Broken Rodeo Cowboy Statue, Williams Lake, British Columbia 2016

May 17, 2016 | Filed Under Art, BC Photography Archive, British Columbia, British Columbia Photographic Archive, Canada, Canadian, Cariboo-Chilcotin, Documentary Photography, Don Denton, Historical, History, Landscape, Photography, Road Trip, Street photography, Williams Lake | Leave a Comment 

Broken Rodeo Cowboy Statue, Williams Lake, British Columbia 2016

A number of rodeo heritage related wooden statues decorate the streets of Williams Lake.  This particular statue, which occupies a plot of grass at main intersection had been vandalized, leaving the cowboy with no lower arms to grasp the horse’s reins.



Dog N Suds Diner, Williams Lake, British Columbia 2016

February 28, 2016 | Filed Under Architecture, Art, BC Photography Archive, British Columbia, British Columbia Photographic Archive, Canada, Canadian, Cariboo-Chilcotin, Cascadia, Documentary Photography, Don Denton, Food, Landscape, Pacific Northwest, Photography, Road Trip, Street photography, Travel, Williams Lake | 1 Comment 

Dog N Suds Diner, Williams Lake, British Columbia 2016

Williams Lake,  a small city in British Columbia’s Cariboo-Chilcotin  was in the news last week after  the city council voted to “inject’ repeat offenders with a GPS tracker (story here). The wacky story could have come right from the pages of Mark Leiren-Young‘s memoir of his days as a rookie reporter for the Williams Lake Tribune called Never Shoot A Stampede Queen. The shooting, by the way, refers to a photographic incident.

Coincidentally I’ve just recently returned from my first visit to Williams Lake and I’d packed along Leiren-Young’s book to reread. The Starlite Dog N Suds, pictured above, features in the book as a favourite lunch stop for the new reporter in town and it was great to see it still there and busy 30 years later.

My experiences in the town of 12,000 was different and  over a much shorter period as I was in town just for a weekend and while I was reporting/photographing it was for a tourism publication not a newspaper.

I flew in with Pacific Coastal Airlines and it was a reminder of how much pleasanter airline travel used to be. You still had to undergo security screening but because the aircraft are small you were on and off the planes quickly, take off/landings were shorter and quicker and using smaller terminals meant luggage showed up quickly after you arrived. You forget how much time you waste waiting for everyone to board larger aircraft, how long they can take to get in position and take off and then luggage can take forever to be downloaded and transferred to carousels inside the airport. On my return to Victoria I saw my luggage speeding past me as I walked off the plane.

The flights weren’t direct but the stopover in Vancouver was at the small south terminal. The terminal isn’t big and doesn’t have all the bells and whistles of the main terminal but it does have a cafeteria where you can get a drink as well as food (I had an excellent wild salmon bagel sandwich) and a gift shop if you want reading material or a souvenir. I was off my plane there in minutes, grabbed a free Sun and Province newspaper from the PCA stand, read through them while eating my lunch. Read a bit more of the Stampede Queen book, went back through security in a few minutes and then when the call came boarded my plane in just another few minutes. It was all so fast and hassle free!

The south terminal is a hub for smaller airlines and it appeared many of the other passengers were headed for work camps or sites around BC and Alberta including Firebag. Yes, I had to look it up too. It appears to be a Suncor oilfield operation north of Fort McMurray, Alberta.

Williams Lake itself was small, population 12,000, with lots of logging activity. A couple of large mills are right on the edges of the town. There is mining outside of the city and there is still large ranching and agriculture operations throughout the region. You see lots of folks in cowboy hats and boots and they are the real deal.

The architecture is pretty lacklustre. I love unique local buildings and not much stood out in the downtown core.

The hamburger sculpture outside the Dog N Suds was fun and interesting. I was told it was the work of the Pioneer LogHomes, the folks featured in the TV series Timber Kings. You can see examples of the work they’re known for, larger log structures, scattered throughout the region. Their work is distinguished by the use of large logs that still retain their ‘tree” shape and/or sport unique shapes and growths.

