On June 12, 2023, the City of Vancouver Archives will be marking its 90th anniversary. It was in 1933 on this date that City Council appointed Major Matthews as the first City Archivist, and the Archives was officially established. Our holdings have expanded greatly since then, currently sitting at 5 km of textual records, 7.2 million photographs, 82,800 maps and architectural drawings, 2,800 audio recordings, 2,900 film and video recordings, and 91 TB of born-digital and digitized records.
To celebrate this 90th anniversary milestone, we will be highlighting different record groups from the Archives’ holdings, starting March 15th on our social media channels (Facebook, Twitter and Instagram) and using the hashtag #VanArchives90th, right up to June 12th. For those of you who are counting, that’s 90 days of posts! The posts will range from various City record series to the diverse groups of private-sector fonds and collections.
Here’s a little sneak peek of some of the records that will be highlighted over the next 90 days.
City Council minutes
The City Council minutes make up Series 31 of the City of Vancouver fonds. They are the official record of the discussion and decision-making of the governing body of the City of Vancouver. They’re of critical legal importance and extremely valuable as a research source.
Yucho Chow Community Archive collection
Born in Hoy Ping, Kwong Tung (Kaiping, Guangdong), China in 1876, Yucho Chow (周耀初) arrived in Vancouver in 1902, paying the discriminatory Head Tax then imposed on Chinese immigrants to Canada. He established his photography studio at 68 West Hastings Street in 1907, photographing families, individuals, and organizations, many of whom were recent immigrants to Canada. He operated the studio with assistance from his seven children until his death in 1949, when his sons Peter and Philip took over the business. A number of his photographs were collected and digitized by Catherine Clement for a 2019 exhibition and subsequent book, and the results donated to the Archives as the Yucho Chow Community Archive collection in 2021.
Yaletown Productions Inc. fonds
The Yaletown Productions Inc. fonds consists of completed films, raw footage, textual records, and other materials related to the production of films produced by Mike Collier throughout his film career. Yaletown Productions was incorporated Sept. 10, 1982, with a mandate to produce quality industrial films for the corporate sector and government. Yaletown Productions won several major contracts associated with Expo 86, producing films for the BC Ministry of Tourism, the BC Pavilion and the CP Pavilion.
Pacific National Exhibition fonds
Series 8 of the Pacific National Exhibition fonds consists of photos produced for the PNE and a small number collected by its staff. Photos document both the PNE and other events that took place at the Hastings Park site such as the Ice Capades! The date range is roughly 1900 to 1980, and there are ca. 9000 photographs available.
BC Gay and Lesbian Archives
The BC Gay and Lesbian Archives was established in 1976 by Ron Dutton and developed and maintained for the next forty years from his home in the West End. Dutton donated the collection to the City Archives in February 2018. The collection includes textual records, periodicals, photographs, posters and audiovisual materials pertaining to the LGBTQ2+ communities in Vancouver and British Columbia.
We also have a new video wall show highlighting the records chosen for the campaign. The show will play on the big screen in the Archives gallery in Vanier Park and the screen in the first floor rotunda at City Hall starting March 15th. We’ll post the show to our YouTube channel after June 12th.
We hope you enjoy the count down!