Friday 11 January 2019

Vancouver by Neon

It’s no secret that I love a bit of neon. There’s something magical about this type of signage that’s mostly now vanished from the world’s streets, even though it was the epitome of post-WWII commercial razzmatazz.

I’ve written about a neon museum in Warsaw, Poland, and another in Las Vegas, USA. And in 2017 I visited an exhibition of neon at the Museum of Vancouver in Canada.

Vancouver is quite genteel nowadays, but back in the 1950s it had tens of thousands of neon signs clustered through the city centre, advertising every type of business.

Some people thought this was impressive, many thought it tawdry. By the 1970s the city council was severely limiting public neon signage and it started to go the way of the dodo.

In recent years nostalgia for neon has surged, which led to the Museum of Vancouver retrieving and restoring a number of signs, and showing them within a dedicated exhibition called Neon Vancouver.

It’s great, and I walked through it when I visited in 2017. Here are some of the highlights:





It’s a cool exhibition - when is neon ever not cool? - and I encourage you to see it next time you’re in Vancouver.

Neon Vancouver is an exhibition within the Museum of Vancouver, 1100 Chestnut Street, Vancouver, Canada. See its website for entry fee and opening hours.

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