- 1884] [1885 - 1891] [1892
[1900 - 1905] [1906
- 1908]  
  
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January Designated as a Schedule A Heritage
structure was 2055 West 14th, built in 1910.
March Construction began on a new Kwantlen
College campus on the four-hectare site of the former Lansdowne
race track at the corner of Garden City and Lansdowne Roads in Richmond.
The $37 million complex would officially open in August, 1992.
March Designated as a Schedule A Heritage
structure was the Randall Building, at 535-565 West Georgia, built
in 1929 and completely rehabilitated this year. This building is
now better known as the Cavelti building, after Toni Cavelti, its
long-time tenant and a prominent local jewelry designer.
April 2 Rita
Johnston (born in Melville, Saskatchewan on April 22,
1935 as Rita Leichert), Social Credit MLA for Surrey, became premier
of BC, succeeding Bill Vander Zalm, who had resigned. She will serve
to November 5, 1991, seven months. (See November 5 entry below.)
She had served on Surrey council for eight years (only the second
woman to be elected to council), including a period when Vander
Zalm was the mayor. She then became an MLA in 1983, municipal affairs
minister in 1986, highways minister in 1989 and deputy premier in
As the MLA for Surrey-Newton Johnston was instrumental
in bringing SkyTrain to Surreya move that heralded the municipality's
arrival as the Greater Vancouver Regional District's second city
April 3 A newsprint machine developed by Vancouver-based
consulting engineers firm H.A. Simons for Howe Sound Pulp and Paper
Limited at Port Mellon began working todayonly one day later
than had originally been scheduled three years earlier.
April 28 Gordon Hilker, impresario, died in
North Vancouver, aged 77. His father Harry Hilker (1880-1969) was
a haberdasher and impresario. Gordon Hilker, writes
Constance Brissenden, was born in Vancouver September 19,
1913. With his father he formed Vancouver's first concert agency,
Hilker Attractions. From 1936-50 the company imported more than
1,000 performers including Yehudi Menuhin, Paul Robeson and Isaac
Stern. In 1946, Gordon erected the continent's biggest stage at
Stanley Park's Brockton Oval for Vancouver's Diamond Jubilee. The
city, brave as only the frightened can be, agreed to his ideas.
The company went bankrupt on September 26, 1950. Gordon later became
artistic director of the Vancouver Festival (1961-67) and director
of Expo 67's World Festival of Entertainment in Montreal.
Sustainable Development Research Institute (SDRI) was
established to foster policy relevant research on sustainable
May 6 The Bob Prittie Library opened in Burnaby.
The official opening of this striking building will be on the 16th.
See this website
to see why this library was named for Bob Prittie.
May 24 CKZZ-FM 95.3 signed on at 8 p.m. with
a commercial-free weekend of contemporary rhythm-and-blues and dance
music. Its known today as Z95.3 and you can hear it right
The history of the station is here.
Spring The 1991 inductees into the Vancouver
Board of Trade Hall of Fame (awarded to companies or organizations
active for 100 years) were:
- Capilano Suspension Bridge
- BC Telephone Co.
- Royal Columbian Hospital
June 7 Burnabys Club Metro Youth Centre
opened at 4585 Imperial Street. It held a games room, entertainment
room, computer room, etc.
June 30 The Lower Mainland Regional Correctional
Centre (which until 1970 had been called Oakalla Prison Farm) closed.
Thousands of prisoners had passed through the doors of Oakalla.
Originally designed to house a maximum of 484 prisoners, the prison's
population had peaked in 1962-63 at 1,269 inmates. Earl Anderson,
author of A Hard Place To Do TimeThe Story of Oakalla Prison,
says there were 44 hangings from the time the prison farm opened
in 1912 to its close. The dead would be buried in the pauper's section
of Mountain View or Forest Lawn Cemetery if their families did not
June Dorothy Somerset, 91, theatre director,
won a Jessie Award for humanity, integrity and encouragement
of young talent in the theatre. See the August 11 entry below.
July 10 Grace MacInnis, politician, died in
Vancouver, aged 85. Winona Grace Woodsworth was born July 25, 1905
in Winnipeg. She was the daughter of J.S. Woodsworth, organizer
of the CCF (Co-Operative Commonwealth Federation) party, and was
a delegate to the Party's founding convention in Regina in 1933.
She was a lifelong socialist activist in the CCF and its successor,
the NDP. She was elected a BC MLA (Vancouver Burrard) and served
from 1941 to 1945. She emerged from the backrooms to
win the Vancouver-Kingsway seat for the federal NDP, becoming B.C.'s
first woman MP. She served from 1965 to 1974. She was appointed
an Officer of the Order of Canada in 1974 in recognition of her
service to others, and was appointed in 1990 to the Order of British
Columbia. Her husband was Angus MacInnis, another CCF stalwart.
July 17 Charles Slonecker, UBCs director
of ceremonies and special events, sent a memo today to the Presidents
Advisory Committee on the Naming of Buildings: The new University
Apartments are nearing completion in the campus area adjacent to
Acadia Camp. It is proposed that these two new buildings be named:
Acadia House, reflecting the historical faculty housing link with
Acadia Camp, and Sopron House, in recognition of the history and
achievements of the emigrati of the Sopron University of Hungary
(Forestry) to Canada and UBC.
