New Stuff (a.k.a. The Blog) to 2015....

Return to home page

... including many additions of photos and correspondence to the on-line parts of Vanishing British Columbia and Vancouver Remembered

and ...

pages about Toshiko and 2050, my graphic novels


...which is also a Facebook page
  – this is the most up-to-date
source on what's happening

Contact me

...updated December 25, 2015

...updated November 20, 2015

An event almost as rare as a lunar eclipse: I have finished a couple of oil paintings and added them to the page concerning such things.

• And, the selling of Toshiko goes on ...

...updated November 13, 2015

Talking about Toshiko by Skype with a class at McGill University in Montréal. Their very insightful questions and my answers are here.

More reviews about Toshiko posted on its page, and a few upcoming events:

Tuesday, November 17th, a reading/presentation on Toshiko at People's Coop Books, 1391 Commercial Drive in Vancouver

Sunday, November 22nd, I'm conducting a workshop on "Storytelling with Graphic Novels" at Joy Kogawa House.

Monday, November 23rd, I'll be in Victoria speaking to the island Nikkei association, late in the afternoon at UVic, and probably doing a book-signing or two in the city.

...updated October 21, 2015

On the Toshiko page full-size or online here.

...updated October 12, 2015
I've added a couple of reviews to the Toshiko page, and ...

It's autumn – the 4th year that I've curated and will narrate a showing of vintage Vancouver films from the City of Vancouver Archives, including this harem party in 1928 at the Hamber home, "Greencroft," in Shaughnessy Heights. Wayne Stewart will, as always, provide piano accompaniment for the silent films. There are 3 showings on 2 days at the VanCity cinema on Seymour Street downtown:

• November 15th, 3 pm, the new 2015 show
• November 15th, 7 pm, the 2013 show recut.
• November 29th, 3 pm, the 2015 show repeated.

Tickets at – find the calendar for the dates above. The shows sell out, so best to purchase tickets in advance rather waiting till the last minute.

And, beginning November 4th, a 6-week course for UBC Continuing Studies: "Vanishing Vancouver and British Columbia." This is a combination of history and current issues, including plenty of time for examination and discussion of the contemporary changes afflicting the city.

... updated September 17, 2015

The abandoned house at 1550 Marpole Avenue in First Shaughnessy, one of the additions to a page of Vancouver relics in the Vanishing BC part of this website.

Upcoming Events: Hold the Dates!

• Book-signing for Toshiko at Hager Books, 2176 West 41st in Kerrisdale, on Saturday, September 26th from noon to one. Phone 604 263-9412 to reserve a copy if you can't make it.

• Illustrated talk at the Word Festival, Sunday September 27th at about 4:30 pm inside the Vancouver Public Library main branch (lower level).

• Book signing and casual talk about graphic novels and history-telling at the Comicshop, 3518 West 4th, on Saturday October 3rd from noon to 4.

... updated September 9, 2015

A good little write-up about Toshiko in BC Bookworld.

Also coming up:

• a book-signing at Hager Books, 2176 West 41st in Kerrisdale, on September 26th at midday

• an illustrated talk at the Word Festival as one of the sessions on graphic novels and comic books, Sunday September 27th at about 4:30 pm. I am part of the Writing Talks section, on page 17 of the guide.

• a book-signing at the Comicshop, 3518 West 4th, on October 3rd from 12-4. They have an event page here on Facebook ...

...updated August 14, 2015

"Taking it one day at a time" is a definition of launching and promoting a book in this era.

I've added a couple of reviews to the Toshiko page.

...updated August 4, 2015

In honour of summer, and in memory of summers past, a vintage photo from Douglas Campbell, added to the Gower Point page.

... updated July 26, 2015
I finally got time to put up Vanishing BC updates from the past couple of months, including some photos from the north around Dease Lake (where I've never been) by Wim Vanderpol, and an addition to the AY Jackson silkscreen enquiry about Gitsegukla and an enquiry about Mission Flats south of Kamloops that somebody might know something about.

