27 Mar 2015

Giants On Granville Island

Concrete giants with hoodies and man-bags? This is probably not something that Walter and Herbert Gilley would have envisioned. Yet, here in their old industrial plant, stand a brobdingnagian quartet created by two other brothers – Otavio and Gustavo Pandolfo, high profile artists from Brazil. In 1886, the Gilley Brothers opened their

21 Mar 2015

Cherry Blossom City

This time of year, you will see Vancouverites and visitors out with their cameras and easels, circling blocks that are lined from one end to the other with cherry blossom trees. Our cherry blossom tradition began with generous gifts from Japan. In the 1930’s, the mayors of Yokohama and Kobe gave

12 Mar 2015

Lenin’s Head Is Gone

In 2010, Vladimir Lenin landed in Richmond. Well, his 8,800 pound head did and, as the title noted, Miss Mao was trying to poise herself atop it. The piece quickly became a source of loud debate. It was wonderful, it was disrespectful, it was curious, it was inflammatory. This politically provocative stainless steel sculpture was

12 Mar 2015

Queen Elizabeth Theatre Fountain

It was in 1971 that this bronze and steel fountain started flowing outside the Queen Elizabeth Theatre. The nestled orbs were designed by prolific sculptor Gerhard Hans Class and a gift from the German-Canadian Centennial Committee of BC  to the city of Vancouver.

05 Mar 2015

The Dunbar Simpsons Mural

Dunbar and 41st is not where one would expect to find elaborate graffiti murals. Yet, there in the IGA parking lot is a colourful swirl of characters that includes Homer Simpson’s extended family and Moe the barkeep. Most improbably, these citizens of Springfield find themselves neighbour to Mother Theresa.  

26 Feb 2015

Sinclair Clock Tower

For some, the Sinclair Centre may trigger chilling passport office flashbacks. Please do not let me look down and miss my number. The building is, however, one of our few historic landmarks, with its earliest section – the Edwardian Baroque Post Office – having been designed by architect David Ewart and built

26 Feb 2015

Second-Hand Stills

Never mind the streak-free mirror balls and the carefully-draped overcoats. Some of the most interesting store displays are well away from the windows, tucked into the back-corners of second-hand shops. Here’s one of many on Main Street.

26 Feb 2015

Land Of Giant Letters

On the Streets of Sesame, giant letters pop up in the most unusual of places.  Upper case D and lower case d are headed out for a song-filled canoe ride. A 1970’s R is hoisted awkwardly up onto the top of a New York hotel. Big K and Little k are spinning

19 Feb 2015

Beatty Street Mural

It has been a controversial site. The original block-long mural, in the Queen Elizabeth Theatre area, was painted over blue, prior to the 2010 Olympics. Many, including Vancouver artist Vincent Dumoulin, were less than pleased with the erasure. The public reacted and a new team of artists – headed by

19 Feb 2015

VAG Office Supplies

You see it as you walk from the Eaton’s/Sears/Nordstrom building towards the Vancouver Art Gallery. It is arms and legs outstretched – to music? In struggle? – and it is entitled Dancers. This mixed media mural on the exterior walls of the VAG is the work of Office Supplies Incorporated,