Forty Year Old Film Shows How Little Our City Has Changed

by Andrew Morrison | The summer of 1976 was the first one that I truly remember. We lived on Trafalgar St. in Kitsilano, and we spent a lot of time at the beach (listening to The Steve Miller Band). So when I came across this video this morning (newly published to Youtube via the Vancouver Film Archives — reference code: AM1553-2-S6-: MI-264) there was a visceral shock of recognition. All of my earliest memories look like this film, entitled Vancouver: Pacific Celebration. I’d never seen it until this morning.

From sunny Stanley Park and halcyon Chinatown to the Abbotsford Airshow and “the official opening of Gastown” (“now it is an area of modish restaurants and boutiques, import shops and offices of young lawyers and advertising agencies and film producers”), the film takes us on a familiar tour of what makes Vancouver such an attractive place.

What’s especially remarkable is the consistent messaging. It’s been pretty much the same over these forty years. At 5:14 you’ll hear the familiar line: “you can ski in the morning, sail in the afternoon, and play a round of golf before dark.” No mention of the weed, though, or the Canucks struggling to make it to the post-season (they just managed to do so in ’76, but were creamed by the Islanders in the first round). Bonus: Keep an eye out at 10:45 for the patio at Chill Winston…same as it ever was (even though it wasn’t Chill Winston back then)!

Details via the uploader:

The film won several awards at film festivals including: Chris Plaque – Best Travel Film, at Columbus International Film Festival; a Special Jury Award at the San Francisco International Film Festival; the Canuck Award – 2nd Place Best Canadian Travel Film, Canadian Travel Association; a Bronze Award at the Film and Television Festival of New York; and a Certificate of Merit – Recreation at the Chicago International Film Festival. Producer and director of photography: Robert S. Rodvik; Director and supervising editor: Michael J. Collier; Original music composed and arranged by Ralph Dyck; Narrator: Art Hives; Narration script: Keith Cutler; Laboratory: Alpha Cine Service Ltd.; Electronic Instruments Courtesy of Roland Corp.; Sponsored by Greater Vancouver Convention and Visitors Bureau.


There is 1 comment

  1. We love to see people using and sharing our stuff! This film is actually from the records of Yaletown Productions at the City of Vancouver Archives. You can download a high-res copy to re-use ( and there’s a French version, too.

    The City of Vancouver Archives has over 500 videos digitized and online–with over 100 from the 1970s–with more coming online this year. Enjoy!

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