Mountain View Cemetery, Vancouver’s only cemetery, is no stranger to special events and tours. They host historical walking tours, self-guided tours [PDF], a bik tour, lantern workshops, and now… a food tour.
Chris Mathieson, who taught us all about the Vancouver Police Museum a few years ago, is a local historian with a passion for stories — and using social media to tell them. On Sunday, June 3, 2012 he’ll be hosting a Mountain View Cemetery Food Tour:
“A tour exploring the history of Vancouver’s relationship with food through introductions to fishermen, farmers, hunters, shopkeepers, brewers, and more. We’ll also discuss food traditions associated with death and cemeteries.”
I had to ask Chris about the appeal of visiting the cemetery, if not for obvious reasons. He told me that with over 150,000 people buried in Mountain View since it was established in 1887, there is a significant percentage of notable people through our city’s history among those laid to rest. If history isn’t your thing, he has a few other suggestions.
“If you’re into art, the cemetery is filled with artistic statements from other eras; there’s even one plot that is actually a piece of art.
If you like green space, there aren’t many other places in Vancouver where you’re going to find almost 100 acres of under-visited greenery.
If you like surprises, there’s so much to discover there: just yesterday, I was walking through one section when I heard a quiet tinkling sound. after a few minutes of searching, I fond a lovely little wind chime hung in a shrub over a particular grave marker. I don’t know what the connection is, but I’m eminently curious.”
When it came to his inspiration for the food tour, he said: “Quite simply, there are only a few things that we all have to do, and two of the key ones are 1) eat food, and 2) die.”
For the past three years he’s been helping friends of his who are running the first community-supported fishery in Canada.
“The experience of getting to know fishermen and watching their product go from ocean to plate has fostered in me an interest in stories associated with food. Since I’m an historian by trade, it made sense to delve into the history of Vancouver’s connection with food.”
If you’re interested in Chris’ tour, you can join it tomorrow at 10:00am. Walking tours meet at Celebration Hall (5445 Fraser Street, enter at 39th) and are $10 per person.