...updated July 19, 2015

Aki (age 96) and her daughter Vivian at the launch of Toshiko yesterday at the Nikkei National Museum in Burnaby. Aki spent the internment years in Blind Bay – Vivian was born in Salmon Arm hospital – with the Japanese Canadians living on independent permits in that area near Shuswap Lake and the Calhoun Farm. And, below, the CBC précis and audio link to the interview on the Early Edition.

...updated July 9, 2015

... updated June 10, 2015

Toshiko is published and available in bookstores and (probably) many comics shops!
Mark your calendars: the launch will be at the Nikkei National Museum in Burnaby on July 18th, 3-5 pm.
Get more information on the Facebook page (no need to be a Facebook member to go to the link).

And ...

... some recently discovered 1970s drawings from my days working at BCIT.

...updated May 19, 2015

This is one of Vancouver's few derelict houses that has missed the clanking bulldozer of progress – at least, this is what it looked like in 2011. It stands at the northeast corner of Broadway and St. Catherine's in Mount Pleasant, behind a blue security fence (I suppose to deter campers) and has been partly boarded up for the past couple of years.

It was a historical curiosity because it sat so far back from the street, with a big sideyard; back in the day, it was buried behind a double shopfront facing Broadway that was the Homeway Confectionery and Maple Leaf (later K's) barber shop.

In 1905, when houses such as it were built, a 33-foot lot in East Vancouver cost about $300 and a house containing 800 square feet of living space, like this one, cost about $1000 to build. A tradesman earned about $700 a year, so the house was equivalent to 2 years salary (there was no income tax, no medical insurance, no appliances to buy or any bells and whistles). The ad below indicates what's happened to prices: land and permit costs alone are more than $400K per unit, and construction costs will probably be $300 a square foot = $300 K for a townhouse. So, $700K for a townhouse in a city where the average family income is just over $60K per year, equivalent to 11 x an average salary. This is very rough math, but it does give an indication of the challenges to affordability.

... updated May 5, 2015

I've added a Toshiko page which has a preview of my graphic novel that will be published later this month.

As you can see from the home page of my site ...

... there's now a Facebook page for Toshiko. The idea is to have a separate page for news about it (tying in, I guess, to the Demo-Graphic Novel, as it were) and, I hope, spurring general blather about graphic novels themselves.

• The launch for Toshiko will take place July 18th, a Saturday, from 3-5 at the Nikkei Centre. Details will follow – please mark your calendars

• I am going to be filling in for Jean Barman in a UBC week-long course from June 1-5 entitled Unheard Voices from British Columbia's Past. The course runs from 11-12 on those 5 mornings and will focus on Aboriginal people, Economic Opportunists (French Canadians and the first wave of Chinese, primarily), Utopians (primarily Finns, Doukhobors and war resisters), and the "Asian Invasion" of Sikhs, Chinese and Japanese.

• I will be speaking on June 1st in the evening to the Mount Pleasant Heritage Group on the city's heritage policy. A free event.

• And, on June 2nd, at Hycroft at 7:30, I will be speaking on "A Brief History of the Vancouver Apartment and Condo" for the Vancouver Heritage Foundation. Info and tickets here.

... added March 31, 2015

Getting closer ... it will be on the press within a few weeks.

The only other event I have coming up is the BC Society of Landscape Architects conference at Whistler, BC, where I am the keynote speaker on April 24th.

...added February 27, 2015
I was very sorry to hear that the Percé summer school in eastern Québec, run by the Université Laval, has closed due to budget cuts. Created by the former dean of visual arts, architecture and planning, Claude Dubé, the school used a historic summer house of a New York painter as its studio and gathering space, while many of the students rented the charming summer cottages nearby that were owned by the Canadian Heritage of Quebec foundation. It was a wonderful synthesis of art school, economic enhancement for a depressed rural region and heritage stewardship. I was fortunate to teach there in 2003, 2004, 2005 and 2011 – this page is from 2011 and has links to the earlier times there. Une belle aventure!

Moi with a student in 2011. Photo by Denis Simard.

...added February 23, 2015

Two trips, one last October to Missouri and the other last month to Mexico, added to the long list of journeys on my travel page.

...added February 18, 2015

The demolition of "St. Mike's," the former residential school at Alert Bay on Cormorant Island, closes another chapter in the province's scandalous history of the education of Aboriginal people.

