Programs

January 2017

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Posted by: Angela Yen on January 20, 2017 at 4:10 pm

Angus McIntyre and Lyanne Smith collect public transportation memorabilia from all over Canada and U.S.A. - with a focus on Vancouver.

McIntyre's collection includes artefacts as large as fare boxes and as small as transit tokens. Smith's collection is more focused on paper media and small collectables issued between 1890 and 2000 by the various operating companies. Together their collections paint a detailed timeline of the province's transportation system. In the video below, McIntyre shares how the old fare boxes from the 1950s and 1960s worked, and how the prominence of paper money made them obsolete by the 1970s. McIntyre and Smith's collections are now on display as part of the All Together Now exhibition - on through March 19, 2017.

 

Angus McIntyre
Greater Vancouver Public Transit Memorabilia

Why do you collect?
I started my 41-year career as a Vancouver bus driver in 1969, so I had access to many bus parts after they were retired from service. I was able to save items that appealed to me for their design, engineering and historic value. Brill trolley buses were my focus because I drove them for 15 years.

How do you collect?
My first foray into collecting occurred when I was 18. I went with a friend to a scrap yard in South Burnaby. We paid a modest sum to salvage items from old Brill trolley buses. As time went on, I added to my collection through contacts in the transit system or through other collectors.

How does your collection relate to you?
My collection is directly connected to my job as a bus driver.

How does your collection relate to Vancouver?
Most of my transit collection dates from after 1955, the date the last streetcar ran.

How does your collection connect you with people?
It provides me with a way to share my knowledge of the transit system with transit enthusiasts and friends. When I give a talk, I illustrate my presentation by showing objects to the audience. I’ve also developed an extensive network of transit collectors over the years. I was fortunate to have mentors 50 years ago who took the time to explain Vancouver’s transit history to me. I am now in a position to mentor a younger generation of transit collectors.

Lyanne Smith and Angus McIntyre - public transportation collectors
Photo by Rebecca Blissett

Lyanne Smith
Greater Vancouver and Victoria Public Transit Memorabilia

Why do you collect?
I began collecting during my career at BC Hydro and continued when I worked with BC Transit and SkyTrain. In 1990, I met several old conductors and motormen who worked for BC Electric. I was moved by their stories and as a result, my collecting took on a more personal approach. I now collect to preserve the history of the employees who built the transit system in Vancouver and region.

How do you collect?
I acquired most of my collection while working at BC Transit. Retired employees and their families donated many items. I also obtained several through antique dealers. At one time, I had a dealer who would source out unique and rare items for me.

How does your collection relate to you?
Together, my husband and I have over 78 years of transit experience. The collection is very meaningful to us because the transit industry has played a huge role in our lives. We met many of our closest friends during our careers, so when we show the collection, it’s like a trip down memory lane!!

How does your collection relate to Vancouver?
It tells the story of Vancouver’s public transit system. It also talks about the employees who worked for the various companies that operated the system.

How does collecting connect you with people?
Over time, I’ve connected with several public transit employees and their families who were eager to share their experiences in the industry. I also engage with the general public, who are keen to learn more about this aspect of their city’s history.


 

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Posted by: Angela Yen on January 12, 2017 at 2:58 pm


Photo by Rebecca Blissett

What do you collect?
I collect anything related to Expo 67 to keep alive the incredible memories I have of this event.

Why do you collect?
Expo 67 changed my life. As a teenager, this event greatly expanded my horizons and my interest in different cultures, architecture and in Canada’s place in the world. I found the concept of showcasing state-of-the-art innovations at a universal exposition truly exciting. I was so proud that Canada was able to create such a world stage.

How do you collect?  
I mostly purchase online or at flea markets. On a few occasions, other Expo 67 collectors shared their items with me. Sometimes, the memories are what we share and collect.

How does your collection relate to you?
The coming of age of Canada, of its culture and architecture, its art and music occurred just as I was coming into my own as a young man. It channelled my fascination with Canada’s place on the world stage and made me into an inveterate traveller.

How does your collection relate to Vancouver?
I have met many Vancouverites who trekked out to Montreal to enjoy Expo 67 as the highlight of Canada’s Confederation celebrations. They all have stories to tell and relish their experiences. Their pride in the Canadian-ness of the event justifies my own.

How does collecting connect you with people?
So many Canadians came together for this significant event. Canadians were vindicated by our success in pulling together a world-quality exposition—on a scale even Americans at that point had not achieved. Europe took notice, and Canada was able to stand high and proud. Anyone who attended Expo 67 can say as much.


