Harbour Centre’s Vancouver Lookout is celebrating its 40th anniversary. As a part of its “coming of age”, Vancouver Heritage Foundation has partnered with the Lookout and invites you to experience different perspectives on the city through a new event series from this special vantage point. Perspectives: Talks & Discussions will explore stories – surprising, thought-provoking, and thrilling – that have shaped Vancouver over time.
Five talks from different speakers will offer insight on a range of topics including Indigenous stories and context, South Asian history and immigration, architectural development and change, Vancouver’s music scene and nightlife, and the city’s seedy criminal history.The mix of daytime and evening events runs September through November. Coffee will be provided at morning talks.
For more information, visit: vancouverlookout.com/blog or follow #VancouverPerspectives on social media.
Please plan to arrive at Harbour Centre at least 15 minutes before the posted start to allow time to take the elevator to the Lookout. Each talk will begin promptly 15 minutes after the posted start time.
Blanketing the City: Musqueam Stories
Saturday September 23
Debra Sparrow and Kamala Todd
The dominant stories of our city tend to be those of the colonial culture, which has written itself into the built form and the narratives of Vancouver. Musqueam artist Debra Sparrow’s people have lived here for thousands of years, her people’s history and relationships with this land are “written in the earth”. Metis-Cree filmmaker and community planner Kamala Todd holds deep gratitude for the Musqueam, Tsleil-Waututh and Squamish people, who so generously share their lands and wealth – while being in many ways written out of the story and landscapes of Vancouver. Join us for a dynamic conversation that weaves important Indigenous stories and asks how we can inhabit an urban past, present and future which fully reflects and embodies the Indigenous people of these lands.
Historic Crime: Early Forensic Investigations
Thursday October 19
Join Author Eve Lazarus for a night of true crime as she draws on stories from her latest book Blood, Sweat, and Fear: The Story of Inspector Vance, Vancouver’s First Forensic Investigator. Starting in 1907 as the City Analyst for the City of Vancouver, John F.C.B. Vance worked in several buildings in downtown Vancouver before being named honorary inspector for the VPD and put in charge of the newly formed Police Bureau of Science (now housing the Vancouver Police Museum). Vance used his cutting-edge skills in serology, toxicology, firearms examination, trace evidence and autopsy to solve some of the most sensational crimes of the twentieth century. His techniques were so effective that there were seven attempts on his life, and for a time, he and his family were under constant police guard.
Heritage from Up High
Sunday October 29
Join John Atkin, as he explores the constantly changing Vancouver landscape and tells the stories behind some of its most iconic buildings and neighbourhoods. Hear about the Woodward’s site including the story behind the store’s demolition, learn about gold rush money, renewal and restorations around the Flack Block, gaze down at the Morris J. Wosk centre as you hear its tale of demolition threats and eventual adaptive reuse as well as the complex history of Waterfront Station where modern uses have breathed new life into this venerable building.
Vancouver After Dark: History of the Entertainment Scene
Thursday November 16
Downtown Vancouver was home to legendary nightclubs throughout much of the last century where, thanks to Vancouver’s geographic location, many performers would kick off tours. Today, most of the theatres of Granville Street are gone, and only a few legendary nightspots remain. How did some of Vancouver’s clubs remain, and others simply disappear? Is the city’s “Granville Entertainment District” really the answer? Author Aaron Chapman explores the history and future of Vancouver’s music scene.
Vancouver Heritage Foundation is a registered charity working to support the city’s built heritage through educational programming and awareness building. To find out more about VHF, visit vancouverheritagefoundation.org.
This event (November 16 only) will feature a cash bar from Vancouver’s first micro distillery, Long Table Distillery.
Cultural Landscapes: Vancouver’s South Asian Community
Sunday November 26
Naveen Girn, Paneet Singh and Milan Singh
In one of the earliest South Asian Canadian novels, Sadhu Singh Dhami wrote that sometimes the landscape of Vancouver can evoke the idea of home because “the Fraser was much like the Sutlej gliding through the plains of the Punjab.” This talk looks at how migrants over the past 100 years have worked to create belonging and thread their lives into the story of Vancouver. From the epic tale of the Komagata Maru to clandestine freedom movements, from the fight for civil rights to the living legacy of trauma and displacement, this talk will illuminate South Asian stories and intercultural relationships that can only happen in Vancouver.