Posted by: Angela Yen on October 20, 2016 at 1:08 pm

Today at the Museum of Vancouver, major players in B.C.'s government and music industry annouced exciting changes to the Province's liquor laws.

(From left to right) Nick Blasko – advisory committee, BC Music Fund, John Yap – Richmond Steveston MLA, Coralee Oakes – Minister of Small Business, Red Tape Reduction, Graham Henderson –  President of Music Canada, Catherine Runnals  – President of Brand Live

The Province is modernizing B.C. liquor laws and cutting red tape for businesses by simplifying the application process for festivals, concerts and other cultural events.

Previously, only non-profit organizations could apply for a Special Occasion Licence (now Special Event Permit) and were responsible for liquor service at the event, even when it was organized by a third party.

This change allows businesses to apply for a Special Event Permit and accept liability for liquor service at the event. Removing the requirement for charities to be involved in the permitting process will cut red tape for event organizers.

“These changes are the result of consultations with industry and an important step forward in our continued work to modernize B.C.’s liquor laws by cutting red tape for businesses. We expect these changes will increase the number of special events held throughout B.C. and strengthen patronage of the arts in our communities,” stated Coralee Oakes, Minister of Small Business, Red Tape Reduction and Responsible for the Liquor Distribution Branch.

Quick Facts:

  • Effective Jan. 23, 2017, any type of business or individual can apply for a Special Event Permit.
  • Recently, the Province cut red tape for the music industry by creating a more streamlined liquor permit application that requires only one application for an event with multiple venues over multiple days.
  • The Province also recently introduced alternate use for liquor primary venues, allowing them to hold all-ages events as long as liquor is not available.


For more info read the official press release here.

Posted by: Angela Yen on October 13, 2016 at 6:20 pm

Vancouver in the Seventies: Photos from a Decade that Changed the City is now on view at the Museum of Vancouver.

The exhibition displays over 400 photos from The Vancouver Sun collection. 

To get a closer look and to celebrate some of these stunning photographs, each Friday we'll be selecting our Five Favourite Photos from each year of the seventies. 

The photos I chose as my Five Favourites are based on whether it captures a moment of historical signifcance in Vancouver, or just an everyday sort of oddness that is unique in its mundanity. 

Protest march against the Vietnam War and the War Measures Act on Granville mall.

October 30, 1970  Glenn Baglo   (Courtesty of The Vancouver Sun 70-3287)

Ten-year-old Steven Miller gets a lift from his twelve-year-old brother Craig at a downtown department store.

January 2, 1970 Dan Scott (Courtesty of The Vancouver Sun 70-0014)

Sun photographer Glenn Baglo’s photo of a woman unable to get into a faith healing meeting at the PNE Agrodome won the rookie photographer a National Newspaper Award.

April 10, 1970  Glenn Baglo (Courtesty of  The Vancouver Sun 70-2235)

Men on park benches at English Bay. 

July 5, 1970  Glenn Baglo (Courtesy of The Vancouver Sun 70-1244)

Foncie Pulice, a Granville Street fixture for forty-five years before his retirement in 1979, chronicled the changing city, from the fashions to the streetscape, in millions of pictures. *Note the advertisement for the Vancouver Museum & Planetarium behind Foncie Pulice.

August 28, 1970  Deni Eagland (Courtesy of The Vancouver Sun 70-1931)

Posted by: Angela Yen on October 11, 2016 at 4:57 pm

On Thursday October 6, the Museum of Vancouver got to know another fascinating collector featured in current exhibition All Together Now: Vancouver Collector & Their Worlds. Kyle Seller's vintage pinball machines including, Funhouse (1988), Cyclone (1988) and Jack-Bot (1995) and classic arcade games like Donkey Kong are on display and also available to public to try out and play! Seller was joined by the current International World Pinball Champion, Robert Gagno and pinball expert and moderator of the night, Tommy Floyd. Together they walked the guests through the pinball room discussing the development of the game over the years, the history of each individual machine and how they got invovled in the world of pinball.