Both four-storey structures were designed by architects
Eng and Wright.
August 11 Dorothy Somerset, theatre director,
died in Vancouver, aged 91. Dorothy Maud Somerset was born June
9, 1900 in Perth, Australia. She studied at Radcliffe College (BA),
moved to Vancouver in 1921. She was an actor/director with Vancouver
Little Theatre, and a director, University Players' Club from 1934
to 1938. In 1937 she joined UBC's extension department, and in 1938
founded its Summer School of Theatre. In 1946 she taught UBC's first
theatre credit courses. Ms. Somerset received a Canadian Drama Award
in 1952. In 1958 she helped found UBC's drama department. The Dorothy
Somerset Scholarship Fund was set up in 1965.
September 16 The Vancouver Sun became
a morning daily.
September 17 Henry Angus, UBC dean, died in
Vancouver, aged 100. Henry Forbes Angus was born April 19, 1891
in Victoria. Writes Constance Brissenden, He attained a BA
from McGill U. in 1911, an MA from Oxford in 1919. In 1919 he joined
UBC as an assistant professor of economics. He was head of economics,
political science and sociology from 1930 to 1956. He was the first
dean of graduate studies from 1949 to 1956, and Dean Emeritus from
1956 to his death. Angus was one of the few public figures in BC
to oppose internment of Japanese-Canadians during the Second World
War. His wife, Anne Margaret (born in Anatolia, Turkey) was a diplomat's
daughter, a UBC graduate (1923), president of the University Women's
Club and a child welfare activist. She wrote the first UBC student
play (The High Priest, 1922) performed by the University
There is an account of Henry Angus UBC career
September 25 The Stanley Theatre, built in
1931, today ran its last movie, Fantasia, then shut its doors.
It would re-open in October 1998 under the auspices of the Arts
Club Theatre with Dean Regan's hit production of Swing. Beginning
with the 2000-2001 season the Industrial Alliance Pacific Life Insurance
Company will become a sponsor of the theatre, and on April 5, 2005
it will become the Stanley Industrial Alliance Stage, a newly renovated
art deco theatre, beautifully updated, a 650-seat house that will
become home to musicals such as My Fair Lady, Swing
and Sweeny Todd, revitalized classics such as Hamlet,
and comedies ranging from Easy Money to Art. The restoration
of the venue will receive a 1999 City of Vancouver Heritage Award.
September Bucharest-born Sergiu Comissiona
was appointed music director of the Vancouver Symphony. Popular
and dynamic, he will hold the post to June 2000.
September Designated as Schedule A Heritage
structures were 8264 Hudson, built in 1912; 835-39 Cambie, built
in 1929; 1037 Matthews, built in 1913, and the Haigler House at
3537 West 30th Avenue, built in 1925.
September Rick Watson, a disabled rights activist,
began a column for the Province. Disabled by cerebral palsy, he
pecked out one letter at a time with a wand attached to a headband.
He won a Canada 125 medal for his work for the disabled and a B.C.
Newspaper Award for a column critical of telethons, one of which
he'd appeared on as a child. He died in 1994, aged 41.
September Burnaby was incorporated as a City.
(It had been a Municipality.)
October 6 Canadian soccer, wrote
the Provinces Jack Keating, has never seen the
like of the Vancouver 86ers. Dominating Canadian soccer like no
other franchise, the 86ers added to their prestigious record Sunday,
October 6, winning a fourth consecutive Canadian Soccer League Championship
with a resounding 5-3 victory over the Toronto Blizzard . . . The
86ers struck like a bolt of lightning, scoring twice in the first
three minutes to the delight of 5,692 fans at Swangard Stadium.
This was a great year for Vancouver's Domenic Mobilio, too: he became
the most prolific goal scorer in the Canadian Soccer league, including
a CSL record of 25 goals in 28 games. That earned him league MVP
October Ujjal Dosanjh, ran and won for the
NDP as Vancouver Kensington MLA. He will be appointed the provinces
attorney general in 1995 and premier in 2000.
November 5 Michael Harcourt (born 1943), NDP,
became premier. He will serve to February 22, 1996.
Also November 5 Pavel Bure jumped on the ice
for his first NHL game against the Winnipeg Jets and stunned fans
and players alike with his dazzling speed, prompting Sun
reporter Iain McIntyre to label him the Russian Rocket.
November 7 The British Columbia Nurses Union
(BCNU) and the Hospital Employees Union (HEU) sign a jurisdictional
agreement: it guarantees that HEU will not organize Registered Nurses
and BCNU will not organize Licensed Practical Nurses.
November The Vancouver Board of Trade presented
its Business and the Arts Awards. The objective of the Awards
is to encourage the corporate sector's involvement with the arts
and to recognize those businesses that through financial aid, sponsorships,
employee involvement and other corporate services are committed
to the arts in Vancouver.
For a description of the criteria, see 1990.
