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Approaching the Past - Vancouver

A Series Connecting People Teaching History

Approaching the Past is a workshop series in Toronto, Vancouver, and Fredericton organized by THEN/HiER. The goal of the series is to create and strengthen ties between history educators working in a variety of contexts, including middle and high schools, universities (both faculty and graduate students), and museums. Workshops offer the opportunity to connect with colleagues, meet people teaching history in unique and engaging ways, and be challenged to teach history in ways that connect more deeply with our students.
Contact Anne Marie Goodfellow for more information.

Approaching the Past 2015/16

The theme for this year, based on Canada Heritage Day 2015, is "Distinctive Destinations:  Experience Historic Places." 

The first Approaching the Past event of the season took place on October 7 at the Old Hastings Mill Store Museum in Vancouver. The evening included a slide show on the history of the store and museum by local author and historian Lisa Smith, followed by participants touring the museum and trying their hand at “Lumberjack Bingo” and “Chinook Look,” activities designed to teach students about the collection.

The next event took place on Thursday November 26 at the Vancouver Maritime Museum and St. Roch National Historic Site. This event included a presentation about the museum's education programs, with an emphasis on its Arctic programs in conjunction with the current feature exhibit, Across the Top of the World: Quest for the Northwest Passage. Participants then enjoyed a guided tour, led by a docent, aboard the RCMPV St. Roch.

The final Approaching the Past - Vancouver event of the season took place on Wednesday March 2, 2016 at the historic Roedde House Museum located in Vancouver's West End. The museum is a late-Victorian home in the Queen Anne revival style built in 1893 for the family of Gustav Roedde, the city's first bookbinder. It has been faithfully restored to reflect the day-to-day life of a middle class, immigrant family at the turn of the last century. The museum offers hands-on activities for students which support the Grade 4 and 5 Social Studies and Language Arts and Grade 6 and 7 Language Arts curricula. View photos of the Roedde House Museum.

Approaching the Past 2014/15

The Vancouver series for this year was based on the theme for Canada Heritage Day 2015 – “Main Street: At the Heart of the Community,” and will include talks and tours about heritage buildings, city parks, and ethnic communities located in and around Vancouver’s Main Street area.

The first event of the season, History of Main Street and Brewery Creek, held on October 23, was an evening of presentations and discussion about the history of Main Street and the importance of the Brewery Creek area in Vancouver, with talks by Elizabeth Walker, author of Street Names of Vancouver, and Bruce MacDonald, author of Vancouver: A Visual History. The event took place at the Cascade Room in the heart of Brewery Creek. Thanks to the local Red Truck Brewery for donating refreshments to the event!


The next event, History of South Main Street, was held on Wednesday, December 3 at the Sunset Community Centre. Presentations were given by Walter Schultz, Past President of the Sunset Community Association, and Daljit Sidhu, President of the Punjabi Market Business Association. Walter focused on a time capsule buried during the construction of the original Sunset Memorial Centre unearthed at its demolition, which includes items from a 1948 show featuring Bing Crosby who came from Hollywood to support the building project. Daljit talked about the origins of and recent changes to the Punjabi Market shopping district.


The third event took place on April 29 at Queen Elizabeth Park and Bloedel Conservatory. Vicky Earle, VanDusen Botanical Garden Governor, and John Coupar, Vancouver Park Board Chair, spoke about the history of the park and iconic conservatory, techniques used in the recent roof restoration project and unique stories of the lives of the plants and birds that call Bloedel home.



The final Approaching the Past event of the season, History of Baseball in Vancouver, was held on Wednesday, June 17, 2015 from 5:30 pm to 7:30 pm at Nat Bailey Stadium. Kit Krieger, Society for American Baseball Research, Tom Hawthorn, newspaper and magazine writer, and Josh Coward, Executive Director of the Nikkei Place Foundation, provided informative talks on Vancouver baseball history. After the talks, Kit gave a tour of the Bud Kerr Baseball Museum, located inside the stadium. Participants enjoyed hot dogs and burgers.


Approaching the Past 2013/14

The first Approaching the Past event of the year was held in conjunction with THEN/HIER's Fourth Annual Regional Conference on October 7. Terry Point of the Musqueam Cultural Centre provided a guided tour of the Musqueam community, longhouse, and the cultural centre, with a focus on a joint Musqueam-Maori exhibition.

The next event was a Kidnapping Forensic Workshop and Tour of the Vancouver Police Museum, which took place on April 2.

The third event, Policing in Aboriginal and Chinese Communities in Vancouver, took place on May 8 at the UBC Learning Exchange, with special guests from the Vancouver Police Department: Inspector Mario Giardini, Diversity and Aboriginal Policing Section, and Wes Fung, Neighbourhood Police Officer, Chinese Community Policing Centre.
The final event of the year, Fallen Police Officers and Firefighters in Mountain View Cemetery,  took place on June 4 with Vancouver historian John Atkin where participants heard stories of Vancouver police officers and firefighters who have died in the line of duty and are buried at the cemetery.

Approaching the Past 2012/13 Vancouver

The first Approaching the Past event in Vancouver took place February 7 at the Museum of Vancouver. Vancouver: Our Diverse Heritage, was inspired by the theme for Heritage Week 2013, “Good Neighbours: Heritage Homes and Neighbourhoods.” Talks were given by Donald Luxton, a well-known Vancouver architect, conservation consultant, educator and author; and Vanessa Campbell, educator, Squamish Nation Language Program. Donald Luxton talked about the history of Vancouver through its different architectural styles from the late 1800s to today; and Vanessa Campbell spoke of the history of the Squamish people in the area as the original inhabitants, the importance of place to First Nations people, and education and socialization within Squamish communities. A materials package included information about THEN/HiER, sources of historical information on Vancouver and the Squamish First Nation, as well as information about various school programs offered at local museums.

The next event, A Walking Tour of Stanley Park, was led by Jolene Cumming of the Stanley Park History Group on May 30. Participants viewed some historical sites within the park, which at one time was inhabited by First Nations and later by European newcomers. Ms. Cumming showed historical photographs of many of the sites.