VHF’s Heritage Hour (formerly Evening Lectures) series offers illustrated talks that look at the history of Vancouver, covering the events, movements and people that have shaped our city. Since the first event in 2012, the series has included a diverse range of subjects and perspectives in over 50 talks from more than 30 presenters. A listing of many of them can be found below.

Heritage Hour talks will continue in person for the fall 2023 season. Join us at University Women’s Club at Hycroft from 7pm to 8:30pm to enjoy fascinating pieces of Vancouver’s heritage with a selection of local speakers.

You can earn 1 Heritage Conservation Education credit per Heritage Hour talk or Lunch and Learn, to a maximum of 3 towards VHF’s Heritage Conservation Certificate. 

The Queer Frontier

Tuesday, October 24th, 7pm - 8:30pm
University Women’s Club at Hycroft

This October, celebrate Queer History Month by learning just how far back that history goes. Join Glenn Tkach at Hycroft to discover an erased history that is foundational to the making of Canada - the untold story of a unique queer subculture that thrived in Western Canada in its earliest days. Meet the fairies, the passing women, and the punks and jockers who built the earliest settlements of the Pacific Northwest and join legendary Canadian explorer David Thompson himself, as he is guided though the Canadian wilderness by a fierce Two-Spirit warrior.

Hastings Mill Store c. 1888. Credit: City of Vancouver Archives Mi P14.

About the Speaker

Glenn Tkach is a professional storyteller with a background in theatre and live performance. In 2018, he developed The Really Gay History Tour, which he still leads every week with Forbidden Vancouver Walking Tours. Since then, he has continued to dig into the lost and forgotten stories of local queer history, and bring them into the light. He brings his knowledge and storytelling expertise into schools, companies, and all kinds of organizations through his own queer storytelling company – The Pink Hat.

Halloween – Costumes, Customs and Clothing in the 20th Century

Tuesday, October 31st, 7pm - 8:30pm
University Women’s Club at Hycroft

Masquerade parties have provided escapist fantasies for centuries. People have enjoyed military heroes and villains, the tragic and the comic, and the divine and the profane. Join us at Hycroft this October for an evening of conversation with Ivan Sayers, who will discuss masquerade costumes from his collection for the 1890’s to the 1990’s, showing the original garments, supported with selected publications and slides.

Woman in Costume at Hycroft Manor. Credit: University Women’s Club of Vancouver Archives

About the Speaker

Ivan Sayers has collected period clothing and textiles for over 60 years and now owns one of the most significant collections in private hands in Canada. He was Curator of History at the Museum of Vancouver and now works as a museum consultant. He is Honorary Curator for SMOC (Society for the Museum of Original Costume), and he frequently produces fashion shows for non-profit societies.

From the VHF Archives

Visit our YouTube page for more heritage and history themed videos including previously recorded evening lectures, including Hippie Vancouver: Activism in the ‘60s and ‘70s and its legacy with Michael Kluckner, Chinatown Through a Wide Lens: The Hidden Photographs of Yucho Chow with Catherine Clement,  and Japanese Hall 1928-2018: The Extraordinary Story of Community Resilience, Survival and Transformation with Laura Saimoto. Be sure to subscribe and click the notification bell to be notified when we upload new videos.

Yucho Chow photo courtesy of Peter Chow Collection in the Yucho Chow Community Archive. Please note this photograph is for research and study purposes only. Other uses require permission from the families.

Stained glass window featuring skunk cabbage detail from 1901.

Virtual Evening Lecture Recordings


Join us from the comfort of home to enjoy fascinating pieces of Vancouver’s history with a selection of speakers. These illustrated lectures take a look at the history of Vancouver, covering the events, movements and people that have shaped our city from a diverse range of perspectives.

Recordings from past VHF virtual evening lecture are available. A link will be sent for each virtual evening lecture following your purchase and the video will be available for viewing on YouTube up to a month after your purchase. 

