Vancouver Centennial Plaque #20 – The Hotel Vancouver Bandstand


Northwest corner of Granville and Georgia


Corner of the Pacific Centre shopping mall and office tower





Outdoor concerts were a popular feature of Vancouver's early cultural life. In May 1892 a bandstand was built on this site to complement one in Mount Pleasant and another at the north end of Richards Street. The city band, under J.W. Trendell, gave the first concert here.”

Credit: Vancouver Centennial Commission, Historic Plaque Program – list and documentation plaques 1-49 (June 18, 1986). Courtesy of Vancouver Archives

In 1892, the Canadian Pacific Railway built a bandstand on the lawn outside the Hotel Vancouver. Open air concerts were very popular at the time. On Sundays, they were one of the only forms of entertainment allowed and on weekdays, they were considered good for business. This particular bandstand was the third for the city, following one in Mount Pleasant and another at the CPR’s waterfront station, and followed by others in Stanley Park and at English Bay.

On May 25, the City Band gave the opening concert, including playing ‘Vive La Canadienne’, which had been written for the occasion by James Wyatt Trendell, bandleader and well-known local musician. The City Band was considered the best in BC and was made up of semi-professional players. JW lead the group until 1895, when he became leader of the Guelph Band.

The files at the Vancouver Archives suggest that this plaque (and a couple of others) may have been intended for the Pacific Centre shopping mall, but they may never have been actually installed.

1 comment

  • Open air bandstands do seem very wholesome! I wish someone would erect one and see what happens!

    Barbara Eggleston

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