Category Archives: Holdings

The Peak of Enchantment!: Grouse Mountain Highway and Scenic Resort

“Don’t fail to visit Grouse Mountain. Its wonders are proclaimed by the thousands who have been there. It gives you a thrill such as you have never known before and as you will never know again unless you return – which you probably will.” Such is a sample of the marketing campaigns aimed at visitors and residents of the Vancouver area in the late 1920s and early 1930s by the Grouse Mountain Highway and Scenic Resort Ltd., the records of which can be found here at the Archives.

Crown, Dam, Grouse, and Dome Mountains, with the Grouse Mountain Highway and Scenic Resort Ltd.’s road drawn onto it, ~1925. Reference code: AM76-F02-: CVA 257-1

The company, which was incorporated on November 27, 1924, sketched out an ambitious plan in its prospectus which was published about a year later in 1925. Its aim was to build and operate “a first-class hotel and encampment” on the plateau near the summit of Grouse Mountain, “with tourist camp facilities for summer and winter amusements and sports.” The chalet itself was billed as “modern in every respect, with plumbing, heating, electric lighting and water supply, telegraph and telephone service.” Indeed, the fruition of the chalet and facilities did come to pass, with the resort opening on October 23, 1926. The company’s prospect to bring investors a good return on investment did seem promising given the stunning setting of the resort combined with the exponential increase of motor tourists, particularly American tourists, visiting the Vancouver area in the 1920s, and the easy access to the North Shore with the then newly completed Second Narrows Bridge in 1925. (Previous to the completion of this bridge, the only way to connect to the North Shore from Vancouver was to take a boat.) Continue reading

New in the public domain 2020

On January 1st, the copyright expired for some of our holdings: they are now in the public domain in Canada. These materials may now be legally reproduced and used for any purpose. Here’s a quick look at some of the images, maps, and documentary art that have become easier to re-use.

Mary Lewina Henley was born in 1901 and lived at 1933 Robson St., near Stanley Park, until 1926. A label on the back of the frame of this painting reads “Caretaker’s cottage, that used to be about where Lord Stanley’s monument is now, and was at the top of the hill after coming over to old Stanley Park causeway – in the foreground where large trees – painted by me in 1914 – usually a peacock sunned on the little lawn.”

Caretaker’s cottage, by Mary L. Henley. 1914. Reference code AM1562-: 74-453
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Happy Holidays!

Happy Holidays and all that from the Archives! Also, a reminder that the Archives will be closed from noon on December 24, 2019, until 9am on January 2, 2020, for the holiday season.

Jack Booth’s Christmas greeting card from the moon, 1969. Reference Code: AM276-S2–

This year’s season’s greeting comes from the Jack Boothe fonds. We thought Jack Boothe’s fun holiday card wishing the recipient “Greetings from the moon” was an appropriate card to pay homage to the moon landing of 50 years ago. Although the exact year this card was drawn for is unclear, we can surmise from some of its clues that it was for a Christmas sometime between 1969, when the Jack and his second wife Aileen (née Brownrigg) moved to West Vancouver (note the Duchess Avenue address), and 1972, the last Christmas before Boothe’s death, which occurred in August 1973.

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Digitized photographs from the Hugh Pickett fonds now online!

You may remember our blog post from last October when we announced that the Hugh Pickett fonds was available to researchers in person at the Archives. Now, thanks to the fundraising efforts of the Friends of the Vancouver City Archives, we are happy to announce that over 700 photographs from the fonds are now digitized and available online.

Hugh Pickett, ca. 1955. Reference code: AM1674-S9-F06-: 2014-089.0899

Hugh Pickett was best known as ‘Vancouver’s Impresario’. Pickett began his career working as a press agent for Hilker Attractions, and eventually ended up running the company with Holly Maxwell under the name Famous Artists Ltd. from 1947 until 1964. Famous Artists was an artistic management company dedicated to sponsoring appearances by artists and ballet and theatre companies in Vancouver and Victoria, and Pickett remained at the head of the company until he sold it in the mid 1980s.

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Archives Staff Share Their Spookiest Record Discoveries!

This year in preparation for Halloween, the Archives staff rounded up some of the scariest things they have seen come past their desks over the years. So relax, eat some candy and enjoy perusing these creepy, weird and fun items from our holdings!

