Granville Street Starwalk and Redesign

Comments 8 by Rebecca Bollwitt

It’s been around since 1994 but does anyone ever really notice it? Passing over the plaques of Dal Richards and Diana Krall this afternoon I was inspired to find out more about Vancouver’s own walk of fame.

Photo credit: freedryk on Flickr

The Starwalk pays tribute to local musicians, entertainers, producers, actors and radio DJ’s, which is a compliment to the old days of Granville street itself. The Starwalk spans from the entrance of the Orpheum, heads East up Granville and even loops around the back of the building including inductees’ tiles on the wall that borders Seymour street.

But just who runs the Starwalk and who decides which celebs get included?

The B.C. Entertainment Hall of Fame honours BC residents who have made an outstanding contribution to entertainment in British Columbia, across Canada, and around the world.

Starwalk at the Orpheum was inaugurated on July 24, 1994, honouring members with plaques embedded in the sidewalk along Granville Mall near the Orpheum. The Starwall gallery inside the Orpheum is a display of member’s photos. To date 158 individuals have been honoured with induction into the Hall of Fame and Starwalk at the Orpheum.

The Vancouver Favourites category honours international entertainment personalities who have captured the hearts of Vancouverites through frequent visits to the city. Their plaques are installed on the exterior of the Orpheum near the Stage Door at 865 Seymour Street. [BC Entertainment Hall of Fame]

However, the Starwalk’s been criticized for excluding, or not yet inducting several internationally-acclaimed, big name stars:

Where are B.C.’s two big movie stars of the 1940s — Penticton’s Alexis Smith, who shared the screen with Humphrey Bogart and Cary Grant and later won a Tony Award, and Vancouver’s Yvonne De Carlo, who starred in many movies and later TV’s The Munsters?… ….Burnaby’s Michael J. Fox (Back to the Future), Carrie-Anne Moss (The Matrix) and New Westminster’s Raymond Burr (TV’s Perry Mason)? [TheProvince]

Photo credit: Jeffery Simpson on Flickr

Regardless, the next time you’re taking a stroll to the Adidas or Puma store, take a look down and see if you recognize any of the names under your feet. If you don’t, then why not go home and Google them to find out more about these instrumental players in BC’s entertainment history.

More Starwalk info is available on the BC Entertainment Hall of Fame website, or blog (although someone should really get them off Blogger) and a list of inaugural inductees is on the Vancouver History site.

On Wednesday January 23, 2008 there will be an open house at the Pacific Centre Atrium (Georgia and Howe, 12-1:30 pm and 4:30-7:30 pm) for all interested parties to view approved sketches and get answers to questions with regards to the redesign of Granville street.

The purpose of the will be to “enhance traffic, pedestrian movement and vitality of Granville from Drake to Cordova”.

A two-block long civic plaza is proposed to be centered on the high point of Granville Street at Georgia Street. The plaza, characterized by both permanent and temporary installations, is envisaged as the centre of commercial street life in the downtown. Access to the two Granville Street rapid transit stations between Robson and Dunsmuir Streets will also be facilitated by the wider sidewalks of the civic plaza. [See: Approved Design]

As for the Starwalk, it will be included in all plans going forward, as confirmed on the city’s site last March.

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8 Comments  —  Comments Are Closed

  1. PatZSunday, December 23rd, 2007 — 10:09pm PST

    yeah, thats just what downtown needs…more construction…
    I usually make it a point to look at them when i walk down Granville to see if I get anymore than before. i think I’ve recognized three names in total. ever.

  2. John BollwittSunday, December 23rd, 2007 — 10:10pm PST

    *sigh*… more construction to wade through in downtown Vancouver.

  3. fotoeinsSunday, December 23rd, 2007 — 11:00pm PST

    The dichotomy and the price of living in a desireable city?

    Reimplementation of a mostly car-free zone between West Hastings and Smithe is a good thing IMHO.

  4. The Long, Slow and Disappointing Revival of Granville StreetMonday, December 24th, 2007 — 4:08am PST

    […] Rebecca points to some minor redesigns of one of Vancouver’s major downtown streets, and she got me thinking about how it’s changed. […]

  5. Miss604’s Vancouver Blog » Blog Archive » Wednesday Morning Link Fest: Granville, Garbage and GoogleWednesday, January 23rd, 2008 — 8:14am PST

    […] is the public open house/meeting regarding the proposed redesign of Granville street. On Wednesday January 23, 2008 there will be an open house at the Pacific Centre Atrium (Georgia […]

  6. Salvatore MatagranoThursday, May 15th, 2008 — 5:29pm PDT

    Do you have a plaque on your star walk for Dorothy Stratten?

  7. Matthew Good at the Orpheum Tonight » Vancouver Blog Miss 604Thursday, June 26th, 2008 — 4:03pm PDT

    […] never played the Orpheum before so he said it will be a pretty special event. Although I have written about the venue before, I haven’t been there since I saw Les Miserables and before that it was for my […]

  8. Mike HuntMonday, September 1st, 2008 — 1:50am PDT

    what a joke…I’d wager 95% of those plaques are representing people nobody has ever heard of.

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