Saturday, May 19, 2012

At bottom is a historic aerial view of West Vancouver, specifically the Great Northern Cannery, now a Federal Fisheries research station.

Great Northern served as a location for James Clavell's 1962 film The Sweet and the Bitter, while Bill Millerd, the great-great grandson of Great Northern's founder, Francis Millerd, is responsible for turning the Arts Club Theatre on Seymour Street into a multi-venue juggernaut, a transition that mirrored the shift of the provincial economic base from primary resource extraction (forestry, fishing and mining) to tertiary or service-based industries (real estate speculation, drug dealing and cruise ship minstrel shows).

In November, Intellect Press will release another in its series of cities-as-film-locations, this one focused on Vancouver (Rachel Walls, editor). For my part, I have contributed a 1000-word essay on Clavell's film, which was also shot at The Electra (formerly the B.C. Hydro Building) and Lighthouse Park. Other contributors include Amy Kazymerchyk, Diane Burgess, Elvy Del Bianco and Colin Browne, who will provide an "Introduction".

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