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This year is sponsored.

You'll note that this year includes events listed under “Also in . . .“ These are events for which we don't have a specific date. If YOU know the
specific date of an event shown there, please notify us . . . and cite the source! Many thanks!

January 3 The SkyTrain commenced operation between Vancouver and New Westminster. (The extension to Surrey would come later.)

January 15 Dome Advertising was formed in Vancouver. Later they would become Dome/FCB, the FCB being Foote Cone Belding, a long-established US firm.

January 20 The World Trade Centre opened a Vancouver branch. The Vancouver Board of Trade moved into the new building and prepared to host the General Assembly of the World Trade Centres Association later in the year.

January 26 Norman MacKenzie, called “Larry,” international advisor and UBC president, died in Vancouver, aged 92. He was born January 5, 1894 in Pugwash, Nova Scotia. He worked on the family farm from 1909 to 1913, served with distinction in the First World War. He studied at Dalhousie University, then later at Harvard and Cambridge in international law. He was called to the Nova Scotia bar in 1926, taught law at the University of Toronto from 1926 to 1939. His influence was worldwide with organizations such as the League of Nations and the War Information Board (1943-45). MacKenzie was president of the University of New Brunswick, then president of UBC for 18 years from 1944 to 1962. On the Massey Commission, he pushed for federal grants to universities (1949-51). After leaving UBC in 1966 he became a Senator. His biography is Lord of Point Grey: UBC's Larry MacKenzie by P.B. Waite.

The Vancouver Historical Society Newsletter, in reviewing the Waite book, called it “an affectionate portrait of a president who was considerably more complex than his public persona.”

A UBC site says, in part, “Although UBC's present eminence owes much to many people, as biographer P.B. Waite points out, ‘it is basically Larry MacKenzie's creation.’ His importance to UBC is inestimable. No doubt demography alone contributed to UBC's considerable expansion, but Larry gave it force and focus. He established the Faculty of Graduate Studies and introduced professional faculties such as law and medicine. He was a marvellous doer; but more important, he could recognize talent in others, like his ‘chief expediter,’ Gordon Shrum, UBC's redoubtable head of physics and dean of graduate studies.”

February 19 The Lions Gate Bridge was illuminated, a gift from the Guinness family who built the bridge.

February VanCity Savings Credit Union launched the country's first socially-responsible mutual fund—the Ethical Growth Fund. (Bob Quart, a senior executive at VanCity, had pushed for the fund. Quart would become VanCity’s CEO in 1988, serve in that capacity until his retirement in 1999.) The fund, known today as Ethical Funds Inc., has investment guidelines based on ethical principles. It cannot, for example, invest in companies which manufacture weapons or tobacco products and all companies with which it invests must maintain good labor relations and high environmental standards.

Today, it has become part of a nationally-based entity, managed since June 2004 by Guardian Capital LP.

February Federal Finance Minister Michael Wilson announced in his budget speech that international banking centres (IBCs) would be established in Vancouver and Montreal. The idea of creating an international financial centre (IFC) in Vancouver had originated in the early 1980s. A combination of senior members of the business and academic communities resulted in the creation of "The Society for IFC Vancouver" in September, the vehicle for the provincial government's IFC initiative. They saw Wilson’s IC announcement as a promising sign for their own initiative.

In The Greater Vancouver Book, Michael Goldberg described the differences between IBCs and IFCs: “IFCs are broadly-based financial service centres catering to foreign as opposed to domestic demand. They provide a more diverse set of services than more narrowly focused ‘international banking centres’ (IBCs) which as the name suggests are domiciles for international banks. For example, London would be both an IFC and an IBC whereas the Cayman Islands would be just an IBC, home to a number of international banks locating there because of favorable tax, regulatory and confidentiality laws. This example raises an important point: IBCs are frequently driven by tax and regulatory considerations. IFCs on the other hand rely much less on favorable legal treatment and much more for their viability on the presence of a large pool of financial professionals who provide specialized international financial services. IFCs thrive because of the breadth and depth of the specialized financial and associated knowledge resident in the IFC.”

The International Financial Centre British Columbia has more detail at its website.

April 1 BC Institute of Technology (BCIT) merged with the Pacific Vocational Institute (PVI). PVI had been created in 1978 as an independent institution to combine BC Vocational School with Maple Ridge and Sea Island operations. Classes of the new, larger BCIT were held on Sea Island, in Kaslo, Langley, Surrey, and Burnaby and in multiple downtown Vancouver locations.

April 6 The City of Vancouver celebrated its 100th birthday. It will mark the special year by hosting Expo 86, which will open May 2.

May 2 Back in 1978, in the quiet and elegant confines of the Cavalry Club in London, England three people sat around over tea and talked about Vancouver. They were Grace McCarthy, the deputy premier and minister of human resources in the B.C. government; Lawrie Wallace, B.C.’s agent-general in the U.K. and Europe; and Patrick Reid, who had been commissioner general for Canadian participation in several world expositions (San Antonio, Osaka, Spokane) and who was just about to start a term as president of the International Bureau of Expositions in Paris. That’s the body that has the final say about what cities get world expositions.

Mrs. McCarthy said that 1986, still eight years ahead, was going to be Vancouver’s 100th birthday and it would be nice to mark that occasion in some special way. Reid responded by saying a world exposition would fill the bill splendidly.

When McCarthy got back to B.C. she collared Premier Bill Bennett and began to push for support for an exposition in Vancouver to mark the city’s centennial.

Under the direction of Vancouver businessman Jimmy Pattison construction finished one month before opening day and was $8 million under budget.

On May 2, 1986 Expo began, officially opened by Prince Charles and Princess Diana. A retired couple who'd driven their trailer from Newfoundland clicked through the turnstile to become Expo's first visitors.

Some 54 countries participated. The Expo Fanfare, by Michael Conway Baker, opened the exposition. Over the six months it ran, Expo 86 drew 22,111,600 people, a huge success.

