The CBC Vancouver Archives will provide a glimpse of our urban planning past
Vancouver's urbanists will coo at the program for a June 20th event co-sponsored by the Vancouver Public Library and CBC-Radio Canada. The special screening of CBC Vancouver Archives footage is being held from 7pm to 9pm at the VPL Central Branch in the Alice MacKay Room. The three short films focus on the urban landscape of Vancouver circa the 1960s.
What follows the screening is a panel discussion featuring John Atkin (civic historian), Ray Spaxman (former Director of Planning, COV), Brent Toderian (current Director of Planning, COV), and my friend Lance Berelowitz (urban planning critic). The panel will use a 1966 Arthur Erickson film as a jumping off point to discuss "failed plans" of the downtown core.
I know little about the program other than what is described above. I do know that the CBC Vancouver Archives are some of the most compelling artifacts of our city's past. I've advocated for a full-fledged Vancouver Centre for Arts & Culture + museum on this blog before, and will continue to do so given any opportunity. CBC Archivist Colin Preston currently maintains the collection, which I'm led to believe is the match of the Vancouver and UBC Archives. It's thrilling to imagine them all one day in a unique public facility, and accessible to all citizens.
It will be interesting to see what "failed plans" for Vancouver's downtown were documented in the Erickson film. While I respect the late Vancouver architect's unique vision, I'm not beholden to all of his local landmarks. I'm led to believe that his original vision for the Law Courts Building was to have it stand vertically, but it was beaten down by an anti-tower movement that took hold 40 years back. I do know that the Law Courts (lying on its side) has turned once vibrant Howe Street into a wasteland for four decades.
On June 20th I'll be in the middle of a three-day exploration of Seattle's transportation and other urban charms with my family, and unable to attend. I look forward to hearing reports from others who do get to check out the screening and discussion. And I certainly hope that there will be new opportunities to experience the CBC Vancouver Archives in the months ahead.
The Alice MacKay Room is on the Lower Level of the Central Library, 350 West Georgia St. Admission is free, however, seating is limited.
- Post by Mike Klassen. Mike is a city council candidate for the Vancouver Non-Partisan Association (NPA). If you're an elected official or candidate seeking a nomination and want to write about urban issues, please send your 450-500 word submission to CityCaucus@gmail.com.