The Pacific National Exhibition or PNE will be celebrating 100 years this summer. From livestock, pig races, demolition derbies, and the “As Seen on TV” marketplace, to cotton candy, fried onions, mini donuts and The Mousetrap, it’s a Vancouver tradition. While the PNE won’t be around for its limited engagement until summer is in full swing, Playland is now open on weekends.
1910: The first Vancouver Exhibition was launched. The exhibition and agricultural fair saw 5,000 people on opening day, each paying the 50 cent admission. According to Vancouver History, “over the next 10 days, some 68,000 people attended… …and for the next two decades the Vancouver Exhibition was the second largest in North America after New York Cityâ€™s.”
1915: The Vancouver Exhibition became a permanent structure at Hastings Park. In 1915 it was also the first time the fair offered up major prizes (totally $50,000).
1910 – Procession for the opening of the first Vancouver Exhibition, Granville & Dunsmuir
ITEM #: CVA 7-105, Photographer: Quiney, James L.
(Left) 1918 Exhibit ITEM #: CVA 99-646 (Right) 1925 Exhibit ITEM #: CVA 99-3556
Photographer: Stuart Thomson
1926: Happyland opens.
(Left) 1918 – Women’s Building (Right) 1925 – Inside Women’s Building
ITEM #: CVA 99-645, ITEM #: CVA 99-3560
Photographer: Stuart Thomson
1929 – Entrance gate to the Vancouver Exhibition and Happyland on Renfrew
VPL Accession Number: 7925
Photographer / Studio: Frank, Leonard
1934: The PNE gave away its first prize home (valued at $5,000).
1936: The Parker Carousel from Kansas City (built in 1912) was bought by Happyland at the PNE and made its way to Vancouver.
1947: It was announced that one of Happyland’s main attractions, the Giant Dipper, would be torn down in order to make room for an expanding race track at Hastings Park.
1947: The Vancouver Exhibition was renamed the Pacific National Exhibition.
1942 to 1946: The PNE was closed and like the Canadian National Exhibition served a military training facility for the duration of World War II. [wiki]
1931 – Pure Foods Building
ITEM #: Bu N508, Photographer: Moore, W.J.
1957: Happyland was demolished. The Parker Carousel went into a pavilion at the PNE.
1958: The largest roller coaster in Canada was built at the PNE grounds. Playland opens up on a new site (not the old Happyland location).
1940s – Line up at the Giant Dipper, Happyland
ITEM #: CVA 1184-1219, Photographer: Jack Lindsay
1962: PNE attendance passes the one million mark.
1963: The 8,000-seat Agridome opened at the PNE. [VancouverHistory]
1971: The British Columbia Sports Hall of Fame opened in the B.C. Pavilion at the PNE.
1972: The pavilion that housed the Parker Carousel was demolished so the carousel was put outdoors and brought in at the end of the season.
1989: The Parker Carousel was purchased by the City of Burnaby and now resides at the Burnaby Village Museum.
1993: Playland became a division of the PNE.
1950s – VPL Accession Number: 41011
Photographer / Studio: Province Newspaper
For updates and information about this year’s attractions at Playland or the 100th anniversary celebrations at the PNE you can follow them on Twitter or Facebook.
If you would like to check out Playland, I have a couple of passes to give away. Playland is currently open Saturday, Sundays, & Holidays (10:00am – 6:00pm) until it expands its summer hours in June.
Here’s how to enter to win one of two 4-packs of passes:
Leave a comment on this post (2 entries)
Post the following on Twitter (1 entry)
The passes are good for any full day at Playland during the 2010 season.
Update May 18th My first winner is Sharon. I’ll draw another
next week in a few days, thanks for entering!
Update May 20th The final winner is Ashley – thanks for all the great comments!
Fine print: I’ll do the draw for one of the 4-packs on May 18th, and I’ll do the other one week later on the
25th 20th (sorry, I’ll be leaving town on Friday and want to mail the passes before I go). Comment entries will be duplicated during the draw process in order to count them as two entries. Approximate value is $29.95 per ticket ($120 per 4-pack). Please note: the Playland day-passes are NOT valid during the week of the PNE.