Readers of my Vanishing BC page will see that the issue of whether to retain the building, reuse it, or keep it standing as a memory, or just to clear the site, has been controversial for more than a decade. In the end, those who felt that healing could best happen through razing won the day.

               St. Eugene's near Cranbrook provides another side of the story, perhaps.

This has been my year of jury duty (not of the civil or criminal kind, thank goodness), beginning with the Architecture Foundation's Best Buildings Contest last November and continuing this spring with the City of Vancouver Heritage Awards and the Lieutenant-Governor's Award for Literary Excellence.

And, two lectures:
-Thursday, March 26th: Len Norris and the Vancouver Imagination for the Vancouver Historical Society

-Wednesday, April 1st: first lecture of "Oh Canada! Perspectives on Canada Today" at SFU Harbour Centre, a six-part course.

Also, news that the lane house behind 1754 Pendrell in the West End will soon be demolished, as City Council has approved the huge redevelopment of the site, including the small apartment building on the right. It and the house in front were built in 1904 by Adorinam J. Paterson, the chief clerk of the CPR steamship company. I painted the image above in 2010 for Vanishing Vancouver.

...added January 7, 2015

Going, going ... The last two houses on Hornby Street, numbers 1243 and 1251 between Drake and Davie, as they were in 2005 when I painted them for Vancouver Remembered. They were much in the news this week because of their pending removal/demolition to make way for the Burrard Place condo development by Reliance Properties and the Jim Pattison group, which has operated a Toyota dealership on the Burrard Street side of the block for nearly 1000 years. The developer's offer of them, for free, cash and carry as it were, attracted the attention of the CBC and CityTv, the two crews who interviewed me, plus various newspapers. Although they are tall, urban houses, the idea of moving them isn't so nutty, given the cost of construction on places like the Gulf Islands and the proximity of the houses to the beach; I'm aware of one bungalow that went from 57th and Adera to Hornby Island recently, incurring costs including site prep at the destination of about $80,000, way cheaper than the cost of building new (especially on islands, where costs and timetables go sideways quite quickly). In 2005, I enjoyed the synergy between the the houses and the lottery sign, hanging beside them like a price tag.

"Toshiko," my graphic novel, is finished and is now being translated into French and beginning pre-press production. It will be about 7 x 10 inches and 120 pages, published late this spring according to plan. I will post details about it, including the publisher, plot and hype and the possibilities of a launch as soon as I can.

Other spring events for me:

• I will be speaking at the Grandview Woodlands Area Council meeting, open to all, on February 2nd, talking about heritage and policy in the 'hood as part of the discussion around the area plan.

• February 4th at 6:30 at the VanCity Theatre, I'll be part of the panel discussion following the showing of a Vancouver Heritage Foundation film on heritage revitalization work in the city.

• March 26th, 7:30 pm, my lecture on "Len Norris and the Vancouver Imagination" to the Vancouver Historical Society, at the Museum of Vancouver on Kits Point.

• April Fool's Day, 12:30, details to follow, I'll be giving an SFU lecture on "Canada's self-image: urban, rural or wilderness?", the first of a 6-part series talking about ... yes, Canada!

...added December 19, 2014

...Merry Christmas to all readers of this site!

... a final commission from 2014, another of the little west-side Vancouver houses (this one on 23rd west of Dunbar) that is about to be demolished for a much bigger house. Unlike others that are bland and charmless, this little home was unaltered from its 1920s beginnings and was a modest place to raise modest families for a few generations – just the sort of thing that has no value at all in the new city. I will hope, in my Pollyanna sort of way, for a change of attitude in 2015. This is added to the images on my Commissions page.

...and, a farewell to Mark Forsythe of CBC British Columbia, whose retirement was formally announced today on the radio and who ceases broadcasting on Christmas Eve. Mark's support on his BC Almanac program back in the early 2000's was crucial in getting the word out for my Vanishing British Columbia project.

...added November 8, 2014

Above Kitsilano Beach, 1945

Come Fly With Me, ha ha, on November 13th, 7 pm, at the HR MacMillan Space Centre as we present another evening of historic panoramas and aerial photographs projected onto the planetarium's huge dome. Tickets are available at the door or in advance at 604.738.7827 ext 240.

