A Year in Five Minutes: Vancouver 1985

Image courtesy of Rick Hanson Foundation.

Image courtesy of the Rick Hansen Foundation.

1985 saw Rick Hanson’s epic around-the-world Man in Motion tour begin from Oakridge Mall. It also marked the opening of  of Skytrain Expo Line and the Lonsdale Quay Market.

Compiled by John Calimente (with permission from the late Chuck Davis)
Photos compiled by Erick Villagomez

Tears Are Not Enough Recorded

Bryan Adams, song-writing partner Jim Vallance and producer David Foster co-wrote Tears Are Not Enough, an all-star recording that raised funds in Canada’s aid for Ethiopia campaign. It was recorded on February 15 in Toronto. For Bruce Allen’s role in the recording, and for its effect, see this site.

Rick Hansen Begins Man in Motion World Tour

Rick Hansen, paralyzed as the result of a vehicular accident, left to the cheers of a crowd at Oakridge Mall in Vancouver to begin his around-the-world Man in Motion tour by wheelchair. Rick’s target: 24,901.55 miles, equal to the circumference of the world.

Rick had been grievously injured in June of 1973 when a truck he’d hitched a ride on overturned. He was a paraplegic at 15, a kid with, in his own words, “three obsessions: fishing, hunting—and sports. Always sports. If you could throw it, hit it, bounce it, chase it or run with it, I wanted to play it. And usually I could do it pretty well.” A long, painful (and sometimes angry and self-pitying) stretch of rehab followed, then Rick got into wheelchair sports. He was mentored by Stan Stronge, to whom he pays special respect in his autobiography—written with Jim Taylor, it’s a splendid book. And then he met Terry Fox. Terry’s heroic 1980 Marathon of Hope—and the millions it raised for cancer research—inspired Rick.

Rick’s journey ended successfully May 22, 1987 to the cheers of thousands at Oakridge, where it had started 26 months earlier. Today, the Rick Hansen Foundation has funneled $158 million into research on spinal cord injury.

Steve Fonyo Completes Cross-Canada Walk

On May 27, more than 20,000 people greeted Steve Fonyo for a nationally televised event at B.C. Place Stadium. Fonyo was very near the end of his cross-Canada walk, a trek inspired by Terry Fox. He paused at Terry Fox Plaza to place a single white rose beside the memorial arch before walking into the stadium and crossing a giant map of Canada. Just after midnight he was on a Canadian navy ship bound for Victoria and the May 29 finish at newly-named Fonyo Beach where, at 4:15 in a pelting rain, he poured into the Pacific Ocean the water he had collected from the Atlantic 14 months earlier. He wore out six artificial legs and 17 pairs of running shoes on his long journey.

Air India Bombing

Canada’s worst case of mass murder occurred as a bomb hidden in a suitcase aboard Air India Flight 182 exploded in the plane’s forward cargo hold as it approached the coast of Ireland on June 23. The 747, which had left Vancouver International Airport a few hours before, was 31,000 feet above the Atlantic—just 45 minutes from landing at London’s Heathrow Airport. Some passengers survived the fall, but drowned in the frigid waters. Everyone on board—329 people, including 82 children—was killed. Many of the people aboard were Canadian citizens of East Indian descent, and intending to fly on to Bombay or Delhi. Province reporter Salim Jiwa would write extensively on Flight 182, and has a website that contains the text of the book he wrote about it.

Cover of the Fall 1985 Vancouver Regional Rapid Transit Quarterly magazine.

SkyTrain Opens

The SkyTrain rapid-transit system, running from Vancouver to New Westminster, began service on December 11, following the same route through Burnaby as the old interurban tramline. “Kyla Daman-Willems,” the Province’s Don Hauka wrote, “gets to ride on SkyTrain all day long. And best of all, she gets paid for it.” As one of the line’s 81 attendants Kyla was enthusiastic. “It’s very exciting to be involved in something from the time it was on paper to when it goes into operation . . . I just can’t wait to see what happens. Everyone’s dying to see it carry passengers and do what it was designed to do.” The wonderful Going to Town 30 min documentary about 1985 Skytrain project can be found here.