Press coverage from the 10,000 journalists from 60 countries—from the London Times to Entertainment Tonite and Newsweek—was largely positive. Americans raved. Ironically, the only consistently sour notes came from eastern Canada. Robert Fulford, writing for Saturday Night, found Expo 86 a dream that never came true: “at its core, American . . . unremarkable . . .” while E.J. Kahn Jr. countered in his July 14, 1986 New Yorker magazine article Letter from Vancouver, “It's not so much Expo 86's substance that accounts for its charm as it is its style. You feel good just walking around.”

For many the event that captured the heart and soul of Expo 86 was the July 27 final performance of the World Drum Festival, when 140 percussionists from 17 nations—from Inuit with caribou drums to Indonesian gamelan orchestra and American drumset player Steve Gadd—played to standing ovations.

Wikipedia has a good site on the exposition, with all sorts of details, including the fate of the world’s largest hockey stick. The largest Canadian flag to that time was flown at Expo, now flies above Flag Chev-Olds, a car dealer near Guildford Shopping Centre in Surrey. Visible from six kilometres away, the flag is 12 by 24 metres (40 feet by 80 feet) and flies 85.9 metres (282.4 feet) above the ground.

Kerry McPhedran wrote an excellent article on Expo for The Greater Vancouver Book (1997). Pages 644-45.

But. As Jim Green, then with DERA, the Downtown Eastside Residents’ Association, made clear, Expo was not good for everyone: “In 1986,” Green wrote in The Greater Vancouver Book (1997), “the community braced itself for its biggest challenge: Expo 86, a World's Fair to be held right in the middle of the Downtown Eastside. DERA feared Expo would be destructive. It proved to be just that. Hundreds of units were torn down to build new structures such as office towers, shopping malls and parking garages. Perched on the edge of Expo, they were to be used as a catalyst for other business opportunities. The Social Credit government and its allies on City Council fought against any bylaws that would allow SRO hotels to remain as living units for the people of the community. One thousand people were evicted from their homes. Eleven people died in the first month of the evictions including Olaf Soldheim who, according to the city's Medical Health Officer, died as a direct result of being evicted from his residence of 62 years. It was a devastating period. Networks and social relations were destroyed that to this date have never been rebuilt. Expo could have been a great opportunity for the community if it had offered opportunities to leverage people from welfare into working on the Expo site. There was no attempt to do this. When DERA put the idea forward those in control refused to listen. As a result, thousands of people who lived within a few hundred metres of the site were never given the opportunity to work. There was no positive Expo legacy for the people of the Downtown Eastside.”

One unexpected result of the Expo experience: exposure of local fashion designers captured global attention and our fashion industry began to blossom.

May 7 West Fraser Timber Co. Ltd. was incorporated under that name. The company started in 1955 with the purchase by three brothers—Henry, William and Samuel Ketcham—of a small planer mill in Quesnel. “West Fraser’s vision,” they say on their website, “is to be the leading forest products company in Canada.” For an interesting talk on forest management, caribous and grizzly bears, given in November, 1995 by Hank Ketcham, go to this site.

May 22 BC Premier Bill Bennett announced his retirement. He has served 10 years as premier of BC, will be succeeded August 6 by Bill Vander Zalm.

May 28 The members of the Vancouver Fire Department celebrated a ‘Century of Service’ to the citizens of the City of Vancouver.

May Evergreen Studs Limited, which had incorporated May 27, 1963, changed its name to Primex Forest Products. Its principal business was the manufacture and marketing of high value lumber products for the Japanese market. In 2001 Primex would be taken over by Interfor.

June 27 The Newton Youth Centre opened in Surrey.

July 1 CJJR-FM 93.7 signed on at 9:37 a.m. with a country music format.

July 18 Gordon Gibson, Sr., lumberman, died in West Vancouver, aged 81. He was born November 28, 1904 at Goldbottom Creek, Yukon Territory. He left school at 12 to work in fishing and logging, was nicknamed “The Bull” as a young man. In 1939, with his father W.F. Gibson and three brothers, started three logging companies. From 1948 to 1952, Gibson owned or participated in many related businesses. He was a Liberal MLA for Lillooet in 1952, was later elected in North Vancouver. He led a stormy political career, once accusing Premier W.A.C. Bennett of thinking he was God. He was almost single-handedly responsible for exposing the Robert Sommers scandal of 1955, when Sommers, the forests minister, was suspected of accepting “considerations” from large forest industry companies in the granting of Forest Management Licenses.

In his 1980 biography, Bull of the Woods, Gibson tells us he raised the matter privately with Sommers. “He told me to mind my own business.” The next morning, February 15, 1955, Gibson went to Premier Bennett and told him the same story. “He would not listen either; in fact, his comment to me after a hard half hour of talking was, ‘You had better mind your own business, Gordon. You Liberals started this. We’re no worse than you are.”

Later that same day Gibson stood up in the provincial legislature and, in a voice he himself said “could be heard outside the House without any amplifying system,” challenged Premier Bennett to put the whole method of awarding FMLs before the Forestry Committee, which had representation from all four parties.

“You’ve no chance,” he roared, “of running a fair government so long as your cabinet ministers, in awarding Forest Management Licences, will only talk to men with $20 million or more.

“There is something that the premier and his cabinet are afraid of. They know things will be divulged before the committee that they are afraid to have divulged.

“I firmly believe that money talks and that money has talked in this: I want that answered by the ministers. We are not going to let this go unanswered. Evidence will come out showing wrongdoings by this government . . .”

The “money talks” speech caused a sensation and sparked an investigation. In the end, Sommers was sent to jail—the first time a cabinet minister in the British Commonwealth had been jailed for misconduct in office—and reforms were instituted.

Incidentally, Bull of the Woods, published by Douglas & McIntyre, sold more than 50,000 copies.

July 19 Westminster Quay Public Market opened. The old city market would close the following February. The focus of the Quay is its large public market, with its landmark clock tower. Historic boats and buildings remind shoppers of the area's century-and-a-half of maritime history.