807 Drake when it was still in good shape, sketched in 2002
Jamie Pringle tipped me off about the demolition of the 1907 house at 807 Drake, another of the increasingly few wooden relics from the time when "Downtown South" was called Yaletown and was home to a diverse community of working-class people. The house has been boarded up for years. There are a few more images on my very incomplete page here.

...added October 11, 2014

A few events coming up in the next month, to get me out of the house while I slog along with the graphic novel...

• The Evolution of the Vancouver House, an illustrated talk at Kerrisdale Community Centre on Thursday, October 16th, at 7:30 pm. The talk is free but please register in advance by calling 604 257-8100.

Autumn is vintage film season for me. If you're in Vancouver, don't miss International Home Movie Day on Saturday, October 18th in the afternoon. Details here. I'll be there for part of the time talking with people at the Archives table.

Stablemen and their horses outside the Jersey Farms dairy barn on Arbutus at 11th, 1940

• November 2nd, 2 pm, this year's showing of vintage films from the Archives at VanCity Theatre. Vancouver – A Progressive City! Absolute classics of the industrial film genre from the late 1930s through the late '50s, supplemented with colourful Grey Cup parades and other curiosities. "The closest I can get to that era without a time machine ..." Tickets here. Please get them in advance and arrive early – in previous years, due to the line-up for tickets, we've started late and have had to rush through to get out of the theatre before the next showing.

• November 2nd, 7:30 pm, we're screening the 2012 movies – Vintage Vancouver – again. Bridge construction, the Stanley Park kiddies' train, a dog show in the 1930s, amateur documentaries of Gastown and the protests over the showing of Caligula, and an award-winning promotional film from 1975 are highlights of that presentation. Tickets here, and please be on time!

...added September 1, 2014

A simple commissioned oil painting from this summer. I put it up here because all my oils of buildings seem to have that Edward Hopper quality (which I admire greatly) of stillness and loneliness without me reaching for any effect at all. I guess it's a style thing, of painting over a dry undercoat rather than alla prima (wet into wet). I'm glad the client went for an oil because a watercolour of a simple subject like this would have been a bit spare.
A quiet summer in terms of colourful artwork, except for a few commissions, as work proceeds on the graphic novel ... More to come on that soon.

• I'll be participating in the Discovery Saturday BC Stories afternoon at the Surrey Museum on September 20th, click here for details, including giving a brief illustrated talk on Vanishing British Columbia.

• Also, don't miss my "Son of Gentrification" talk on September 30th at Hycroft, one of the lectures offered this fall by the Vancouver Heritage Foundation.

• A page on the Pleasantside store added into the Vanishing British Columbia section of this site; it's a relic on the Ioco Road west of Port Moody from a time when the Belcarra area was summer-cottage country, as witnessed by my June and May entries below.

• And, interesting entries into existing Vanishing BC pages on Pavilion, Beaton, the Lee Bak Bong Building in Armstrong, plus another Garbage Gobbler picture.

... added July 19, 2014

From Barbara Roden, Ashcroft: As an admirer of your 'Vanishing British Columbia' series, and local amateur historian, I thought you might be interested - and probably saddened - to know that the buildings at the former forestry station in Ashcroft, on Highway 1 beside Ashcroft Manor, burned down last night (18 July). I live in Ashcroft, and my son - who's a volunteer firefighter - got a call around 11.30pm to attend a fire there (I just picked him up; he's one tired 16-year-old). No word on how the fire started, and the firefighters managed to save the Manor, Teahouse, and cabins around the Manor, but all the buildings on the forestry station site are gone; there's nothing left standing but the brick chimneys. There's no word yet on the cause of the fire, but high winds last night, plus tinder-dry conditions, meant that once it got hold there was nothing anyone could do to save the buildings, and efforts were concentrated on keeping the fire from spreading (it kept jumping the highway) and saving the Manor buildings.

...added June 22, updated July 2, 2014

Please sign the petition here. Click on the picture to go to my page with background info.

...added June 9, 2014

Just added: a page of artwork, photos and ramblings from our recent trip to Britain, one of the ongoing series of journeys indexed on my travel page.