Innovation: South Fraser Broadcasting Limited
Sustained Support, Small Business No award
Sustained Support, Major Corporation Canadian
Small Business The Lazy Gourmet
Joint Venture The Vancouver Playhouse
December South Surrey's new ice arena opened.
It was the only Olympic size arena in B.C.
Also in 1991
The District of North Vancouver marked its 100th
Metro Tower II at 4720 Kingsway in Burnaby was built,
the citys tallest building: thirty storeys and 99.3m (326
The Hatzic Rock archaeological site was discovered;
it is one of the oldest intact native villages in North America,
dating back to 7000 B.C. A museum
has been established there.
Rock superstar Bryan Adams bought the old Oppenheimer
Bros. grocery warehouse at Columbia and Powell in Gastown, and turned
it into a recording studio. Its the oldest brick building
One of the pioneer automobile retailers in the city,
Plimleysactive for 98 yearsclosed. Thomas Plimley
had started a bicycle business in Victoria in 1893, the year he
arrived from England. Writes Constance Brissenden: Thomas
Plimley sold the first car in Victoria, a tiller-steered Oldsmobile,
in 1901. His wife Rhoda was the first woman driver in Victoria.
Plimleys sold the Swift, Coventry, Humber, Rover, two-cylinder
Buick and air-cooled Franklin. Plimley Motors on Howe Street in
Vancouver was one of B.C.'s largest dealerships. His eldest son,
Horace (Thomas Horace) Plimley (b. March 5, 1895, Victoria; d. March
21, 1985, Vancouver) opened a British car dealership in Vancouver
(1936). From 1957 to 1986, grandson Basil (b. June 21, 1924, Victoria)
was one of the few third generation executives of a B.C. business.
Vancouver judge Frank Iacobucci, born in Vancouver
June 29, 1937, was appointed to the Supreme Court of Canada. He
would serve to June 30, 2004. Theres an interesting interview
with Justice Iacobucci, conducted for Il Postino by Fiona Story
in 2001 while he was still on the court, in which he admits: I
would have liked to have been the manager of a major league baseball
Michael Goldberg stepped down as executive director
of IFC Vancouver (International Financial Centre) and returned to
the Faculty of Commerce at UBC. He was succeeded by Liam Hopkins,
a career banker. See the February 1986
chronology on this site for an explanation of the significance of
Dean and Sherri Duperron took over Sprott-Shaw College,
which had been around since 1903. Under their leadership the College
would expand rapidly. By 2006 they had 20 locations throughout BC.
Microsoft bought Vancouver-based electronic mail
specialist Consumer Software, a Vancouver software development laboratory.
In 1994 they would transfer its operation to Redmond, Washington.
Leadership Vancouver was established this year. It
was a program to develop, promote and encourage effective community
leadership, and it sprang from a concept that began in the United
States. That concept was, in turn, sparked by an horrific 1962 plane
crash that virtually wiped out every major cultural leader in the
city of Atlanta, Georgia. (130 people died, the worst recorded air
disaster involving one aircraft to that time.) The grieving city
eventually established a leadership program, a volunteer community
effort to foster successive generations of community leaders.
The idea caught on in other American cities and came this year to
Vancouver, the first Canadian city to pick up the concept. Modeled
after a highly successful Seattle program, Leadership Vancouver
was a joint effort by Volunteer Vancouver and the Vancouver Board
The BC Research Councilusing military volunteersbegan
a five-year study into human response to vibration and impact. Specifically,
more information was wanted on health hazards of whole-body
vibration and repeated impacts associated with off-road vehicles
and heavy industrial equipment. The work was commissioned by the
U.S. Army Aeromedical Research Laboratory, which operated a multi-axis
ride simulator at Fort Rucker, Alabama, where the experiments for
this research were carried out. With high-speed attack vehicles
and personnel carriers being developed, this would be essential
information. The challenge, said BCRI's Dan Robinson,
of the Ergonomics and Human Factors Group, was to look for
early signs of damage to the body without damaging our volunteers!
We did that through blood biochemistry, urine chemistry and biomechanical
measures. We were looking for muscle fatigue, the effect on bones,
and on internal organs.
Stan Smyl, the Vancouver Canucks all-time leading
scorer (262 goals and 411 assists during his team-leading 896 games),
retired. His number 12 was retired, too, making him the first Canuck
so honored. Smyl will later join the team as an assistant coach.
Lui Passaglia of the BC Lions set a new professional
football scoring record, finishing the year with a lifetime 2,312
points. Lui also became the longest-playing Lion in history, appearing
in a total of 236 games, overtaking Al Wilson's previous mark of
A 1991 study by BC Parks showed that 28 per cent
of British Columbians participated in power boating, nine per cent
in sailing and 20 per cent in canoeing or kayaking. As well, more
than 50,000 visiting U.S. boaters cruised B.C. waters annually,
and that number was rising.
The Abbotsford Air Show made an impact with the first
public air-show appearance of the exotic American F-117 Stealth
Scotland-born ultra-marathoner Al Howie of Victoria
achieved the greatest documented run on record when he ran 7,295.5
kilometres (4,532.2 mi) from St. John's, Newfoundland to Victoria
in 72 days, 10 hours and 23 minutes. Thats about 101 kilometres
(63 miles) a day . . . every day . . . for 10 weeks. Not bad for
a 45-year-old diabetic.