The night capped off with Seller opening up one of the machines revealing the inner workings of a dot-matrix-display (DMD) pinball machine, and Gagno's intense playing demo where he gave a glimpse into how a pro pinballer plays the game.

Be sure to check out our other upcoming pinball events: Happy Hour: TILT! Public Pinball Tournament and WIZARD MODE: Special film screening



Posted by: Anonymous on October 5, 2016 at 11:47 am

Written by Greg Sikich, Post-Graduate Museum Studies student at the University of Queensland, Brisbane, Australia

The Vancouver History Galleries at Museum of Vancouver provide a chronological story of place. With a diverse range of information, visitors can select from multiple entry points to develop an understanding of the Vancouver story. 

Energy, good fortune and the evolving aspirations of a diverse people are all woven into the story. A key theme of change, and a willingness to routinely re-vision the social, environmental, political and economic fabric of Vancouver life is displayed over six galleries.

Provoking conversation upon entering the first gallery is the Musqueam First Nation story: c̓əsnaʔəm, the City Before the City. The Musqueam are one of the oldest continuing inhabitants of the Vancouver area. The objects on display unpack the rich societal traditions of the Musqueam people. Dialogue in this introductory section to the Vancouver History Galleries expands the traditional narrative of the colonizer by sparking an open discussion about the Musqueam influence in shaping Vancouver. The ongoing story of the Musqueam enables conversation about the rich land that Vancouver shares and the long standing traditions embedded.

Moving further into the Vancouver History Galleries, entering:1900s-1920s: The Gateway to the Pacific, one begins to sense the excitement that early migrants would have felt arriving in such a humble port town. For example, the Chinese migrant is positioned as a valuable asset to early ‘Saltwater City’ by making positive contributions in logging, sawmills, market gardens and as domestic hands. In addition, the Jewish migrant is reflected in the working class fabric of young Vancouver, taking on roles as furriers and shoemakers. Commerce, labour and a driving spirit to achieve financial fortune is echoed throughout the beginning part of Vancouver History Galleries.

Notions of urban growth becomes clear when visitors walk across a massive town planning map on the floor in the centre of the first gallery. The Victorian values of “clean, moral pursuits” are coupled with sound financial opportunities in the shop window displays around this floor map. In addition, the challenges posed by a city growing into a melting pot of cultures are fused into the didactics as Vancouver ripens into a new cosmopolitan centre during the early twentieth century. It is interesting to read how new ideas and perspectives on sharing a geographically rich space are embedded into the story of Vancouver.

An immersive history experience gobbles the visitor up with re-created shop facades, period houses, street scenes and even a tram to jump on board for a photo opportunity. Visitors can ‘step inside’ Vancouver’s past by becoming fully immersed in each decade of the exhibition. Numerous objects, photographs and tactile materials allow visitors opportunity to engage in each immersive section. This helps visitors gain a real sense of the everyday experiences of Vancouverites through the ages. This approach to showcasing history in a museum brings to mind recent visits to the Chinatown Museum in Melbourne, Australia, the Henry Ford Museum in Dearborn, Michigan and Glenbow in Calgary, Alberta. All three feature immersive, recreated sets of significant historical moments that engage with the senses.

The notion of Vancouverites truly knowing how to push boundaries and embrace change during both prosperous and challenging times becomes evident during the interwar years as explored in the gallery, 1930s-1940s: Boom, Bust, and War. Topics of amalgamation, labour movements and local gardening initiatives all establish an innovative population. Visitors are able to participate in this space by posting childhood memories from growing up in Vancouver on a cork board; thus, connecting the present to the past and enabling conversations about change and continuity. Vancouver History Galleries becomes personal at this stage of the experience as visitors can contribute their story to the chronologic history unfolding throughout the space.

A highlight in Vancouver History Galleries is the portion that discusses the internment of Japanese-Canadians during World War II.  The Japanese began arriving in Vancouver in 1877. They comfortably established themselves in the Powell Street area. As more migrants from Japan arrived, nagaya (side alleyways), reminiscent of cities in Japan, filled with an assortment of businesses and social facilities. Though gaining citizenship rights was limited, the Japanese community continued to establish a proud identity within Vancouver and demonstrated support for the young nation of Canada.

