Paying Tribute To Black Strathcona

One Community / Six Decades / Ten Stories

Fielding Spotts Jr. - City Archive Vancouver

The Downtown Eastside/Strathcona is blessed with a rich history of Black Canadians who made significant contributions to our community and the City of Vancouver. To pay tribute to the black community of Vancouver’s historic east-end, Strathcona’s Creative Cultural Collaborations Society, in partnership with Vancouver Moving Theatre, recently produced the Black Strathcona Interactive Media Project, the centre piece of which is ten short videos that celebrate some of the extraordinary people and places that made the community vibrant and unique. Performers present the stories, combining oral history with rarely seen archival photographs and fi lm. Although viewers from anywhere in the world can take a virtual web tour, we invite you to experience history come to life at the following activities.

Interactive Media
Online at

Use your smart phone or iPad to lead you on an interactive walking tour. As you walk the neighbourhood, follow the map on the website with story locations. Use the QR codes on the street signage to download videos to your mobile device and see the past and present of Vancouver’s vibrant black community.

Kevan Cameron aka Scruffmouth, Tom Quirk photo IMG_5152Walking Tour
Saturday November 8, 11am (approx. 90 mins)
Meet at Jimi Hendrix Shrine, 207 Union
$10, pay what you can for local residents
Walk the neighbourhood together, follow the map, use the QR codes on street plaques to access the videos on your, or a fellow walker’s, cell phone and share with each other the black history of the historic East End. A tour will leave at 11am, with special guest Kevan Cameron (Scruff Mouth) who performs in video #5 – Jimi & Nora: Seminal musician with local roots.

Community Celebration
Saturday November 8, 2pm – 4:30pm
Carnegie Theatre, 401 Main
FreeThelma Gibson upper body frontal cropped, Ken Tabata photo

The festival is thrilled to present all ten Black Strathcona videos, including among others: Vie’s Chicken & Steaks – Late night haven; Militant Mothers – Beating the power brokers; Jimi & Nora – Seminal musician with local roots; and Leona’s Kids – Great talent runs in the family.

Also joining us for the afternoon are Gordon McLennan, writer and director of the Black Strathcona Interactive Media Project; writer and poet Wayde Compton, co-founder of the Hogan’s Alley Memorial Project and consultant on this project; guest musicians and performers including Scruff Mouth, Bertha Clark aka Adelene da soul poet, Edo Friends of BC Cultural Group; invited VIPs from the black community; and special guest Thelma Gibson, award winning entertainer and one of Leona’s kids. Your emcee is multi-disciplinary artist Vanessa Richards. This event supports the new United Black Canadian Community Association and their dream to establish a black Canadian community centre near the historic Hogan’s Alley.


Posted in Festival 2014.