Daniel Francis

Reading the National Narrative
March 8, 2018

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The death of Roger Bannister last week got me thinking about Bill Parnell (that's him in the above photo).

Bannister, of course, was the legendary runner who broke the 4-minute mile barrier in 1954, then won the famous “Miracle Mile” at the Empire/Commonwealth Games in Vancouver when he and John Landy both finished the race is less than four minutes.

It is an...

March 7, 2018

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This is a scale model of a squatter's shack made by the artist Ken Lum as part of his installation "From shangri-la to shangri-la". It is located by the water at the Maplewood Flats Conservation Area in North Vancouver and evokes the squatting lifestyle that once flourished around the edges of Burrard Inlet.

In Vancouver, the squatter's cabin should be as iconic a...

February 26, 2018

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No one would ever claim that Vancouver is the birthplace of jazz. New Orleans usually gets that honour. But it is worth pointing out that Vancouverites were exposed remarkably early to that most American of musical forms.

Pictured above is the Patricia Hotel on East Hastings near Main (Courtesy City of Vancouver Archives AM1535-: CVA 99-187). Built just...

February 9, 2018

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Looking for a good movie?

If you happen to be in Vancouver on Wednesday, February 21, drop down to the Vancity Theatre and join me for a presentation of My Dinner With Andre. The 1981 classic is showing as part of the Vancouver International Film Festival's...

February 7, 2018

My friend Eve Lazarus notes the 50th anniversary of the opening of the main terminal at Vancouver's International Airport, which reminds me of a story about former mayor L.D. Taylor. (Admittedly, it doesn't take much to remind me of stories about L.D.)

Before the airport itself (as opposed to the terminal building) opened on Sea Island in July 1931 there was a makeshift airfield in Richmond....

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