In collaboration with the Japanese Canadian National Museum, Vancouver History Galleries provides a factual and unbiased look at the internment of Japanese-Canadians during World War II. A variety of perspectives are evidenced using primary source documents from the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, Department of Labour and the Department of the Secretary of State. Through these viewpoints, the plight of Japanese internment becomes a discussion point. Adding a further layer of reality to these documents of exclusion and confiscation without consent are the voices of those Japanese who experienced forced re-location. These testimonies of forced uprooting delivers an honest and reflective part to the World War II portion of the gallery. Visitors engage with both written and visual accounts, past and present, to assist in developing an understanding to a challenging moment in Canadian history. At the conclusion of the gallery, visitors leave a turbulent time in human history with the 1988 Government of Canada acknowledgement of the injustices imposed upon Japanese Canadians during this period of global conflict. It is good to provide opportunities to discuss these moments in our collective past. By having these types of provoking conversations in museums, Vancouver, and Canada as a whole, can thrive in an internationally integrated world and facilitate meaningful intercultural understanding.

At the conclusion of the Vancouver History Galleries, neon lights and music change the reflective wartime tone and trumpet in an exciting future for Vancouver through to the 1970s. Immersive and tactile exhibition design continues by evoking the senses. Visitors can take a seat in a downtown 50’s inspired diner in the 1950s: The Fifties Gallery, listen to local 60’s bands, and watch urban plans to change how people will live in a future Vancouver in the final history gallery, 1960s-1970s: You Say You Want A Revolution. The modern era of Vancouver’s development spoils visitors with choice as they wander through these exciting decades. It is common to hear visitors share stories and relate to challenges Vancouver faced in its social, environmental, political and economic development. Entry points are ample with mega objects, anecdotes from the time and didactics. 

Vancouver History Galleries leaves the visitor spoiled with choice. Whether discovering Vancouver for the first time or re-discovering a long loved city, the curatorial voice is one that provides the sparks to provoke memory and discussion. There is an energetic plot to the Vancouver story that animates the past, present and future of the city. Conversation is echoed throughout the exhibition and there are ample opportunities for visitors to engage with the historical content being displayed.

Posted by: Angela Yen on September 26, 2016 at 4:07 pm

Ivan Sayers with Marg Vandenberg (Interim CEO) and Gregory Dreicer (Director of Curatorial and Engagement). The certificate reads: “In recognition of your extensive contributions to the Museum and dedication to the preservation of fashion and city history. You are one of our greatest storytellers.”


The Museum of Vancouver would like to congratulate our long-time friend, partner and contributor, Ivan Sayers. Today we presented him with the distinction of Curator Emeritus.

Ivan Sayers was born in Cornwall, Ontario, and moved to British Columbia at the age of two. He graduated in 1969 from the University of British Columbia with a degree in Classical Studies and in 1970 began his museum career as a volunteer at the Vancouver Museum (before the name was changed). He was Curator of History at the Museum from 1976 to 1990 and in 1991 he left to become a consultant and lecturer. For over 40 years, Sayers has been producing lectures, exhibitions, and fashion shows on clothing and social history for museums and organizations across western Canada and the western United States.

Sayers has collected costume since he was a teenager and now has one of the finest privately owned collections of period clothing in Canada, with garments and accessories dating from c.1690 to the present. He regularly lectures at local universities and colleges in the Vancouver area, and is the Honourary Curator of the Society for the Museum of Original Costume. Sayers has received awards from the Western Canadian Designers and Fashion Association and the Vancouver Historical Society.

Sayers has been a pivotal guest curator at the Museum of Vancouver, creating popular past exhibitions such as Art Deco Chic: Extravagant glamour between the wars, From Rationing to Ravishing: The Transformation of Women’s Clothing in the 1940s and 1950s, and numerous presentations. He is a charismatic orator, with an irreplaceable bank of knowledge and stories about the history of clothes. We are proud and honoured that Ivan Sayers is the Museum of Vancouver’s Curator Emeritus. We look forward to continuing to work together.

