Monday 10 February 2020

Vancouver Movie Month Competition! And the City's Curious Places...

It's Vancouver Movie Month here in Melbourne, Australia, and the Rooftop Cinema is screening a selection of the many movies shot in the Canadian city. You can see the movies here - marked with "Made in Vancouver".

As part of the event, Tourism Vancouver has kindly provided a free double pass to any of the Vancouver Movie Month screenings, to be won by one of my readers.

To enter, read the post below then leave your name and email address (or phone number, if you prefer) in the comments field below it by 5pm Melbourne time on Tuesday 11 February 2020. Don't worry, I'll keep your contact info confidential rather than publishing it to the world.

I'll print them out, place all the valid entries in a hat, and Narrelle Harris will ably assist as designated barrel girl to draw the winner. I'll then pass your contact details to the Tourism Vancouver PR team who will contact you with your prize.

Good luck! And now for something rather curious: an article I wrote after my first visit to Vancouver some years ago, hosted by Destination Canada. With updated details where necessary, I give you...

Curious Vancouver

“In like Flynn!”

It’s an expression that beautifully sums up Errol Flynn’s attitude to life. Not only did the Tasmanian-born actor become one of Hollywood’s leading men in a series of action movies in the 1930s, but he also lived the rollicking life of a bad boy star.

Then he ended up dead on a slab in Vancouver.

I know this because I’m standing in the former autopsy room that’s part of the Canadian city’s Police Museum.

On one wall is a macabre display of human body sections preserved in formaldehyde, with notes explaining how each victim died. Adjacent to these is a portrait of Flynn, with a replica of his autopsy report beside him.

Vancouver has a distinctly colourful past, having begun life as a wild logging town in the 19th century. As I wander its streets, I find even more curious items...

Steam Clock. This odd piece of street furniture is located in Gastown - the oldest part of Vancouver’s downtown area. At all hours of the day, you’ll find tourists snapping shots of this tall fixture which resembles Big Ben’s clock tower with steam pouring out of its top. It’s undeniablly appealing kitsch.
Corner of Water & Cambie Streets

Japadog. In front of the Sutton Place Hotel is the original location of Japadog, a hotdog stand selling Japanese-style dogs, topped with ingredients such as dried seaweed. The most popular dog is the beef terimayo, but I opt for the kurobuta terimayo (“Most highly prized pork!”). It’s tasty, and the seaweed adds a... unique flavour.
Corner Burrard and Smithe Streets, and other locations.

Blood Alley. Depending on who you talk to, this laneway got its name from a) executions; b) butchers’ shops; or c) a clever marketing idea. Whatever the truth, it’s full of rough-edged character as I walk along it, past brick walls and rusting fire escapes. Then, unwittingly, I stumble across Salt Tasting Room, a smooth wine bar serving fine Canadian wine from the Okanagan Valley and beyond, with a view of the alley through its windows.
Blood Alley runs parallel to and between Water Street and W Cordova Street.

Jimi Hendrix Shrine. The late rocker may be remembered as a famous New Yorker, but he also spent time in Vancouver as a boy, living with his grandmother. His Canadian connection is commemorated in this shrine and its small adjacent garden, filled with Hendrix memorabilia.
209 Union St; currently closed pending renovation, scheduled to reopen 2022.

Exotic World Museum. In the back of an antiques shop, this curious collection of faded captioned photos, animal bones and wooden masks was assembled by the late Harold and Barbara Morgan over decades of travel. They’re still with the collection in spirit; I give a friendly nod to Harold and Barbara’s ashes, which I discover are housed in ornate boxes on a shelf above my head.
Inside Alexander Lamb Antiques, 3271 Main Street (Note: I've been unable to verify this museum still exists in 2020.)

Sins of the City. Strolling through Chinatown and the seedy Downtown Eastside, members of this history walking tour hear commentary about gambling, opium dens, prostitution... and a captivating post-mortem tale about Errol Flynn’s body, which is unfortunately not suitable for readers who might be eating. I’ll leave you to discover the disgusting truth for yourself.
From 240 East Cordova St.

OK... it's time to enter the competition for those two Vancouver Movie Month tickets! Post your name and email address (and/or phone number) in the comments field below by 5pm Melbourne time on Tuesday 11 February 2020, and I'll post the successful winner's name here after it's drawn from a hat. Good luck and bonne chance!


  1. There are some fun films screening this month too! Might go see Josie and the Pussycats!

  2. Winner of the Vancouver Movie Month Competition on my blog is... Danny Ritterman! Congrats Danny. Thanks to everyone who entered.

  3. Woo! Thanks so much Tim. Excited to get down (or up?) and watch some awesome movies :)