July These buildings were designated Schedule A Heritage Buildings:

Dick Building, 1482-1490 West Broadway, built in 1929

Model School, 555 West 12th Avenue, built in 1905

Normal School, 555 West 12th Avenue, built in 1909

An interesting website has the history of the two schools cited.

July The United Scottish Cultural Centre, which since St. Andrew’s Day (November 30) in 1955 had been at Fir Street and West 12th Avenue in Vancouver, moved into a new home at 8886 Hudson in Marpole. The original group comprised no fewer than 21 Scottish Canadians groups.

August 6 William N. Vander Zalm (born 1934), Social Credit, became BC premier on the resignation of Bill Bennett. He will serve to April 2, 1991. For CBC-TV coverage of his first day in office, check out this site. It shows Peter Mansbridge with hair!

Summer SkyBridge construction began. The bridge will allow the extension of SkyTrain across the Fraser into Surrey.

September 22 The Alex Fraser Bridge opened, linking Delta with Lulu Island. This high-level bridge crosses the main channel of the Fraser River. When it opened, the 465-metre main span was the longest in the world. The stay cables radiate from two tall concrete towers, founded on large steel pipe piles of similar length. The deck is concrete, laid on steel plate girders. Originally the six-lane deck was restricted to four lanes, the outer lanes being reserved for cyclists and pedestrians. In about a year the bridge had generated sufficient traffic to justify opening all six lanes to vehicles. Pedestrians and cyclists were moved outside the cables. It was named for the late Alex Fraser, minister of highways.

September 25 Darshan A. Sangha, also known as Darshan Singh Canadian, activist, was murdered in Punjab, India, aged about 69. He was born in 1917 in Langeri in the Punjab. After arriving in Vancouver, his uncle lobbied to get him a job at Dominion Sawmills. As a result, the uncle was fired and Darshan hired at 5 cents less an hour. In 1942 he was the first person in the Hindustani community to be drafted. As an organizer of the International Woodworkers of America (1942-46), he fought for the rights of B.C.'s East Indian woodworkers. He led IWA strikers on a march to Victoria in 1946. After 11 years in Canada he returned to India in 1948 and changed his surname to “Canadian.” He represented the Communist party for three terms in the Punjabi state legislature. After speaking out against Sikh extremism, he was murdered by unknown attackers.

September The Vancouver Heritage Register was compiled and adopted by Vancouver’s city council. (It had been known as the Vancouver Heritage Inventory.) This Register is a listing of buildings, streetscapes, landscape resources (parks and landscapes, trees, monuments, public works) and archaeological sites which have architectural or historical heritage value. To quote its website, “It is a policy and guideline document which includes approximately 2,150 buildings, and 131 landscapes, monuments and archaeological sites. To be included on the Register, sites must be identified as having heritage value and/or heritage character and be at least 20 years old. The Register is a planning tool which provides a valuable record of Vancouver’s heritage.”

The City of Vancouver's Heritage Management Plan was established as the blueprint for looking after the identification, public awareness, conservation and protection of Vancouver's heritage. The Plan is administered by the four staff of the Heritage Conservation Program in the Planning Department. Council seeks advise on heritage matters through the Vancouver Heritage Commission, an appointed body of 11 citizens with a range of expertise and interest in heritage. There’s more information on the web site cited in the preceding paragraph.

October 12 On Expo's last day but one a record 341,806 visitors (120,000 was a daily average) showed up for one last visit.

October 13 Expo 86 closed. Attendance at the exposition, originally projected to reach 14 million, topped 22 million.

October 22 The Province’s Page One headline: SHA-ZALM! That announced the election of “millionaire gardener” Bill Vander Zalm as premier. Inside the paper VANDER SLAM! was the headline for the story on how the Zalm's Social Credit forces had battered Bob Skelly's NDP.

“The Socreds,” the paper said, “who have governed B.C. for 31 of the last 34 years, were elected or leading in 49 seats at press time, while the New Democrats were ahead in 20 seats.”

The beaming Vander Zalm's response to victory: “It's to be expected.”

October 29 Ron Thom, architect, died in Toronto, aged 63. Thom was one of the most highly regarded architects ever to work in Vancouver. Here’s what Sean Rossiter, who writes extensively on BC architecture, wrote about him: “Ron Thom was the culmination of the pre-Arthur Erickson era in Vancouver architecture. Many architects are failed artists. Thom was an exceptional artist who turned to architecture . . . after meeting Richard Neutra during the Los Angeles architect's visit to Vancouver in 1947. Though fundamentally a pupil of Frank Lloyd Wright and an apprentice of Ned Pratt's until 1958, Thom had by then already succeeded in marrying the horizontal Wright house with the West Coast climate to move B.C. residential design into a league of its own.” Thom was born in Penticton May 15, 1923. He was a graduate of and former teacher at the Vancouver School of Art, and taught design at UBC’s Architectural School. He became an architect by indenturing with the firm of Thompson, Berwick & Pratt, and later became a partner of the firm. He assisted C.E. Pratt in the design of the B.C. Electric Building in Vancouver (called Electra today), and was responsible for the design of many religious, educational, recreational and commercial buildings,

Thom was a pioneer in the ‘West Coast’ style, with its lavish use of wood and glass and informal integration into the distinctive coastal landscape. It’s estimated there may be as many as 200 houses in Greater Vancouver designed wholly or in part by Thom. An oddity: he was a superb draughtsman and could draw really well . . . upside down! Legend has it that many clients reached for their cheque books as they saw their dream homes take shape under his speedy pencil.

October John Henry Cates, boat builder, died in North Vancouver, aged 90. He was born July 13, 1896 in North Vancouver, the son of Capt. Charles Henry Cates. He was a Liberal MLA for North Van from 1945 to 1952 and served as labor minister. His wife Carrie was elected mayor of North Vancouver in 1964, defeating three male candidates, and was re-elected in 1965 and 1967.

She died February 21, 1977 in Vancouver.