James Delgado became the executive director of the
Vancouver Maritime Museum. Delgado, born January 11, 1958 in San
Jose, California, and the author of many books, was the first underwater
archeologist to visit the Titanic. In 2006 he will dismay
the locals with his decision to leave for greener fields.
Cornelia Oberlander, landscape architect, was named
a Companion of the Order of Canada. Her citation read, in part,
Canadas premier landscape architect, she is known for
integrating her designs in the overall architectural project with
the natural environment, yet always adding a unique new vision and
dimension. For more than 40 years shes worked on projects
like the National Gallery of Canada and the Canadian Embassy in
Washington. Simon Fraser University said Vancouver is greener
and more liveable because of Oberlander's landscapes at Robson Square,
the downtown public library and UBC's Museum of Anthropology.
Born June 20, 1924 in Muhlheim, Germany she escaped with her family
from Nazi Germany in 1939years later returned to Germany to
design the gardens for the Canadian embassy in Berlin. She has landscaped
the New York Times new headquarters on 42nd Street in New
The Globe and Mail's urbane glossy magazine,
West, inaugurated in 1990, was cited as Western Magazine
of the Year this year. It would die in 1992. A similar fate awaited
Step, an independent arts magazine launched this year by
neophyte publishers Ray Dearborn and Philip Aw. It would win the
1992 title of Western Magazine of the Year, then fold the following
year. Its a tough town for magazines.
Other publications appearing this year:
Interlog Quarterly Review A quarterly focusing
on the common good and economic health of full-phase logging
contractors, owner-operators and haulers.
Just Wages: a Bulletin on Wage Discrimination
and Pay Equity A quarterly published by the Trade Union Research
Zhen Fo Bao/True Buddha News A free semi-monthly,
with text in Chinese, featuring news and views of a Buddhist group.
A weekly Persian (Iranian) newspaper, Shahrzand-E-Vancouver
(Citizens of Vancouver) was started.
The Georgia Straight began to add news coverage
and in-depth investigative feature stories.
The number of passengers arriving at and departing
from Vancouver International Airport dropped this year from 1990's
9,544,300 to 8,996,140. It would rebound in 92 to 9,449,940.
The Port of Vancouver processed 423,000 cruise passengers
in 1991. That compared to 22,800 in 1971. But there was even better
Pacific Princess and Island Princess,
two German-built ships owned by P&Os Princess Cruises
and used in the long-running TV series The Love Boat (September
24, 1977 to September 5, 1986), finally left the city after 15 summers.
The two ships had been active in the Alaska cruise trade.
Tymac No. 2, a water taxi built in 1938 by
Sam Tyson and Alex McKenzie, after a four-year stint as a tour boat
in Vancouver harbor, became a tour boat out of Steveston.
As part of the re-zoning of the Marathon lands in
Coal Harbour, a piece of waterfront land at the foot of Thurlow
Street (Lot 24) was put aside by the City of Vancouver for the development
of an arts complex. Plans for the Coal Harbour Arts Complex included
a 1500-seat lyric hall and a 350-seat flexible theatre.
The Cedar Building at Capilano College, with three
floors of classroom and office space as well as a 90-seat lecture
theatre, was constructed this year. A Sportsplex was completed,
too, with facilities including a gymnasium with a seating capacity
of 1,700, an aerobics gym, and a weight and fitness centre.
A two-storey $6.9 million facility housing the Networks
of Centres of Excellence opened at UBC. Designed by architect Zoltan
Kiss, it sat atop the University Bookstore and was designed to accommodate
laboratories and offices. This is the building that housed Michael
Smiths laboratory, and where he would share a champagne toast
with colleagues the day it was announced he had won the 1993 Nobel
Prize for Chemistry.
Construction began on the First Nations House of
Learning, at 1985 West Mall at UBC. See 1992 (when its up!)
for more detail.
Coquitlams Town Centre Stadium opened in time
for the District's 100th anniversary and its metamorphosis into
To mark Richmond General Hospitals 25th anniversary,
the parkade opened and construction began on a 250-bed extended-care
facility. (The name of the hospital will change in 1992. Theyll
drop the General.)
The Peter Wall Institute for Advanced Studies at
UBC was established. To quote from the Institutes website,
it supports basic research through interdisciplinary initiatives
that have the potential to make important advances in knowledge.
The Institute brings together researchers from UBC with distinguished
scholars from around the world to conduct fundamental research drawing
upon and contributing to a wide range of diverse disciplines. The
Institute aims to create a community of scholars, composed of outstanding
researchers across the whole campus, who will contribute significantly
to the intellectual life of the university. Of overriding concern
in all Institute activities is excellence in research characterized
by being fundamental, interdisciplinary, innovative and unique.
The World Wide Web was developed in 1991 by Tim Berners-Lee
at a high energy physics lab in Switzerland. Thank you, Mr. Berners-Lee.
By 1995 it will become the most used Internet service. For an informal
skip through Internet history, check out this site.