Also in 1985

News

The flame at the Stanley Park war memorial commemorating the Japanese-Canadian contribution during the First World War was re-lit on August 2. It had been extinguished since December 8, 1941. During the First World War, 196 Japanese-Canadians volunteered to fight for Canada. At Vimy Ridge (fought over four days in April, 1917) one of them, Sergeant Masumi Mitsui of Port Coquitlam, led his troop into battle with such distinction that he was awarded the Military Medal for Bravery. Of those 196 volunteers, 145 were killed or wounded.

That remarkable Japanese-Canadian contribution was honored by the construction in 1925 in Stanley Park of a striking monument, surrounded by cherry trees, with an electric flame that was to burn forever. But the flame was switched off shortly after Japan’s attack on Pearl Harbor. It would stay off for more than 40 years. On August 2, 1985 Sgt. Mitsui, now 98, one of two surviving Japanese-Canadian soldiers who had served Canada so bravely, was brought in to turn the light on again. Mr. Mitsui died in 1987, five months short of his 100th birthday, and one year before Ottawa issued an official apology to Japanese-Canadians for the injustices done them during the Second World War.

Maillardville Shopping Centre in Coquitlam was destroyed by fire on March 27th.

David Strangway became the president of UBC. He would hold that post until 1997. Strangway’s tenure at UBC will be marked by success in fund raising, sparking a leap forward for UBC in advanced studies and world-level research.

Former Surrey mayor and MLA Bill Vander Zalm and his wife Lillian began construction of Fantasy Gardens in Richmond.

The Lonsdale Quay Market was developed to help revitalize the Lower Lonsdale area of North Vancouver. “The glazed and galleried interior,” wrote architectural historian Harold Kalman, “recalls nineteenth-century iron-and-glass industrial architecture.”

Construction began on the New Westminster Quay.

The last False Creek mill on Granville Island, a vestige of the island’s industrial past, shuts down.

Lynn Headwaters Regional Park was created, making 4,685 hectares of watershed suddenly accessible to hikers. The rugged wilderness park offers forty kilometres of marked and back country trails in North Vancouver’s back yard.

The 23-kilometre-long B.C. Parkway began linking about 30 parks, paralleling the SkyTrain route between downtown Vancouver and New Westminster.

A small company called TheatreSpace (led by artistic director Joanna Maratta) produced the first annual Vancouver Fringe Festival, described as “a non-juried performing arts smorgasbord that provides venue, technical support and publicity so that anyone who wants to put on a show can.” The Vancouver International Fringe Festival has now become BC’s largest theatre festival.

People

Thomas Moore Whaun, political activist, died at 91 on March 5. He was one of the first Asian residents of West Vancouver, and the second Chinese-Canadian graduate of UBC (BA, 1927). He worked in the newspaper industry as advertising manager for Canada Morning News and New Republic Daily, two of Vancouver’s Chinese newspapers. He was known for his nationwide letter-writing protest against the Chinese Exclusion Act.

One of the most remarkable men in our local history, Dr. Gordon Shrum, teacher, SFU chancellor, builder, executive, died in Vancouver on June 20, aged 89. As the first chancellor of Simon Fraser University (1962 to 1968), he pushed through its construction in 18 months. Forced to retire when he reached age 65, he chaired the B.C. Energy Board under W.A.C. Bennett. Shrum oversaw projects such as the Vancouver Museum/Planetarium complex, the courthouse, and waterfront convention centre. He was awarded the OBE in 1946, was inducted into the Order of Canada in 1967.”

Blanche Macdonald (née Brillon), modeling agency executive and First Nations activist, died in Vancouver, aged 54. “She was born,” writes Constance Brissenden, “May 11, 1931 in Faust, Alberta. Her First Nations and French ancestry was a source of pride. She championed Native causes and feminist ideals. A housewife and mother of two, she opened a modelling agency and self-improvement school in 1960, later expanded into fashion, esthetics and make-up artistry training. As CEO, Native Communications Society of B.C., she launched a journalism program for Native students. She was a founding member of Vancouver’s First Woman’s Network; board member, Better Business Bureau, Modelling Association of America, Professional Native Woman’s Association and Vancouver Indian Centre. In 1985 she received the YWCA Woman of Distinction Award for Business and the Professions. A dynamic and inspiring woman.”

