Thursday, June 29, 2006

Japanese Tea Ceremonies

This summer, Sachi Rummel, an experienced Japanese tea ceremony practitioner who studied under the master of the Enshuryu School in Japan, offers Cha no yu or Japanese tea in the Museum's garden. While serving a cup of Matcha tea, Sachi will explain the philosophy behind the Japanese tradition. Come and enjoy spiritual enrichment and attain peaceful harmony.

Summer dates for the tea ceremony (with telephone registration codes) are:

Wednesday, July 26 (310822)
Wednesday, August 9 (310823)
Wednesday, August 23 (310824)

Each session is $15 per participant.
In case of rain, tea will be offered in the Museum building.
Please register in advance by TeleReg: 604.925.7475, Webreg: or by phone at 604.925.7270 with the code number mentioned above.

Wearing Tradition - Kimono

Experience Japanese culture and tradition at the West Vancouver Museum!

Mineko Tanaka, who operates a Meiji period kimono storehouse and national historic site in Kyoto, Japan, is coming to the West Vancouver Museum on Saturday July 15, 2006. For the first time in North America, Ms. Tanaka will demonstrate the wearing of a kimono and introduce the wisdom of her ancestors through traditional Japanese customs.

The storehouse, a designated cultural treasure of Japan built in 1885, is called Tondaya. It is a classic example of a Meiji period (1868-1912) storehouse, with a retail shop in front and living quarters in the rear. Today, Mineko Tanaka runs Tondaya as a living museum and kimono store. She offers kimino wearing lessons and formal tea ceremonies and teaches the refined manners that have been handed down in her family from generation to generation for over 120 years.

This special summer event will include a presentation by Ms. Tanaka about preserving traditions and a display of exquisite Nishijin kimono, a style that is considered to be one of the finest. Ms. Tanaka will reveal the secrets to wearing a kinomo properly and beautifully.

After the kimono demonstration, Ms. Tanaka, along with experienced Enshuryu tea practitioner and West Vancouver resident Sachi Rummel, will host a garden tea ceremony. While serving a cup of matcha tea, they will explain the philosophy of this Japanese tradition.

Come enjoy this special event and attain spiritual enrichment and peaceful harmony.

Please register in advance. Tickets are $30 for an adult and $27 for a student or a senior. For more information or to register, please contact Kiriko Watanabe at or by phone at 604.925.7179.

Thank you to our sponsors!

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Living on the Edge Lecture Series Continues Tonight!

Our lecture series continues this evening, June 27, as Barry Downs, MAIBC, speaks on West Coast Modernism: Influence of Japan.

The lecture begins at 6:30pm but it is a good idea to arrive early, as seating is on a first-come-first serve basis. Admission is by donation.

This is the final lecture in the series, which has been running since April 25. It compliments our current exhibition, Living on the Edge: West Vancouver Modernist Homes 1940-1970. Learn more about the exhibition here.

Living on the Edge: West Vancouver Modernist Homes 1940-1970

You are invited to tour our current exhibit, Living on the Edge: West Vancouver Modernist Homes 1940-1970. This exhibit features photographs and architectural plans of West Vancouver modernist homes and examines the interrelationship between architecture, art and design and the emergence of a new style of architecture, West Coast Modernism. Covers and articles from Western Homes and Living Magazine and interior furnishings and art by local designers and artists are included.

The exhibit is running throughout the summer and will end on September 17. Don't miss it!

Read on for exhibit photos and the text from the introductory panel.

Living on the Edge
West Vancouver Modernist Homes 1940 – 1970

West Coast Modernism, one of Canada's most prominent architectural movements, emerged in the middle of the twentieth century. Influenced in part by European modernism, Japanese design and the work of American architects, such as Frank Lloyd Wright and Richard Neutra, Canadian architects and designers embraced West Vancouver's spectacular and rugged coastal landscape to produce a legacy of unique and award-winning residences. In the 1950s, 1960s and 1970s, many of these homes were brought to the public’s attention through magazines, such as Western Homes and Living, which promoted modern trends in architecture, interiors and design.

Beginning in the early 1940s and continuing after the Second World War, architects, artists and designers actively explored relationships between their disciplines. Artist and educator B.C. Binning, an early proponent of the modern movement, designed his seminal flat-roofed house in 1941 and incorporated his painted murals into its design. Boundaries between the applied and fine arts were blurring and merging; in 1949, the Vancouver Art Gallery presented Design for Living, a Community Arts Council exhibition of modern room settings featuring locally designed furnishings, architectural plans and art.

