Heritage Week offers a chance to explore heritage across BC and Canada and take part in programming that provides opportunities to learn and share about Vancouver’s history, diverse cultural heritage and historic places.
In BC, Heritage Week is the third full week in February.
Heritage is the layering of stories that describe the uniqueness of a community’s past and present while informing the future. From February 19th to 25th, we celebrated the theme “Layer By Layer” and invite you to dig deeper into your community’s past and explore the many layers and stories that your unique community holds. Take some time this week to learn something new about the many “layers” of the place you call home.
For a full list of Heritage Week events across the province, visit the Heritage BC website.
African Descent Society of BC
Arts Club Theatre Company
BC Black History Awareness Society
China Creek Skate Park
Chinatown Storytelling Centre
Chinese Canadian Historical Society of BC
Chinese Canadian Museum
City of Vancouver Archives
Electric Avenue History Group
Forbidden Vancouver Walking Tours
Grandview Heritage Group
Granville and Georgia: 150 Years in VR – Brian Walters
Heritage Vancouver Society
Hogans Alley Society
I Dream Library
Japanese Canadian Hastings Park Interpretive Centre Society (JCHPICS)
JO Legacy Society
King George Secondary School Archives
A Lens on Vancouver’s Past – Floris van Weelderen
Mabuhay House Society
Me’s Marketplace by Anh and Chi/Munchies to Michelin
Mount Pleasant Stories: Historical Walking Tours – Christine Hagemoen
Pacific Canada Heritage Centre – Museum of Migration Society
(Re)Imagining Chinatown Vancouver: An Illustrated History – Donna Seto
Roedde House Museum
Vancouver Arts Colloquium Society (VACS)
Vancouver Botanical Gardens Association
Vancouver Folk Music Festival
Vancouver Fruit Tree Project
Vancouver Historical Society
Vancouver Regional Heritage Fairs
From February 20th to 26th, we celebrated the theme “Always in All Ways” and invited you to explore your community’s heritage in all the ways that excite you. We hope you took time during Heritage Week 2023 to celebrate the culture and heritage of the communities that make up the place you call home.
Places that Matter Community Celebration, February 22nd, 7pm – 8:30 pm
Vancouver Heritage Foundation presented a family-friendly evening of storytelling from the Places That Matter project. Our 6th annual community celebration featured community organizations and Yosef Wosk Publication Grant recipients, the reading of the Heritage Week 2023 Proclamation by City Council and special guest speakers on Vancouver’s places that matter, including Storytellers from the Militant Mothers of Raymur and Japanese Canadian Hastings Park Interpretive Centre Society, Fiona Lam, Vancouver Poet Laureate, Leona Lam, Vancouver Heritage Fairs Alumni, and Aaron Chapman, as well as music from the Annie Molesworth Quintet.
Milk, Suitcases and Vegetables: A Stroll in Upper Mount Pleasant, February 25th
Local historian, author and seasoned walking tour guide, John Atkin, celebrated Heritage Week by exploring the little known agricultural and industrial heritage of upper Mount Pleasant, which was home to a couple of dairies and a number of Chinese wholesale and retail vegetable dealers. Along with food, this area is a delightful mix of old and new development.
From February 21st to 27th, we celebrated the theme “altogether inclusive” and explored the many ways that heritage engagement requires creativity, as well as unique solutions and actions to encourage broad participation. Heritage can and must foster best practices in diversity and accessibility. By reducing the many different types of barriers that keep people from enjoying heritage and feeling safe, then lives will be enriched. When heritage responds to diversity and accessibility challenges, it becomes inclusive. This is possible for even the smallest of heritage organizations and is reason to celebrate.
Places that Matter Community Celebration, February 23rd, 7pm – 8:30 pm
Vancouver Heritage Foundation presented an evening of storytelling from the Places That Matter project, hosted virtually through Zoom. Our 5th annual community celebration featured Musqueam community members, the reading of the Heritage Week 2022 Proclamation by City Council and special guest speakers on Vancouver’s places that matter.
Altogether Inclusive: A Heritage Week Virtual Stroll, February 23th, 7pm – 8pm
Local historian, author and seasoned walking tour guide, John Atkin, celebrated Heritage Week by visiting some of Vancouver’s unique heritage spots – like Mole Hill – on this virtual walk!
From February 15th-21st, we explored the theme “Where do you find heritage?” Gathering virtually with our community, we celebrated the 10th anniversary of the Places that Matter program, discovered some of Vancouver’s lesser known heritage spots and got inspired to go outside and sketch our favourite local heritage buildings and places.
Tuesday, February 16th, 7pm – 8pm
We launched Heritage Week 2021 with an evening of storytelling and a look at the first 10 years of the Places That Matter project. The program included: Musqueam Welcome with Alec Guerin and the story of Musqueam with Mack Paul, Heritage Proclamation by Deputy Mayor, Councillor Carr, stories directly from Collingwood Neighbourhood House, the family of Nellie Yip Quong and family-owned East India Carpets about the First Sikh Gurdwara on West 2nd Avenue.
Places That Matter launched with a plaque project in 2011 to recognize community-nominated sites that highlight some of the lesser-known people, places and events that have shaped Vancouver. A decade later, with 88 plaques installed, the online Community History Resource continues to grow with community contributions of personal stories and photographs for the 125 sites.
Thursday, February 18th, 12pm – 1pm
Author and illustrator of Hand Drawn Vancouver, Emma FitzGerald, led participants in learning how to sketch with confidence. We explored how drawings can be a prompt for storytelling and got inspired to go outside to sketch favourite neighbourhood spots or local heritage buildings and places. Emma also shared tips for drawing on location, including intimidating architecture.
Saturday, February 20th, 10am – 11am
Heritage is all around us – sometimes you just need to look closely! Local historian, author and seasoned walking tour guide, John Atkin, explored some of Vancouver’s lesser-known heritage spots and shared the history of some of the buildings that make our neighbourhoods unique on this virtual walk.
In 2020, the theme of Heritage Week was “2020 Vision: Bringing the Past into the Future”. The restoration and adaptation of heritage buildings is key to a sustainable future, preserving community and cultural spaces, retaining affordable retail and residential spaces and keeping usable building materials from landfills, all while enriching our streetscapes and neighbourhoods. The future also includes reconciliation with Indigenous communities and a more inclusive telling of the stories of the past for all communities. Across three events, we explored the role of heritage in our future throughout Heritage Week, February 17th – 23rd.
We created a short video with some highlights from the week. You can view other VHF videos on our YouTube channel.