Archive Photos of the Day: May Day


Wednesday, May 1st, 2013 — 10:24am PST
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It’s the first of May and over the last century Vancouverites have been celebrating May Day by crowning dancing around the Maypole, crowning a May Queen and ringing in springtime. To this day you can catch May Day festivals around the world and a few locally, like May Day Celebrations at Trimble Park in Point Grey where the Vancouver Morris Men performed this morning or New Westminster‘s May Day (that will be May 25th). New Westminster’s is actually one of the Commonwealth’s oldest, ongoing May Day celebrations.

May Day is also known as a day to honour workers. The following images from the Vancouver Public Library have all captured May Day throughout the city’s history:


1906 & 1907: May Day New Westminster. Archives item# CVA 677-759 & CVA 677-753.
Photographer: W.T. Cooksley.


1948: May Day ceremony in Burnaby’s Central Park. VPL# 80580 & 1950 May Day parade
on Marine Drive. VPL# 81314. Photographer: Artray.


1935: Men and women marching in May Day parade for unemployed during the Depression. VPL# 8814.


1936: May Day labour demonstration at the YMCA. VPL# 13320.


1930s: May Day Parade on Burrard at Hastings. VPL# 8090. Photographer: Leonard Frank & 1920s:
Stanley Park May Pole Dance. VPL # 30200. Dominion Photo Co.


1936: May Day celebrations at Hastings Park. Archive item# CVA 260-390 & CVA 260-392.

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