• Unfortunately, no news yet of any break in the impasse between the cottages at Belcarra Park and the Metro Vancouver Parks Authority chronicled below.

... added May 30, 2014

A Pending Act of Cultural Vandalism
by Metro Vancouver Parks

Some readers may have followed the story of the cottagers in Belcarra Park, part of the City of Port Moody in the Vancouver area managed by the regional parks authority. The Village of Belcarra (on whose land the northernmost cottage sits) has also been involved and is supportive of cottage retention.

Stubbornly resisting Port Moody's and Belcarra's desire to save the cottages and indifferent to the wide public protest that has arisen in the last year or so, Metro Parks has ordered the eviction of the cottagers as of June 30th. They then plan to demolish the cottages and would likely cut down a swath of trees to create more picnic or play area, although they have no budget and no up-to-date plan that anyone is aware of.

I'm not sure how this will play out, whether the residents will try to stay on or not, or whether the political pressure from Port Moody will get some traction with Metro. See more on my Belcarra page.

...added May 21, 2014

•On May 28th at 7 pm, I am repeating my presentation of historic W.J. Moore panoramas of Vancouver, under the dome of the Space Centre. Please call for tickets in advance, using this link, as the last event sold out and 40 people were left outside in the rain.

•And (below) I'm just back from a few weeks in Britain and working on the usual array of images that will eventually be added to my travel page.

...added April 24, 2014

It's been a long time since I did any outdoor painting in the pale spring sunshine, but a commission in Langley of a soon-to-disappear rural property prompted me to rouse the watercolours from their long sleep. This seems to be the classic scenario for commissions nowadays – people moving on and wanting something better than a photograph as a memory. I've added this image to my Commissions page.

...added April 8, 2014

I haven't put much up on this site lately, which is not to say I haven't been busy – working on a graphic novel (that is, a glorified comic book) with the working title "Trapped." It's set during WWII in the interior of B.C. and expands on one of the themes from my book Vanishing British Columbia, but it is fiction, absolutely. Publication date? Maybe the fall of 2014?

Whether or not they have any value as literature or art, graphic novels are a heroic labour. It's so much easier just to write "he stood on the side of the road as the schoolbus lumbered toward him" than it is actually to draw it. It's a slow process.

I get distracted by painting commissions and the preparation for lectures and such like, including:

• The reprise of the show of historic W.J. Moore panoramas of Vancouver in the dome of the H.R. MacMillan Space Centre on Wednesday, May 28th at 7 pm. (John Atkin's 'part I' of the 2-parter takes place on the 14th, as you'll see from the link.) The show last November sold out and many were turned away, so ...

• We're beginning work on a new panoramas show for the fall, and ...

• Also we're sorting and reviewing vintage films from the Vancouver Archives for shows at the VanCity Theatre, as I've done for the past couple of years. There will be 2 shows, one of new material, one to reprise the 2012 screening, on November 2nd; the new program will be screened a second time on November 30th at 2:30 pm.

• And, mark your calendars for August 17th, 10 am, the only walking tour I give each year: this year it's Hippie Kitsilano. Sign up soon on the Heritage Vancouver website. Please don't come in costume!

On a sad note, Metro Parks seems determined to evict the cottage community in Belcarra Park. At a meeting tonight, Port Moody Council is considering a heritage designation for the cottages; what impact that will have is hard to say, but the community is rallying around this unique piece of the community's history. I'll post more information as I get it.

Update April 11th: see the Belcarra page.

...added March 11, 2014

I've been noticing the loss of little landmarks lately, rendering even my recent books out of date (or, alternatively, the kind of records of a lost time I probably intended them to be).

(Left) The 1904 house at 819 Pacific Street, painted from the Howe Street on-ramp of the Granville Bridge in 2006 for Vancouver Remembered. It was raised one storey into the air in 1927 so that a confectionery could be inserted beneath it; this evolved into a café in the 1950s and, in the 1970s and '80s, into a chic bistro known variously as L'Escargot and La Cuisine. It was demolished this last winter, making way for more huge changes including the Bjarke Ingels twisty tower that will loom above the bridge.

