The Vancouver Orpheum
The Vancouver Orpheum opened its doors on November 8, 1927. Ah, it was a grand building, the largest theatre in Canada at the time, with a construction price tag of $1.25 million. Three thousand seats awaited an audience eager to see the interior of the much-awaited theatre.
Buildings have biographies and encounter transitions that reflect our ever-changing societies. Would it surprise you to know that the Vancouver Orpheum was launched as a vaudeville house? The vaudeville that became popular in North America from the early 1880s until the early 1930s, was similar to the music halls of Victorian Britain.
When the voices and acts of vaudeville’s singers, dancers, comedians and magicians fell silent in the late 1930’s, the Orpheum became a movie house, under the Famous Players name.
The crisis occurred in 1973.
In 1973, Famous Players made a financial decision that would change the course of our beloved Orpheum’s history. The Orpheum was scheduled for a major upgrade to a multiplex. The magnificent interior was to be gutted. The public protest was heard across Vancouver and beyond. Even Jack Benny made an emotional appearance.
The Orpheum was saved.
The City of Vancouver bought the Orpheum and closed the theatre on November 23, 1975 to complete a full restoration. April 2, 1977 the Orpheum was reopened and is now the permanent home of the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra. Two years later, in 1979, the Orpheum was designated a National Historic Site of Canada.
During December, our family attended a performance of Handel’s Messiah. After the crowds dispersed, I stayed behind to capture a few photos to celebrate the history of this noble building and all those who came together to save its legacy for generations to come.
Come, join me on a short walk through a building that has graced Vancouver for nearly 100 years.
Music by Cercles Nouvelles “Palace Garden Roses” Epidemic Sound
“There comes . . . a longing never to travel again except on foot.”
Wendell Berry, Remembering
Red Willow Trail, St. Albert, Alberta
I live in Vancouver. It has been my home for many years, and it is highly likely that I will grow old in a city that has always been kind to me.
And yet, St. Albert, Alberta, the city that is known as The Botanical Arts City is an enticing possibility.
Founding in 1861, St. Albert is the oldest non-fortified community in Alberta and is now the sixth largest city in Alberta. It is home to the International Children’s Festival, the Arden Theatre that hosts over 150 performances a year, and The St. Albert Botanic Park, dedicated to the collection, cultivation and display of a wide range of plants labelled with their scientific names. And have I mentioned that the Outdoor Farmers’ Market, held in downtown St. Albert, is Western Canada’s largest outdoor farmers’ market.
Now you see why I am tempted.
Red Willow Trail, St. Albert, Alberta
The Red Willow Trail system stretches down the river valley connecting to the City’s major parks and neighbourhoods. Join me as I walk the Red Willow Trail System heading down to the farmer’s market
Walking the Red Willow Trail from Rebecca Budd aka Clanmother on Vimeo.
“Tread softly! All the earth is holy ground.”
Every Christmas, I listen to poignant Christmas carol, In the Bleak Mid-Winter, which embraces the poetry of Christina Rossetti. She entitled her poem, “A Christmas Carol.”
Christina weaves the story of the humble birth in a stable into a call to action to “do our part.” In a few short lines of poetry, she brings together an eclectic gathering to witness this unforgettable event. Ox, ass and camel, angels, cherubim and seraphim watch over the baby. And yet, it is the human touch of a mother’s kiss that gives the greatest sense of reverence.
Christina’s gift for poetry was encouraged by the works of those that came before. She repaid this legacy by inspiring others who came after. She influenced the writings of Virginia Woolf, Gerard Hopkins, Philip Larkin and Elizabeth Jennings.
Join me for a Sunday Evening Reflection with Christina Rossetti.
In The Bleak Midwinter by Christina Rossetti from Rebecca Budd aka Clanmother on Vimeo.
“I think that one’s art is a growth inside one. I do not think one can explain growth. It is silent and subtle. One does not keep digging up a plant to see how it grows.”
Welcome to Sunday Evening Reflection. I invite you to join me in a walk through Emily Carr’s garden, Victoria, British Columbia. It is a September day, the gentle warmth of the sun nourishes the vibrant colours of late summer. In the air, winter is stirring, readying for the days of rest that prepare the earth for the coming of spring.
“It is hard to remember just when you first became aware of being alive. It is like looking through rain onto a bald, new lawn; as you watch, the brown is all pricked with pale green. You did not see the points pierce, did not hear the stab – there they are!”
A Walk in Emily’s Garden from Rebecca Budd aka Clanmother on Vimeo.
Vancouver Seawall Winter 2019
Whenever anyone brings up the subject of procrastination, they invariably give a nod to Mark Twain who stated with his usual clarity and generous humour:
“If it’s your job to eat a frog, it’s best to do it first thing in the morning. And if it’s your job to eat two frogs, it’s best to eat the biggest one first.” …
Those poor frogs!
Procrastination is simply the action of delaying or postponing.
We know how not to procrastinate. In fact, there are books written to help us through the trials and tribulations of avoidance. I have read books on de-cluttering, time management, setting priorities – all are filled with marvelous vignettes and stories that give that exuberant promise that once I make a list, and dramatically cross off completed tasks, I will be liberated.
Living a productive life is a noble goal with great outcomes. Lists allow us to measure our performance, and perhaps stave off the dread of procrastination.
What if we looked at procrastination a different way?
What if we stopped the tasks, took a moment to simply be in the moment, and allow our mind to gather strength and resilience? Perhaps what we consider urgent, may not be important. Perhaps a delay or postponement is the best course of action.
Maybe those frogs should be allowed freedom.
And with that thought, I invite you to share a walk along the Vancouver Seawall, just as the sun is setting. Take a deep breath and leave your lists to another day.
Winter Sunset from Rebecca Budd aka Clanmother on Vimeo.
“It is perfectly true, as philosophers say, that life must be understood backwards. But they forget the other proposition, that it must be lived forwards.”
Søren Kierkegaard’s quote “Life can only be understood backwards; but it must be lived forwards,” reminds me of the intricacies of navigating a timeline that pushes us in only one direction – forward. It is impossible to even go back a few seconds, much less a decade or a lifetime. Instead, we have been given the gift of memory that allows us to reflect upon events, circumstances and decisions that have nuanced our journey.
Over the past weeks, looking backwards has given me a glimpse into an ancient world which is often celebrated within the framework of legend that borders on mythology. Yet, these men and women were made of flesh and blood. They lived extraordinary lives and left a legacy for those that came after. As I read their narratives, I wondered why they chose to think differently, to ignore the demands of accepted cultural norms. They embraced a more arduous route, seeking fulfillment that transcended trivial rewards offered by a status quo existence.
This week, I want to look backwards, to pause and reflect on the lives of the ancients, from Euclid to Aspasia, Thales to Zeno, Hipparchia to Ptolemy. I confess that I have not mapped out an outline for the next few posts, merely an idea that I want to follow as I consider my place in a world that is moving ever forward.
“Now he has departed from this strange world a little ahead of me. That means nothing. People like us, who believe in physics, know that the distinction between past, present, and future is only a stubbornly persistent illusion.”