November 1 West Vancouver’s new coat of arms was granted by Letters Patent. The document would be presented March 15, 1987 at a ceremony on the 75th anniversary of incorporation—March 15, 1912.

November 27 The Hongkong Bank of Canada—known today as HSBC Bank Canada—announced it had bought the assets and liabilities of the Bank of B.C. The transaction was aided by a $200 million cash injection from the Canada Deposit Insurance Corp., to protect the Hongkong Bank from future losses resulting from acquiring the Bank of B.C.’s assets. Overnight, the small Vancouver-based Hongkong Bank moved from being the twentieth largest to the ninth largest bank in Canada by adding $2.6 billion in assets and 41 branches in B.C. and Alberta.

But the Province had had a scoop on the purchase the day before, by business reporter David Baines (now with the Sun). From Ottawa, brand-new Premier Bill Vander Zalm—there for softwood lumber discussions—had told Baines his government was “pretty excited” about the takeover because “it will give us a much more meaningful place in the development of an international financial centre.”

Small though it may have been, the bank’s dramatic new office tower at 885 West Georgia topped out at 23 storeys and a height of 100.5 metres.

November 30 In Vancouver, the Hamilton Tiger Cats beat the Edmonton Eskimos 39-15 to win the Grey Cup.

December 8 Chung Chuck, potato farmer, died in Ladner, aged about 88. He was born c. 1898 in China, came to Vancouver at age 13 and farmed with his father. He worked as a CPR laborer, then farmed near Ladner's Delta Dike. In 1927 the B.C. government had introduced laws regulating the marketing of tree fruits and vegetables, and in 1934 the B.C. Coast Vegetable Marketing Board began measures aimed at curtailing the activities of Chinese farmers. With Ladner farmer Mah Lai, Chung appealed to the Supreme Court. In January 1937 the Privy Council ruled the laws invalid. White farmers protested “unfair Chinese competition” and blocked Vancouver bridges. Chung attempted to cross, was attacked, later charged seven men with assault. “He believed if he fought for his rights under the law, he would eventually win. And boy, did he fight.”

A movie titled Chung Chuck was made in 1985, but aside from the fact that it starred Han-Sheng Tsai, Robert Clothier and Terrence Kelly we haven’t been able to learn more. Not even the IMdB has information.

December 26 Ida Green, the widow of Dr. Cecil Green, died in Vancouver. She met Cecil Green in 1923, while he was working on his master's thesis at the General Electric Research Center in Schenectady, New York. They were married 60 years until Ida's death. (Cecil Green would die in 2003, aged 102.) Mrs. Green bequeathed nearly $3 million to UBC for the maintenance and upgrading of Cecil Green Park and for academic purposes such as the Cecil and Ida Green lecture series. See this website for an intensely interesting overview of the Greens’ lives and philanthropic activities.

And see the 1912 and 1967 chronology pages on our site for information on “Kanakla,” the original name of Cecil Green Park.

December James Inglis Reid’s famous butcher shop closed on Granville Street, forced out by the expansion of Pacific Centre. This famous high-ceilinged shop had been at that location since 1915, with a sign that every Vancouverite recognized: “We hae meat that ye can eat.” The meats included Ayrshire bacon, Belfast ham, black pudding and oatmeal-coated sausage. The Scottish-born (Kirkintilloch) Reid had come to Vancouver in 1906, at 32. Another Scot, H. Nelson Menzies, joined him in 1917. Long service was a constant at Reid's. When the shop closed its manager, Gordon Wyness, had been there 41 years.

Also in 1986

BC’s population topped three million this year. It had reached one million in 1951, two million in 1968. See this site.

Former realtor and businessman Gordon Campbell became mayor of Vancouver, succeeding Mike Harcourt. He would serve two terms. Born in Vancouver January 12, 1948, the 38-year-old Campbell’s terms in office were a time, Donna-Jean McKinnon has written, “when civic government worked more closely with development than community interests.” At the end of his second term in 1993, Campbell would win the leadership of the provincial Liberal party that had gained right-of-centre support in B.C. following the 1991 decimation of Social Credit.

The arrival of SkyTrain—following the old interurban route from Vancouver to New Westminster—sparked an influx of residents and businesses in south Vancouver and Burnaby.

There was a new wave of settlement into low-rise and high-rise apartment buildings near the station stops, echoing the original settlement of the area. Along the line just east of Central Park newly-opened Metrotown Centre would begin to mushroom to include high-rise apartments, multiple-dwelling complexes, office towers and a huge shoppers' destination.

Richmond, in which the 1956 population was 26,000, was now at 96,154. Until 1961, 60 per cent of the city's population was of British descent. By 1986, the number of people claiming British heritage had fallen to 27 per cent, while those of Chinese descent made up eight per cent of the population while 5.6 per cent had an Indo-Pakistani heritage.

Water from Canada became available to residents of Point Roberts, the tiny chunk of Washington State reachable by land only through BC. Water had been a problem there, with wells running dry in the summer. Water trucked in from Blaine provided temporary relief, so this assured supply was greeted with glee by the residents . . . many of whom were Canadian.

The Vancouver Canucks incorporated the Canuck Foundation, their community fund-raising organization. It has raised more than $18 million since, changed its name in 2002 to Canucks for Kids Fund. In 1995 it will begin to administer Canuck Place, the children’s hospice.

Expo organizers invited Second City Theatre to take over an on-site cabaret called The Flying Club. Some of Vancouver's top comics performed there. After Expo ended, local impresarios Bruce Allen, Roger Gibson and Lou Blair took over the space and renamed it The Comedy Club.

The Back Alley Theatre was formed. A short-lived improvisational comedy troupe, working out of what had been City Stage, it would evolve into the acclaimed Vancouver TheatreSports League.

Local film historian Michael Walsh had these comments on 1986's movies.

Clan Of The Cave Bear (director, Michael Chapman) After filming in Cathedral Park and the Nahanni Valley, actress Daryl Hannah completed work as a Cro-Magnon beauty on Bridge Studio sets.