Williams Lake is noted for it’s annual Stampede. This year is the 90th anniversary of the rodeo. It used to be known for the wildness of the event and participants but over the years has grown more family friendly but still offers pro rodeo action, beer gardens, live music and assorted associated events including the Stampede Queen.



New Vancouver Art Gallery site, West Georgia Street, Vancouver, BC 2016

January 30, 2016 | Filed Under Architecture, Art, Arts, BC Photography Archive, British Columbia, British Columbia Photographic Archive, Canada, Canadian, Cascadia, Documentary Photography, Don Denton, Fine Art, Historical, History, Landscape, Pacific Northwest, Photography, Street photography, Travel, Urban, Vancouver, Vancouver Street Photography | Leave a Comment 

New Vancouver Art Gallery site, West Georgia Street, Vancouver,

As an exercise I sometimes try and photograph with an eye to preserving a view that will not exist in the future. The above is one such view. Shot from  Cambie Street and looking across Georgia Street to the north. The parking lot seen at the lower right of the image is the future site of the Vancouver Art Gallery. That new building will most certainly obscure the existing view that includes the iconic Sun tower with the  blue/green dome roof on Pender Street. The Sun tower was at one time home to the Vancouver Sun newspaper, hence the name. When it was built in 1912 it was the tallest building in the British Empire. The new art gallery will have a unique wood exterior and  the VAG site says work will commence in 2017.



Dowler Grocery, Victoria, BC 2012

December 11, 2015 | Filed Under Architecture, Art, BC Photography Archive, British Columbia, British Columbia Photographic Archive, Canada, Canadian, Cascadia, Corner store, Documentary Photography, Don Denton, Fine Art, Historical, History, Landscape, Pacific Northwest, Photography, Street photography, Vancouver Island, Vernacular architecture, Victoria | 1 Comment 

Dowler Grocery, Victoria, BC 2012

Dowler Grocery is yet another of those unique neighbourhood corner stores that has closed. I’m not sure if it’s a coincidence that a 7-11 opened up across the street. I’m not sure when Dowler Grocery actually closed, I don’t actually remember it being open. The unusual thing is that even though this photo was taken in 2012 the storefront still looks the same. It hasn’t been renovated, converted into another shop or housing, for which I’m glad as the colourful store front certainly brightens up the streetscape.



Salmon Spawning Vancouver Island 2015

November 22, 2015 | Filed Under Art, BC Photography Archive, Black and white, British Columbia, British Columbia Photographic Archive, Canada, Canadian, Cascadia, Documentary Photography, Don Denton, Fine Art, Historical, History, Landscape, Omen of Bones, Pacific Northwest, Personal Project, Photography, Road Trip, Salmon, Vancouver Island, Victoria | Leave a Comment 

Salmon Spawning Vancouver Island 2015

Every fall since I returned to British Columbia twelve years ago I’ve photographed the spectacle and aftermath of  the salmon returning to spawn in Vancouver Island rivers. When I started photographing the autumn event I was using black and white film. I shoot mainly digital now, although still shooting some B/W film when out on the rivers, but feel this particular project looks better in black and white so am converting the files. Nature photography is not something I do a lot of but I find the return of the salmon is not only an amazing example of the wonders and complications of the natural world but is a unique addition to the experience of west coast life.

An earlier post from 2010 with more photos and info here.



Architecture and Landscape Changes Vancouver Island 2015

November 21, 2015 | Filed Under Architecture, Art, BC Photography Archive, British Columbia, British Columbia Photographic Archive, Canada, Canadian, Cascadia, Documentary Photography, Don Denton, Fine Art, Historical, History, Ideas, Pacific Northwest, Personal Project, Photography, Photos, Road Trip, Street photography, Vancouver Island, Victoria | Leave a Comment 

Beach Avenue House 1

 

Beach Avenue House 2Two photographs taken a week apart. In the first a heritage house, sporting some unique architectural detail, sits on supports and a trailer, in the second, the vacant lot after the house was removed and view of the previously hidden seascape. The third, yet to be taken, will show the new structure built on the lot. Change is inevitable and at least in this case the original structure will be placed on another lot and continue it’s architectural life.

