Heritage Week 2016

CVA 1376 634 Sightseeing in front of hollow tree, 1911

Celebrating "Distinctive Destinations: Experience Historic Places"

February 15 – 21, 2016


Heritage Week celebrates built heritage across BC and kicks off with Heritage Day across Canada. In 2016, the theme is “Distinctive Destinations: Experience Historic Places”. Heritage tourism offers adventure, storied history, vibrant culture and stunning landscapes for every age group and interest: from trendy neighbourhoods to sacred landmarks and grand hotels. VHF invites you to join us for a series of events that explore Vancouver’s unique heritage places – those that have long been a draw to the city and those that are waiting to be discovered.

Vancouver is unique in culture, history and natural environment, all of which have shaped our landscape, development and infrastructure. As soon as the railway reached the glistening shores of the West Coast, travelers near and far were fascinated with the incredible forests, mountains and mild climate so different from the rest of Canada. Vancouver has developed around its natural beauty with buildings and sites anchored to our passion for green and industry rooted in natural resources. Since the 1800s Vancouver has continued to be a popular tourist place with interest in historic architecture like the Marine Building and popular Gastown, pilgrimages of our lengthy music history including historic venues such as the Commodore Ballroom and an appreciation of the rich First Nations legacy seen all over the city.


Official Heritage Week launch
Free Public Event
February 15th: 12pm - 1pm
Roundhouse Community Centre, Turntable Plaza on Davie St (181 Roundhouse Mews)

Join us for this fun, free public launch of Heritage Week. Deputy Mayor, Councillor Heather Deal, will read the official proclamation celebrating Heritage Week in Vancouver. You can also sign up to be part of a group of 30 people to take a 30-minute walking tour of the area with Civic Historian John Atkin. Sign up for the walk will begin at the Turntable Plaza at 12pm on February 15th and will be first-come, first-served.

Thank you to our event partners, Roundhouse Community Centre and Starbucks Coffee Yaletown.

Selling Vancouver to Tourists: 1890-1960
Evening Lecture at Hycroft
February 16th: 7:30pm - 9:30pm
University Women's Club at Hycroft, 1498 McRae Ave.
$15 or $9 with valid student ID

What were the "must-see" sites for tourists a century ago and how do they compare with today's? Author and Artist Michael Kluckner explores both the changes in Vancouver as well as the changes in tourists themselves. In this illustrated lecture, Michael will look at how Vancouver was marketed by the CPR and others as a tourist destination. He will explore the natural attractions, how people traveled, how First Nations culture was represented, tourist hotels and later auto court hotels, and more.

Thank you to event host University Women's Club at Hycroft.

Spending the Night: Vancouver's Historic Hotels
Walking Tour of Downtown Vancouver
Saturday, February 20th: 10am - 12pm
This walk earns 2 Non-Core LUs AIBC

John Atkin leads this walking tour of downtown Vancouver hotels, past and present, to discover the history and architecture of these storied buildings. Where one chooses to stay can be as much a part of the travel experience as the destination itself. Vancouver’s historic hotels speak of the way early travelers experienced our city, and how design was integral to the type of clientele the hotel was hoping to attract. From humble structures hugging the shoreline on the edge of a forest, to the grandeur and elegance of the iconic railroad hotel now updated with today’s luxury offerings, this tour takes a look at the fascinating history of spending the night in Vancouver.

Thank you to event sponsor Downtown Vancouver Business Improvement Association.

Historic Stanley Park: From British Enclave to Urban Oasis
Walking Tour of Stanley Park and Vancouver Rowing Club
Sunday, February 21st: 9:30am - 12pm
$20 or $15 with valid student ID
This event earns 2.5 Non-Core LUs AIBC

Historian Maurice Guibord leads a walking tour and illustrated lecture on Stanley Park. After centuries of use by local First Nations, Stanley Park was transformed into an ode to British gardens, where Vancouver’s settler population could feel at home. It has become one of the most famous city parks in the world, drawing thousands of tourists every year to its dense trails and expansive seawall. On this walking tour, we’ll explore elements of its early First Nations history along with some of the sites that launched the park as an Edwardian recreational enclave including the statues of poet Robert Burns and Governor General Lord Stanley, the water fountain dedicated to Queen Victoria and Shakespeare’s monument in his own rose garden. From there we'll enjoy the comfort of the Vancouver Rowing Club with warm beverages, a short introduction to the history of the Club from General Manager Keith Jolly and an illustrated talk on the park as a tourism destination, highlighting monuments and buildings, as well as greenery and critters, by Maurice.

Thank you to our event partners the Vancouver Rowing Club and Emelle’s Catering.