Posted by: Angela Yen on September 26, 2016 at 10:50 am

Photo by Rebecca Blissett

The Museum of Vancouver is thrilled that Imogene Lim is sharing her collection of Chinese restaurant menus and her fascinating insight into Chinatown’s historic restaurants like WK Gardens and the original Sai Woo Chop Suey. Her collection of Chinese menus - which she inherited from her uncle and father - represent more than just nostalgia. As she highlighted in her recent presentation at the Museum, menus hold a tangible trace into the evolution of Chinese cuisine in North America.

Lim, who is a professor of Anthropology and Global Studies at Vancouver Island University is interested in the way food is represented and how that representation may change over time. She pays attention to the language, imagery and iconography used in the menus she collects. Lim is a real foodie and explained in her presentation that her menu collecting goes hand-in-hand with the actual dining experience. Her collecting has often inspired conversations on what is considered authentic Chinese cuisine and where in the city has the best dishes.

Lim’s extensive Chinese menu collection is now on view as part of the exhibition, All Together Now: Vancouver Collectors & Their Worlds.

Posted by: Angela Yen on September 21, 2016 at 4:03 pm

Photo by Rebecca Blissett

If you summoned all the pinball wizards in Canada, you’d definitely cross paths with Kyle Seller of East Van Amusements. Currently, his collection of vintage pinball machines and arcade games  - which include Funhouse (1988), Cyclone (1988) and Jack-Bot (1995) - are on display at the Museum of Vancouver. And they’re not just there for looking at. You can play them too!

Kyle Seller has about 60 machines in total and has been collecting and building his business since he was a teenager. He bought his first machine when he was 16. What started as a fun social activity to release stress, has become a successful business that allows Seller to share his passion with Vancouverites. He restores pinball machines and rents out pop-up arcades throughout the city.

Seller’s love for pinball comes from all angles. He finds the skill-based game more challenging and unpredictable (than video games) but also admires the craft, art and music that goes hand-in-hand with pinball. “The games I like best are from the mid to late ‘80s and use hand-drawn art… it cannot be matched today,” Seller says.

To celebrate these beloved games, MOV will be hosting pinball events on October 6 and 13, and November 1.  First, Seller - along with international pinball tournament champion Robert Gagno - will be participating in an enticing Q&A session, Between the Bumpers, moderated by Tommy Floyd. On October 13, the public can get their game on with our happy hour event and pinball tournament TILT! Public Pinball Tournament - hosted by Seller and local pinball tournament director Rob Moller. Lastly, MOV is hosting a screening of Wizard Mode - a documentary about Robert Gagno and his passion for pinball.


Posted by: Angela Yen on September 15, 2016 at 4:55 pm

The Museum of Vancouver (MOV) recently hosted an informative talk about food and its importance to Vancouver’s culture, history and environmental future.

Photo by Rebecca Blissett

The speakers included Imogene Lim, an anthropology and global studies professor at Vancouver Island University, and Harold Steves, a local farmer, argoecologist, and climate activist. Both are passionate collectors and contributors to the All Together Now exhibition which feature Lim’s extensive collection of Chinese take-out menus and Steves’ heirloom vegetable seeds, among 18 others.

Harold Steves comes from a line of farmers and seed savers. His great uncle and grandfather established the first seed company in Western Canada. He works out of his family farm in Richmond, raising non GMO heirloom seeds and grass fed beef. Steves explained the pivotal moment in BC’s agricultural history which influenced him and his wife to start saving local seeds. In 1985, the local seed retailer Buckerfields shut down. Seeds offered in their catalogue were slowly being replaced with varieties from California and Mexico – replacing what was once local. Steves was concerned about the loss of genetic diversity and being able to grow seed varieties in BC’s specific climate. So he started saving these seeds, which he now sells.

