Vancouver in the Seventies at Museum of Vancouver

The Museum of Vancouver (MOV) has just launched a fascinating new exhibition focusing on an era of political upheaval, economic prosperity and cultural blossoming: Vancouver in the Seventies: Photos from a Decade that Changed the City.

On view at MOV beginning today through February 26, 2017, the comprehensive show features 400 images from the Vancouver Sun newspaper archives as well as a number of 1970’s artifacts from the museum’s own collection. A soundscape of 70’s obscure (and well-known) local and international bands will accompany the exhibit.

Vancouver in the Seventies at Museum of Vancouver

MOV Senior Curator Viviane Gosselin describes the images as “stunning snapshots of an intense period of self-discovery and growing up for Vancouver. They capture the beauty of everyday events and chronicle the drama of pivotal moments that continue to shape the city.”

The project came about a year ago when Vancouver Sun’s research librarian Kate Bird approached MOV to collaborate on something that would define the decade yet avoid turning into a literal “book on a wall” exhibit.

These images, not exhibited publicly until today, are organized around themes of protesting, building, performing and playing in Vancouver. Vancouver in the Seventies builds on the book of the same name, publishing October 15 by Greystone Books.

Vancouver in the Seventies at Museum of Vancouver

Vancouver in the Seventies presents 149 exclusive photos from the Vancouver Sun’s extensive collection along with fascinating essays by long-time Sun news research librarian Kate Bird and former Sun journalist Shelley Fralic, coupled with a foreword from renowned Vancouver author Douglas Coupland. Together, these words and images form an unforgettable celebration of the decade in which Vancouver came into its own.

Vancouver in the Seventies at Museum of Vancouver

According to Bird, “this collection of Vancouver Sun photographs reveals not just the character of the city in the 1970s but how Vancouver became what it is today”.

For younger generations, it’s hard to imagine a lifestyle without instant photo sharing on social media, however each of these photos appeared just once in the newspaper, long before the Sun began archiving their vast image collection.

To encourage Vancouverites to consider the future of their city, MOV invites people to come together to reflect on the 1970’s through the lenses of activism, arts, and business as well as to add their own key 1970’s Vancouver happenings to a visual timeline.

Vancouver in the Seventies at Museum of Vancouver

Public programs surrounding the exhibit will include a chance for news photographers and journalists to share their perspectives and invite debates on the evolving field of photojournalism.

mov prize bundle/Vancouverscape

We’ve partnered with MOV to offer one lucky Vancouverscape reader a fun prize pack: a signed copy of the accompanying book, two museum tickets and a heavy-duty MOV tote bag.

Vancouver in the Seventies at Museum of Vancouver

All you have to do is comment below on your favourite decade (whether or not you were alive to experience it doesn’t matter to us!) or tweet the following:

Enter to win a Vancouver in the Seventies book + @MuseumofVan tickets courtesy of MOV & @Vancouverscape []

I’ll draw a winner at random on Monday, October 24 at 5 pm. *Contest is open to Canadian readers who are able to pick up the prize pack at MOV in Vancouver’s Vanier Park by November 30. Good luck to all readers and don’t miss this fascinating time capsule of our city!

The Museum of Vancouver is grateful for the support of the Vancouver Sun.


  • Comment by Cindy Smith — October 13, 2016 @ 10:33 pm

    The 60’s

  • Comment by Nancy Wu — October 13, 2016 @ 11:36 pm

    Was born in 1968 and so the 1970s was my favorite decade. I still remember taking the old BC Hydro trolley buses! And that photo above of Broadway & Vine is excellent! The building is now painted a dark wine burgundy and is home to apartments above and Platform Coffee where the corner grocery store was.

  • Comment by Lorna Ellison Williams — October 14, 2016 @ 10:58 am

    I grew up in northern Ontario and everybody’s older brother or sister hitchhiked to Vancouver during the 70s. It was a beacon for me and finally I moved here in 1980!

  • Comment by Lorna Ellison Williams — October 14, 2016 @ 11:01 am

    I grew up in northern Ontario and everyone’s older brother or sister hitchhiked to Vancouver in the 70s. I finally moved here in 1980!

  • Comment by Swapnil Shah — October 14, 2016 @ 11:28 am

    favorite decade: 00s because that is got to explore the world when I migrated to North America from Asia

  • Comment by Lisa Gedak — October 15, 2016 @ 12:58 pm

    The 80’s!

  • Comment by Jason Vanderhill — October 15, 2016 @ 11:30 pm

    I love the 1920s – so much was about to change; tourism was just starting to boom with passenger aviation taking off arond the world. And cars began their march toward modernity! Amazing cars coming off the line in late 20s.

  • Comment by Michael H — October 16, 2016 @ 6:02 pm

    The 90’s!

  • Comment by Danielle — October 17, 2016 @ 12:36 pm

    70s! Definitely!

  • Comment by Jason — October 18, 2016 @ 1:53 pm

    Oh the 80s definitely, Expo etc.

  • Comment by Mark — October 24, 2016 @ 12:13 pm

    “70s” described the decade in a sort of magical nostalgia that provoked a sense of disappointment at not having been born early enough to experience this wonder decade.

  • Comment by Steve W Oatway — October 24, 2016 @ 1:24 pm

    My favourite decade was the 1960’s for the innocence and simplicity we now realise that still existed, yet in a time of turbulent change, and reflection in society about who we really are.

  • Comment by Jory Mickelson — October 24, 2016 @ 4:29 pm

    My favorite decade is the 1940s for sure.

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