Windows' Photo Exhibit Illustrates Vancouver's 125 Years
For Immediate Release, February 23, 2011
(Vancouver, British Columbia) – From the improvised City Hall after the great fire of 1886 (the year Vancouver was incorporated), to scenes of Stanley Park, Chinatown and Vancouver’s famous neon signs, Vancouverites and visitors can explore the city’s history on display in the large windows running along the Hamilton Street side of the Central Library throughout 2011.
Chosen from the 25,000 digitized historic images available in the Library’s Special Collections department, the greatly enlarged images span Vancouver’s history from incorporation to 1951, each photo telling a story of the city and highlighting signs of the times.
“Vancouver Public Library wanted to take advantage of this incredible display space at the Central Library to celebrate the city’s 125th anniversary,” said City Librarian Sandra Singh. “Our first photo display celebrated the world coming to Vancouver for the 2010 Winter Games and this important occasion in our city’s history is the perfect time to mount a display honouring the city.”
The 12 photographs depict the city during its first 65 years. From 1913 beach fashion, to Stanley Park’s hollow tree in the early 1900s, Chinatown in 1904, the Birk’s clock in its original Hastings Street home in 1908 and Granville Street’s much-loved Aristocratic restaurant in 1951, each image recalls countless memories.
"In the 125 years since our incorporation as a city, we have had a rich and diverse history," said Vancouver Mayor Gregor Robertson. "The images captured in these photographs reflect the unique stories of our city. This exhibit is a visually compelling way to share our 125th anniversary with everyone in Vancouver."
The Library’s Special Collections department (located on the Central Library’s seventh floor) houses 250,000 historic images of Vancouver and places throughout the province. Images can be viewed in the department and print or digitized copies can be purchased. The 25,000 digitized images can be viewed online at vpl.ca.
The photographs featured in the Hamilton Street windows are mounted in light boxes and are especially captivating in the evening.
While staff mounted the display, an elderly man approached to tell them he was related to some of the men in the photograph of the 1886 improvised City Hall at the foot of Carrall Street.
“Anecdotes like this demonstrate just how meaningful a project like this can be,” said Ms. Singh. “We hope that Vancouver residents will stop at the Central Library when they are downtown or make a special trip down to see these beautiful images. We would love to hear people’s stories and memories about any of these photos.”
The exhibit will be on display all year.
Founded in 1869, Vancouver Public Library is one of Canada's largest library systems, dedicated to meeting the lifelong learning, reading, recreation and information needs of the people of Vancouver. The Library’s 21 branches serve some 6.5 million visitors who borrow almost 10 million items, including books, CDs, DVDs, magazines and countless online resources.
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For more information, please contact:
Manager, Marketing & Communications
Vancouver Public Library
604-331-3895; 604-612-4059 cell