Nan Cheney, portrait painter and the first UBC medical artist, died at 88. Anna Gertrude Lawson Cheney was born June 22, 1897 in Windsor, Nova Scotia. She enjoyed a close relationship with Emily Carr in the period before Carr’s work gained fame. Read Dear Nan, Letters of Emily Carr, Nan Cheney and Humphrey Toms, edited by Doreen Walker. And see this site, which has a fine short biography.

Business

Weldwood of Canada closed its sawmill in South Westminster on June 1. A shortage of Douglas fir logs led the company to consolidate its operations in Squamish.

Atlantis Submarines of Vancouver became the first company in the world to design, build and operate passenger-carrying submarines. Vessels built by Atlantis will carry tourists on dives at locations around the world, including Grand Cayman, Barbados, St. Thomas, Aruba, Hawaii, Guam and the Bahamas. The Atlantis is a free-swimming, self-propelled submersible capable of operating at a depth of 150 feet.

John Bishop started his now-famous restaurant at 2183 West 4th. He opened it in the middle of a recession, but it didn’t seem to matter: people came anyway. “We let the ingredients tell us what to cook,” Shrewsbury-born Bishop said. The restaurant celebrated its 25th anniversary this December.

Bonnie Irving took over as editor at BC Business. The monthly magazine had been launched in 1972 by Joe Martin of Agency Press. She would be editor for an astonishing 19 years, possibly the longest tenure of any general-interest editor in the lower mainland. When she took over, she once said, the magazine was “remarkably dull and boring, with an emphasis on guys in suits standing next to their big corporate widgets.”

Sports

The Vancouver Whitecaps soccer team declares bankruptcy in January. Attempts began quickly to form a new team. It would be born the following year as the 86ers.

North Vancouver’s Linda Moore skipped her team to the world women’s curling championship in Jonkoping, Sweden, on March 22. They became the first B.C. women’s rink to accomplish that feat.

Vancouver middleweight Michael Olajide, Jr. won the Canadian middleweight boxing title at the PNE Agrodome with a ninth-round TKO over Winnipeg’s Wayne Caplette in April.

The Vancouver Canadians won baseball’s Pacific Coast League title on September 10, the first for the city after 20 years of trying.

In a terrific sports year marked by many national titles won by local athletes, the biggest prize of all was gained when the B.C. Lions won the 1985 Grey Cup, defeating Hamilton TiCats 37-24 at Olympic Stadium in Montreal on November 27. The street in front of the football club’s Whalley headquarters was renamed Lions Way.

Heritage Hall on Main Street, Vancouver. Photo courtesy of Wikipedia.

Architecture

Heritage Hall opened in September at 3102 Main Street in Vancouver. Charles Keast, the first president of what was then the Greater Vancouver Information and Referral Service, had led an initiative to have the City of Vancouver buy the old Mt. Pleasant Post Office from the federal government, and turn it into Heritage Hall, a permanent home for five community service agencies, including Information Services Vancouver, the Junior League and others.

Trinity Western College became a university. The only private university in B.C. at the time, it stressed leadership, excellence and Christian ethics.

The funky old Orillia apartment block, built at Robson and Seymour Streets in Vancouver in 1903, was demolished.

Transportation

 

The first of Vancouver’s three Cambie Street bridges, a two-laner built in 1891, cost $12,000. The second, with four lanes, opened in 1912 and named for the Duke of Connaught, Governor General at the time, cost $740,000. The third and present six-lane bridge, which opened on December 9, cost $50 million. Mayor Mike Harcourt officiated at this opening, with a very special guest of honor on hand. She was Isabelle Duff-Stuart, who as a child had presented flowers to the Duchess of Connaught at the opening of the preceding bridge 73 years earlier.

