Town Fool, The

Welcome to the Vancouver Lexicon. Its purpose is to pin down the patois of the City of Vancouver by recording its toponyms, nicknames, slang terms, personalities, places, and other Van-centric things. Full A-Z here.

Town Fool, The | person, Vancouverite | Beginning in the spring of 1967, Joachim Foikus, a 36-year-old university graduate in Theology and Economics and married father of two, began frolicking around the city wearing a red and blue jester’s outfit (complete with bells on his multi-pointed hat). It was his personal “Centennial Project” to bring smiles to the serious and sometimes dour faces of his fellow Vancouverites. He held court on the steps of the Vancouver Court House, which are now the steps of the Vancouver Art Gallery. Foikus even attempted to apply for a city license in order to become Vancouver’s “Official” Town Fool. The following year, fittingly on April 1st, he was awarded a Canada Council Grant for $3,500 to be Vancouver’s Town Fool in order to bring “a serious contribution to the self-awareness of the entire community.” This move angered many of Vancouver’s more conservative citizen’s, including Vancouver’s Mayor Tom Campbell, who was known for his sneering contempt of hippies and other free-thinkers. However, the majority of Vancouverites welcomed the idea of having a Town Fool, including the Vancouver Tourist Board, who thought it would attract tourists. By the end of 1969, however, Foikus retired his Town Foolery and became a regular citizen again.

Usage: “In a town so full of fools it’s odd that there has only ever been one ‘official’ Town Fool, and that was Joachim Foikus…”

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