To From BC Electric Railway 100 Years

When 15 Sep 2012 - 10 Nov 2012
Where Centre A
2 West Hastings Street
Vancouver V6B 1G6
Enquiry (604) 683-8326

Image curtesy of Centre A webpage.

September 15 – November 10, 2012

Opening Reception: Friday, September 14, 8-10pm

Press Release:

Vancouver, BC – Centre A is pleased to present TO/FROM  BC ELECTRIC RAILWAY 100 YEARS, a group exhibition celebrating the historic BC Electric Railway (BCER) building’s centennial anniversary, the current home of Centre A. Sitting below the six-story Second Empire Renaissance styled building, the early 1900s saw the BCER terminal blossom into a bustling interurban railway station. Addressing the building’s importance to the collective memory of Vancouver, six contemporary artists will draw on the site and the neighborhood’s expansive history to consider the building’s significance as a cosmopolitan centre for new immigrants.

“The lofty space of the BCER terminal building is literally the keystone upon which the grid of the city turns. For the last six years the BCER building has been Centre A’s home. On this occasion, it seems fitting to consider the role of the building as a conduit for a range of social, business and cultural exchanges. This exhibition examines immigrant contributions to the development of the Downtown Eastside,” says Centre A’s Executive Director, Haema Sivanesan.

“The more we learn about this building, the more we discover about Vancouver’s rich and diverse cultural history. The exhibition TO/FROMtakes us back 100 years, where the streets of Hastings were filled with sizzling cabarets and farmers markets,” says co-curator, Makiko Hara. “Each artist in this exhibition are from a different generation and cultural background, they will share their own stories and histories of the Downtown Eastside.” Co-curator Annabel Vaughan adds, “Using the centenary of the BCER building as a departure point, the exhibit will explore ideas implicitly embedded in the architecture of the building: arrival, speed, mobility, being in transit, waiting and the cosmopolitan aspirations of a young city.”

“Before WWII and the internment of Japanese Canadians, the former Japantown was filled with markets, restaurants, bathhouses, and specialty stores like the confectionary shops that sold Japanese sweets,” explains the artist, Cindy Mochizuki. The installation for this exhibit attempts to bring forth a site of memory, the interior of a space and disappearance of time. The occasion will also be used to interview and create specialty candy from that era with members from various Japanese Canadian community groups.”

For more information please click here.