Something to celebrate

Posted on June 29, 2020

Hands up: anyone else feeling a little deflated by 2020?

With half of a year already surrendered to COVID-19, and Canada Day just around the corner, we wanted to pause and reflect on the ways British Columbians have come together in celebration over the decades.

Because this year we’ve missed out on so many of the kinds of events that bring joy and ceremony to our lives: weddings, funerals, and festivals; games, graduations, and grand openings.

So in these strange and socially distanced days, here’s a little reminder of celebrations past, courtesy of Royal BC Museum archivist Kate Heikkila.

We’ve done it before.

We’ll do it again.

And won’t that be something to celebrate?

The 2020 Summer Games were postponed to next year, but in 1968 Vancouver turned out in force to celebrate gold-medal Olympic skier Nancy Greene with a downtown parade. - BC Archives D-05541


 Covid-era brides needing to downsize their nuptials can take a lesson from the simplicity of this June 1908 wedding—the first ever in Prince Rupert, BC.- BC Archives D-06347


The long-running Vancouver Folkfest—pictured here in 1979—may be cancelled for this year, but the music is still out there waiting to make people smile. - BC Archives I-10328


The BC Summer Games celebrate top athletes from across the province. These medalists are from 1979; the next winners won’t climb a podium until 2022. - BC Archives I-10273
Graduation ceremonies went virtual this year, but sometime around 1910 Mrs. George Hunter Ogilvie (nee Mary Adelaide Clapham) was still able to stand shoulder-to-shoulder with her sister nursing graduates - BC Archives D-05889
Physical distancing was definitely a foreign concept at the official opening of BC’s new Legislative Buildings in Victoria in 1898. BC Archives A-02646


If there are no fireworks on July 1, is it still Canada Day? These fireworks, seen from Kitsilano Beach in Vancouver, exploded in 1982—the first time Canada Day replaced the old Dominion Day. BC Archives I-09582


When a war ends—even if it’s with a deadly virus—there’s always a party. At the end of WW2 in 1945, Victoria’s Chinese community joined the victory parade. BC Archives I-29719

Did you know? You can visit BC Archives to do your own online image search!  

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