The Undercurrent: Resurfacing Artistic Discourse on Urban Space in False Creek

by Renée Mok The barge floated just out of reach. It looked like a child’s dream, a pirate ship, or a wooden fortress docked in Heritage Harbour. From the shore you could see a maze of makeshift walkways and railings that rose into a tower. People don’t often swim in False Creek because the water […]

Return to the water: First Nations relations with salmon

  Salmon are a valuable resource and an important part of Coastal First Nations’ cultural identity, spirituality and way of life. When European settlers arrived in Vancouver they claimed the land and resources for themselves, endangering the communities and traditions that thrived along the water. Although colonization affected First Nations people, their connection to water […]

c̓əsnaʔəm: the city before the city

The First Nations in British Columbia are uniquely connected to the water. Unlike landlocked tribes throughout Canada who lived nomadic lives, First Nations people in BC settled near the water and built sustaining villages that lived off the resources of the land. Their culture is intertwined with the flow of the water, from transportation in […]

Edwin Lee: Connecting threads in Chinatown

Edwin Lee has always been interested in his ancestry and his family has a rich history in Vancouver. In 1885, his great grandfather opened their store, Gim Lee Yuen; it was the first import-export business in Chinatown. Edwin showed me a picture of the original store and it looked like a scene from an old western […]

Nature & Politics: Aboriginal Art in Vancouver

For my next article I would like to talk about the relationship between salmon and Aboriginal communities in Vancouver. In Cease Wyss’ video, she tells her people’s story of the disappearing salmon. In the story, a young woman was by the river when she saw a bunch of ghosts walking in and out of the […]

Urban Renewal & Staples of Vancouver

I recently attended the opening of Ken Lum’s Vancouver Especially (A Vancouver Special scaled to its property value in 1973, then increased by 8 fold) at 221A’s outdoor space, Semi Public. I laughed as I turned off Union Street and saw the perfect playhouse sized replica of a ‘Vancouver Special.’ Everyone in Vancouver has seen the box-like houses […]

Daylighting Streams

Daylighting In urban design and urban planning, daylighting is the redirection of a stream into an above-ground channel. Typically, the goal is to restore a stream of water to a more natural state. Daylighting is intended to improve the riparian environment for a stream which has been previously diverted into a culvert, pipe, or drainage system.  […]

Vancouver’s Secret Waterways

While researching water in Vancouver, I came across a project called “Vancouver’s Secret Waterways.” The project is a digital map of Vancouver’s hidden waterways. It was created by Paul Lesack, a Data Analyst for Koerner Library at the University of British Columbia. He explained that the map is popular because it is one of the […]

Ride Along the Water

  Hello! My name is Renee and I am a curatorial resident working with Joni Low on the web component of Laiwan’s Fountain project. I am intrigued by the project because I love my city. Vancouver is a beautiful place for many reasons and one of its best features is its proximity to the water. […]