Neon Vancouver | Ugly Vancouver


Who could ever call this beautiful city ugly?

Two weekends ago we went to check out the current exhibit at the Museum of Vancouver.

It was a sunshiny, snowy Vancouver day – an all around uncommon winter day in the city.
The museum is nestled in the neighbourhood of Kitsilano just across the Burrard Street bridge and shares its grounds with the planetarium, Vancouver Maritime Museum and the Vancouver Academy of Music. It’s a lovely area that looks something like this:

The exhibit profiles Vancouver’s big city lights of the 1950s, 1960s, and 1970s in this exhibition of the MOV’s neon sign collection. The remarkable signs, some lit for the first time since they were rescued from the junk yard, are accompanied by the tale of how the city went through a war of aesthetics that resulted in a transition of the very way Vancouver imagines itself.

It was awesome to take a look into this little piece of Vancouver’s past, to see how the aesthetics of a place can cause so much controversy and to try and place yourself in the middle of the debate. It was also interesting to think on how the city has changed.

We also checked out the MOV’s permanent exhibit. The vision of the MOV is: To hold a mirror to the city and lead provocative conversations about its past, present and future. The permanent exhibit reminded me somewhat of the Waterloo Region Museum in the sense that the permanent exhibit follows both the culture of the area but also of various groups and their experiences in the region. They also have a small exhibit dedicated to the 2010 Winter Olympics.


















Hooray for getting cultured!