Portrait Sonore presents: A walking documentary on Vancouver’s modern heritage

Vancouver Downtown Modern is an experience in sound, a 120-minute experiential walk through the heart of the financial district (mostly Burrard Street), a continuous immersion in soundscapes, information and music. Personal accounts from renowned architects and experts offer a fresh look at Vancouver’s modern past as their testimonials inspire new visions for the city, and inspire us to think about Vancouver’s future.

Throughout the walk, the narration and original musical score evoke the spirit of modernity, directly inspired by the forms and materials of the Modernist era. Musicians from the local scene include: Fond of Tigers, Loscil and Leah Abramson.

This audio-guided walk starts at Waterfront Station and ends at Robson Square. Listeners hear about the growth of Vancouver as a metropolis and learn about the significant changes carried out in the 1950s. Discover the spirit that made Vancouver a city of great promise, and the conflicting ambitions and visions that brought about the development of Vancouver in the 20th century.

Learn more about Vancouver’s modern heritage buildings through the testimonies of the ones who created them and worked on their conservation. Testimonials include Cornelia Oberlander, landscape architect; Bing Thom, architect and urban designer; Peter Busby, great proponent of green building design; and author and architectural historian Rhodri Windsor-Liscombe.

In 2017, Canada will mark the 150th anniversary of Confederation. Vancouver Downtown Modern is part of a larger project on major Canadian cities directed by architect Sophie Mankowski with the collaboration of Antoine Bédard and Serge Rhéaume (all three founders of Portrait Sonore.

The works selected in each city include significant post-World War II buildings, witnesses to the architectural effervescence of the 1950s through the 1970s, and buildings that marked the development of Canadian downtowns. Some 70 experts and architects, urbanists, designers and historians have participated so far. Through their stories, the tale of a modern country is told — one where art, architecture and design take a prominent place. Current existing walks include: Toronto, Montreal and Quebec City.

For more information on the Vancouver walk and other available documentaries, please click here.