Arts

Sydney J. Risk, theatre pioneer, died in Vancouver on September 5, aged 77. In 1946, he founded Vancouver’s Everyman Theatre, the first professional company in Western Canada, and toured Canadian plays from B.C. to Manitoba until 1953. He was founder in 1952 of Holiday Theatre for children. The Sydney J. Risk Foundation, established in his honor, offers annual awards for acting, directing and playwriting.

To mark Orpheum Theatre manager Ivan Ackery’s 86th birthday, the lane behind the theatre was titled Ackery Alley as a tribute to the master showman.

There was a sharp upswing this year in local TV and movie production. Total production budgets this year were $150 million, and then they started to climb. And climb. And climb. See this site.

Movies made locally or with a local connection this year included Rocky IV, My American Cousin, Year of the Dragon, and The Journey of Natty Gann.

Books published in 1985 on local issues included:

Vancouver Fiction, an anthology edited by David Watmough, described as “an outstanding centennial collection by Vancouver’s world-class writers.” Authors included Jane Rule, Keath Fraser, Audrey Thomas, D.M. Fraser, Keith Mallard and Beverley Simons.

The Chinese Connection, by Michael Goldberg. It featured interviews with 80 Chinese real estate investors and their related Pacific Rim advisors.

This is my own: letters to Wes & other writings on Japanese Canadians, 1941-1948 by Muriel Kitagawa. Roy Miki, ed.

Working Lives Vancouver 1886-1986, by The Working Lives Collective.

***

The late Chuck Davis was a Vancouver writer who wrote, co-wrote, and/or edited 15 books. Most of them are on local history, and he described his yet-to-be released book, The History of Metropolitan Vancouver, as the capstone of his career. Chuck’s passion for history was contagious and all the information he gathered and wrote about is the priceless gift he has left the citizens of Vancouver.

John Calimente is the president of Rail Integrated Developments. He supports great public transit, cycling, walking, transit integrated developments + non-automobile urban life.

Erick Villagomez is one of the founding editors at re:place. He is also an educator, independent researcher and designer with academic and professional interests in the human settlements at all scales. His private practice – Metis Design|Build – is an innovative practice dedicated to a collaborative and ecologically responsible approach to the design and construction of places.

Tears Are Not Enough Recorded

Bryan Adams, song-writing partner Jim Vallance and producer David Foster co-wrote Tears Are Not Enough, an all-star recording that raised funds in Canada’s aid for Ethiopia campaign. It was recorded on February 15 in Toronto. For Bruce Allen’s role in the recording, and for its effect, see this site.

Rick Hansen Begins Man in Motion World Tour

Rick Hansen, paralyzed as the result of a vehicular accident, left to the cheers of a crowd at Oakridge Mall in Vancouver to begin his around-the-world Man in Motion tour by wheelchair. Rick’s target: 24,901.55 miles, equal to the circumference of the world.

Rick had been grievously injured in June of 1973 when a truck he’d hitched a ride on overturned. He was a paraplegic at 15, a kid with, in his own words, “three obsessions: fishing, hunting—and sports. Always sports. If you could throw it, hit it, bounce it, chase it or run with it, I wanted to play it. And usually I could do it pretty well.” A long, painful (and sometimes angry and self-pitying) stretch of rehab followed, then Rick got into wheelchair sports. He was mentored by Stan Stronge, to whom he pays special respect in his autobiography—written with Jim Taylor, it’s a splendid book. And then he met Terry Fox. Terry’s heroic 1980 Marathon of Hope—and the millions it raised for cancer research—inspired Rick.

Rick’s journey ended successfully May 22, 1987 to the cheers of thousands at Oakridge, where it had started 26 months earlier. Today, the Rick Hansen Foundation has funneled $158 million into research on spinal cord injury.

Steve Fonyo Completes Cross-Canada Walk

On May 27, more than 20,000 people greeted Steve Fonyo for a nationally televised event at B.C. Place Stadium. Fonyo was very near the end of his cross-Canada walk, a trek inspired by Terry Fox. He paused at Terry Fox Plaza to place a single white rose beside the memorial arch before walking into the stadium and crossing a giant map of Canada. Just after midnight he was on a Canadian navy ship bound for Victoria and the May 29 finish at newly-named Fonyo Beach where, at 4:15 in a pelting rain, he poured into the Pacific Ocean the water he had collected from the Atlantic 14 months earlier. He wore out six artificial legs and 17 pairs of running shoes on his long journey.

