VHF’s Evening Lectures series offers illustrated lectures that look at the history of Vancouver, covering the events, movements and people that have shaped our city. The talks are co-hosted by Vancouver Heritage Foundation and event partner, the Hycroft Heritage Preservation Foundation. Since the first event in 2012, the series has included a diverse range of subjects and perspectives in nearly 50 lectures from more than 30 presenters. A listing and descriptions for many of them can be found below.
Now available: View a lecture online
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic and public health efforts to slow transmission in the community, VHF has postponed planned lectures this spring until it is once again safe to bring people together. However, we are working to continue to offer educational programming about local history and heritage including offering a chance to learn together through videos of our archived lectures. We will be posting a selection of lectures in full and as originally presented, free of charge. Thank you to each presenter for permitting us to share their lecture online in this format. We would also like to thank videographer Elwin Xie.
We appreciate your support as we continue to find new ways to provide interesting and informative educational opportunities. If you are able, please consider making a donation to VHF.
Online Lectures from the VHF Archives
The lectures were originally presented in front of an audience. We hope to soon be able to resume the regular series. If you are interested to know about upcoming events – online and, in due course, in person, please sign up for the VHF e-newsletter and follow us on social media.
Vancouver Heritage Foundation recognizes the diverse history and cultural heritage of Vancouver and that the city is located on the traditional, ancestral and unceded territories of the Musqueam, Squamish and Tsleil-Waututh peoples.
A Century of Planning from Bartholomew to City Plan with Michael Kluckner
Japanese Hall 1928-2018: The Extraordinary Story of Community Resilience, Survival and Transformation with Laura Saimoto
If you enjoyed either of these lectures, please consider making a donation to VHF. Thank you for your continued support.
Visit our YouTube page for more heritage and history themed videos. Be sure to subscribe and click the notification bell to be notified when we upload a new video.
Spring 2020 Lectures
Due to the rapidly evolving situation with COVID-19 (coronavirus) we have had to make the decision to reschedule our scheduled spring lectures for a future date. Registered participants have been notified and further updates will be posted on our website and social channels when possible. Thank you for your patience at this time.
(Postponed) March 31st – Chinatown Through a Wide Lens: The Hidden Photographs of Yucho Chow
Vancouver’s first and most prolific Chinese photographer, Yucho Chow, operated a commercial studio in the heart of Chinatown from 1907–1949. He chronicled life during a tumultuous and transformative time in Canadian history and captured the faces of early marginalized communities including South Asians, Black Canadians, Indigenous residents, mixed-race families and Eastern European immigrants. For some communities, he was the only photographer willing to take their portraits. Sadly, his negatives – and the individual stories and history they chronicled – were all discarded when his studio closed. Chinatown curator Catherine Clement spent over eight years uncovering Yucho Chow’s photographs – one family at a time, one photo at a time, one story at a time.
In 2019, Catherine mounted the first-ever solo exhibition of Chow’s work. That exhibit created a flood of new submissions which are now in a book. She will share the story of Yucho Chow and show some of these remarkable never-before-seen private photographs and stories of diverse, early communities. She will also explore what these images tell us about Vancouver’s history and the role Chinatown played in the lives of so many groups.
About the speaker:
Catherine Clement is a community curator and designer based in Vancouver’s Chinatown. Her work focuses on uncovering and sharing the lesser-known stories of the community. For five years, she was Curator for the Chinese Canadian Military Museum and in 2017, Catherine art directed a Canada 150 exhibit called the “Chinatown History Windows” which brought history to the streets. In May 2019, after eight years of research, she mounted the first-ever exhibition of photographer Yucho Chow’s work. A book with many additional photographs will be published in spring 2020.
This lecture earns 1.5 Non-core LUs AIBC.
(Postponed) April 28th – History on the Ground: Enhancing Community with Heritage Retention
Vancouver has successful examples of community-friendly developments underpinned by a heritage building or historical context. They range from new housing units in historic neighbourhoods such as Mole Hill in the West End or Koos Corner in Strathcona to large-scale developments such as the Arbutus Lands. Join Scot Hein, former senior urban designer for the City of Vancouver and University of British Columbia, and an adjunct professor in UBC’s Master of Urban Design Program, to explore these and other examples including how they came about, the history and context, and lessons learned. Scot will discuss the role of community, how local narrative and meaning were revealed, the value of authenticity and the considerations for adding housing to neighbourhoods. Can heritage values and local context underpin and enhance the forthcoming citywide plan for Vancouver?
Scot Hein was the University of British Columbia’s Urban Designer until May 2018, and is an Adjunct Professor of Urban Design in UBC’s Master of Urban Design Program. Prior to this work he was the Senior Urban Designer for the City of Vancouver and led the city’s high profile Urban Design Studio for 10 years of his 20 year career. His work included the urban design and implementation of new plans for the city’s West End, Downtown East Side, Cambie Corridor and Mount Pleasant. He was responsible for the development planning of Woodward's, Southeast False Creek/Olympic Village, Mole Hill, Chinatown, the revitalization of Gastown/Victory Square/Hastings Corridor and related public realm projects such as the Granville Mall, Carrall Street Greenway, Pigeon Park, Downtown Historic Trail, CPR ROW and the Silk Road. Prior to joining the COV, he was in private architectural practice in the US and Canada where he specialized in the design of research and development facilities, health care, resorts and transit infrastructure. He is a previously registered architect with the Architectural Institute of British Columbia and is a registered architect in the United States. He co-chaired the inaugural urban design panel for Abu Dhabi and is a founding board member of Urbanarium, a non-profit society that advocates for “smart cities”. He is also a board member of Small Housing BC. He is invited to lecture on best urban design practices frequently, and has been a tireless advocate for neighborhoods and sustainable urbanism. Scot has also served as Canada’s representative for the Built Environment Education Movement. Scot was honored with the 2015 Royal Architectural Institute of Canada Advocacy Award.
This lecture earns 1.5 Core LUs AIBC.