Abandoned Polar Bear Enclosure

Artists' Memories of the West End

This contribution to Digital Stories Canada is a collection of memoirs that took place in the 90s and the first decade of the new millennium in Vancouver’s historic West End. Here is a small group of artists who practiced their mediums in that time, using their neighbourhood and the exploration of a queer lifestyle as their inspiration.

Jerome Mandrake has been a West End resident for the past twenty years (Minus a three year venture to East Vancouver.) As a performer, he has organized events throughout the West End and has worked closely with the Vancouver Pride Society as a headlining act. Jerome currently works in primary school education in the West End. 

Spencer Stump is a Vancouver Film School graduate who has lived in the West End since 2014. Currently working as a prop maker in film, he had taken his talents to the stage as a drag performer and was crowned Vancouver’s Next Drag Superstar at Celebrities Nightclub in 2014. Spencer has taken his drag across the city and has become a familiar face at LGBTQ+ events throughout the West End.

Quinn Peters has been performing and hosting events as a drag artist in the city since 2010. He has become a familiar face in the community not only for his performance art, but also for his volunteer work at the Pride Society, YouthCo and Qmunity. As an employee for the Queer Film Festival, PuSh Festival and Positive Living at different points in his career, Quinn has been introduced to many residents and stories that make up our West End community.

Michael Pope is a fashion design educator who lived in Vancouver’s West End between 1988 and 1994. He began practicing fashion illustration in his teens and has been working professionally in the field for the past 26 years.

Map shows locations near Davie Street in Vancouver's West End
Map shows Guidemate stops closer to Stanley Park in Vancouver's West End

Using Guidemate map below

With Guidemate, visitors can download the app and audio files to walk/roll/drive through the tour (in addition to listening on Digital Stories Canada).

Download Guidemate from the Apple Store or Google Play. There is a cell version for walking/rolling/driving tours – instructions to the right. 

To navigate through the interactive map below, select one of the nine stations listed on the left. Press the green play icon on the far right to listen to the audio. Use black arrows to move to the next station. To read the transcript and look at photos, click on photo at the top left.

Our StoryCloud project is grounded in exchanging stories. If you would like to add your story to this collection or start one of your own, join us for a free Community Digital Storytelling Workshop.

Walk or roll with your cell

If you are walking/rolling/driving through the location, listen with your cell phone’s data plan.

1. While you have wifi, locate your tour on Guidemate and download the files onto your phone. You will be asked to share your location – then your listening experience will match your location.

2. As you walk closer to each geolocation, the audio will play back through the app.

3. Our StoryCloud project is grounded in exchanging stories. If you would like to add your story to the collection or start one of your own, join us for a free Community Digital Storytelling Workshop.

Credits

Concept, Field Recording and Editing
Jerome Mandrake

Producer and Sonic Maps Editor 
Lorna Boschman

StoryCloud Concept
Lorna Boschman and Claire Roberts

We gratefully acknowledge that we live and work on the unceded, traditional territories of the Coast Salish peoples sḵwx̱wú7mesh (Squamish), sel̓íl̓witulh (Tsleil-Waututh), and xʷməθkʷəy̓əm (Musqueam) nations.

We acknowledge the support of the Canada Council for the Arts.

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