Air India Bombing

Canada’s worst case of mass murder occurred as a bomb hidden in a suitcase aboard Air India Flight 182 exploded in the plane’s forward cargo hold as it approached the coast of Ireland on June 23. The 747, which had left Vancouver International Airport a few hours before, was 31,000 feet above the Atlantic—just 45 minutes from landing at London’s Heathrow Airport. Some passengers survived the fall, but drowned in the frigid waters. Everyone on board—329 people, including 82 children—was killed. Many of the people aboard were Canadian citizens of East Indian descent, and intending to fly on to Bombay or Delhi. Province reporter Salim Jiwa would write extensively on Flight 182, and has a website that contains the text of the book he wrote about it.

Cover of the Fall 1985 Vancouver Regional Rapid Transit Quarterly magazine.
Cover of the Fall 1985 Vancouver Regional Rapid Transit Quarterly magazine.

SkyTrain Opens

The SkyTrain rapid-transit system, running from Vancouver to New Westminster, began service on December 11, following the same route through Burnaby as the old interurban tramline. “Kyla Daman-Willems,” the Province’s Don Hauka wrote, “gets to ride on SkyTrain all day long. And best of all, she gets paid for it.” As one of the line’s 81 attendants Kyla was enthusiastic. “It’s very exciting to be involved in something from the time it was on paper to when it goes into operation . . . I just can’t wait to see what happens. Everyone’s dying to see it carry passengers and do what it was designed to do.” The wonderful Going to Town 30 min documentary about 1985 Skytrain project can be found here.

Also in 1985

News

The flame at the Stanley Park war memorial commemorating the Japanese-Canadian contribution during the First World War was re-lit on August 2. It had been extinguished since December 8, 1941. During the First World War, 196 Japanese-Canadians volunteered to fight for Canada. At Vimy Ridge (fought over four days in April, 1917) one of them, Sergeant Masumi Mitsui of Port Coquitlam, led his troop into battle with such distinction that he was awarded the Military Medal for Bravery. Of those 196 volunteers, 145 were killed or wounded.

That remarkable Japanese-Canadian contribution was honored by the construction in 1925 in Stanley Park of a striking monument, surrounded by cherry trees, with an electric flame that was to burn forever. But the flame was switched off shortly after Japan’s attack on Pearl Harbor. It would stay off for more than 40 years. On August 2, 1985 Sgt. Mitsui, now 98, one of two surviving Japanese-Canadian soldiers who had served Canada so bravely, was brought in to turn the light on again. Mr. Mitsui died in 1987, five months short of his 100th birthday, and one year before Ottawa issued an official apology to Japanese-Canadians for the injustices done them during the Second World War.

Maillardville Shopping Centre in Coquitlam was destroyed by fire on March 27th.

David Strangway became the president of UBC. He would hold that post until 1997. Strangway’s tenure at UBC will be marked by success in fund raising, sparking a leap forward for UBC in advanced studies and world-level research.

Former Surrey mayor and MLA Bill Vander Zalm and his wife Lillian began construction of Fantasy Gardens in Richmond.

The Lonsdale Quay Market was developed to help revitalize the Lower Lonsdale area of North Vancouver. “The glazed and galleried interior,” wrote architectural historian Harold Kalman, “recalls nineteenth-century iron-and-glass industrial architecture.”

Construction began on the New Westminster Quay.

The last False Creek mill on Granville Island, a vestige of the island’s industrial past, shuts down.

Lynn Headwaters Regional Park was created, making 4,685 hectares of watershed suddenly accessible to hikers. The rugged wilderness park offers forty kilometres of marked and back country trails in North Vancouver’s back yard.

The 23-kilometre-long B.C. Parkway began linking about 30 parks, paralleling the SkyTrain route between downtown Vancouver and New Westminster.

