News! at Satellite Gallery

Photographers take pictures of a ceremony at the British Empire Games. At the right front is the Province's Bob Olsen, shooting photos of Earl Alexander. Photo filed August 1954. Eric W. Cable/Province

Photographers take pictures of a ceremony at the British Empire Games. At the right front is the Province’s Bob Olsen, shooting photos of Earl Alexander. Photo filed August 1954. Eric W. Cable/Province

A extraordinary account of Vancouver’s history is currently on display at a downtown gallery. Satellite gallery, which is a cooperative between the Museum of Anthroplogy, the Belkin art gallery at UBC and North Vancouver’s Presentation House, is showcasing an exhibit of 500 photos from the archives of the Vancouver Sun and Province, which date back to the 1870s and lead up to the 1990s, when digital processes took over.

Jonah Gray, with Presentation House Gallery, says the collection houses over a million different prints, making the tasks of finding pieces for the show a huge job. However, the show’s curator worked with assistants from both newspapers, along with Vancouver Sun report John Mackie, making the tasks a lot less overwhelming.

News! not only documents the changes to Vancouver over the years, but also how we captured them.

“It’s a broad picture of the development of photojournalism in Vancouver,” Gray says.

Part of what’s special about the exhibit is that the prints are originals, which means they were used and filed based on the collection’s archiving system. Each one has a photographer’s stamp and date of when they were published.

SUN0729 Shark

242 pound mackerl shark caught by North Vancouver fisher James Hargrove off Point Grey, September 1944, Province Newspaper photo

“They’re marked up and they have this special materiality that makes the exhibition special because they’re unique objects,” says Gray.

When asked to provide a selling point of the exhibit, Mackie had this to say: “There’s a photo of Kerensky, the Russian leader who Lenin deposed in the Great October Socialist Revolution, and a photo of Thor, the champion weightlifter that became a rock star. Where else will  you find that?”

The prints in the exhibit aren’t for sale, but both newspapers have an online gallery that includes some of the images in the show.

News! runs until March 20 at Satellite Gallery, 560 Seymour St.
Hours are 12 p.m. – 6 p.m.,  Wednesday to Saturday
Admission is free

On Saturday March 16 at 3 p.m. it will host a panel discussion with staff photographers including Ralph Bower, John Denniston and Ian Lindsa.

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