And two from Vanishing Vancouver: The Last 25 Years, published just 2 years ago.

(Middle) The last phone booth I know about, on East Hastings at Lakewood. Who needs a pay phone anymore? (a rhetorical question)

(Right) Scott's Grocery at Victoria and Georgia in Grandview, which I painted in 2011 when it was one of the last operating corner stores in the city. The owners have sold and retired; the battle will soon begin to try to retain it and its neighbours in that apartment-zoned area.

• the annual Finn Slough art event takes place on March 13–15 at the Richmond Cultural Centre, where it's been held in the recent past. Hours and details are at I will be speaking at the opening, showing a Powerpoint about the Finnish community, the slough and some of the historic squatters' settlements in the Vancouver area, on the Friday at 7.

• I will be repeating the sold-out Moore panoramas show at HR MacMillan Space Centre, referenced below in the November 24th entry, on Wednesday, May 28th. Further details following here as the time comes closer.

...added February 21, 2014

I was asked by the Architectural Foundation of BC if I would nominate 6 buildings in the boonies for the BC Best Buildings Contest that was displayed with the house and chimney shown above at Buildex, which just wrapped up in Vancouver. You can (or at least I can) spot four of my Vanishing BC watercolours on this face of the display. The intention was not to nominate the beautiful institutional buildings like courthouses that still grace several BC towns, but rather to suggest ones that capture something of the province's varied past. The contest details can be found at

For the record, the 6 are:
Denman Island General Store
Alexandra Lodge
Trout Lake Hotel
Lawless Ranch
McBride Railway Station down near the bottom of the page
The Potato House in Williams Lake

...added February 17, 2014

Good weather for watercolours in Vancouver ...

• My 'Vanishing Vancouver' 6-part course begins this Friday, February 21st, at SFU Harbour Centre. Last-minute registration details here.

• I have an opportunity to talk about agriculture – specifically the history of it in Vancouver – at the Copley Community Orchard AGM on March 2nd, 2 pm. Details here.

• Jason Vanderhill's very interesting Illustrated Vancouver blog has spawned an exhibition of vintage architectural illustration and wacky dreamscapes at the Museum of Vancouver: Vancouver Imagined. A great show to see along with the others there: the Dan White architecture retrospective and the Foncie's Photos show.

...added February 3, 2014

Added to the travel page, a record of a trip to Los Angeles and along the Big Sur coast of California. There is some artwork like the watercolour here as well as a number of photographs of LA architecture, including a small section on bungalow courts.

• And, continuing the theme of North Bend, the little whistlestop in the Fraser Canyon that made a big splash in the news last week due to the $1 houses story (noted below), I've added to one of the North Bend pages a truly vintage photo of the community in 1885, the year before Vancouver was incorporated.

...added January 27, 2014
Interesting news that the Highline Houses in North Bend, BC, are for sale for $1 by the Fraser Valley Regional District, including the land! Title transfer will occur after the houses have been rehabilitated to an acceptable heritage standard.

The newspaper article from the Hope Standard, and information on the houses, is here.

The buildings are the best, almost only, survivors from the early years when North Bend was a divisional point on the Canadian Pacific Railway.

The houses have been boarded up for years; as the article states, the Regional District has been paying insurance on the houses and is seeking an innovative solution to the problem of keeping them in the community.

Stay tuned. Any ideas?

• On a more positive note, the Granite Creek area on the Tulameen River has received a kind of heritage status, congratulations to Diane Sterne of Coalmont and her colleagues!

...added December 27, 2013

Artwork, writing and snapshots from our recent trip to Malaysia and Singapore

...And, a fabulous set of photographs by Angus McIntyre of interiors of the legendary Birks Building, demolished in 1974, and the mock funeral that protested it – a classic piece of street theatre from 40 years ago.

...added December 16, 2013

• Merry Christmas to all readers ! ... (by the way, this is a purely digital image, drawn/painted in Photoshop Elements 9 using a Wacom Bamboo tablet)
• The only public event I have coming up is an illustrated talk on January 23rd, 7pm, at Kerrisdale Community Centre in Vancouver, with the title "What's Vanishing About Vancouver?"
• ... and, beginning on February 21st, my six-part lecture-series and course entitled (what else?) 'Vanishing Vancouver' at SFU Harbour Centre. Details and registration here.

