Vancouver in the Seventies is a 168-page book filled with a selection of photos from the Vancouver Sun archives and essays by Kate Bird and Shelley Fralic.

Vancouver in the Seventies author Kate Bird coming to Cloverdale

Talk at Cloverdale Library will focus on decade ‘that changed the city’

The 1970s were a memorable decade for Vancouver: protesters marched the streets, rallying against the war in Vietnam; big-time musical acts started performing downtown; the modern-day Canucks were born.

“It was the decade that changed the city,” said Kate Bird, author of Vancouver in the Seventies, a comprehensive collection of photographs and essays that focus on one of the pivotal decades of the city’s history.

For 25 years, Bird was a news research librarian at The Vancouver Sun and The Province, where she took care of the massive photograph collection and conducted research on behalf of reporters.

Over the years, she has contributed to many books as a researcher, including Making Headlines: 100 Years at The Vancouver Sun, which won the Bill Duthie Booksellers’ Choice Award at the 2013 BC Book Prizes.

Vancouver in the Seventies is her first foray into authorship. The 168-page book is filled, cover to cover, with images selected from The Vancouver Sun’s photograph collection.

“It’s a real record of Vancouver in the ’70s,” she said.

“The 70s was the decade Vancouver grew up,” said Bird. “The economy was good, there was tons of building and the whole city changed. Of course, change happened in Surrey as well, the population went up by 50 per cent.”

“The whole Lower Mainland was expanding and changing, becoming a much more modern city,” she said.

She chose to focus on the decade for practical reasons as well. “The Sun still had all the negatives from the whole run of the 70s,” she said. “And I thought (this decade) would resonate, not just with baby boomers but with younger people, too.”

“Of course, we had so many (photos),” she said.

Bird approached the Museum of Vancouver, and together they worked out a companion exhibition, which is currently on display. The exhibition was supposed to come to an end in February, but has been extended to July.

“The (Sun’s) photographers were shooting 4,500 assignments a year,” said Bird. The photos include a wide range of subjects, from protests to portraits and everything in between, she said.

Bird called on others to weigh in during the photo selection process. The initial selection looked for “classic” photos, focusing on finding images that represented the decade’s news, crime, politics and entertainment.

Then the book’s publisher, Greystone Books, helped select images on artistic merits, and, in the process, gave a “younger perspective.”

As well as photos from the larger events during the decade, the book includes smaller moments of everyday life in the city.

“It’s interesting little moments in the life of the people in the city – portraits, the incidental – in order to get across the feeling of the city at the time,” said Bird.

Many people have seen themselves in the book or have recognized someone who is in one of the photos.

“It’s very interesting what people remember (from the ’70s),” she said. “Very often you have people saying, ‘oh, I hope you have this photo in there.’”

Bird is currently touring with her book, presenting images in an author talk. She recently visited the New Westminster library for a presentation, which went well, she said, with more than 30 people in attendance.

She will be coming to Cloverdale Library next, to lead a slideshow and talk about the images and her book.

“I’ll talk about the ’70s and show loads of photographs, some specifically from Surrey,” she said.

Bird will be at Cloverdale Library on Saturday, May 27, from 10:30–11:30 a.m. Entry is free, and copies of her book will be available for $25 cash.

To register, call 604-598-7327 or email


A cowboy takes a load off at the Cloverdale Rodeo. May 22, 1976. (Glenn Baglo/Vancouver Sun)

Just Posted

Newton bingo hall to close after April 21

Gateway Casinos ‘working to transition its employees from the Newton facility to other Gateway properties in the region’

‘Significant waitlists’ for early French Immersion programs in Surrey

District struggling to find specialist teachers for French Immersion, Fine Arts and Montessori programs

Surrey MP apologizes for inviting criminal to Trudeau reception

Posing for photos with controversial people has been a bane for politicians

White Rock ‘demoviction’ complaint heard at RTB

Decision expected to be made next week

‘Anti-gym’ for baby boomers opens in Surrey today

Expanding Surrey-born company is brainchild of city’s 2017 Business Person of the Year, Sara Hodson

B.C. Games open with Olympic touch

The 2018 B.C. Winter Games kicked off in Kamloops

B.C. ski cross racer wins Olympic gold

Kelowna’s Kelsey Serwa wins the gold medal in thrilling fashion in PyeongChang

More snow expected on the Coquihalla, Highway 3

Environment Canada says five to 10 centimetres will come down between Friday and Saturday mornings

New charges against ex-Trump campaign associates

More charges were laid Thursday against President Donald Trump’s former campaign chairman and his business associate

Man accused in death of Winnipeg teen Tina Fontaine not guilty

Raymond Cormier was accused of killing Indigenous 15-year-old and dumping her body in the Red River

Okanagan real estate agents brace for speculation tax impact

“There’s a real potential for a domino effect to hurt the market in Kelowna.”

Alberta drops B.C. wine boycott, Notley says Horgan ‘blinked’ on pipeline

B.C. government announces court reference on proposed diluted bitumen restriction

Lane closures on Alex Fraser, Port Mann bridges considered to avoid ‘ice bombs’

Province spent $5 million clearing both bridges last years

UPDATE: Northern Health dealing with lack of 121 registered nurses

Auditor General says officials need to improve internal management, track effect of new policies

Most Read