The RCMP Musical Ride is coming to town!
The RCMP Musical Ride consists of a troop of 32 riders and 32 beautiful black Hanoverian horses. Together they perform drills and precise formations set to music. It’s a great show of Canadian culture and also history – the drills and use of lances date back to the late 1800s. The show even includes a cavalry style “charge” which is a crowd pleaser.
The Musical Ride is touring across Canada in celebration of Canada’s 150th birthday. They are visiting all ten Provinces and one Territory. This week you can catch them in Burnaby at Swangard Stadium on August 18, and in Vancouver at the PNE on August 19, 20, 22 and 23. On August 21 they’ll be in Maple Ridge at the Maple Ridge AG Association grounds.
If you are wanting to do something a little different, check out this entertaining, family-friendly event. The full schedule can be found here.
This week I was lucky enough to go on a self-guided tour of one of Vancouver’s most magnificent buildings, the Orpheum Theatre. Built in 1927 the Orpheum originally hosted vaudeville acts and showed Hollywood silent movies. The theatre’s decor is opulent, with grand staircases, gold leaf, crystal chandeliers and detailed walls and ceilings.
It’s a photographer’s dream location!
Before I say more about the tour, take a look for yourself. Here is a quick video I shot while walking through the theatre.
See? Did I not say it’s magnificent?!
The tours run 3 times a day on Tuesdays, Wednesday’s and Saturdays. I went on a very quiet Tuesday and it was almost like having the whole venue to myself. The tours are for one hour and are self-guided which means you can take your time – be sure to stop for photographs! Theatre staff members are around to assist and answer any questions.
The history and stories of the Orpheum are very interesting. It was at one time Canada’s largest and most opulent theatre. It still houses its original Wurlitzer organ. The Wurlitzer is the last one in Canada still in its original location and working. Staff told me it’s worth over a million dollars today!
Tony Heinsbergen, the artist who painted the iconic ceiling mural in 1975-6, was also involved in decorating the Orpheum before it’s original opening in 1927.
The detailing in the walls and panels is incredible.
In 1973 Famous Players decided to convert the Orpheum into a multiplex movie theatre. A “Save the Orpheum” public protest and a fundraising campaign was launched.
In 1974, the City of Vancouver bought the theatre for $7.1 million. It underwent restoration in the mid-seventies and was recognized as a National Historic Site in 1979. The theatre is now home to the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra.
The Orpheum is an amazing venue and well worth a visit. Whether you are a local or a visitor to Vancouver, put this iconic Theatre on your must-see list. You won’t be disappointed.
With a modern day population of just a couple of hundred, it is easy to overlook small, sleepy Yale. But the town has a vibrant history. In 1858 the discovery of gold nearby resulted in rapid population growth as 30,000 miners and business people flowed into the area. Yale boomed and quickly became the biggest town north of San Francisco and west of Chicago.
The Yale Historical Site is home to some restored buildings from the 1800’s. Creighton House was built in the 1870’s and now functions as a Museum, exhibiting a vast array of historical artifacts and photographs.
St. John the Divine Anglican Church was built in 1863 in hopes of taming wild miners, and is the third oldest church in BC.
Historical events helped shape not only the town of Yale, but also the Province and the Nation. In 1871, after discussions at the Yale Convention the previous year, British Columbia became the sixth Province in the new Confederation of Canada, ending any chance of succession to the US.
The Canadian Pacific Railway was built in the 1880’s with construction headquarters in Yale. On-site, there is a monument to the Chinese Railway Workers – many of whom were killed during the railroad’s construction.
Outside the museum you will see “Tent City” in which you can glimpse what life may have been like for the miners and railway workers.
You can also try out gold panning for yourself.
The historical site itself is quite small, but contains a wealth of interesting artifacts and information. We really enjoyed our stop here and would recommend it in conjunction with a visit to Hell’s Gate Airtram. Yale is about a 2-hour drive from Vancouver and 20-30 minutes before Hell’s Gate so the two pair very well together. The Yale Historical Site helped set the scene for our trip to Hell’s Gate where we viewed the mighty Fraser Canyon from the perspective of history.