Posted by: Nicki Merz on March 31, 2017 at 10:56 am

It’s no secret that the global Fashion industry is wasteful. In fact, it’s the second most polluting industry in the world next to Oil. The average North American discards around 81 pounds of clothing per year, and that scary number. What’s even more shocking is that within a year of being made, three-fifths (3/5) of clothing produced ends up in landfills.

Events like Vancouver’s Eco Fashion Week aim to bring awareness to these issues and help promote the movement of upcycling. Returning for its 12th season, the Vancouver-founded event highlights the importance of moving towards a sustainable textile industry and celebrate today’s most innovative fashion!

But what exactly is upcycled fashion?

Simply put, upcycling is the process of making something new and improved from old and used items. It goes beyond reusing and recycling by building upon the original materials. The outcome is a new, handmade, eco-friendly, and one-of-a-kind piece.


So, what does it look like?

Many designers are bringing upcycling to life, including Evan Biddell. Winner of Project Runway Canada Season ­1, Biddell has transformed second-hand clothing from Value Village into a fully realized fashion collection. Value Village by Evan Biddell (VV by EB) just debuted at Toronto Women’s Fashion Week and features 81 pounds of repurposed and upcycled garments.

In an interview with Goldie, Biddell gave some insight on what inspired VV by EB.

“Rock & Roll.  It’s going to be loud and hard-hitting.  We wanted to create a memorable show and be loud as a voice for the cause.”

And he shared a little bit about what textiles are being used in the collection.

“Weight was a factor.  Heaviness.  Leather, suedes.”

As to what inspired Biddell on this project and the opportunity to work with Eco-Fashion week…

“I was born into it… I grew up shopping at Value Village. You know, everyone wanted those track jackets in the late ‘90s and you’d get them at Value Village… I started making clothes when I was sixteen or seventeen.”

VV by EB is a perfect example of how the textile industry is finding innovative solutions in sustainable fashion, which has become more important than ever in today’s fast fashion world.

To learn more about Evan Biddell’s collection and the excitement of upcycling, join us at

the Museum of Vancouver on April 2 for the Upcycled Fashion panel discussion. Stylist Ellen Balsevich will also join the discussion, while Kelsey Dundon, editor of The Anthology, will moderate.

The 81lb Challenge – Value Village by Evan Biddell will be on display at the Museum of Vancouver from March 30 - April 17


Posted by: Viviane Gosselin on March 17, 2017 at 5:21 pm

As part of our exploration on the relationship between public and private collections in All Together Now, I conducted an interview with Heather Gordon, Vancouver City Archives.

Major James Skitt Matthews - Vancouver historian, collector, featured in All Together Now

I wanted to know more about Vancouver’s first historian and collector, Major James Matthew (1878- 1970) whose work continues to have a huge impact on Vancouver’s historiography. Local historians, filmmakers, authors and other creatives researching Vancouver’s past are bound to stumble upon Major Matthews’ extensive records.

Heather’s insights and knowledge of Major Matthew’s collection were most helpful:

Viviane: How did Matthews started collecting?

Heather: Major Matthews arrived in Vancouver in 1898, twelve years after the city’s incorporation. Shortly after his arrival, he began writing about Vancouver. To get information, he searched old maps and spoke with old-timers. In the process, Matthews became acutely aware of the imminent loss of the Vancouver’s “pioneers” and of the city’s rapid transformation. He saw himself as the champion of Vancouver’s history.

Viviane: As someone who is surrounded by his collection and is constantly interacting with it, how would you describe Major Matthews’ collecting philosophy, in three words:

Heather: Eccentric – both the items he collected and how he catalogued them. Even today, some things are almost undiscoverable unless you 'think like Major Matthews.'

Subjective – he was the quintessential collector-archivist. He collected what he wanted to collect, interpreted it and edited it. He worked exactly opposite the way professional archivists work today. We leave the interpretation to our researchers. Not so the Major.

Militaristic -- he loved anything military.

Viviane: What would you say is one of Matthews’ most important contribution to the city archives?

Heather: His collection forms the core of the Archives’ private-sector holdings, holdings that have grown substantially since his death. Those holdings complement the City government records in our care, and are crucial for telling the non-government side of the story of Vancouver’s development.

Viviane: Could you tell us a bit more about the digitization of the collections of books Early Vancouver?

Heather: Early Vancouver is one of the most used resources at the Archives and we wanted to make it more widely accessible. Written between 1931 and 1956, and over 3,300 pages, it is a collection of Matthews’ interviews with pioneers, along with annotated photographs and maps and transcriptions of letters and newspaper articles. What you see online is actually a transcription of the text, not a digitized version. The paper Matthews used was too thin and his typewriter ink too blurry to result in a scanned image we could keyword index. Funded by the Vancouver Historical Society, hundreds of hours of transcription was the answer, with digitized versions of the photos and maps added to the transcribed version.

