The History of Metropolitan Vancouver's

By Constance Brissenden
With additional research by Larry Loyie

The History of Metropolitan Vancouver Hall of Fame represents nearly 500 of the thousands of people who have contributed to the history of the lower mainland of BC. They come from all walks of life, all cultural backgrounds and all occupations. All of the Hall of Famers are now deceased, and we are proud to include a brief record of their accomplishments here. For the first time, Metropolitan Vancouver has a biographical directory that includes many individuals from communities overlooked in the past.

If you have suggestions for inclusion (remember the person must be deceased), please contact us HERE.

A  B  C  D  E  F  G  H  I  J  K  L  M  N  O  P  Q  R  S  T  U  V  W  X  Y  Z

For Mayors of Vancouver, click here.


Elek Imredy Sculptor b. April 13, 1912, Pest, Hungary; d. Oct. 22, 1994, Vancouver. Came to Vancouver in 1957 after 1956 Hungarian uprising. Sculptures exhibited in Canada, US, Europe, including lifesize statue of prime minister Louis St. Laurent at Ottawa's Supreme Court. His most famous work is Girl in Wetsuit in Stanley Park, commissioned in 1972 by Vancouver lawyer Douglas McK. Brown. Created bust of archivist J.S. Matthews at City of Vancouver Archives, sculpture of Judge Matthew Begbie (Begbie Square) and Lady of Justice (Vancouver Law Courts). Member, Sculptor's Society of Canada, the Sculptor's Society of B.C., and Vancouver Historical Society. Biblio: The Sculpture of Elek Imredy by Terry Noble.

John Benjamin Ireland Actor b. Jan. 30, 1915, Vancouver, B.C.; d. March 21, 1992, Santa Barbara, Calif. Left Vancouver at age 7 after his father died in a horse racing accident. Grew up in Seattle, San Francisco and NY. His first acting job, with the Free Theatre (NY), paid one cent a day. First of over 200 films was A Walk in the Sun (1945). Nominated for 1949 Oscar (best supporting actor in All the King's Men) which Dean Jagger won. Movies: Spartacus, A Walk in the Sun, Red River. Directors: Hawks, Ford, Kubrick. "A tough, cynical hero" in his films, he paid almost $2,000 in 1987 for an industry newspaper ad, "I'm an actor, PLEASE ... let me act," which led to role of Ben Cartwright's brother in Bonanza: The Next Generation.

John Irving Boat builder b. Nov. 24, 1854, Portland, Ore.; d. Aug. 10, 1936, Vancouver. Son of Captain William Irving. Came to New Westminster in 1858. At 16, joined father's steamboat business; took over on father's death (1872). In 1883, active head of Canadian Pacific Navigation, a consolidation of the Irving and Hudson's Bay Company lines. In 1890, launched Columbia and Kootenai Steam Navigation, buying and building boats. In 1901, the line was absorbed by CPR's water service as B.C. Coast Service steamer fleet. John Irving Navigation was sold in 1906 to White Pass Railway. An MP for eight years.

William Irving Pioneer boatbuilder b. 1816, Annan, Dumfriesshire, Scotland; d. Aug. 28, 1872, New Westminster. Began seagoing career as a boy. Came to B.C. in 1858 after selling Oregon steamboat interests. Joined old partner Alexander S. Murray and built Governor Douglas, the first B.C.-built steamer; also Captain Moody, making the first successful trip to Yale in 1861. He sold out in 1862. From 1862-64, built Irving House, New Westminster's first official heritage building, now a museum. In 1865 launched Onward, "the utmost in steamship luxury." Known as "King of the River." Father of John Irving.

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