Stripper (director, Jerome Gary) New Yorker Gary follows dancers Kimberly “Danyel” Holcomb, Loree “Mouse” Menton and Lisa “G.O.” Suarez from Vancouver, home of “the best strip bars in the world,” to Las Vegas for a strippers competition.

The Boy Who Could Fly (director, Nick Castle) Making friends with an autistic classmate (Jay Underwood), a lonely teen (Lucy Deakins) discovers his amazing powers in this coming-of-age fantasy filmed at Vancouver's Lord Byng Secondary.

Fire With Fire (director, Duncan Gibbons) Vancouver's St. George's School plays an Oregon Catholic girls academy, home to a rebellious teen (Virginia Madsen) who becomes involved with a local prison inmate (Craig Sheffer).

Ladies Of The Lotus (directors, Douglas C. Nicolle and Lloyd Simandl) Sinister forces are at work in this tale of a West Coast fashion studio whose models begin disappearing after the installation of a sophisticated surveillance system.

Abducted (director, Boon Collins) Vancouver Island writer-director Collins used North Vancouver wilderness locations for the story of a pretty marathon runner (Roberta Weiss) kidnapped by a mad mountain man (Lawrence King Philip).

Blood Link (director Alberto De Martino) Troubled by violent nightmares, a doctor (Michael Moriarty) discovers that he's tuned into the misdeeds of his separated-Siamese-twin brother.

High Stakes (directed by Larry Kent) On a return visit, Vancouver feature-film pioneer Kent cast local broadcasting legend Jack Webster as a television anchorman in an action-comedy about newsgathering and a lost Nazi treasure.

Legend has it that the title of rock group Bon Jovi's best-selling 1986 album Slippery When Wet was inspired by the band's numerous visits to a Vancouver strip bar where on-stage showers were a popular part of the routine.

Impresario Hugh Pickett received the Order of Canada. These awards are commonly sparked by recommendations from the recipient’s friends, co-workers and so on. The committee in charge of selecting the honorees was startled, in Pickett’s case, to receive recommendations from close friends such as Marlene Dietrich, Lillian Gish, Mitzi Gaynor, Katharine Hepburn, Ginger Rogers, Leontyne Price, Carlos Montoya, Sir Laurence Olivier, Vincent Price, Phyllis Diller and others.

Ian Mulgrew, born 1957, who had come to Vancouver in the early 1980s as West Coast Bureau Chief for the Globe and Mail, joined The Province. (Today, he’s a columnist with The Vancouver Sun.)

This Vancouver centennial year was a busy one for artists. Not all the work cited here was intended to celebrate the city’s 100 years, but much of it was.

A great many of the works cited here can be seen on the invaluable public art site of the City of Vancouver.

Solo Natalie McHaffie, a Toronto artist, created this stainless steel piece in Devonian Park at Denman and Georgia for the City Shapes project to celebrate Vancouver's centennial. She says the piece evokes mountains, cargo cranes, airplanes and “the fluid elements of wind and water.”

Cloudscape A plexiglass/silk ribbon tapestry by Joanna Staniszkis, brightening the lobby of Park Place, 666 Burrard.

Builders Joyce McDonald paid tribute to Vancouver's pioneers with this black granite sculpture, sited in Discovery Park at Burrard and Dunsmuir. This was a City Shapes project.

Vessel Another City Shapes project in Discovery Park, this piece by Quebec’s Dominique Valade uses Quebec granite and steel cable.

Pendulum Summerland-born Alan Storey created what is easily the most well-known kinetic sculpture in Vancouver, a big and hypnotic feature of the 995 West Georgia HSBC Building atrium. Oddly, the artist wasn’t thinking of a pendulum when he conceived this piece, but of “a column that could break free of its base.” The pendulum, the HSBC website tells us, “is made of brushed aluminum, is 27 meters (90 feet) long, 1 meter (3 feet) square and hollow from top to bottom. It weighs 1600 Kgs. (3,500 lbs.) and travels through an arc of about 6 meters (20 feet).” There’s more detail on the web site.

Wings of Prey, a granite sculpture by Georg Schmerholz, showing an eagle with wings spread wide in the act of snatching a salmon, is also in the HSBC lobby. It weighs three tonnes and stands two metres high.

Courtly Evanescence An art-glass window in the lobby of Robson Court, 840 Howe Street. The artist was Lutz Haufschild.

Untitled sculpture In the Westcoast Hall of the Orpheum Toronto’s Judi Young created for City Shapes a stainless steel/copper tubing structure, a homage to the “strength and manual labor of the early pioneers.”

Celebration A lively, funny City Shapes painted wood sculpture by John Hooper of New Brunswick. It stands in the central plaza of Sinclair Centre.

Rainforest Created for the City Shapes project by Gordon Ferguson, Rainforest, on the Queen Elizabeth Theatre plaza, “is a tilted steel platform with 28 steel poles meant to represent a forest of trees and also the driving rain. There are silhouettes of objects like and axe, cross saw, chairs, etc, interspersed among the poles.”

Seven columns A painted steel construction by artist Ron Rule on Granville Island. “These columns,” art writer Elizabeth Godley has commented, “now covered with clematis and ivy, were commissioned by the park board to draw the eye away from nearby electrical and sewage equipment.”

Anchor A stylized anchor, made of reinforced concrete, and situated near the west end of the pedestrian path along Spanish Banks. It metaphorically marks the spot where Spanish explorer Don Jose Maria Narvaez dropped anchor in 1791. He was the first European to see the future site of the city of Vancouver. Another City Shapes project, this one from German-born artist Christel Fuoss-Moore.

Untitled archway Volker Steigemann created this work, inspired by Japanese sculpture, from red cedar wood and a large black rock, and set it in CRAB Park at the north foot of Main Street. The rock was imported from Cortes Island, the artist’s home at the time. A City Shapes work.

Gates At Kensington Park (33rd and Knight), the second-highest hilltop in the city, Vancouver’s Douglas Senft shaped a steel silhouette of the mountain skyline with the city buildings superimposed on it. City Shapes.