Salute to the Lions of Vancouver Gathie Falk
created a whimsical composition at Canada Place that depicted two
lions leaping through lighted rings. The piece is situated on the
west side of the deck around Canada Place and looks out at The Lions,
the mountains across Burrard Inlet. The piece, writes Elizabeth
Godley, included a bronze plaque commemorating poet Pauline
Johnson, was commissioned from Falk by the architects after a cross-Canada
competition failed to turn up anything they liked. The artist's
original scheme, comprising eight dogs leaping through rings of
fire (I wanted it to be a real salute), was modified
The Waterfront Centre Hotel, at 900 Canada Place
Way, opened. One of the striking features of this hotel was a major
collection of about 50 works by B.C. artists and others. Some highlights
include Voyage of Discovery by Peggy Vanbianchi and Emily
Standley; Marsh Breeze by Rebecca Perehudoff; an untitled
acrylic on canvas by Audrey Capel-Doray; Stanley Park by
Leslie Poole; Sun Flowers by Vaughn Neville; Epiphany
I, II and III by Jack Shadbolt, and Portrait
of Artist at Work by J.C. (Carl) Heywood. (A personal note:
that Vanbianchi/Standley work, an antiqued and highly stylized map
of George Vancouvers explorations here is one I never tire
of admiring. These two Seattle women have created a beautiful object.
Pop in some time and have a look. Its in the main lobby.)
A Project for Surrey, an installation by Micah
Lexier, was commissioned by the Surrey Art Gallery. It was located
at the foot of 130th St. near the public fishing dock. Lexier, a
Toronto artist, had created works for communities across Canada.
This one was a gateway form made of logs.
The sculpture Goddess of Democracy was installed
at UBC by Canton-born (February 8, 1946) Chung Hung. The work
was proposed, said the artist, to create a symbol of
democracy after the Chinese tanks crushed the demonstration on June
4, 1989, at Tiananmen Square.
A sculpture (Big Chairs) by Edmonton-born
Bill Pechet featuring giant concrete chairs was installed at Ambleside
Park pier. An adjacent wall was ornamented with concrete soccer
balls, airplanes and baseballs. Arts writer Elizabeth Godley says
the chairs were first exhibited at the Charles H. Scott Gallery
on Granville Island, then would be purchased by West Vancouver's
parks department in 1992. The ball wall was commissioned
this year as part of renovations to the changing rooms.
Co-produced by Tina VanderHeyden and Garth Drabinsky's
Livent, Inc. Phantom of the Opera ran for six months in 1991
and ultimately led to VanderHeyden's decision to move back to Vancouver
with her production company Headquarters Entertainment. It also
sparked Drabinsky's ill-fated decision to build the Ford Centre
here. (Livent went bankrupt in 1998.)
The building that once housed the Arts Club Theatre
on Seymour Street was closed for demolition. The company had added
the current Granville Island Stage in 1979, and the smaller Revue
Stage next door (now home to Vancouver TheatreSports League) in
1983. See a history of the Arts Club here.
A comedy club, Punchlines, was opened in New Westminster
by Bernie Stoelzle. The clubs name was later changed to Lafflines.
The Pacific Music Industry Association launched Music
West, a high-profile international conference, festival and exhibition
produced by Maureen Jack and Laurie Mercer.
Locally-made movies that appeared in 1991 include
(with annotations by Michael Walsh):
Cafe Romeo (directed by Rex Bromfield) A dental
student (Jonathan Crombie) decides that he loves his cousin's wife
(Catherine Mary Stewart) and managing his family's neighborhood
bistro more than college.
Run (director: Geoff Burrowes) Park Royal
plays a New England shopping mall in the story of an accidental
killer (Patrick Dempsey) one step ahead of vengeance-seeking mafiosi.
Crooked Hearts (directed by Michael Bortman)
Domesticity in the 1980s is seen through the eyes of a Tacoma college
dropout (Peter Berg) appalled by his once close-knit family's self-destructive
Ski School (directed by Damian Lee) Whistler
provided the scenery and party rooms for this winter sports comedy
starring Dean Cameron.
Chaindance (directed by Allan A. Goldstein)
Based on actual penal reform proposals from the 1970s, this period
prison drama focuses on a social worker (Rae Dawn Chong) with a
plan to turn a convict (Michael Ironside) into a care giver.
The Legend Of Kootenai Brown (directed by
Allan Kroeker) A fictional Scots villain (Donnelly Rhodes) adds
a serio-comic note to the tale of real-life Irish adventurer John
George Brown (Tom Burlinson), a gold-seeker tried for murder in
The Hitman (directed by Aaron Norris) Vancouver
doubles as Seattle, the home of an undercover cop (Chuck Norris)
posing as a killer to thwart the planned union of Italo-American
(Al Waxman) and French-Canadian (Marcel Sabourin) mobsters.
Mystery Date (directed by Jonathan Wacks)
In this mistaken identity farce, a college kid (Ethan Hawke) poses
as his older brother to impress a girl (Teri Polo) and then runs
into all of his shady sibling's worst enemies.