...added November 24, 2013

Coming soon – art, snaps and scribbling from Malaysia & Singapore
• Thanks to everyone who turned out at the VanCity Theatre for the Vintage Vancouver screening today and made it a sold-out event for the second year in a row! All things being equal, we'll do it all over again next year.

Coming up: December 4th, 7 pm at the HR MacMillan Space Centre ("the planetarium") in Vancouver, I will be narrating a presentation of old (75 - 100 years) panoramic photos by WJ Moore of Vancouver scenes, matched to contemporary ones and projected onto the dome of the theatre, concentrating on images of False Creek, Granville Island and suburban (mainly Kerrisdale) neighbourhoods. The photographs are in the collection of the City of Vancouver Archives.

I'm presenting the second half of this show (John Atkin did the first one in November which packed the theatre). It's a stunning use of their new digital projectors and an unequalled way to compare the old city with the current one.

More details of the evening here. Please buy tickets in advance: over the phone at 604-738-7827, local 240.

• ... and, beginning on February 21st, my six-part lecture-series and course entitled (what else?) 'Vanishing Vancouver' at SFU Harbour Centre. Details and registration here.

...added October 21, 2013
The recording of my talk, "A Brief History of Gentrification in Vancouver," at SFU Woodward's earlier this month. It goes on for about 1 1/2 hours including the questions at the end. If the embedded frame doesn't come up on your phone or tablet, use this link.

...added October 17, 2013

The record of a trip in beautiful autumn weather through the Okanagan and Boundary Country, including this 1906 house in the orchard and winery centre of Prairie Valley near Summerland, added to the long list of trips on my travel page.
Three very worthwhile events coming up:

International Home Movie Day at the Centre for Digital Media, October 19th in the afternoon: I'll be at a table there from 1-3

• A presentation by two eminent historians on British Columbia a century ago – the major fundraiser for the City of Vancouver Archives, on Sunday, October 20th at 2 pm.

• the link, promised earlier, for...

... not happening until November 24th at 2 pm at the VanCity Theatre on Seymour Street downtown; however, last year the event sold out and more than 100 people were turned away. Tickets are available under the VanCity Theatre tab at the top of that web page.

... added October 8, 2013

•My talk on the history of Gentrification in Vancouver last night at SFU Woodwards ...

...went very well, with more than 100 people attending. It was filmed and will be posted on the web within a week or so and I will post the link here. The intention is to have a couple more evenings there in 2014, more like symposia, to explore the issue further.

•And for something completely different – change due to abandonment rather than development – I've consolidated all the information on Spuzzum due to the amount of correspondence that was spread across 2 pages.

•And two passings to note: Janet Bingham, a friend who was crucial to the evolution of heritage conservation in Vancouver, especially in the saving of Barclay Heritage Square and the Roedde House Museum, died last week, as did cartoonist Roy Peterson, who drew way better than I ever could during my brief career as a newspaper cartoonist.

...added September 12, 2013

One of the more interesting commissions I've painted recently was the two portraits of former Commanding Officers of the British Columbia Regiment (Duke of Connaught's Own), unveiled yesterday at the Beatty Street Armoury in Vancouver. I painted the portraits of Colonels Arthur Lungley and John Toogood, both deceased, from photographs, with advice from another former CO, David Sproule (on the right in the blazer) and the two widows of the subjects (standing next to the pictures). Lt.-Col. Sajjan, the regiment's current commanding officer, is standing on the left. Colonels Lungley and Toogood were key to the armoured regiment's push across France and into Belgium and Germany in the months after D-Day in 1944. See the regimental website for more information. Go to my Commissions Page to see the pictures up close.

... added September 2, 2013

Coming up, October 7, 7 pm: my illustrated lecture, "A Brief History of Gentrification in Vancouver," which may be a little controversial, at SFU Woodwards's World Arts Centre. Here's the link for the free tickets.
And for something completely different, summertime is commission-painting time, including this year ...

... views and buildings, added to my Commissions page.