Past Talks

  • March 28 – Linking Time: Contemporary Cemetery Design within Historic Settings – Bill Pechet
  • April 18 – (Re)Making home away from home: South Asians’ 120 Years in Vancouver – Dr. Satwinder Kaur Bains
  • March 15 – Hippie Vancouver: Activism in the ‘60s and ‘70s and its legacy – Michael Kluckner
  • April 26 – Women’s Labour History in Vancouver – Bailey Garden
  • March 2 – Vancouver’s Stained-Glass Heritage: Artists & Studios, 1889-1940 – Jim Wolf
  • April 6 – Race, Regulation and Resistance: Understanding Vancouver’s South Asian community history – Milan Singh, Naveen Girn, Paneet Singh
  • May 4 – Building BC: The Photography of Leonard Frank and Otto Landauer – Michael Schwartz
  • September 28 – BC’s Black Pioneers: Economic, Political and Social Influences – Fran Morrison
  • October 26 – Lower Mount Pleasant: Industry, Immigrants and Institutions – Christine Hagemoen
  • November 30 – All Aboard! A virtual tour of Vancouver’s neon past and present – John Atkin and Angus McIntyre
  • March 3 – A Century of Planning Vancouver: From Bartholomew to City Plan – Michael Kluckner
  • October 27 – Chinatown Through a Wide Lens: The Hidden Photographs of Yucho Chow – Catherine Clement
  • November 17 – Vancouver After Dark: Stories of the City’s Historical Nightspots – Aaron Chapman
  • December 1 – The Changing Landscape of Vancouver’s Private Gardens, 1890-2020 – Adrienne Brown
  • February 26 – Vancouver’s Hidden Heritage Building: The Resurrection of the Heather Pavilion – Donald Luxton
  • April 9 – Japanese Hall 1928-2018: The Extraordinary Story of Community Resilience, Survival and Transformation – Laura Saimoto
  • April 30 – The Francophone Pioneers of Vancouver: A Little-known History and Legacy – Maurice Guibord
  • October 1 – “Just what is it that makes the modern house so different, so appealing?” – Greg Bellerby
  • October 29 – The History and Legacy of the Vancouver Park Board – John Coupar & Terri Clark
  • November 26 – “Land of Destiny”: A History of Vancouver Real Estate – Jesse Donaldson
  • February 27 – Stanley Park: Digging Deeper and Rethinking Cultural Heritage – Rena Soutar (Cha’an Dtut) & Geordie Howe
  • March 20 – Squat City: An Informal History of Squatters in Vancouver – Daniel Francis
  • April 24 – Themes, Subthemes and Memes: Telling History in a Different Way – Donald Luxton
  • September 18 – Private Property, Public Regulation, and the History of the Arbutus Corridor – Douglas Harris
  • October 9 – Vancouver’s Police Museum: Stories from 240 E Cordova – Rosslyn Shipp & Elizabeth Peterson
  • October 30 – Granville Street: 1886 to Today – Commerce, Entertainment and Historic Buildings – Aaron Chapman & Michael Gordon
  • February 21 – Stanley Park Sites and Stories: Then and Now – Adrienne Brown
  • March 28 – Rum-runners and Border Wars: Prohibition in BC – Daniel Francis
  • April 25 – Ten Myths About Vancouver: The Real Stories – John Atkin
  • September 19 – Shaughnessy’s Backstory – Michael Kluckner
  • October 24 – What a Mess: False Creek, the Industrial Waterway – John Atkin
  • November 7 – Kitsilano Indian Reserve: Contact to Today – Douglas Harris
  • February 16 – Selling Vancouver to Tourists: 1890 – 1960 – Michael Kluckner
  • April 5 – How Streetcars and Real Estate Shaped Vancouver – John Atkin
  • May 29 – The Crescent: From the CPR and the Garden City to Today – Adrienne Brown
  • October 18 – Sawmills and Opera Houses: The Origins of Chinatown – John Atkin
  • November 1 – The Legacy Sites and Stories of the 1954 British Empire and Commonwealth Games – Jason Beck
  • November 29 – Who was Major Matthews? – Heather Gordon
  • February 17 – How it all began: The Bloedel Conservatory – John Coupar
  • March 17 – Art Deco Architecture in Vancouver – Maurice Guibord
  • April 21 – The Wild History of Gastown – Donald Luxton
  • June 2 – A History of Vancouver Apartments – Michael Kluckner
  • September 29 – Vancouverism 1954 – 1991 – Michael Gordon
  • October 27 – Artists, Architects and Artisans: Canadian Art 1890 – 1918 – Charles Hill
  • November 10 – BC: Lumberyard of the World – John Atkin
  • January 21 – Vancouver as a Sustainable City – Dr. Tom Hutton
  • March 4 – Challenges & Trends: Public Engagement for Community Planning – Dr. Maged Senbel
  • April 15 – Arts & Crafts Movement of the Pacific Northwest – Larry Kreisman
  • September 30 – Gentrification, Heritage & the Future of Vancouver – Michael  Kluckner
  • October 21 – Samuel Maclure in Shaughnessy – Jim Wolf
  • November 4 – Vancouver’s Vaudeville: the Great White Way – John Atkin & Tom Carter
  • February 19 – How Chinatown became a National Historic Site – John Atkin & Jeanette Hlavach
  • March 19 – History of electric car – John Stonier
  • April 16 – Marriage of architecture and gardens – Christine Allen
  • September 17 – Big Bands in Vancouver – Dal Richards & John Mackie
  • October 15 – 1913’s 100 year building boom – John Atkin
  • November 5 – COV’s Archivist’s picks, new acquisitions & the challenges of archiving digitizing records – Heather Gordon
  • January 17 – History of Exterior Paint Schemes – Donald Luxton
  • February 21 – History of Neon Light in Vancouver – John Atkin
  • March 6 – History of Stained Glass – Jim Wolf
  • September 25 – Vancouver’s early transit system – Henry Ewert
  • October 2 – Architectural History of Vancouver – Donald Luxton
  • October 30 – Catalogue Homes in Vancouver – John Atkin