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Meetings are held on the fourth Thursday of the month (except in June, July, August and December).

The society sponsors presentations by guest speakers on subjects generally relating to the history of Vancouver.

These gatherings take place in the Museum of Vancouver, located at 1100 Chestnut Street at 7.30 pm. Enquire at the Museum desk for directions to the room.

All meetings and events (unless otherwise noted *) are FREE and open to the public and visitors are welcome.

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Meetings, Special Events and Field Trips

Please note: All events (unless otherwise noted *) are free and open to the public.

Sunday, April 6, 2014 – At University Golf Club, 5185 University Boulevard
Vancouver Historical Society Annual Incorporation Luncheon
Celebrating the Incorporation of the City of Vancouver 128 years ago

Featuring author and VHS board member Michael Kluckner

Tickets are $35 and can be bought at the February or March monthly meetings. For mail orders, please send a cheque to: Vancouver Historical Society, PO Box 3071, Vancouver BC V6B 3X6 Attn: Luncheon


Thursday, April 24, 2014 – 7:30 at Museum of Vancouver
The Life of a Building
Speaker: John Atkin

Photo from the 1920s In April 1911, a building permit was issued for an office block in the 1300 block of Granville Street near Pacific Street. Parr and Fee were the architects working for Kilroy and Morgan, partners in a clothing business on Hastings Street. This six floor brick and timber structure would dominate the northern view from the Granville bridge for the next 102 years.

Most of us would know the Continental Hotel because of the whale mural painted on the side of the building but who were the men that built it, managed it and lived in it? In this talk we’ll explore the history of this one building, the surrounding neighbourhood and the dramatic changes that have taken place here.


Thursday, May 22, 2014 – 7:30 at Museum of Vancouver
The Art of the Impossible: Dave Barrett and the NDP in Power, 1972-1975
Speakers: Geoff Meggs and Rod Mickleburgh

The Art of the ImpossibleDave Barrett’s NDP provincial government reign from 1972-1975 has left us with a legacy that has shaped the province ever since, largely through a damn-the-torpedoes three-year legislative blitzkrieg. Many changes from the Agricultural Land Reserve, to ICBC to a Provincial Ambulance service, etc. have given the province a totally new direction. Leading this onslaught was a complex politician, Dave Barrett. City Councillor Geoff Meggs and reporter Rod Mickleburgh will base their talk on their book of the same name.



Thursday, September 2014 – 7:30 at Museum of Vancouver
The Other Western Front – British Columbia and the Great War
Speakers: Mark Forsythe and Greg Dickson

Mark ForsytheVancouverites spent the summer of 1914 obsessed by the deadlock over an attempt to land South Asian immigrants aboard the Komagata Maru in Vancouver Harbour. The city and the province were in the throes of a recession, and anti-immigrant feelings were at a peak. When war was declared in August, men of British ancestry were the first to enlist, but as the recession continued, many others signed up in order to get work. Men of Japanese, Chinese, Indian and Aboriginal ancestry also enlisted even though they had no vote. Premier McBride, an ardent imperialist, led the charge to defend empire, and purchased two submarines to help defend the Pacific Coast. We opened our own submarine factory in Burnaby before the war was over. Greg DicksonJust some of the interesting stories Mark and Greg will share along with accounts from CBC listeners about the way the war touched their families.

Greg Dickson and Mark Forsythe have written two books together on B.C. history, and are now working on a third about British Columbia and the Great War. Mark hosts BC Almanac on CBC Radio and Greg is a former CBC journalist and currently a communications officer with the Province of British Columbia.


Thursday, October 23, 2014 - 7:30 at Museum of Vancouver
The History of the Vancouver Police Museum, Morgue and Important Cases
Speakers: Robert Noon, Director, Vancouver Police Museum

Robert NoonOnce the site of the Coroner’s Court, the City morgue and autopsy facilities, and the City crime laboratory, the Vancouver Police Museum, is North America’s oldest police museum. Over 20,000 documents, photographs and artifacts dating from the mid-1800s come to life in interactive displays, while 12,000 elementary and high school students a year learn the secrets of forensic science to solve crimes. Special displays focus on the still unsolved 1947 Babes in the Wood Murders, the 1959 autopsy of movie legend Errol Flynn, and the 1965 Milkshake Murder that sent a CKNW disc jockey to prison for life.


Thursday, November 27, 2014 – 7:30 at Museum of Vancouver
French Canadians in British Columbia
Speaker: Jean Barman

The fur trade on the Pacific Slopes from the end of the eighteenth to the middle of the nineteenth century brought with it the French language as the lingua franca of everyday commerce. The historic predominance of the language is revealed by the many French designations to geographic features as well as family names within First Nations communities. Yet, the predominance of the language is not commonly known as the French Canadian employees, largely illiterate, did not leave first-person narratives thus depriving subsequent generations of the French fact. Even though historians such as Father Adrian Gabriel Morice wrote extensively of the French Canadian experience and even today considerable efforts are being made to reintroduce French as a functioning language, visibility remains low. Today, French speakers comprise less than 2% of the British Columbia population.

Jean BarmanSpeaker Jean Barman is one of British Columbia’s best known historians. Her latest work is French Canadians, Furs, and Indigenous women: the Pacific Northwest reconsidered.


Thursday, January 22, 2015 - 7:30 at Museum of Vancouver
Roedde House & West End Stories

Speaker: Chris Stocker

Roedde House


Thursday, February 26, 2015 - 7:30 at Museum of Vancouver
Hogan's Alley, Black Vancouver, and Public Memory

Speaker: Wayde Compton

Wayde ComptonBlack people have been in Vancouver since its earliest days, but the closest thing the city had to a centralized black neighbourhood was in what is now Strathcona in the early to mid-twentieth century. Professor Compton will discuss details of the community, its prominent individuals, social conditions, collective actions, and important institutions, with an eye to the recent memorialization work being done to link the community, and specifically its legacy at Hogan's Alley, to the present.


Thursday, March 26, 2015 - 7:30 at Museum of Vancouver
Len Norris and the Vancouver Imagination

Speaker: Michael Kluckner

Michael KlucknerThe Sun cartoons of Leonard Matheson Norris (1913–1997), drawn between 1950 and 1988, captivated generations of Vancouverites and, unusual for editorial cartoons, continue to be as relevant and funny today as when he created them. With their "everyman" cast of characters and universal themes of hypocrisy, pomposity and the fate of the downtrodden little guy, they differ from the hard-edged political content of most of Norris's contemporaries. As well, Norris created memorable landscapes of places like "Ambleside and Tiddlycove" and Victoria that have coloured perceptions of them for a half-century.

History Related Events Calendar

This calendar shows upcoming history-related events sponsored by other organizations. Click to view »

Please note: This information is provided only as a public service by the VHS which is not responsible for the content.


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