Vancouver Was Awesome: City Song, 1961


A Vancouver time travelogue brought to you by Past Tense.

The first television broadcast seen in Vancouver was in 1948, but we didn’t have our own TV station or local programming until the CBC opened CBUT in 1953. This means the CBC archives has a fantastic collection of mid-century film footage that can’t be found anywhere else, within a collection archivist Colin Preston calls “the best historical archive of [Canadian film] footage west of Toronto.”

Slowly bits of these films are seeping onto the internet. I recently discovered Vanalogue, a great vintage Vancouver blog and accompanying youtube channel where a couple of dozen clips from the CBC can be found from the 1930s (this one of the Burrard Bridge and English Bay from 1934 is a must see) to the 1970s (Rene Simard, anyone?). The City of Vancouver Archives also has a formidable collection of local films, from which hundreds of clips have been digitized and uploaded to their YouTube channel, their Internet Archive page, and on their own website. Perfect if you have some time to kill and you don’t want to leave the house in this weather.

Source: Excerpt from “Sinner Man,” City Song (CBC, 1961), Directed by Jim Carney, edited by Arla Saare, CBC archives via Vanalogue.

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