Bingo (directed by Matthew Robbins) In a remake
of 1958's The Littlest Hobo, an adventurous mutt (Bingo) crosses
the country to find his family (Cindy Williams, David Rasche).
Black Cat (directed by Stephen Shin) Chinese
is the operative language for this action feature's heroine (Jade
Leung), an urban survivor programmed by CIA scientists to kill for
Never-Ending Summer (directed by Lawrence
Cheng) Domestic complications are played for laughs in this tale
of a Hong Kong immigrant (Lawrence Cheng) who arrives in Vancouver
to discover his wife (Do Do Cheng) living with a non-Asian.
Flesh Gordon Meets The Cosmic Cheerleaders
(directed by Howard T. Ziehm) In this sex-comedy sequel to the 1972
soft-core serial spoof, the intergalactic hero (Vince Murdocco)
is drafted by scantily-clad aliens who need him to restore pleasure
to their planet.
Pure Luck (directed by Nadia Tass) Vancouver
provides the urban locations for a buddy comedy about the klutzy
guy (Martin Short) who helps a detective (Danny Glover) find a missing
heiress (Sheila Kelley) in the Mexican jungle.
Russell Kelly was born in Toronto in 1949 and came
to Vancouver in 1982. He became editor of B.C. BookWorld this year.
Lots of books appeared in 1991. Much of the annotation
below is from Alan Twiggs B.C. Bookworld site.
UBCs Dr. Jean Barman and Linda Hale co-produced
a bibliography of B.C.'s local history books, under the auspices
of the B.C. Library Association, for B.C. Heritage Trust. Some 800
communities were included, and 1,044 local history titles cited
in British Columbia Local Histories: A Bibliography.
Nick Bantock of Bowen Island, a British-raised graphic
designer and artist, achieved international success with an unconventional
art-novel, Griffin & Sabine, which details a bizarre
correspondence. Go to Bantocks site
for an exotically refreshing experience.
Karie Garnier, as a White Rock photographer, self-published
a tribute to Native elders called Our Elders Speak.
Christopher Hyde, born in Ottawa in 1949, is a Vancouver-based
screenwriter and television journalist. Abuse of Trust is
his study of UBC psychiatrist Dr. James Tyhurst, who was convicted
of sexual and common assault on female patients, then later released
Vancouver: A City Album, appeared. It was
a second reworking of the 1977 title Vancouver's First Century.
A second printing appeared in 1985. Its a terrific book, with
more than 300 photos and advertisements, complemented with excerpts
from newspapers and memoirs, and an introductory essay by David
Brock. This 1991 version, with its new title, proved the lasting
worth and popularity of this book. Original compilers were Anne
Kloppenborg, Alice Niwinski, Eve Johnson and Robert Gruetter.
Audrey Thomas short story collection The
Wild Blue Yonder won the 1991 Ethel Wilson B.C. Fiction Prize.
(She had also won the Wilson award in 1984 for her novel Intertidal
Scott Watson's biographical study of Jack Shadbolt,
Shadbolt, won the 1991 Evans Non-Fiction Prize. A signed,
limited edition of the book with 190 illustrations was also made
available at $575, making it one of the most expensive books ever
produced in B.C.
Howard White won the Stephen Leacock Medal for Humour
for his Writing in the Rain, a collection of stories and
Then there were:
Burnaby: a proud century: a historical commemoration
of Burnaby's centennial by Pixie McGeachie, with additional
writing by Jim Wolf.
Mountain memories: a history of Burke by Norma
K. Campbell, a history of the Port Coquitlam, Coquitlam and Burke
Fort Langley, birthplace of British Columbia
* B.A. McKelvie, annotated by Charles Lillard. This book, by journalist
Bruce McKelvie, originally appeared in 1947 as Fort Langley: Outpost
of Empire. McKelvie died in 1960, and Lillard edited the new edition.
There is an interesting brief bio of McKelvie here.
Queensborough: images of an old neighborhood,
by Steve Gatensbury, with illustrations by Charlene Kamachi zen.
This is a history of the oldest part of New Westminster.
Hidden cities: art & design in architectural
details of Vancouver & Victoria, with text and photographs
by Gregory Edwards.
Paving paradise: is British Columbia losing its
heritage?, by Michael Kluckner.
The Surrey Pretrial Services Centre opened. It provided
facilities for security (maximum), medium and open (minimum) housing
for inmates. There were segregation, hostile and observation cells.
The coat of arms for the City of New Westminster
was developed by Robert Watt, the Chief Herald of Canada. The design
was based, he says, on Councils wish that the grant
respect the content of the Citys existing emblem as far as
possible. Consequently, the changes to the shield were limited to
technical adjustments with the color of the cross being fixed as
blue and the symbols in the quarters colored in pure heraldic colors
where possible. In the crest, a wreath is included in red and white,
Canadas national colors, which were also used to color the
mural crown. The grizzly bear, which was dark brown in 1860, became
gold. The lions remained red, as they had been for 122 years, but
they now wore gold collars and medallions. The medallion of the
lion on the left featured the Royal Crown, a special grant recommended
by the Governor General and approved by the Queen to recognize New
Westminster as the "Royal City" chosen by Queen Victoria
as the name of the capital of the Crown Colony of British Columbia.
