Riot apology wall reflects Vancouver city spirit 0
Museum of Vancouver curator Hanna Cho hopes the wooden boards salvaged from shattered storefront windows following last year's Stanley Cup riot will create more dialogue about Vancouver's identity. (TYLER ORTON, 24 HOURS)
Less than a year ago, heartbroken locals took to writing on the wooden boards covering smashed storefront windows at downtown's The Bay to express grief, shame and community spirit following the Stanley Cup riot.
About a dozen of those therapeutic planks now line the exhibition hall at the Museum of Vancouver as the centrepiece for Friday's roundtable discussion marking the one-year anniversary of the June 15 mayhem.
Vancouver Coun. Andrea Reimer, playwright Kevin Loring and photographer Maurice Li will be on hand to discuss the riot's impacts.
Museum dialogue curator Hanna Cho said the wooden boards are meant to reflect the city's recent history and spark discourse about Vancouver's identity a year after the rampage.
After being bombarded with phone calls, emails and tweets from residents hoping to preserve the planks, the museum salvaged about 75 boards from downtown storefronts.
They were kept in storage since August and it was only last Wednesday that curators chose 15 of the most memorable boards to put on display.
Standing in the softly-lit exhibition room, Cho points to numerous messages scrawled in marker thanking police and Canucks players, as well as notes expressing remorse and embarrassment.
To her, this represents the vast majority of responses to the riots.
But she also directs her attention to a note that reads, "WE ARE ALL CANUX* *unless you come from Richmond."
Cho calls the message racist, elitist and territorial, but she said it would be dishonest of the museum not to include boards that reflect the entire spectrum of feelings people expressed after the riots. She hopes the boards create more dialogue about the type of city residents want Vancouver to be.
"I think Vancouver can be so tribal and segmented sometimes that people don't talk to each other unless they're already part of the same like-minded group."