A small company called TheatreSpace (led by artistic director Joanna Maratta) produced the first annual Vancouver Fringe Festival, described as “a non-juried performing arts smorgasbord that provides venue, technical support and publicity so that anyone who wants to put on a show can.” The Vancouver International Fringe Festival has now become BC’s largest theatre festival.

People

Thomas Moore Whaun, political activist, died at 91 on March 5. He was one of the first Asian residents of West Vancouver, and the second Chinese-Canadian graduate of UBC (BA, 1927). He worked in the newspaper industry as advertising manager for Canada Morning News and New Republic Daily, two of Vancouver’s Chinese newspapers. He was known for his nationwide letter-writing protest against the Chinese Exclusion Act.

One of the most remarkable men in our local history, Dr. Gordon Shrum, teacher, SFU chancellor, builder, executive, died in Vancouver on June 20, aged 89. As the first chancellor of Simon Fraser University (1962 to 1968), he pushed through its construction in 18 months. Forced to retire when he reached age 65, he chaired the B.C. Energy Board under W.A.C. Bennett. Shrum oversaw projects such as the Vancouver Museum/Planetarium complex, the courthouse, and waterfront convention centre. He was awarded the OBE in 1946, was inducted into the Order of Canada in 1967.”

Blanche Macdonald (née Brillon), modeling agency executive and First Nations activist, died in Vancouver, aged 54. “She was born,” writes Constance Brissenden, “May 11, 1931 in Faust, Alberta. Her First Nations and French ancestry was a source of pride. She championed Native causes and feminist ideals. A housewife and mother of two, she opened a modelling agency and self-improvement school in 1960, later expanded into fashion, esthetics and make-up artistry training. As CEO, Native Communications Society of B.C., she launched a journalism program for Native students. She was a founding member of Vancouver’s First Woman’s Network; board member, Better Business Bureau, Modelling Association of America, Professional Native Woman’s Association and Vancouver Indian Centre. In 1985 she received the YWCA Woman of Distinction Award for Business and the Professions. A dynamic and inspiring woman.”

Nan Cheney, portrait painter and the first UBC medical artist, died at 88. Anna Gertrude Lawson Cheney was born June 22, 1897 in Windsor, Nova Scotia. She enjoyed a close relationship with Emily Carr in the period before Carr’s work gained fame. Read Dear Nan, Letters of Emily Carr, Nan Cheney and Humphrey Toms, edited by Doreen Walker. And see this site, which has a fine short biography.

Business

Weldwood of Canada closed its sawmill in South Westminster on June 1. A shortage of Douglas fir logs led the company to consolidate its operations in Squamish.

Atlantis Submarines of Vancouver became the first company in the world to design, build and operate passenger-carrying submarines. Vessels built by Atlantis will carry tourists on dives at locations around the world, including Grand Cayman, Barbados, St. Thomas, Aruba, Hawaii, Guam and the Bahamas. The Atlantis is a free-swimming, self-propelled submersible capable of operating at a depth of 150 feet.

John Bishop started his now-famous restaurant at 2183 West 4th. He opened it in the middle of a recession, but it didn’t seem to matter: people came anyway. “We let the ingredients tell us what to cook,” Shrewsbury-born Bishop said. The restaurant celebrated its 25th anniversary this December.

Bonnie Irving took over as editor at BC Business. The monthly magazine had been launched in 1972 by Joe Martin of Agency Press. She would be editor for an astonishing 19 years, possibly the longest tenure of any general-interest editor in the lower mainland. When she took over, she once said, the magazine was “remarkably dull and boring, with an emphasis on guys in suits standing next to their big corporate widgets.”

Sports

The Vancouver Whitecaps soccer team declares bankruptcy in January. Attempts began quickly to form a new team. It would be born the following year as the 86ers.

North Vancouver’s Linda Moore skipped her team to the world women’s curling championship in Jonkoping, Sweden, on March 22. They became the first B.C. women’s rink to accomplish that feat.

