An art exhibit inspired by the signs of Vancouver is currently on at the Interurban, featuring the work of Christian Dahlberg, Cristina Peori, Brad Jansen, Jennifer Merasty, and Quin Martins.
The show marks the transitions so visible in Vancouver these days as Cristina remarks in her writing on the show:
What has remained largely untouched since the ’70s and before will undergo rapid change in the near future.
The buildings on Powell Street, for instance, across from Oppenheimer park have stood practically unchanged since the Japanese internments of WWII. Already signs of the coming reality are there: both the Marr and New Wings Hotels have been closed for extensive renovations, and the signs that announced them are gone. Thankfully the buildings themselves survive as this is one of the few remaining corners in the city where all the buildings are historical. A sign of true sadness is the destruction just a block away of the diminutive turquoise buildings on Gore just north of Powell where the first saki in the city was produced. Not only were these buildings authenticity itself, but they were precious signs of Canadian-Japanese heritage. In my humble opinion there should be a sign erected on this site saying the following:
“Good bye History, Character and Class, Hello Bulldozers, Concrete and Glass!”
The Dodson sign is gone, as is the Brandiz. The Fort Boogie and Smiling Buddha signs are long gone: the Cozy Corner sign (somewhat ironically named for the store at Hastings and Columbia) and the Lux were still there in 1994 but have succumbed in the interim.
If you get a chance, check it out before even the signage show about the passage of the signs is history!