Upcoming Event: Celebrating Expo 67 with Maurice Guibord

Guibord and All Together Now curator Viviane Gosselin acknowledge the 50th anniversary of Expo 67 with insights, memories and collectables from this ground-breaking Canadian event, on Thursday, January 19 at 7pm. More details here.
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Posted by: Anonymous on January 9, 2017 at 4:21 pm

Countless vessels have transacted in Vancouver’s port throughout the city's history. Few ships, though, hold such an important place in Vancouver’s history as the Robert Kerr.

The Robert Kerr was a sailboat built in 1866 in Quebec. In 1885, she was sold at auction and retrofitted into a coal barge, pulled around by a tugboat. The Robert Kerr travelled between Vancouver Island and the mainland on a regular basis. It was during one of these trips that the ship earned its reputation as “the ship that saved Vancouver.”

Robert Kerr - the ship that saved Vancouver
S.S. Robert Dunsmuir on the left, and Robert Kerr on the right. City of Vancouver Archives, AM54-S4-: Bo P127.3, 1898.

On June 13, 1886, work crews for the Canadian Pacific Railway were clearing land between Cambie and Main streets. A strong wind picked up the controlled brush fire and carried it towards Vancouver. The fire engulfed the city, killing dozens of people. Witnesses reported that within forty-five minutes, the city was reduced to ash. The crew of the Robert Kerr opened their ship to people who were fleeing the fire. Approximately 150 people climbed on board and watched the city burn from the relative safety of the ship’s deck.

The Great Vancouver Fire
Map drawn by city archivist J.S. Matthews showing the path of the fire. Note the Robert Kerr in Burrard Inlet. City of Vancouver Archives, sketch by Major J.S. Matthews, AM1562-: 75-54, 1932.

However, the ship's role in the Great Vancouver Fire began long before June 13, 1886. A year before the fire, the Captain of the Robert Kerr donated the ship’s bell to the city of Vancouver for use as a warning bell. The bell rung a year later as the fire first spiraled out of control. Those peals were the first warning for many residents.


The bell that the captain of the Robert Kerr donated to the city of Vancouver in 1885. This bell was rung on June 13, 1886 to warn residents of the fire. Museum of Vancouver collection, H973.539.1

After the fire, the Robert Kerr continued to haul coal throughout the west coast of British Columbia. In March 1911, the tugboat Coulti was tugging the Robert Kerr from Nanaimo to Vancouver when it accidentally pulled the Robert Kerr across a coral reef just north of Thetis Island. The crew removed the coal on board, abandoned the Robert Kerr, and left it to sink. The shipwreck, designated a heritage site under the BC Heritage Conservation Act, is a popular site among recreational scuba divers. 


 

Montanna Mills is a recent graduate from the master’s program in public history at Western University. As a member of MOV’s curatorial team, Montanna is conducting research for an upcoming exhibition focusing on the city’s development during the 1860-1880s period.  Occasionally, she will share research on the MOV blog.

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Posted by: Anonymous on January 5, 2017 at 10:15 am

Park Board Ice Patrol staff have today determined that one of our most popular ponds – Trout Lake – has ice thick enough to permit  removal of the warning signs and  public skating on the lake.  

With the extended cold spell, ice continues to form and thicken at various locations in city parks. With the exception of Trout Lake, most ice remains too thin for recreation. Some areas even remain as open water. 

Staff regularly tests ice thickness, looking for five (5) inches or twelve (12) centimeters of clear, solid ice. ‘Good ice’ is a combination of quantity and quality.  The only location that currently meets standard is Trout Lake.  This morning, measurements at Trout Lake ranged from 51/2 to 71/2 inches or 14.0-19.0cm of clear, solid ice. Other locations, such as Lost Lagoon, Devonian Park, Vanier Park (behind the Museum of Vancouver), and Queen Elizabeth Park (multiple locations) do not meet standard.

Signs remain in place warning about thin ice and Ice Patrol Staff are on duty at key locations to advise the public. The signs at Trout Lake have been removed and Ice Patrol Staff who remain on-duty but are no longer intercepting would-be skaters and walkers.

The Park Board still encourages anyone keen for a skate to choose one for the eight (8) supervised ice rinks.

The long-range forecast includes warmer temperatures, along with snow and rain. Staff will continue to monitor conditions.

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Posted by: Angela Yen on January 4, 2017 at 4:09 pm


Photo by Rebecca Blissett

Neil Whaley has lived in Vancouver for the past 34 years. He says he loves Vancouver and feels a deeper connection with the city as he expands his knowledge of its past. Whaley collects an array of Vancouver memorabilia and carefully researches each piece he acquires - talking with historians and frequenting the local library and archives. 

These vintage objects includes postcards, souvenirs, photos, advertising giveaways, signs, Christmas cards and the packaging of locally manufactured grocery products. His fascinating collection that gives you a glimpse into Vancouver's yester years is now on display as part of the exhibition All Together Now: Vancouver Collectors and Their Worlds. Above Whaley tells us a bit about his favourite piece from his collection.

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