Viviane: Could you mention a few examples of people (not just historians) using Matthews’ archives for their work (you can be as specific or generic as you want)

Heather: Academics, of course, but also bloggers and social media enthusiasts who love to feature his photographs. The photos are also popular among business owners (particularly restaurateurs) who exhibit large reproductions of his photos, complete with his handwritten annotations, on their walls. One of my favourite uses, though, is by author Lee Henderson. He consulted Early Vancouver extensively in order to evoke the Vancouver of 1886 for his novel The Man Game.

All Together Now: Vancouver Collectors and Their Worlds features Major Matthews' collection of Vancouver history.

All Together Now: Vancouver Collectors and Their Worlds featuring Major James Matthews’ collection closes Sunday, March 19.




Posted by: Anonymous on March 7, 2017 at 10:51 am

Vancouver’s locally owned and operated fine art gallery, Chali-Rosso Art Gallery, has partnered with several leading, local artists to create a unique show that will present contemporary art works alongside historical masters for the first time.

The show titled “Reflections: Inspired by the Masters” will feature Vancouver’s top contemporary artists as well as historical masters, such as Pablo Picasso, Henri Matisse, Salvador Dalí, Joan Miró,
Andy Warhol, Roy Lichtenstein, among many others. A select group of leading contemporary artists has been challenged to create works of art that are directly inspired by any of the masterworks in Chali-Rosso's gallery collection, including works by the above Modern Masters. The contemporary art works will be exhibited next to their inspirational works by the Masters.

This project is solely dedicated to explore the connection between artists of the past and artists of the present and aims to illustrate how relevant the art of the Modern Masters continues to be.

“It is important to ask what message art carries for us, here and now, especially about works of art created in a time and place so distant from us. We believe that fine art is not separated, not developed in a vacuum, but instead, it builds a continuum along the lines of artists.” Susanna Strem says, the owner and curator of the gallery.

Featured Masters: Pablo Picasso, Henri Matisse, Salvador Dalí, Joan Miró, Marc Chagall, Pierre-Auguste Renoir, Robert Motherwell, Andy Warhol, Roy Lichtenstein, Damien Hirst.

Featured Contemporary Artists: Bill Higginson, Deborah Bakos, Farah Samari, Hale Yin, Judit Haber, Karen Hollowell, Kerry Vaughn Erickson, Lan Lao, Richard Brodeur, Sarah Symes, Stewart Stephenson, Tiarra Edmundson, Tristesse Seeliger and Wendi Copeland.

The exhibition is free for the public and will run for two weeks at the gallery’s downtown location at 549 Howe Street, Vancouver.

EXHIBITION: MARCH 10 - 24, 2017
OPENING RECEPTION: MARCH 10, 7:00 pm - 10:30 pm
ALL DAY OPEN HOUSE: MARCH 11, 10:00 am – 6:00 pm

More info.

The project and exhibition has been endorsed by the Museum of Vancouver.

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.


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.
Posted by: Angela Yen on December 20, 2016 at 4:36 pm

Our current feature exhibition, All Together Now: Vancouver Collectors and Their Worlds features 20 incredible collections including more than 2,000 nostagia filled vintage toys from collector Angus Bungay.

Children and adults alike love browsing the shelves upon shelves of retro toys. They either reinforce the longevity and popularity of some these iconic characters - Teenage Muntant Ninja Turtles, The Simpsons, Batman etc. - or they bring back fond memories of playing with these exact same toys.

In spirit of the holidays we've picked five toys directly from our childhood.

1) I distinctly remember having the mail carrier Smurf holding an envelope with a heart on it and also the Smurf playing the horn which is in the photo below.


2) With two older brothers action figures were no stranger to my childhood. The Batman collection reminds of  a very cool Batmobile set my brother had and watching Fox Sunday Morning cartoons with him.


3) Though I never had actual Simpsons toys growing up, the TV show was a big part of my upbringing. As a die hard fan of the show it was very neat to see the extensive line of Simpsons toys which I never knew existed.


4) Seeing this Chicken McNugget toy was very exciting because it was toy I kept recalling as a teen and young adult but had almost forgotten what the toy looked like. I've always liked small containers and boxes so I remember liking that the box actually opened and was functional, and that the nuggets could be taken in and out from it, instead of them just being glued/attached to the bottom.


5) Also from the McDonalds collection, this little guy gave me nightmares as a kid! I'm glad I was able to confront him and face my fears. Though he's still a little scary.


