Vancouver Heritage Foundation Weekly: Recording History

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Vancouver Heritage Foundation is a registered charity supporting the conservation of heritage buildings and structures in recognition of their contribution to the city’s economy, sustainability and culture.
Greg Masuda, filmmaker, at Anchor Signs

When VHF‘s Places That Matter plaque project launched in 2011, we didn’t really know what we were getting ourselves into. 125 plaques for 125 sites?  Sounded easy! Nominate. Select. Produce. Install. When the Site Selection Committee members began meeting over the course of a number of months, it was pretty clear that the nominated sites (both well-known and unknown), were far more fascinating, complex and cool than anyone imagined.

With each plaque presentation the project has evolved. We’ve been actively engaging with the public, and it is from those communities and groups that we are taking the lead. They are just as excited  as we are, to find a complementary project that lets them share the stories they have known and loved with a wider audience. And that is what Places That Matter is all about.

Our featured images show Greg Masuda, a film maker, who is making a documentary on the life of Joy Kogawa (PTM #13). Greg filmed the plaque presentation and was interested in filming how our plaques were created. We were delighted and had him film at Anchor Signs, our incredible plaque partners, from beginning to end.

Another partnership we’re excited about is one that combines Strathcona/Chinatown history with UBC’s Chinese Canadian Stories project led by Prof. Henry Yu. Preliminary filming takes place in advance of the plaque presentation, at the house of midwife Nellie Yip Quong nee Towers: a woman from New Brunswick who married Charlie Yip (Yip Sang family). Nellie was very much part of the Chinatown community, delivering over 500 babies during the first half of the 20th century when Vancouver had segregated hospital service. Visit the Chinese Canadian Stories Website and stay tuned for the completed video on Nellie Yip Quong after the PTM plaque presentation May 25, 2013.

Lastly, have you attended a Places That Matter plaque event and want to get involved? How about volunteering? We’re seeking committed, enthusiastic Vancouver-loving individuals who can assist at plaque presentations throughout 2013. We’d love if you could help record these historic events through photography, video and live tweets for Vancouver Heritage Foundation social media and assist with the presentations as they unfold. Flexibility and a positive attitude are a must as every presentation is different. If you have the skills and interest, please email Jessica Quan, jessica@vancouverheritagefoundation.org for more information. If you can commit to one or two events per month, we’d love to meet you!