Vancouver middleweight Michael Olajide, Jr. won the Canadian middleweight boxing title at the PNE Agrodome with a ninth-round TKO over Winnipeg’s Wayne Caplette in April.

The Vancouver Canadians won baseball’s Pacific Coast League title on September 10, the first for the city after 20 years of trying.

In a terrific sports year marked by many national titles won by local athletes, the biggest prize of all was gained when the B.C. Lions won the 1985 Grey Cup, defeating Hamilton TiCats 37-24 at Olympic Stadium in Montreal on November 27. The street in front of the football club’s Whalley headquarters was renamed Lions Way.

Heritage Hall on Main Street, Vancouver. Photo courtesy of Wikipedia.
Heritage Hall on Main Street, Vancouver. Photo courtesy of Wikipedia.

Architecture

Heritage Hall opened in September at 3102 Main Street in Vancouver. Charles Keast, the first president of what was then the Greater Vancouver Information and Referral Service, had led an initiative to have the City of Vancouver buy the old Mt. Pleasant Post Office from the federal government, and turn it into Heritage Hall, a permanent home for five community service agencies, including Information Services Vancouver, the Junior League and others.

Trinity Western College became a university. The only private university in B.C. at the time, it stressed leadership, excellence and Christian ethics.

The funky old Orillia apartment block, built at Robson and Seymour Streets in Vancouver in 1903, was demolished.

Transportation

The first of Vancouver’s three Cambie Street bridges, a two-laner built in 1891, cost $12,000. The second, with four lanes, opened in 1912 and named for the Duke of Connaught, Governor General at the time, cost $740,000. The third and present six-lane bridge, which opened on December 9, cost $50 million. Mayor Mike Harcourt officiated at this opening, with a very special guest of honor on hand. She was Isabelle Duff-Stuart, who as a child had presented flowers to the Duchess of Connaught at the opening of the preceding bridge 73 years earlier.

Arts

Sydney J. Risk, theatre pioneer, died in Vancouver on September 5, aged 77. In 1946, he founded Vancouver’s Everyman Theatre, the first professional company in Western Canada, and toured Canadian plays from B.C. to Manitoba until 1953. He was founder in 1952 of Holiday Theatre for children. The Sydney J. Risk Foundation, established in his honor, offers annual awards for acting, directing and playwriting.

To mark Orpheum Theatre manager Ivan Ackery’s 86th birthday, the lane behind the theatre was titled Ackery Alley as a tribute to the master showman.

There was a sharp upswing this year in local TV and movie production. Total production budgets this year were $150 million, and then they started to climb. And climb. And climb. See this site.

Movies made locally or with a local connection this year included Rocky IV, My American Cousin, Year of the Dragon, and The Journey of Natty Gann.

Books published in 1985 on local issues included:

Vancouver Fiction, an anthology edited by David Watmough, described as “an outstanding centennial collection by Vancouver’s world-class writers.” Authors included Jane Rule, Keath Fraser, Audrey Thomas, D.M. Fraser, Keith Mallard and Beverley Simons.

The Chinese Connection, by Michael Goldberg. It featured interviews with 80 Chinese real estate investors and their related Pacific Rim advisors.

This is my own: letters to Wes & other writings on Japanese Canadians, 1941-1948 by Muriel Kitagawa. Roy Miki, ed.

Working Lives Vancouver 1886-1986, by The Working Lives Collective.

***

The late Chuck Davis was a Vancouver writer who wrote, co-wrote, and/or edited 15 books. Most of them are on local history, and he described his yet-to-be released book, The History of Metropolitan Vancouver, as the capstone of his career. Chuck’s passion for history was contagious and all the information he gathered and wrote about is the priceless gift he has left the citizens of Vancouver.

John Calimente is the president of Rail Integrated Developments. He supports great public transit, cycling, walking, transit integrated developments + non-automobile urban life.

Erick Villagomez is one of the founding editors at re:place. He is also an educator, independent researcher and designer with academic and professional interests in the human settlements at all scales. His private practice – Metis Design|Build – is an innovative practice dedicated to a collaborative and ecologically responsible approach to the design and construction of places.< ><-->