Posted by: Angela Yen on December 15, 2016 at 2:04 pm

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

Posted by: Angela Yen on December 8, 2016 at 11:02 am

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) A familiar sight where a rare snow day leaves a Vancouverite underprepared.

January 3, 1978 - Trudging through town—note the Woodward’s bag—on a rare snow day in the city.. Photo by Brian Kent (Courtesy of The Vancouver Sun 78-0006)

 1) With the housing issues in Vancouver it's always fascinating to see these hosuing development photos. It's great how the downtown skyline looms over the small family homes.

March 9, 1978 - Construction worker at work on a building at 7th and Laurel in False Creek. Photo by George Diack (Courtesy of The Vancouver Sun 78-0912)

3) A great fashion forward shot where you can see the candid reactions of the conservative business man and elder couple.

August 31, 1978 - Models Joan Tremblay and Ariane Poole wear plastic jeans for a fashion shoot near the Hotel Georgia. Photo by George Diack (Courtesy of The Vancouver Sun 78-3257)

3) Similarily to the photo above this image paints a clever contrast between a new progressive/liberal generation to a more conservative past generation. The photo is also early evidence of trends appropriating eastern culture that is now associated with present "Vancouver lifestyle" - i.e. Yoga, naturapathic medicine

August 16, 1978 - Hare Krishna devotees chant and play drums on Granville Street. Photo by Mark van Manen (Courtesy of The Vancouver Sun 1978 Krishnas)

5) This photos captures a tender and intimate moment without feeling intrusive. It's a lovely wide shot where the field lights act as a romantic spotlight over the couple.

August 15, 1978 - Young couple take in the baseball game at Nat Bailey Stadium. Photo by Glenn Baglo. (Courtesy of The Vancouver Sun 78-3012)


Exhibition Sponsor

Posted by: Angela Yen on December 1, 2016 at 3:27 pm

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) With the hype of the upcoming film, Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, this photo encapsulates the amazing longevity and success a film can have over decades.

June 24, 1977 - Star Wars ticket buyers line up at the Vogue Theatre on Granville Street on opening day. The film would become part of the biggest movie franchise in history. Photo by Glenn Baglo (Courtesty of The Vancouver Sun)

2) A great shot that really marvels in the advancement of transportation/technology. The Seabuses look so strong (almost like tankers) and very cleanly and mechnically sit on top of the water.

February 15, 1977 - Trial run of the new Seabuses, which were set to start service in June. Photo by Dan Scott (Courtesty of The Vancouver Sun 77-05622)


3) In addition to the photo's humour I'm impressed that this exact spot on Granville Street is still an adult shop.

June 23, 1977 - Two curious women check out the naughty wares in an adults-only store. Photo by Glenn Baglo (Couresty of The Vancouver Sun 77-2253)

4) The monstrous cranes reflect the scale and signifcance of Robson Square and how it marked its place as the downtown centre.

June 29, 1977    A forest of cranes at the new Vancouver courthouse and Robson Square project. Photo by Brian Kent (Courtesy of The Vancouver Sun 77-2315)

5) Another shot that captures how some things never change. The totem poles in Stanley Park remain a key tourist spot and symbol of Vancouver and its connection to the First Nations people.

August 27, 1977 -  Stanley Park’s iconic totem poles have long been a tourist favourite. Photo by Deni Eagland (Courtesty of The Vancouver Sun 77-3088)


Exhibition Sponsor


Posted by: Angela Yen on November 11, 2016 at 11:00 am

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) A rainy noir like photo captures the current moods in the city. 

March 8, 1974  - People with umbrellas on a rainy day. Photo by George Diack (Courtesy of The Vancouver Sun 74-0740)

2) Fun energetic photo. Looks like a still out of a buddy-cop film.

June 19, 1974 - Spanish Banks lifeguards Jim Harris and Glenn Schultz demonstrate an amphibious beach buggy and the art of the walkie-talkies to Bonnie Stefanko and Lois Tomlinson. Photo by  Ralph Bower (Courtesy of The Vancouver Sun 74-2140)

3) I like how Kits Beach looks pratically the same as it does today. There's even a road bike propped up in the middle of the beach which is such a classic Vancouver symbol.

August 5, 1974 - Kitsilano Beach on a summer day. Photo by Deni Eagland (Courtresy of The Vancouver Sun 74-2782)

4) A slice of life photo that captures the humour in everyday things.

August 19, 1974 -  A Canada Post worker takes a break in the mail relay box on the corner of Beach and Chilco in the West End. Photo by  Rob Straight (Courtesy of The Vancouver Sun 74-2926)

5) Looks like dating in Vancouver was no fun in the seventies too.

December 5, 1974 - Couple at Harry C’s singles bar. Photo by Glenn Baglo (Courtesy of The Vancouver Sun 74-4329)


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