Ellen Harper

Tijana Vujosevic    Carla Gruber Daniel Irvine Thena Tak

Vancouver’s historic York Theatre has lived many lives over the course of its 100+ year existence. Each is documented with a varying degree of faithfulness and consistency. This project explores these fragments of recorded history, working within the gaps and incongruencies in the theatre’s past, to question what memories are carried forward and repeated, whose voice is dominant, and how these narratives are represented and shared.

An actress who mysteriously disappeared from a building full of people...A neighbour who discovered a series of spaces that don’t exist...A stage that’s shrinking...An auditorium that sometimes seats 700, but sometimes only seats 250...A fly tower that lost 12 feet over the years despite never changing from the exterior.

Archival sources present an incomplete history, limited by what was written down, translated, preserved, and distributed. These records act as a way of guiding a listener or reader into a world, influencing the way the past is perceived and spoken about and ultimately, the futures that might stretch forward. As writer, Gabriel García Márquez, once said, “what matters in life is not what happens to you, but what you remember and how you remember it.”

A Theatre of many identities





Construction of a Shelf