Stirrup pants, shoulder pads and crimped hair were all the rage. Madonna and Culture Club topped the music charts, and Top Gun was number one at the box office. It was 1986 and it seems that Eddie Murphy’s girl wasn’t the only one that wanted to “Party all the time.” Vancouver welcomed the world in May with the World Exposition on Transportation and Communication (Expo ’86), but Vancouverites had an additional reason to celebrate: the City’s 100th birthday on April 6th.
“Let’s Celebrate!” poster
The City’s 50th birthday was in 1936. Citizens of Vancouver, just like those now awaiting the 125th anniversary, were eagerly anticipating the City’s first major anniversary celebration: the Golden Jubilee.
Vancouver in 1936 was much different from 2011, and not just in terms of its landscape. Rather than gaining momentum from a large internationally watched event the year before, in 1936 the City was still suffering from the impact of the Great Depression. Although the population of Vancouver was over 250,000, making it the third largest city in Canada, high unemployment, relief camps, and episodes of social unrest were emblematic of the decade.
Golden Jubilee Society letterhead, 1936. 513-B-8 file 6
In spite of the unfavorable conditions and the criticism of spending too much, Mayor Gerry McGeer enthusiastically promoted the Golden Jubilee . Continue reading