Celebration of Man and Nature A striking large piece by Montreal’s Hannah Franklin, this shows local newspaper columns encased in acrylic and polyester resin blocks. The sculpture is in the north wing of SFU’s academic quadrangle. This work was created for the Centennial Sculpture Symposium.

Your Ancient Scribe That’s what Walter Draycott called himself. This life-size bronze of Draycott, called the “father of Lynn Valley” and author of Early Days in Lynn Valley, a book on north shore history, was created by Kevin Head. At the time of the commission, Head was a student at Emily Carr Institute of Art and Design. Draycott was an amateur geologist and nature enthusiast. You’ll find this work in Pioneer Park, at Lynn Valley Road and Mountain Highway. Draycott died in 1985 at 102.

Granite sculptures The sculptures in Coquitlam’s Blue Mountain Park remain there from a 1986-87 symposium arranged by sculptor Patrick Sullivan. The other artists involved were Barry Holmes and Carl Sam.

The Flame of Peace fountain was installed in Seaforth Park at the south end of Burrard Bridge. Artists were Sam Carter and Judith Reeve. Twenty years on the work is unfinished.

Writes Elizabeth Godley: “A fountain/sculpture at Pacific and Beach, designed by Bob Turner, was donated by the Davis family, scrap-metal merchants, as part of Vancouver's 1986 Legacies and Gifts Program. Palm trees, also a gift, were planted later.” She writes, too, on the fountains at Canada Place, designed by Toronto architect Eberhard Zeidler, Toronto architect. “One fountain, seen as you enter the atrium, resembles a waterfall; the other, the ‘Pacific Rim’ fountain, symbolizes Canada's connection with the Orient.”

As one way to mark its centennial Vancouver introduced 100 oval plaques describing historic events, concentrated in the Chinatown, Gastown and downtown areas. Many have been placed well up the sides of buildings to prevent theft.

The Bay paid for repairs to the Nine O’Clock Gun and its shelter this year.

Lost Lagoon's “Jubilee” fountain, the city's best-known fountain, installed in 1936, was repaired for Expo in 1986.

Alan Barkley was appointed president of the Emily Carr Institute of Art and Design. He will hold that post until 1995.

A lot of books appeared in 1986. They include:

Vander Zalm: From Immigrant to Premier, a biography by Alan Twigg, described as the first critical book on Bill Vander Zalm.

Vancouver: An Illustrated Chronology, by Chuck Davis and Shirley Mooney. This book, sponsored by the Vancouver Board of Trade, looked at the city’s events in chronological order from its earliest days to 1986. There were many illustrations, and a section by Moira Pepper on histories of local companies.

The Pacific Swift, an anthology on building and sailing a traditional tall ship. The editor was SALT Society director Bill Wolferstan, whose books on cruising guides are well known.

Lucky to live in Cedar Cottage: Memories of Lord Selkirk Elementary School and Cedar Cottage neighbourhood, 1911-1963. Published by the Vancouver School Board. Editors were Seymour Levitan and Carol Miller.

On the shady side: Vancouver, 1886 to 1914, by Betty Keller, a tongue-in-cheek look at crime and criminals by a well-known local author.

A Century of Service: Vancouver Police 1886-1986 by retired Vancouver Police staff sergeant Joe Swan. Sergeant Swan had been writing a lively historical crime column for the West Ender newspaper commencing in 1983, and was briefly curator at the Vancouver Police Centennial Museum.

The Jewish Historical Society of British Columbia published Centennial of Vancouver Jewish Life: 1886-1986, by Cyril Leonoff..

Pieces of Map, Pieces of Music, by Los Angeles-born (October 16, 1946) Robert Bringhurst, a collection of his poetry.

A Guide to Climbing & Hiking in Southwestern British Columbia, by Bruce Fairley. The author, born in 1951, was a Vancouver lawyer who had been a climber since joining the UBC Outdoor Club in 1975.

The Story of the B.C. Electric Railway Company, by Henry Ewert. Ewert rode the Vancouver streetcars on their final day of service in 1955, and rode the interurbans on their final day in 1958. He knows his stuff, and writes engagingly.

The Death of Air India Flight 182 by Province reporter Salim Jiwa, a detailed look at India's political tensions and the 1985 terrorist bombing that ripped open a jumbo jet over the Irish Sea, murdering 329 people.

A place of excellence: a chronicle of West Vancouver, 1912-1987, by Bruce Ramsey, published by the District of West Vancouver.

Pattison: Portrait of a Capitalist Superstar by Russell Kelly, a study of Vancouver businessman Jim Pattison.

The curses of third uncle, by Paul Yee. It was one of the series Adventures in Canadian history for young readers. A brief review, in part: “Lillian Ho is a fourteen-year-old girl living with her family in Vancouver's Chinatown, in the year 1909. Her mother is overburdened with work and children; her father is frequently absent on mysterious business. When he fails to return from a trip, the family's circumstances deteriorate. Finally, Third Uncle threatens to send them back to China. He frightens Lillian and her sisters with unpleasant stories about China, and how girls are treated there. Her mother can see no other solution, so Lillian undertakes to get a job and to find her father.”

Kiwanis published 21 Pioneer Enterprises, a collection of brief profiles of local companies.

The publication Vancouver past: essays in social history appeared, a Vancouver centennial issue of BC studies (No. 69-70), edited by Robert A.J. McDonald and Jean Barman, and published by UBC Press.

