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And there it was! gone...

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Thanks to the City of Vancouver Archives for hosting Walter Frost’s Arctic Explorers photo exhibition!

Special thanks to Heather Gordon (City Archivist) and her wonderful staff who provided the gallery space, helped set up and then took down the exhibition, Duncan MacLeod (Maritime and Arctic Researcher) who helped curate the exhibition. 

The following sponsors for their financial support and work in kind made this exhibition possible:

  • Odlum Brown and Cameron McLeod

  • Bunt & Associates namely Yulia Liem and Heidi Weihs

  • The van Weelderen family 

  • Kent Southwell of Kent Picture Framing, and

  • Yvon Lantaigne of Studio Madillo Creative Services for the excellent work on creating the maps and enhancing the archival photos

Finally, I would like to thank my wife Amy for her continuous support throughout this endeavour from start to finish; and my son Jasper for being the EMCEE / photographer at February's Grand Opening.

Keep an eye out for another Lens on Vancouver's Past in the future...

Last revised - May 1, 2024


Thanks for joining Floris at the 

'Places That Matter' Community Fair  


Thanks to one and all who joined me and the Vancouver Heritage Foundation at the 7th Annual Places That Matter Community Fair on Sunday, February 25th, from 11 am - 3 pm at Heritage Hall. This all-ages event included publications, table displays, items for sale, crafts, a scavenger hunt, and more! This was an opportunity to learn about the many stories and people that connect us to the places that matter in our communities.


Last revised - February 27, 2024

The Port of Vancouver's South Shore served as homeport for many of the vessels that have and continue to explore the Western Arctic, trade with its indigenous peoples, extract the Arctic’s natural resources, transit the Northwest Passage, and project Canada’s sovereignty over the North from Herschel Island (Qikirtarjuaq) in the Yukon Territory to the Arctic Archipelago which comprises most of Nunavut

The curated exhibition at the City of Vancouver Archives presented Walter Frost's photos of 12 ships illustrating Vancouver’s pivotal role in the establishment of Canada's presence in the Arctic during the Fur Trade, establishing Sovereignty, and enabling Resource Extraction.

A 60-page compendium - available for downloading below - presents 17 curated photos of vessels ranging from small wooden-hulled schooners, cargo steamers, heavy icebreakers, and huge bulk carriers that have called Vancouver home or visited the seaport. Also included is a biography of Walter Frostfactsfigures, and maps describing the vast, beautiful and unforgiving Arctic; and a map illustrating the piers and wharves where these same vessels called at Vancouver.

Last revised - May 1, 2024

City of Vancouver Archives gallery featured photographs of Walter Frost's Arctic Explorers
The North Pacific Coast Line

In another PechaKucha presentation, Floris van Weelderen explores the now defunct North Pacific Coast Line to challenge the way we think about how one could travel directly by sea between Continental Europe and Canada’s West Coast from 1920 to 1968. You'll be surprised at the luxurious experience, distance travelled, duration, costs, and why it disappeared.

A 60-page compendium presents not only 18 curated photos of Holland-America Line (HAL) ships but also a biography of Walter Frost, a brief history of the Port of Vancouver plus interesting facts &figures about HAL, and the 18 HAL ships is available for downloading below.

Last revised - February 15, 2023

The Evolution of Intercontinental Travel 

In a short PechaKucha presentation (20 slides x 20 seconds), Floris explores the Evolution of Intercontinental Travel to challenge the way we think about how people travelled between Vancouver and Rotterdam in 1937, 1967 and 2007. You'll be surprised at the options available, distances travelled, duration, and cost.

A digital infographic illustrating the various options is available for downloading below.

Last revised - February 5, 2023

Vancouver Maritime Museum displayed Vancouver photographer’s images of Holland-America Line vessels in micro-exhibition

The year 2020 marked the 100th anniversary of the first arrival in Vancouver by a Holland-America Line (HAL) vessel. To commemorate this centennial of Dutch-Canadian trade, the Vancouver Maritime Museum (VMM) hosted a micro-exhibition of ten photographs of HAL ships taken by Walter Edwin Frost.

Walter Edwin Frost (1898-1988), a life-long resident of East Vancouver, donated an extensive collection of 13,369 black & white photographs to the City of Vancouver Archives in 1984. The images capture much of the industrial activity of early- and mid-20th century Vancouver with a focus on ships in Vancouver Harbour. The busy waterfront provided Frost with a constant stream of subject matter. 

Floris van Weelderen, the curator of the micro-exhibition, discovered Frost’s photographs while chronicling his father’s 1960s sea voyages on Holland-America Line freighters and ocean liners. Floris observed that Walter’s photographs provide a remarkable visual record of the evolution in maritime shipping and naval architecture.

The micro-exhibition also included a model of the S.S. Diemerdyk, one of the vessels photographed by Frost, plus HAL ephemera from the VMM collection (see below).​

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