I received an email blast from the Artistic Executive Director of the Pacific Theatre, Ron Reed. He noted the importance of subscribing to their program for the 2009-2010 season, and thanked their loyal followers. I realized that this makes a ton of sense since for many companies as they rely on subscriptions so that they can get an idea and outlook of their season’s revenue goals. Reed ended the email with this practical plea: “How can you help? Come and see shows. That’s all we ask. But don’t leave it until halfway through the run of something that may or may not be written up in the newspaper to make your decision: if you subscribe now, our shows will be in your calendar now. And… Pacific Theatre will know in advance that we have the funds we’ll need to make it all possible.”

    After receiving this note and many emails from theatre companies across the city about their wonderful upcoming productions I thought I would be proactive and compile a list of each company, a link to their website, and highlight a few of their upcoming performances this season.

    The bad news is that I didn’t have time to put this ultimate master list together all by myself. The good news is that I was able to call upon Rebecca Coleman (publicist and theatre blogger) for a hand with the links. Below I have a list of theatre companies and venues and I have added some notes as well as Twitter accounts for those I could find. You’ll find notes similar Reed’s on many of the sites listed below as well.

    Arts Club Theatre Company – @TheArtsClub
    Mom’s the Word until November 7th, then White Christmas and It’s a Wonderful Life November – December

    Axis Theatre Company
    November and December feature Goodnight Moon & The Runaway Bunny school theatre productions.

    Bard on the Beach

    Blackbird Theatre
    Presenting Edward Albee’s Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf this December.

    The Beaumont Studios

    Carousel Theatre – @CarouselTheatre
    Axis’ Goodnight Moon & The Runaway Bunny, followed by The Merry Adventures of Robin Hood November – January.


    Electric Company Theatre – @TheElectrics

    Fight Chance Productions
    Until October 24th, One Good Marriage by Sean Reycraft

    Firehall Arts
    Presenting October 21st – 31st Oh Winnipeg by John Pippus.

    Fight Like a Girl Productions
    Art by Yasmina Reza at the Inlet Theatre in Port Moody November 19th – 28th.

    Gateway Theatre
    The Foursome by Norm Foster on stage until October 24th.

    Green Thumb

    Headlines Theatre

    Hoarse Raven

    Solo Collective Theatre – @SoloCollective
    The Project at Performance Works, Granville Island November 4th – 15th.

    DRS Productions
    Evil Dead… The Musical at the Norman Rothstein Theatre October 29th – November 7th.

    New World Theatre

    Pacific Theatre
    The Last Days of Judas Iscariot ending tonight. Then, The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe from November – January.

    PAL Vancouver

    Pi Theatre
    After the Quake, November 19th – December 5th.

    Playwrights Theatre

    Pound of Flesh
    The Last Days of Judas Iscariot

    Presentation House Theatre
    A Picasso, Third Street Theatre Series October 15th – 31st.

    Ruby Slippers
    A Beautiful View December 5-13 at Performance Works.

    November 19th – December 5th, After the Quake by Haruki Murakami.

    Spectral Theatre

    Theatre Terrific

    VECC – The Cultch

    Vancouver Playhouse
    Until October 31st, The Miracle Worker by William Gibson.


    Touchstone Theatre
    Demon Voice by Shawn Macdonald, November 19th – 28th at Performance Works.

    United Players
    November 13th – December 6th, The Vertical Hour by David Hare.

    Vancouver Fringe – @VancouverFringe

    Vancouver Theatre Sports League – @VanTheatreSports

    Capilano University
    Romeo and Juliet November 19th – 28th.

    Langara College
    The Winter’s Tale by William Shakespeare November 19th – December 13th.

    SFU School for the Contemporary Arts
    Dances on the Hill: Finale, the last faculty dance show November 26th – 28th.

    Theatre UBC
    The Master Builder October 28 – November 7, and upcoming, The Laramie Project November 19 – 28th.

    Should you have any listings to add, please feel free to contact me.

    Todd Talbot and Sara-Jeanne Hosie in the Arts Club Theatre Company’s
    production of White Christmas. Photo by David Cooper.

    Even after you have clicked through to see more from each of these — and incredibly you find that you are still not interested in attending a performance — there are still a few options for support. Theatre tickets make lovely gifts for birthdays or the upcoming holiday season and many of the production companies above have some great things in the works for this winter and spring.

    You may have also noticed that on many of these websites there is a “donate” button or CanadaHelps badge. If you would like to see these companies appear on my 2010/2011 list, please consider a donation as an option as well.

    I would like to encourage every Vancouverite to take in at least one live theatre performance this fall, winter, or spring. The shows are affordable, include many stunning sets and feature talented actors & actresses. Once you go, you’ll realize that a night of theatre in Vancouver is an incredibly enjoyable experience.