City Reflections - Vancouver - 1907 - 2007

The Project | 1907 & 2006 images  | Contact Us

Purchase the DVD

Join us for a ride through the streets of Vancouver - 101 years ago!

The City Reflections DVD is now available.

At last!

The DVD contains the 53-minute main feature, which was shown on May 22, 2008.

This main feature is based on the earliest known surviving film footage of Vancouver, shot in 1907 by William Harbeck from the front platform of a streetcar as it made its way through the streets of downtown and the West End. Besides the main feature and 1907 film, it also includes a full-screen version of the same route in 2007. Many additional features round out the DVD including news items from 1907, interviews with film and streetcar historians, and more on the intriguing life of filmmaker William Harbeck who died in the Titanic disaster of 1912. 

There is also a special film bonus showing Victoria in 1907. Harbeck shot the film just days before his Vancouver footage. This equally fascinating Victoria footage shows the Francis Rattenbury-designed B.C. Parliament building, the Empress Hotel under construction, downtown streets and views along the Gorge waterway.

To order click here

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Update August 20, 2008:

City Reflections DVD Now in Pre-Production

The City Reflections DVD is now in pre-production at the DVD duplication facility.

The cover artwork and DVD labels are now being printed.

As of Monday, August 18th, our DVD is at a facility in California where it will be analyzed for any data errors. That facility will then make a “glass” master of the DVD for the cleanest possible duplication.

That glass master will then be sent back to Surrey for the actual duplication process, which also includes labelling, insertion into a case and packaging in shrink-wrap.

All of this takes about 12 working days. The DVD has been in the hands of the DVD duplication facility as of August 15th.

About four minor technical errors were found on the original DVD at the end of July. We had to go back to the editing suite to correct those and busy schedules at the editing facility prevented us from working there earlier than the beginning of August.  

As soon as the DVDs are ready, we will make the announcement on this site as well as on the Vancouver Historical Society site. E-mails will also be sent to those who have contacted the Society.

On-line purchasing is now available here.   

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UPDATE July 30, 2008:
City Reflections DVD Available Soon

As in our original schedule, the City Reflections DVD was assembled on July 18th. Several copies were then handed out for final proofing and testing.

We want to be sure it will work on everyone’s equipment so it was tested on PCs, on Macs, on various DVD players and on monitors and TV screens of various sizes. It worked beautifully on everything.

We did find one “typo” in one of the features. Then there was one spot where the picture gets fuzzy in a transition. We also discovered that two PDF documents were accidentally omitted. This is why testing — even though time-consuming — is important.

These tiny errors were noted and will be fixed before the master DVD gets duplicated. The studio where the work is being done is extremely busy but we have been booked for a few hours on Friday, August 8th. Then the master DVD will be sent to the duplication facility.         

It’s not as soon as we would have liked to have the DVD ready for you, but we want to make sure everything is included and everything works before we release it.

Thank you for your understanding.


As soon as the DVDs are ready, we will make the announcement on this site as well as on the Vancouver Historical Society site. E-mails will also be sent to those who have contacted the Society.

On-line purchasing is now available here.

The City Reflections DVD contains the 53-minute main feature, which was shown on May 22, 2008.

This main feature is based on the earliest known surviving film footage of Vancouver, shot in 1907 by William Harbeck from the front platform of a streetcar as it made its way through the streets of downtown and the West End. Besides the main feature and 1907 film, it also includes a full-screen version of the same route in 2007. Many additional features round out the DVD including news items from 1907, interviews with film and streetcar historians, and more on the intriguing life of filmmaker William Harbeck who died in the Titanic disaster of 1912. 

There is also a special film bonus showing Victoria in 1907. Harbeck shot the film just days before his Vancouver footage. This equally fascinating Victoria footage shows the Francis Rattenbury-designed B.C. Parliament building, the Empress Hotel under construction, downtown streets and views along the Gorge waterway.

For more information on the project, please explore this site. You will also find order forms and easy-to-use PayPal options to make your purchase.

On-line purchasing is now available here.    

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Update June 2008: On-line purchasing is now available here. Order now and the dvd will be sent as soon as it is ready.

On this page you'll also find our printable order form for postal orders.

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The film is finished and had its first public showing on May 22nd with almost 400 people in attendance with two showings.

The full dvd package will be completed shortly and available for sale for $20.00 + shipping. Interested? Let us know by this e-mail link and we'll add you to our e-mail list for further information and let you know when on-line ordering is available.

There was an invitation only showing May 7th at SFU to thank our sponsors and donors. See some photos.

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From 2007:

Window into the Past

The streets are bustling with people, horses and wagons, bicycles…and one car!

They are the subjects of the earliest known surviving film footage of Vancouver.

Shot by Seattle filmmaker William Harbeck on a Tuesday, May 7, 1907, the film is a remarkable window into the past. It is as Vancouver was over 100 years ago.
With a hand-cranked camera mounted on the front of a B.C. Electric Railway streetcar, Harbeck recorded a Vancouver that was a mere 21-years-old.

Some familiar landmarks like the Manhattan Apartments and what today is the Sinclair Centre are seen under construction in the 1907 film. Others like the Dominion Trust building and Waterfront Station are yet to be built.

Three years ago, the Vancouver Historical Society decided to honour this early Vancouver footage by re-shooting it 100 years later in 2007. The project was named City Reflections: 1907 — Vancouver — 2007.
The videotaping is now complete and post-production work is quickly being finished.

The complete video premiered on Wednesday, May 7, 2008 — 101 years after the original was shot.

The Main Feature

The Main Feature starts with the original 1907 footage as shot. We then go through the six-minute film again pointing out landmarks and other features. Video shot in 2007 shows what is at those locations today. The feature ends with the 1907 and 2007 footage shown side-by-side.

As such, the Main Feature becomes a record of what those very streets are like 100 years later. While watching the 2007 footage may not seem that exciting today, think of it in 20, 50 or even 100 years. It will be as fascinating to viewers then as the 1907 film is to us today.

The complete work will be packaged as a DVD available this year for a modest price.
The DVD will also have many added features. There will be more information on the filmmaker who died in an event that made worldwide headlines. You will learn how the film was discovered in Australia more than 85 years after it was shot, and how it was meticulously restored frame-by-frame.
There will also be information about Vancouver life in the two eras — things like wages, housing costs, recreation and entertainment. Think of it as a digital time capsule of the two eras.

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From 2006:

Work Begins on the Re-creation

On April 23, 2006 the Harbeck team assembled to shoot the route of the original film. The date was moved up from the planned May 7, 2007 date because of the impending construction of the Canada Line on Granville.

Our team assembled at CBC on Hamilton to set up the camera car and get ready to hit the streets of Vancouver. CBC had generously supplied a camera man (Mike), camera and video stock to assist us in the shoot. Andy and Pacific Camera Car supplied the truck. The City of Vancouver's film office and Muriel Honey helped with permits and police and the Vancouver police department assisted us in closing Cordova for the 'wrong way' portion of the route.

For the Vancouver Historical Society, Jason, Ben Chuck and Andrew all helped by placing our "caution filming" signs around the city; Mary Lou coordinated the police, water, coffee and our street crew; Jim worked with Andy in the truck while John and Ernst worked with Mike at getting the appearance of the new footage to match the original.

Here's the team at CBC. (Ben's taking the picture)

We received great coverage in the Vancouver Sun, 24 and CTV News.

Here's some video of the team out on the road on the day of the shoot. It's a Quicktime movie.

 

 

 

 



© 2006 City Reflections
info@cityreflections.ca