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Archive - Books, etc.

A Mysterious Painting

National Portrait Gallery, London (Photo: Jessica C, flickr)It was a humbling experience some years ago to walk into the National Portrait Gallery in London, England and ask an attendant to point out the portrait of Capt. George Vancouver. His response was, “Who?”

And it was puzzling to have the attendant look through the gallery’s catalogue and find no mention whatever of the painting. I distinctly recalled reading that the painting was ther..... more »

Vancouver Seen A Century Ago

Vancouver Seen A Century AgoThat friendly woman waving to us (above) is seen for a fraction of a moment in a film taken in Vancouver exactly 100 years ago. On May 7, 1907 a Seattle film maker named William Harbeck came up to Vancouver to make a movie. That six-minute, silent, black-and-white movie is the earliest we have of the city. It is a fascinating glimpse into the city’s past.... more »

Vancouver Remembered

Vancouver RememberedThere's an instructive and funny little sidebar buried in Michael Kluckner's newest book, Vancouver Remembered. In 1985 he was commissioned to paint an image of Vancouver for a centennial poster series, and tried in vain to find a streetscape that combined old and new Vancouver. Finally, he invented a view, looking west from the corner of Frances Street and Victoria Drive.... more »

Vancouver's Coat of Arms

Vancouver 's Coat of ArmsVancouver’s Coat of Arms is based on a design by an artist named James Blomfield . . . whose name is as renowned here for his wonderful works in stained glass. Robert Watt, a stained-glass enthusiast, says that if you stand in Holy Trinity Cathedral in New Westminster on a clear, early morning you will see the three great stained glass windows there on the east wall behind and above the altar begin to glow. “The effect as the sun rises behind those windows,” says Watt, “is extraordinary.”..... more »

The Masters of the Spirit

The Masters of the Spirit TapestryOne of the most unusual works of art in Vancouver is in the Charles Woodward Memorial Room of the University of B.C.'s Woodward Biomedical Library. But you can't see what's unusual about it until you get up close.

It's a tapestry—a big one—nearly five metres long, more than three metres high, titled The Masters of the Spirit. It was commissioned by Antoine Behna, a post-war patron of tapestry in France...... more »

The Great Barrier

The Great Barrier Movie PosterHere’s a fine find: a 1937 movie called The Great Barrier, a fictionalized treatment of the building of the CPR through the Rockies. And we’ve met someone who was in the movie, made 68 years ago!

Site visitor Gordon Rebelato read the reference on this site to The Great Barrier and called to tell me he had a copy of the film. It starred Richard Arlen, Lilli Palmer and Antoinette Cellier..... more »

Bluebird On Your Windowsill

Western BluebirdEntertainment fans with long memories will recall that the first Canadian song to sell a million copies was written by a Vancouver nurse. Her name was Carmen Elizabeth Clarke, and in 1947 she worked at what was then called the Hospital for Sick and Crippled Children, at 250 West 59th Avenue....... more »