It included these articles:

* Cottages and castles for Vancouver home-seekers, by Deryck W. Holdsworth

* Working class Vancouver, 1886-1914: urbanism and class in British Columbia, by Robert A. McDonald

* Sam Kee: a Chinese business in early Vancouver, Paul Yee

* Neighbourhood and community in interwar Vancouver: residential differentiation and civic voting behaviour, by Jean Barman

* The confinement of women: childbirth and hospitalization in Vancouver, 1919-1939, by Veronica Strong-Boag & Kathryn McPherson

* The triumph of “formalism”: elementary schooling in Vancouver from the 1920s to the 1960s, by Neil Sutherland

* The incidence of crime in Vancouver during the great depression, by James P. Huzel

* The Mother's Council of Vancouver: holding the fort for the unemployed, 1935-1938, by Irene Howard

* “A Palace for the Public”: housing reform and the 1946 occupation of the old Hotel Vancouver, by Jill Wade

* A half century of writing on Vancouver's history, by Patricia Roy (herself the author of 1980's Vancouver: An Illustrated History)

The Vancouver Historical Society named lifeguard Joe Fortes Vancouver’s Citizen of the Century. Seraphim “Joe” Fortes had come to Vancouver in 1885 and became a regular at English Bay, teaching children to swim. He was appointed Vancouver's first official lifeguard in 1901, and is credited with saving more than 100 lives. The Joe Fortes Branch of the Vancouver Public Library, 870 Denman, was named for him.

The Vancouver Police Centennial Museum was opened—its appropriate location the old Coroner’s Court Building at 240 East Cordova. The museum, created to commemorate the centennial of the city's police force, has many grimly fascinating exhibits, “from wanted posters to a forensic pathology exhibit of a preserved larynx fractured by a fatal karate chop.” Errol Flynn’s body was once stretched out here, and there was a crime scene recreation of the still unsolved 1953 “Babes in the Woods” murder mystery.

The Vancouver Cultural Alliance was established to project a single, strong voice for the local arts community. Since then, the VCA has grown to include more than 200 members. It’s now known as the Alliance for Arts and Culture.

Vancouver-born (April 22, 1944) Glen Ringdal became the vice-president of marketing for the Vancouver Canucks. In 1987 he will add another hat: president of the BC Lions!

A treehouse built by gently eccentric deaf twins Peter (1872-1949) and David Brown (1872-1958) on their heavily-treed property in Surrey was demolished. A replacement of a different design was installed. The twins, who lived in the treehouse for years, planted many different kinds of trees on their property . . . more different trees, in fact, than anywhere else in BC! They left 59 acres to Surrey, which developed them into the charming Redwood Park.

The family firm of H.Y. Louie Co., which had incorporated in 1927 with five employees, was now an important drugstore and wholesale grocery business employing 2,000.

Restoration began at the 1888 CPR Roundhouse in Yaletown, as a Vancouver Centennial project. Engine 374, which pulled the first CPR passenger train into Vancouver in May of 1887, has been restored and sits proudly within a portion of the roundhouse.

The exquisite Dr. Sun Yat-sen Classical Chinese Garden opened in Vancouver’s Chinatown. The architect was Joe Wai, the garden design was by specialists brought from China. It recreates the retreat of a scholar of the Ming Dynasty and is based on a prototype in Suzhou, China's ‘City of Gardens.’ The website, beautifully illustrated, has much interesting history.

The White Spot's original restaurant on Granville Street, opened in June 1928, was destroyed by fire.

Lonsdale Quay opened in North Vancouver. Views from the Pier are splendid. Today, the multi-level complex is home to more than 90 shops & services.

New border facilities were opened at the Pacific Highway Port of Entry in Surrey, a $13 million project which will be the main clearing port for freight trucks. Today, the "truck crossing" is second in traffic only to the Blaine/Douglas crossing.

Burnaby became a sister city to Loughborough in England, where Robert Burnaby is buried.

A 1986 study showed that Vancouver’s Kerrisdale neighborhood was one of the most affluent in North America. Average household income in Kerrisdale was $59,474, approaching twice the $32,403 average for Vancouver city.

Victoria beat Vancouver’s record of 28 straight days of rain this year with 33 days straight!

Built in 1955, the low-level, road/rail Derwent Way Bridge connecting New Westminster's Queensborough neighbourhood on Lulu Island with Annacis Island, was reconstructed. The bridge now carries two highway lanes, and a separate rail track. A wide steel girder swing span provides a navigation opening.

The grandfather clock on the third floor of Vancouver’s city hall was presented to the city as a centennial gift from Vancouver’s sister city of Yokohama, Japan.

Angry debate was sparked because of campaign literature used by the Non-Partisan Association: their brochures bore the city's coat of arms. Some council members at the time said that gave the impression the City of Vancouver was endorsing NPA candidates. A decision was made that only official documents of the city can use the coat of arms. It is now the city's policy not to give any person or association permission to use it.

Cutbacks in manpower in the late 1980s affected manning on fire apparatus and resulted in the de-commissioning of Vancouver Fireboat No. 2. It was subsequently sold to the San Francisco Fire Department. (When the boat was placed in service in 1951 its capacity of 90,920 litres (20,000 gallons) per minute made it, it was said, the world's most powerful.)

The old post office at the northwest corner of Granville and Hastings Streets became part of the beautifully restored, $38-million Sinclair Centre.

The landfills in North Vancouver and Richmond were closed. All filled up.

The Hellenic Canadian Congress of B.C. was established, made up of nearly 30 recreational and region-based Greek organizations in Vancouver.

Spain joined the European Economic Community, and began to thrive. One result: many Spaniards in Vancouver returned to their mother country.

The Satnam Education Society of B.C. (Sikh) started the Khalsa School in Vancouver in 1986.

The city stopped selling plots at Mountain View Cemetery. There are 90,000 graves there, many at double depth to hold two deceased, and the cemetery is spread over 105 acres west of Fraser between 31st and 41st Avenues. There are 3,600 graves that have been bought but never used. Interments for indigents are Mountain View's main business today.

Ocean View Cemetery’s mausoleum underwent a $1.2 million addition. One of Canada's largest mausoleums, it is adorned with a two-storey stained glass window and a marble statue carved from a single block weighing 2.5 tons and standing six feet high. There are more than 4,500 entombments in the mausoleum, and 86,000 entombed on the 36 hectares of the cemetery, at 4000 Imperial Street in Burnaby. (Incidentally, among the people buried here are former world heavyweight boxing champion Tommy Burns (1881-1955), actor Miles Mander (1888-1946) and Victoria Cross recipient Cecil Merritt (1908-2000).)