Steves went on to share some of the vegetables and plants he grows including the Yellow mangel (essentially a big beet that can grow to 10 pounds and has a sweeter taste), alpha tomatoes, Early Amber Sorghum, and Black Russian Sunflowers. He gave a glimpse into some of the growing and seed saving techniques he practices and at the end of the night, he gave out alpha tomato seeds for guests to plant in their own gardens. Thanks Harold!

For more photos from this event please visit:

Follow @Harold_Steves on Twitter.

Posted by: Angela Yen on August 29, 2016 at 1:44 pm

Art Lingren. Photo by Rebecca Blissett

On Tuesday, August 23 the Museum of Vancouver hosted another "Me and My Collection" event. Tuesday's in depth presentation featured fly fishing expert and collector, Art Lingren. Lingren shared his stories and experiences fishing across BC, Alaska, Washington and Oregon. Slides displayed various tackle tying techniques and styles.

Lingren's detailed collection of antique tackles are currently on display at MOV as part of the exhibition, All together Now: Vancouver Collector's & Their Worlds. Learn more about Lingren's collection with this exclusive interview:

Q&A with Art Lingren

Why do you collect?
Fly fishing has a rich heritage going back centuries, much of it British. I collect items that connect me with that rich British and British Columbian heritage.

I have become what many consider an authority on B.C. fly fishing history, using the knowledge I’ve gained to write books and articles about B.C. flies, fly tying, fly fishing equipment, fly fishing pioneers and the waters they fished.

How do you collect? 
I select items from sources in the fly fishing community, such as fly shops, antiquarian booksellers, and tackle dealers. Also, I belong to fly fishing clubs and organizations whose members often have items I can acquire through them.

How does your collection relate to you?
I value my fly fishing heritage. Collecting these items connects me to my past and, more specifically, to great B.C. anglers such as General Money, Tommy Brayshaw, and Roderick Haig-Brown; and it gives me a place where I belong. 

How does your collection relate to Vancouver?
Vancouver has been a hub for the fly fishing community for many years. The Totem Fly Fishers, one of two clubs I belong to, is British Columbia’s oldest, founded by Vancouver fly fishers back in the 1960s.

How does collecting you connect with people?
Most of my fishing activities take place through social media, weekly lunch gatherings, monthly meetings, and outings to rivers and lakes with other fly fishers. Through these associations I connect with other collectors.

Posted by: Angela Yen on August 3, 2016 at 12:30 pm

The Bovines

In the coming months the Museum of Vancouver will be highlighting several of the fabulous collectors who are currently part of our exhibition All together Now: Vancouver Collector’s and Their Worlds. Off the cusp of Pride Week, the museum will be throwing a Happy Hour event on Thursday, August 18 featuring Willow Yamauchi and her collection of drag queen dresses that she inherited from her father. He was a member of the drag troupe - The Bovines - who performed across Vancouver and the Lower Mainland during the 1980s. “I never saw my dad perform in drag. I was too young for the clubs. I wanted to understand why he did drag and what it meant to him. Collecting has helped me answer these questions,” Yamauchi explains. Discovering this captivating past led Yamauchi to participate in the important discussion of gender and sexuality.

Don’t miss Undressing Drag where we will continue the discussion with several guest speakers and reminisce and honour the glory days of The Bovines, plus a special drag performance from Peach Cobblah and Isolde N. Barron!

Photo by Rebecca Blissett

Q&A with Willow Yamauchi

Why do you collect?
I inherited my dad’s drag queen costumes when he passed away 10 years ago. I was initially confused by this accidental collection, but eventually I realized it was something rare and special that I needed to preserve. It’s a springboard for fascinating conversations with people who knew him. You can collect things. You can also collect ideas and people. My collection contains all of these.

How does your collection relate to Vancouver?
The Bovines were an important drag group in Vancouver in the 1980s. They raised money for people living with HIV and AIDS and increased awareness at a time when there was little government support. The Bovines were “out,” loud and proud, when it could have been dangerous to identify as LGBTQ.

How does collecting connect you with people?
People who knew my dad share with me their stories, pictures, and films of him. In turn, I am sharing my collection with the city in the hope it might open a larger conversation about sexuality, gender, and artistic expression.


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