On the right, the medallion shows a black anvil, referring to the
world famous ceremonial Hyack Anvil Battery. The compartment of
forested hills above the waters of the Fraser, representing the
Citys dramatic location, was a new element. The motto remained
as chosen in 1860, IN GOD WE TRUST.
Bowen Island turned down a referendum on municipal
status. The island remained unincorporated and under the jurisdiction
of the Greater Vancouver Regional District.
In 1991 about 23 per cent of municipal solid waste
generated within the GVRD was recovered for recycling. Based on
a population of 1.7 million residents at that time the per capita
waste generation rate for all GVRD residents was about 860 kilograms
per year and the recycling rate was about 200 kilograms per year.
Between 1988 and 1991 the municipal solid waste recycling rate increased
significantly: during that time, the quantity of waste generated
increased by more than 22 per cent, but the amount recovered for
recycling increased by almost 300 per cent. It is estimated that
49 per cent of what is called DCL waste (mostly concrete and asphalt)
was recycled in 1991. The remaining 51 per cent was landfilled,
mainly in private sites in Delta and Richmond.
The Fraser River Action Plan (FRAP) was set up with
$100 million in federal funds. The objective of FRAP was to rebuild
salmon stocks, clean up the environment, and protect habitat. Much
has been accomplished but much remains to be done.
Glen Brae was bequeathed to the City of Vancouver.
The stately Shaughnessy mansion, at 1690 Matthews Avenue since 1910,
had spent the last few years as a seniors long-term care facility.
It was given to the city by its owner, Elisabeth Wlosinski. It would
re-open in 1995 as Canuck Place, a hospice for children with life-threatening
illnesses, sponsored by hockey's Canuck Foundation. See our article
on this striking building in the Archives
A high-tech aluminum-clad office addition, designed
by Wright Engineers, was made to the Alberta Wheat Pool elevator.
The BC Rail car shop in Squamish (built in 1914 when
the line was called the Pacific Great Eastern) was hauled the short
distance from the BCR yards to the new West Coast Railway Heritage
Park. It was as the largest building80 by 151 feetever
to be moved in the province. It formed the centrepiece of the 12-acre
railway museum, which features a fine collection of locomotives
and rolling stock representing the railways that have operated in
The old Burlington Northern Railroad station in White
Rockbuilt at 14970 Marine Drive since 1912, but unused since
1975became the White Rock Museum and Archives. Its a
municipal facility that mounts exhibits, serves researchers and
operates a gift gallery. Passenger service between Vancouver and
Seattle was restored by Amtrak in 1995, and passes by the station's
door, but the train doesn't stop here anymore.
The Newton Library opened in Surrey. This is a striking
building, designed by Patkau Architects. Architectural historian
Harold Kalman has written: The bold library is a boldly angular
structure that distinguishes itself from the dull sameness of the
instant Surrey townscape. The inverted gable roof is supported by
assertive angled glued-laminated wood columns and beams. Two of
these frames form a portal at the entrance. The canted aluminum
box on the roof contains the air-conditioning equipment. The interior
features a large, open, and naturally illuminated reading room,
public where the roof rises high, and intimate where it dips low.
Architectural groups visit regularly to see it.
Cathedral Place opened at 925 W. Georgia. This is
the building that rose where the Georgia Medical Dental Building
stood. Its 23 storeys reach up 91.4 metres. The Canadian Craft
Museum once stood at the base of this building, beside an attractive
courtyard (still there), but closed for good in 2002.
Centre Point, four residential towers at Lansdowne
and Garden City in Richmond, opened. Both buildings have 15 storeys
and reach 45.1 metres in height.
Metro Tower II at 4720 Kingsway in Burnaby opened.
Its 99.3 metres high, with 30 storeys. One of its major tenants:
The fountain at the Blue Horizon Hotel, 1225 Robson,
was installed. Pavelek & Associates, a Vancouver firm better
known as landscape architects, also has an interior-design department,
and they created this graceful fountain as part of a major facelift
for the hotel in 1991. Artist Markian Olynyk designed the glass.
The city, in conjunction with the Port of Vancouver
and four other municipalities, bought five high-speed fire boats.
Two are operated by the City and provide water-based firefighting
Robert Stewart ended 10 years of service as the Vancouver
Police Departments Chief Constable, and was succeeded by William
There was trouble in the Mount Pleasant neighborhood
of Vancouver when local residents took to the streets to try to
remove hookers from their neighborhoods. Vancouver Police published
the names of Johns nabbed in the area, but the city's newspapers
refused to publish the names.
Federal legislation brought in this year mandated
the total elimination of ozone-depleting chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs)
by 1996. (They were found in many appliances and some hospital equipment.)
That led to an interesting example, described below, of how regional
government can accomplish some things faster and more efficiently
than individual cities:
Sixteen hospitals in the GVRHD (Greater Vancouver
Regional Hospital District) had need to eliminate CFCs from their
ethylene oxide (EtO) sterilizers. EtO had been used in local hospitals
for 20 years for sterilizing instruments and supplies sensitive
to heat and moisture. The problem: 88 per cent of the gaseous EtO
mixture was CFCs.