The original bell of the church of Our Lady of Sorrows on Slocan Street—the largest Catholic church in Vancouver—was installed in a remodelled bell tower.

During Expo 86, a a 187-unit townhouse built in 1985 at Fairview Crescent, with shared accommodation for 782 single students, was leased to Expo. (Phase two, a 158-unit complex for married students, would be opened in early 1987.)

UBC’s Native Indian Teacher Education Program (NITEP), which had started in 1974, admitted its first Masters students.

SFU president William Saywell, whose term in office ran from 1983 to 1994, launched the Bridge to the Future capital campaign. It had a $33 million goal and surpassed $60 million, two-thirds of which went to the main campus, the remainder to create high-tech Harbour Centre, inside the historic Spencer building on West Hastings Street. Leaders in the Vancouver business community endorsed the downtown campus concept and joined the campaign. “We could never have undertaken this project,” Saywell said, “without the superb volunteer leadership provided by Sam Belzberg and a nation-wide committee.”

The five-year-old Burnaby Hospital Foundation raised $600,000 for a computed tomography (CT) scanner. The provincial health ministry chipped in $900,000.

Riverview and Valleyview Hospitals amalgamated.

The Georgia Straight, which had started in 1967 as a weekly newspaper, became a magazine that looked like a newspaper. Charles Campbell was hired as Managing Editor. Under Campbell's guidance the Straight began to expand its coverage of the entire arts and cultural scene.

These periodicals debuted in 1986:

Canadian Heavy Equipment Guide Published nine times a year, this publication described new products and industry developments. Industry experts explained the best way to use and maintain heavy equipment.

Charhdi Kala A free weekly newspaper for the Punjabi community.

Communique* (Vancouver) A bi-monthly publication for members of the Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis Society of B.C. It reported on ALS research, fundraising and coping mechanisms and services for families with the disease, also known as Lou Gehrig’s Disease.

Grocer Today Magazine A trade magazine for the food and beverage industry in Western Canada, published 10 times a year by Canada Wide Magazines Ltd. It serves independent grocers, brokers, importers, manufacturers, etc.

Westcoast Fisherman A monthly magazine with news for coast commercial fishers

Westcoast Mariner A monthly magazine with news for skippers and crews who worked the Pacific Coast.

The number of passengers arriving and departing Vancouver International Airport increased from 1985's 7,017,850 to 8,413,490.

The Tymac No. 2, a water taxi built in 1938, became a Vancouver Harbour tour boat.

Adnan Khashoggi, then known as the world's richest man, popped up this year as a director of a VSE-listed company, Skyhigh Resources Ltd. Its shares went from 60 cents to $72 before evaporating. This was one of the events that caused Vancouver’s stock market to be viewed with derision and suspicion elsewhere.

Harbour Savings (the former Burnaby Credit Union) merged with North Shore Credit Union.

The Australian conglomerate, Elders IXL Ltd., bought Carling O’Keefe Breweries to get a ticket into the North American market for Foster's lager. They created it at the familiar brewery building at Twelfth and Yew. Today, that site is occupied by the O’Keefe, a seniors’ residence.

The Greater Vancouver Convention and Visitors Bureau changed its name to Tourism Vancouver.

Debbie Brill won gold in the high jump at the 1986 Commonwealth Games in Edinburgh. She had won gold as a 17-year-old at the same games in Edinburgh in 1970, and again at the Commonwealth Games at Brisbane, Australia, in 1982. To win gold in three attempts over 16 years was an astonishing achievement.

Charles “Chunky” Woodward received the W.A.C. Bennett Award for sports contributions from the B.C. Sports Hall of Fame.

UBC Thunderbirds, coached by Frank Smith, beat the University of Western Ontario Mustangs to win their second national championship. They had beaten the same team, to win the same title, in 1982.

The Vancouver Park Board instituted a program of commemorative benches. Hundreds of benches have now been financed by members of the local public, in memory of loved ones, friends, colleagues, etc.

1986 Corvette
1986 Corvette


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Norman A.M. "Larry" MacKenzie (photo: UBC)
Norman A.M. “Larry” MacKenzie
[Photo: UBC]
























































































































































Retiring Premier Bill Bennett (right) introducing incoming Premier Bill Vander Zalm at the 1986 Social Credit leadership convention. (Photo:
Retiring Premier Bill Bennett (right) introducing incoming Premier Bill Vander Zalm at the 1986 Social Credit leadership convention.














Bull of the Woods - the bography of Gordon Gibson, Sr.







































Model School in 1907 (photo: Philip Timms, courtesy Vancouver Public Library)
Model School in 1907
[Photo: Philip Timms, courtesy Vancouver Public Library]

The Dick Building, 1490 West Broadway (photo: Maurice Jassak
The Dick Building, 1490 West Broadway
[Photo: Maurice Jassak]














































































Ron Thom (photo: Trent University)
Ron Thom
[Photo: Trent University]






























HSBC Building (photo: HSBC)
HSBC Building
[Photo: HSBC]















































































































































































Pendulum  by Alan Storey. (photo: HSBC)
Pendulum by Alan Storey
[Photo: HSBC]




Celebration, by John Hooper (photo: art)
Celebration, by John Hooper
[Photo: art]





Anchor, by Christel Fuoss-Moore (photo:
Anchor, by Christel Fuoss-Moore














Your Ancient Scribe, by artist Kevin Head (photo:
Your Ancient Scribe, by artist Kevin Head
















Lost Lagoon Fountain (photo: City of Vancouver)
Lost Lagoon Fountain
[Photo: City of Vancouver]

























































































Joe Fortes
Joe Fortes was Vancouver’s
Citizen of the Century



































Sun Yat-Sen Garden (photo:
Sun Yat-Sen Garden


Lonsdale Quay Pier (photo: City of North Vancouver)
Lonsdale Quay Pier
[Photo: City of North Vancouver]