Granville Street Bridge news clipping, 1940s. Reference code: AM54-S17-MS11740

Archival Assistant Kim Unruh shared a newspaper clipping she came across from the Major Matthews Newspaper Clippings Collection. The clipping shows a 1940s Granville Bridge witch, complete with traffic jam poem. Still relevant today!

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BCGLA Video and Audio now online!

The Archives is very happy to announce that over 150 audio and video files from the BC Gay and Lesbian Archives (BCGLA) are now available online. This could not have been possible without the funding received from the National Heritage Digitization Strategy (NHDS).

GIF comprised of stills from various BCGLA videotapes.

The BCGLA Audiovisual Recordings series consists of 43 audio tapes and 93 video tapes. The audio recordings include show tapes for drag performances at B.J.’s Club, various interviews for Angles, and Gay Games III coverage. The video recordings consist of drag events; fashion shows; made for television documentaries and specials; the Little Sister’s 2000 trial; and footage from various Pride Parades.

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Iron Work Detailing of Houses in Marpole

Thanks to local resident Flora Thompson, the Archives received a donation of over 400 photographs documenting the wrought-iron work and decorative designs of Vancouver residences. Thompson took these photographs from 1995 to 2003 and the images highlight a unique aspect and era of Vancouver building design. This same design aesthetic is reflected in Vancouver homes from a certain era beyond that of the Marpole neighbourhood.

Great star-like iron work on this house on Hudson Street. Reference code: AM1603-F1-: 2012-016.165

Iron work for the stairs, entryway, and front windows. Reference code: AM1603-F1-: 2012-016.348.1

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New Video Wall: Seasons

As summer turns over into autumn, we present a new video wall show in keeping with this theme: Seasons: Vancouver through the year.

Seed bed preparation, 1908. Reference code: AM505-S1-: CVA 660-688

The Archives’ holdings have a delightful number of photographs that relate to various seasonal celebrations and activities, which was the seed of inspiration for this video wall show. It begins with spring, moving through summer and autumn, and finishes with winter. The viewer will be treated to photographs of gardening, track and field races, soccer matches, lazy days at the beach, wedding celebrations, regattas, groups hiking, Thanksgiving feasts, children in costume for Halloween, and skiers eyeing up slopes. The earliest image showcased is the gathering of a crowd celebrating Dominion Day in 1878, with the most recent image over a hundred years later depicting crowds celebrating Chinese New Year in 1987.

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BC Gay and Lesbian Archives photographs now online!

Thanks to funding from the National Heritage Digitization Strategy (NHDS), we are happy to announce that over 5,400 photographs from the BC Gay and Lesbian Archives (BCGLA) collection are now available online in time for Pride.

Fantasy and Freedom, Diana Rose does Diana Ross (1990’s). Reference code: AM1675-S4-F15-: 2018-020.3712

The BCGLA Photograph series contains about 7,500 photographs. There are a few photographs that date from as early as the 1890’s and continue until 2014. The photographs are arranged under file titles that reflect their subject matter.  Ron Dutton, who collected and maintained the collection for decades before donating it to the Archives, provided access to the photographs through this arrangement and we have maintained his order. The file titles include:  theatre, comedy, performance arts, dance, writers, artists, musicians, portraits, politicians, female impersonation, Stonewall Festival, HIV/AIDS, the Vancouver AIDS Memorial, political activism, Gay Games III, nightclubs, Vancouver Lesbian Connection, Vancouver Gay and Lesbian Community Centre, Vancouver Prime Timers, youth groups, leather community, First Nations, sports, Hiking Club, businesses, LGBTQ2+ community organizations, Vancouver Pride Festival and the Victoria Pride Festival.

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Paralympic Torch Relay photographs now available

We are pleased to announce that we have added another large set of VANOC photographs to our online database, this time from the Paralympic Torch Relay (PTR). VANOC photographers captured over 12,000 images of the PTR, and this series is the “selected photographs” – i.e., the few images chosen by VANOC, from the thousands taken, for its own promotional uses or distribution to its partners and sponsors.

Executive Director and CEO of the Four Host First Nations Tewanee Joseph lights the Paralympic cauldron for the first time in Vancouver, BC. Reference code: AM1550-S10-F60-:

The PTR visited twelve communities over ten days between March 3-12, 2010: Continue reading