Working together, the hospitals and the GVRHD put
out tenders for new CFC-free equipment. They had a surprise coming:
one of the suppliers who responded to the tender offered a new and
unfamiliar technology called gas plasma. This technology
does not use EtO or CFCs and is environmentally friendly. Clinical
evaluation followed, and it was found that gas plasma did the same
sterilizing job better, far faster and cheaper than EtO. Furthermore,
Workers Compensation Board regulations were met. Other hospitals
outside the District heard about the results, and asked to join
in a group purchase of the new sterilizers. Savings in the first
year: $3 million. Annual savings since: $1 million.
The annual report of the Greater Vancouver Regional
District marked its 25th anniversary. It was particularly rich in
historical information and fascinating photographs, such as the
construction of the Cleveland Dam.
Ukrainian Canadians all across the country celebrated
the centennial of Ukrainian immigration this year.
Yugoslavia broke apart.
Richmonds population was growing at a tremendous
pace. In 1956 the population had been just 26,000. That increased
to 43,323 in 1961 and hit 62,120 in 1971. Then the boom began, as
Richmond grew to 96,154 people in 1986 and jumped to 126,624 in
1991. In 1971 some 83 per cent of the city's population had listed
English as their first language; by 1991 that had fallen to 69 per
cent. Richmond declared itself Canada's first multicultural city,
and began offering city services in a wide variety of languages.
According to federal census data, the population
of the West End remained static during the 1980s: there were 36,950
residents in 1981, 37,190 in 1991an increase of just .6 per
cent. By the end of the decade, wrote Ed Starkins in
The Greater Vancouver Book, the neighborhood had experienced
considerable gentrification, recording a 28 per cent
increase in residents with incomes over $70,000 per annum and a
20 per cent drop among those with incomes of less than $10,000.
During the same period, there had been a 61.3 per cent growth in
the number of privately owned dwellings. Housing conditions reflected
the two-tier economy as deteriorating, ill-maintained
buildings, many of them from the 1956-1972 period, stood next to
luxury condominiums. During the 1980s, the cost of apartment units
in the West End rose steadily, averaging $701 in 1991.
The West End, Starkins continued, has
always been a highly transient neighborhood: 72 per cent of its
residents moved between 1985 and 1991. Many were low income earners
who left the area permanently, but the most significant exodus was
among persons of retirement age. During the 1980s, there was a nearly
20 per cent decline in the number of residents over the age of 55.
In 1991, 49.7 per cent of West Enders were between the ages of 20
According to this years census, the average
household income in Shaughnessy Heights declined by 10 per cent
between 1980 and 1990 from $112,106 to $102,933. (During the same
period, average Vancouver household incomes rose by 4.5 per cent.)
In 1991 58 per cent of Shaughnessy Heights residents had a university
education compared to 34 per cent in Vancouver as a whole. Seventy-six
per cent owned their homes (vs. 40 per cent in Vancouver). In 1991
it cost $913 to rent the average Shaughnessy Heights apartment,
as against $707 in the rest of the city.
The population of Shaughnessy Heights remained static
during the 1980s; there were 9,345 residents in 1981, 9,035 in 1991a
decline of 3.3 per cent. From 1980 to 1990 Shaughnessy Heights witnessed
a 25 per cent drop in the number of residents under the age of 25
and a 55 per cent increase among people in their early 40sa
possible demographic effect of the aging Baby Boom population.
Between 1981 and 1991 some 18 per cent or 28,585
immigrants to the Lower Mainland were from Hong Kong, 14.1 per cent
(22,405) from China, 9.3 (14,845) from India, and 6.9 per cent or
10,910 from the Philippines. Immigrants from Great Britain dropped
to fifth place at 5.8 per cent or 9,295.
The 1991 census reported that of a total Vancouver
population of 465,300, those with aboriginal origins/First Nations
registration numbered 13,360. But according to Barbara Charlie,
chair of the Vancouver-Sunshine Coast Aboriginal Management Society,
a funder of economic and job creation programs, Our funding
is based on the 1991 census and that census does not reflect the
reality of numbers or need.
According to the census, 129,950 people of German
descent resided in Greater Vancouver.
According to the 1991 census, 107,355 Greater Vancouver
people claim at least some Scandinavian and Nordic ancestors. They
represent 6.3 per cent of the 1.7 million residents of the Lower
The 1991 census showed what percentage of the citys
population spoke which languages.
English 270,405 (59.8 per cent of city population)
Punjabi 10,700 (2.4)
German 9,160 (2.0)
Italian 7,785 (1.7)
French 6,840 (1.5)
Tagalog (Filipino) 6,465 (1.4)
Vietnamese 6,030 (1.3)
Spanish 5,938 (1.3)
1991 Population (federal census)
North Van District 75,157
Maple Ridge 48,422
New Westminster 43,585
Port Coquitlam 36,773
North Van City 38,436
West Vancouver 38,783
Langley City 19,765
Port Moody 17,756
White Rock 16,314
Pitt Meadows 11,235
1991 Ferrari F40
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