Tales of the West End
An evening of mingling, story telling, and treats
“Tales of the West End” is an idea created by Janet Leduc for a series of events where people from the community could gather in the evening in one of the community’s historic buildings to explore and experience their community through stories from the past that contributed to the evolution of the character of the community.
The Tales of the West End series was hosted by JJ Bean Coffee Roasters located at 1209 Bidwell Street in the original Maxine’s Hideaway, a West End landmark with many tales hidden in its walls.
Originally a beauty parlour, the home of JJ Bean has many legends about tunnels and illicit activity in this building which have become part of the folklore of the West End. The evenings give people in the community the opportunity to visit a historic buildings, mingle with their neighbours, and hear stories related to the building and to the West End community from community storytellers and explore other ideas and opportunities to create community around stories which contribute to the experience of the neighbourhood and to the experience of community.
People were invited to bring photographs and contribute their stories of the West End neighbourhood from the past which can still be enjoyed and appreciated as part of the community in the present. The evening was open for everyone to drop in and was supported in part by a contribution from the Vancouver Foundation Neighbourhood Small Grants program.
If we think of our city as a museum we can all contribute to curating the history, contribution, and character of our community for one another in places we can experience everyday and increase everyone’s understanding, appreciation, and connection with our heritage resources.