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Book Week: Vancouver Was Awesome

Thursday, January 9th, 2014 — 1:39pm PDT
Comments 43

Vancouver-Was-AwesomeBook Week continues as I offer up another pictorial history of Vancouver, courtesy of Lani Russwurm and my friendly competition over at Vancover Is Awesome (“V.I.A.”). Lani runs the local history blog Past Tense Vancouver and contributes the Vancouver Was Awesome posts to V.I.A. — check out his 10 Intoxicating Events in Vancouver History on The Tyee too.

Vancouver Was Awesome: A Curious Pictorial History contains an introduction by V.I.A.’s Editor-in-Chief Bob Kronbauer along with 150 black & white and colour photographs.

Vancouver may be a youngster among major cities, but it has a rich and beguiling history.

Russwurm collects stories of the people, places, events, and phenomena that collectively have infused Vancouver with a distinct flavor and flair and which laid the foundation for the eclectic city we know today. Although not without its share of social issues and contradictions, this cosmopolitan port city has long been a magnet for creative and determined types in search of opportunity and willing to rise to the challenges posed by the Terminal City. And at this moment in Vancouver’s history, as it grapples with the divisive issues of rapid gentrification and overpriced real estate, Vancouver Was Awesome offers readers an opportunity to relive the city’s past and to remember what was, and what might have been.

From vaudeville to beatniks, Rudyard Kipling to Charlie Chaplin, violent squirrels to train-hopping dogs, Lani Russwurm’s book is an entertaining, informative, and at times jaw-dropping tour of one city’s awesome past. [Arsenal Pulp Press]

Book Week Giveaway

Here’s how to enter to win today’s featured Book Week title — Vancouver Was Awesome:

  • Leave a comment on this post (1 entry)
  • Post the following on Twitter (1 entry)
RT to enter to win a copy of #VancouverWasAwesome from @VIAwesome + @Miss604

I will draw one winner at random from all entries on Thursday, January 16, 2013 at 12:00pm. Follow Lani Russwurm’s Past Tense Vancouver and Vancouver Is Awesome on Twitter for more fascinating stories.

Update The winner is Hannah!

Current contests on


  1. Sabrina says:

    Ooo, ooo, ooo – still yes please! Two historical books in one week – wow! I love this stuff! ๐Ÿ™‚

  2. Dilara says:

    Would love this!!

  3. Krista says:

    I said it yesterday, but I’ll say it again: I LOVE Vancouver history! This book looks awesome. ๐Ÿ™‚ Thanks for the giveaway!

  4. jan says:

    this looks neat

  5. Ai says:

    A great Vancouver history book for my kid!

  6. SW says:

    Cool book!

  7. zaelia says:

    Would love to add this book to my seriously lacking on local history book collection ๐Ÿ™‚ Thanks!

  8. Stuart DesBrisay says:

    Reading about Vancouver history is my favourite pastime, we live in a wonderful town!

  9. Lily says:

    Awesome to have “Vancouver was Awesome”

  10. Megan says:

    Would love the book!

  11. Pat Battles says:

    I’d love to learn more about Vancouver’s history! Heck, I probably lived through some of it!

  12. Gord says:

    I’d love to win this book! ๐Ÿ™‚

  13. Rachel says:

    Would love to get this book!

  14. Jeff says:

    Great book!

  15. Kathleen says:

    would love this book

  16. Bryan says:

    Interesting book!

  17. Stephanie says:

    Looks like a fun book.

  18. Valerie says:

    I absolutely love Vancouver history…Born and raised

  19. Hannah says:

    Love old Vancouver photos

  20. mike k says:

    great collection of pictures

  21. Rebecca says:

    a very cool book

  22. Deb says:

    I love it, both my Husband and I are Vancouver born and raised, just a couple of Marpole kids ๐Ÿ™‚

  23. So proud to live in this great city… Vancouver is the BEST place on earth!

  24. Debbie says:

    Awesome book!

  25. Lisa says:

    I love the history posts on VIA, so I am sure the book will be fabulous!!

  26. A.T. says:

    This city has changed SO much in my (not so) short lifetime! Would love to see pictures of the nostalgic past:)

  27. Jeff says:

    Yes please.

  28. stacey says:

    very cool book !

  29. Mary says:

    I’d love to read this!

  30. Marta says:

    Love history, it would be great to own this book

  31. Amanda says:

    Can’t wait to get my hands on one of these!

  32. Shelley says:

    This book looks very interesting to read.

  33. Book Week is such a great concept! It would be great to win this book.

  34. Ka says:

    I love history books with pictures. Love it. Thanks!

  35. Lena says:

    Would love to show this book to my folks. Probably a lot of pics from the time they immigrated here!
    A great book to have.

  36. Clare says:

    Would be a great book for anyone’s personal collection!

  37. Frank_Z says:

    great, love historic pictures

  38. Eileen says:

    This would make a great gift!

  39. Missy Miso says:

    Here is to remembering the history of the boutique city I was born and raised in. Home to David Suzuki, Ad Busters, Harley Davidson gang and Canada’s Gay central (until Montreal upsurge us with their Blue Ball). Keeping in mind our neighbour sister city Victoria, might have parliament and the largest senior community in Canada, not to mention the KKK capital. Which makes you wonder, “How is it the last two riots, in the last 100 years or so, was about Hockey?”

    We can only reply the true Canadian way. Bend over backwards and apologizing with a downward dog and changing the conversation to Lulu land. Then pointing out with a degree of pride we have been voted the best city in the world to live in for years. Which unfortunately targeted us with the worlds rich trash elite, who have come here to Not stay. Or is it only to stay-cation with us? Who is to say.

    Ahhh to all the wonders of growing up on sunshine and rain – running around outside to play with Mary Jane.
    I need this book to mend my broken heart as I live my vag-a-bond ways. Coming and going, back and forth from city to city and back home again. Because after all, “You need to be rich, just to be poor here.” I’ll love you forever, Vancouver. You will always be home.

  40. Laura says:

    My BF is a huge Vancouver history fan, would love this for him (and myself).

  41. Steve says:

    Great choice for book week!

  42. Teresa K says:

    I’d love to win.

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