vancouver sun

FRIDAY Five Favourite Photos - 1979

Vancouver in the Seventies: Photos from a Decade that Changed the City is now on view at the Museum of Vancouver.

The exhibition displays over 400 photos from The Vancouver Sun collection. To get a closer look and to celebrate some of these stunning photographs, each Friday we'll be selecting our Five Favourite Photos from each year of the seventies. 


1) The photo itself looks as unreal as the wing-walker stunt. It is almost cartoon like. I love how it appears like it's taken on a fake backdrop or on a soundstage. 

August 10, 1979 -   Wing-walker Robert Oakes, twenty-one, on the opening day of the Abbotsford Air Show atop a Super Stearman piloted by Joe Hughes. Photo by George Diack (Courtesy of The Vancouver Sun 79-0516)


2) A great joyous photo. I especially love the scattered flower petals/confetti which feel very indicative of the free spirted decade.

September 9, 1979 - The city celebrates with a victory parade down Granville Street for the NASL champion Vancouver Whitecaps, with goalie Phil Parkes (left) and captain John Craven (right) with the trophy. Photo by Ralph Bower (Courtesy of The Vancouver Sun 79-0817)


3) For any sushi lover or foodie in Vancouver it's great that an early photo of chef Tojo was documented.

November 14, 1979 - Leading the movement that would turn Vancouver into a renowned foodie paradise is sushi chef Tojo at Jinya Restaurant on West Broadway. Photo by Ken Oakes (Courtesy of The Vancouver Sun 79-1646)


4) I suddenly feel happy myself by just looking at this photo. The four distinct expressions are great and with the champagne dripping mid air, the photo feels very in the moment.

1979 - Whitecaps after winning North American Soccer League Championship (Courtesy of The Vancouver Sun)


5) Such a dreamy and romantic photo. The two women look so glamourous that I assumed they were socialites or movie stars. It was to my suprise that the caption revealed the photo is of two prostitutes on the corner of Georgia and Hornby.

November 14, 1979 - Prostitutes at the corner of Georgia and Hornby. Photo by Ken Oakes (Courtesy of The Vancouver Sun 79-1648)


Exhibition Sponsor

Five Favourite Photos - 1970

Vancouver in the Seventies: Photos from a Decade that Changed the City is now on view at the Museum of Vancouver.

The exhibition displays over 400 photos from The Vancouver Sun collection. 

To get a closer look and to celebrate some of these stunning photographs, each Friday we'll be selecting our Five Favourite Photos from each year of the seventies. 

The photos I chose as my Five Favourites are based on whether it captures a moment of historical signifcance in Vancouver, or just an everyday sort of oddness that is unique in its mundanity. 

Protest march against the Vietnam War and the War Measures Act on Granville mall.

October 30, 1970  Glenn Baglo   (Courtesty of The Vancouver Sun 70-3287)

Ten-year-old Steven Miller gets a lift from his twelve-year-old brother Craig at a downtown department store.

January 2, 1970 Dan Scott (Courtesty of The Vancouver Sun 70-0014)

Sun photographer Glenn Baglo’s photo of a woman unable to get into a faith healing meeting at the PNE Agrodome won the rookie photographer a National Newspaper Award.

April 10, 1970  Glenn Baglo (Courtesty of  The Vancouver Sun 70-2235)

Men on park benches at English Bay. 

July 5, 1970  Glenn Baglo (Courtesy of The Vancouver Sun 70-1244)

Foncie Pulice, a Granville Street fixture for forty-five years before his retirement in 1979, chronicled the changing city, from the fashions to the streetscape, in millions of pictures. *Note the advertisement for the Vancouver Museum & Planetarium behind Foncie Pulice.

August 28, 1970  Deni Eagland (Courtesy of The Vancouver Sun 70-1931)

Exhibition Sponsor

Museum Monday: The Pacific Press Chapel Slipboard

At the MOV, I work in storage. Sometimes I wish I could do this in the dark as there are some artefacts that make my imagination run a little too wildly in the wrong direction. I avert my eyes as quickly as possible when I am in the general vicinity of the following things: a Sto:lo sculpture of an anthropomorphic figure holding a salmon, a life sized papier-mâché sculpture of Mike Harcourt in jogging gear, and the mounted head of some prehistoric thing that looks like Jabba the Hut.
What I love to look at most, however, is always in my line of sight; our Curator of Collections was lovely enough to hang it on the art rack right beside my desk. It is the Pacific Press Chapel Slipboard (catalogue no. H2011.58.11a-x) and it is beautiful.

Pacific Press chapel slipboard

The term “chapel slipboard” is almost an artefact itself, a holdover from a time when labour organizations were largely illegal and union members met under the guise of attending “chapel meetings”. This particular slipboard was used from 1957 to 1997 to manage rights to union work for members of the International Typographical Union (ITU) working at the Pacific Press newspapers (the Vancouver Sun and The Province) in Vancouver. The slipboard hung in the Pacific Press composing room, eventually located on South Granville St. at West 6th Ave.

Though most workers at the Pacific Press belonged to the Vancouver Typographical Union Local 226, the slipboard system allowed ITU members from all over North America to find work in Vancouver. The travelling printer’s “slip” (a card showing their name and trade skills) was placed on the substitute board (on the right as you face the board). Regular chapel member’s names are shown in a separate area (on the left as you face the board), which was kept under lock and key. The chapel chair (union representative) operated the slipboard, which was used to determine shifts, days off, and vacations based on seniority. If a regular member wished time off, they could hire a substitute to cover their job for up to 30 days.

I love the visual history contained on this board as I’m sure union activity as described above is now conducted on a computer. It must have been very stressful as a travelling worker, waiting for your slip to be selected from the board and Mike Harcourt in paper machesatisfying when it finally was. It must also have been very satisfying as a regular member to see your name move up in seniority over the years. In fact, the names of the regular members on this board were the last members of Local 226 to negotiate lifetime employment with Pacific Press, a concept that today must sound completely alien to many ears.

Even if this artefact lacked such a detailed union history, I would still love it. It’s a stunning object, the raised brass letters casting slight shadows on the backing board which is painted a curious shade of Wedgewood blue. And there is something very romantic about a list of names kept under lock and key. I see them out of the corner of my eye every day, taunting my imagination to compose elaborate back stories for the men (and maybe few women) who would print the news for the entirety of their working lives.

There are some downsides to working in storage — there are no windows, it often feels cold and damp, and the spooky papier-mâché silhouettes of former mayors lurk around dark corners. It’s not too bad of a trade-off, though, getting to gaze upon and learn about objects whose lives are often much longer and more storied than our own.


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