CBC British Columbia has a story about a new book out called Vancouver Vanishes which ‘laments the demolition of character homes and the histories they contain..’ The book grew out of the photos and essays contributed to the Vancouver Vanishes Facebook page.



BC Almanac and Presentation House Gallery

November 11, 2015 | Filed Under Art, Arts, BC Almanac, BC Photography Archive, British Columbia, British Columbia Photographic Archive, Canada, Canadian, Cascadia, Documentary Photography, Exhibition, Fine Art, Historical, History, Pacific Northwest, Photo Book, Photographers, Photography, Photos, Presentation House Gallery, Publishing, Vancouver | Leave a Comment 

BC Almanac 1

A while back I posted on a 1970′s publication featuring the work of a group of Vancouver photographers called the BC Almanac. That post is here.

BC Almanac 5

The publication was unique as it consisted of a series of mini-books/magazines, each one dedicated to one photographer’s work with the whole collection housed in a folder/cover. The one copy I was able to source and look over was missing many of the individual piece so it was difficult to get a sense of  the whole project. It was a shame as I felt it was an important part of Vancouver photo history and there seemed  no way to have a good look at that.

BC Almanac 4

The folks at North Vancouver’s Presentation House Gallery obviously thought the same thing and have mounted an exhibition of images and artifacts from the original work and publication and have republished the book, while this version does come in a folder, all the individual photographer sections/chapters are bound together in one big book.

BC Almanac 3

I had the opportunity a few weeks ago to take a look at the exhibition and purchase a copy of the book. The work, and some of it, as would be expected, holds up better than others, is still a great look at this time in Vancouver through the eyes of  a diverse group of photographers. An added bonus is the inclusion of work by some of the photographers that while not in the book is from the same time period. It was great to see Roy Kiyooka’s Stone D Gloves (or Stoned Gloves, I’ve seen it both ways) on the wall. I’d only seen repros in books before.

The BC Almanac book’s reproduction, like the original, is contrasty and grainy but again is a great record of a certain local photography that thanks to the exhibition we can once again access.

BC Almanac 2



Pink Pig Bank, Saanich, BC 2015

October 18, 2015 | Filed Under Art, Arts, BC Photography Archive, British Columbia, British Columbia Photographic Archive, Canada, Canadian, Cascadia, Documentary Photography, Don Denton, Fine Art, Historical, History, Landscape, Pacific Northwest, Personal Project, Photographers, Photography, Photos, Street photography, Uncategorized, Vancouver Island, Victoria | Leave a Comment 

Pink Pig, Saanich, BC 2015  Don Denton photograph

An oversize, somewhat decrepit, pink pig piggy bank sits on the grounds of the Saanich fairgrounds. An image any visitor to the fairgrounds will remember. The grounds are host to the annual Saanich Fall Fair.



Roxy Theatre, Victoria, BC 2015

September 22, 2015 | Filed Under Architecture, Art, Arts, BC Photography Archive, British Columbia, British Columbia Photographic Archive, Canada, Canadian, Cascadia, Documentary Photography, Don Denton, Entertainment, Historical, History, Landscape, Pacific Northwest, Photographers, Photography, Photos, Street photography, Theatre, Urban, Vancouver Island, Victoria | Leave a Comment 

The Roxy Theatre, Waiting For Godot  Victoria, BC 2015

Currently the home of the the Blue Bridge Repertory Theatre, the Roxy was formerly the Roxy Cinegogue movie theatre. It looks more like an industrial or farm building than an arts centre.



The Powder Keg, Kamloops, BC 2015

September 16, 2015 | Filed Under Architecture, Art, BC Photography Archive, British Columbia, British Columbia Photographic Archive, Canada, Canadian, Cascadia, Documentary Photography, Don Denton, Fine Art, Historical, History, Kamloops, Landscape, Pacific Northwest, Personal Project, Photographers, Photography, Road Trip, Street photography, Urban | Leave a Comment 

The Powder Keg, Kamloops, BC 2015

The large mural on the side of the Powder Keg gun and ammo store and the Lotus Inn restaurant on Tranquille Road are long time business landmarks in North Kamloops.



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