...added August 6, 2013

Finally ... a decent painting of the DOT Site on the Trans Canada highway near Ashcroft.
New & upcoming:

• a guest column by me in the Vancouver Sun on "green lessons" from the past for city planners

• my only walking tour of the year, a fundraiser for Heritage Vancouver called Estates of South Kerrisdale, on August 10th. [Sold Out]

• October 7, 7 pm: an illustrated lecture, "A Brief History of Gentrification in Vancouver,"  at SFU Woodwards's World Arts Centre. I'll put a link for free tickets here asap.

• November 24, 2 pm: an afternoon of vintage films, mainly about Vancouver, at Vancity Theatre. Last year's event sold out and a hundred people were turned away, so .... I'll put a link for the tickets here asap.

...added July 19, 2013

The news recently that Vancouver Province cartoonist Bob Krieger had taken a buyout after 32 years caught my attention, beyond my normal level of interest in the impending demise of the daily press, because 33 years ago I was competing for that job. As it turned out, the editor obviously preferred Krieger's Aislin-like style (like the older Montreal cartoonist Terry Mosher aka Aislin) to mine.

I was asked after a couple of recent talks about my formative years, ha ha, before I began writing and illustrating books in the early 1980s. "Cartoons and commercial art," I said. "Really?" came the reply. All of that seems so distant and different from what I've done since.

So here's a page on my early cartooning career from 1979 – 80 at the Province, the Vancouver Sun and the Victoria Times, added to my False Starts page....

...added June 24, 2013

Somebody in Taoyuan (a suburb of Taipei in the R.O.C.) has put up a sort of 'tribute site' using watercolours from my old book British Columbia in Watercolour (1993). There's your opportunity to see some of the pictures from that out-of-print book, which I've never put onto the web myself. (I suppose, technically, I should care that this has been done without my permission, but it's been done with respect and ... this is the 21st century, right?)

... another addition to the oil-painting page and...

... a quest to find a recording of the Okanagan [or O.K.] River Boys, a country band that played in the Boundary country in the late '40s and early '50s. Colin Preston, CBC archivist, wrote me to say, "No luck, I'm afraid.  I consulted with the plant's musical history guru, Lee Rosevere, as well. We all drew a collective blank." Anybody have a copy tucked away? More information on the band is midway down this page.

...and a good article updating the information on Finn Slough ...

...added May 31, 2013

The logo of the Grandview Heritage Group, coloured up. I drew it more than a year ago with brush and ink:

This is the group I'm very involved with on various projects, detailed here.

There have been some very interesting additions to the Vanishing BC parts of this site:
• a 1970s colour photo of the CPR Hotel in North Bend
• a vintage wrecked house, which may be an Eaton's kit, in the ranchland east of Rock Creek
• rehabilitation of the Johnny Ward House in Yale and news of the 150th anniversary celebrations of the Cariboo wagon road
• news about work at Tranquille, near Kamloops, including restorations of some of the buildings
• sad news (with photos) that a slide has wiped out one of the buildings at Camp Defiance on the Hope-Princeton highway.

...added May 12, 2013

A research project on a separate blog site called Vacant Vancouver. (Which is going nowhere as of the end of the month! – please send in data!)

It's an attempt to crowdsource a map of the vacant houses in the city, as part of the ongoing debate about whether Vancouver's neighbourhoods, both downtown condo and single family, are being depopulated as a side effect of international real-estate speculation.

...added April 27, 2013

Do all artists grimace involuntarily when they're painting a grimacing or laughing face? Looks like I do...

I've been working with artists Victoria Oginski and Penny Street on the restoration of an old bakery company mural on the sidewall of a building in Vancouver. The sign is probably from the 1920s and is one of the last of hundreds, maybe thousands, painted in the city generations ago. It emerged from beneath a coat of stucco a few years ago and had deteriorated dramatically, with paint falling off and fading. We set out to stabilize the surface, preserving the original paint and patina, then adding just enough paint to bring the design back to life.

The restored sign is below. Victoria Oginski is the mural specialist of the team: a good example of her work is on the sidewall of Drive Organics, in the greenway at Napier and Commercial in Vancouver.

(photo on the left by Penny Street)

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