West Vancouver’s rocky and precipitous topography and a comparatively mild climate inspired architects to use new construction techniques in their house designs. A flat or inclined roof, an open floor plan and extensive use of glazing, skylights and exterior doors were used to integrate indoor and outdoor spaces and exploit spectacular views of ocean and forest. Abundant local and inexpensive construction materials, such as hemlock, cedar and stone, linked the house to its surroundings and brought a natural palette into the living space.

Post-war optimism, economic prosperity and population growth led to an increase in consumer demand for affordable and functional housing. Using the “post and beam” method of construction - a regular placement of structural beams and posts combined with planking and standardized materials like plywood sheeting - a house could be built for five dollars a square foot. The distinct West Coast architectural style grew out of the creative and adaptive spirit of innovative architects and designers active between 1940 and 1970.

Our Tea & Tour Program is back for summer 2006!

You're Invited!

Join us for a guided museum tour and delightful afternoon tea at the Gertrude Lawson House. Walk through the Living on the Edge: West Vancouver Modernist Homes 1940-1970 exhibition and enjoy tea and refreshments served in the museum garden. It is a great opportunity to learn about local history and chat with your neighbours.

All tours run between 2pm and 3pm. Our public Tea & Tour dates this summer are:

Wednesday, July 19
Wednesday, August 2
Wednesday, August 16
Wednesday, August 30

The cost is 6.50 per adult or 5.20 per senior/student.

For more information, or to make a booking, please contact Darren Penner at or by phone at 604.925.7295.

Museum Gift Shop

The museum gift shop is open during museum opening hours. Stop by for a great assortment of gifts and souvenirs. We have a variety of books and other memorabilia from both our current exhibit and other areas of historical interest in West Vancouver.

B.C. Binning, by AJ Rogatnick et al
Cabin, Cottage & Camp, by CA Macdonald
Generations 1955-1975: Art and Artists in West Vancouver
Glimpses: World War in West Vancouver, by Tom Taylor
Guide to buying Contemporary Northwest Indian Arts, by K. Duffek
Keepers of the Light, by Donald Graham
Lights of the Inside Passage, by Donald Graham
Living Spaces: The Architecture of FT Hollongsworth
Modern Life: Art and Design in BC 1945-1960, by AC Elder, IM Thom et al
Place Names of West Vancouver: Gazetteer
Poetics of West Coast Modernism in West Vancouver
Splash of People: Paintings by Joan Huestis
Totem Poles: An Illustrated Guide, by Marjorie Halpin
Up North, by Lisa Rochon
West Vancouver Heritage Inventory
West Vancouver Heritage Landscape Inventory
West Vancouver Landscape Character Study
West Vancouver Survey of Significant Architecture
Without a Blueprint, by Zoltan Kiss

B.C. Momo

Capilano College (set of 8)

Louisa Leibman 8" Jug
Louisa Leibman 9" Jug
Louisa Leibman Ewer
Liz De Beer Pottery Bowl (small)
Liz De Beer Pottery Bowl (medium)
Liz De Beer Pottery Bowl (large)

Damian George, "To the Top, to the Mountain"

West Vancouver: Ambleside Houses
West Vancouver: Transportation

Caps (District of West Vancouver)
Stickers (Historical Society)
Stickers (Museum & Archives)
Mugs (individual)
Mugs (set of 4)

Museum Information

Museum Gallery Hours
Tuesday - Saturday: 11 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.
Sunday and Monday: Closed

Office hours are from Monday to Friday between 9am and 4:30pm.

Museum Address
680 17th Street
West Vancouver, BC V7V 3T2

For staff contact information click here. Click on the map below for a printable Mapquest map.

Questions? Comments? Give us a call at 604.925.7295. We'd be happy to hear from you!

Monday, June 26, 2006

Museum Staff

Darrin Morrison
Heritage Services Curator

Kiriko Watanabe
Assistant Curator

Isaac Vanderhorst
Education Coordinator

Sunday, June 25, 2006

Welcome to our Blog!

We have created this blog in an effort to keep you up to date with the events, programs, and everything else we have to offer here at the West Vancouver Museum. Check back often for articles, stories, reviews, photographs and anything else we can think of!