Revolutions, Punks & Poets: Vancouver’s Forgotten Stories

Storymaker Dave uncleweed Olson shares an eclectic variety of stories from Vancouver’s counter-culture history on a stage adorned with a record player, campfire & cub scout blanket, art easel, flowers and an Expo 86 mug – plus pulls artifacts from an old-timey suitcase to illustrate forgotten past of a city which is/was much cooler than most realize.

Presented at Northern Voice, June 2013 in Vancouver, Canada, his 11th presentation to this noted personal expression conference (and his last talk before a medical “retirement”).

Filmed by Bruce Sharpe and Andrew Lavigne
Edited, Directed, Produced by Andrew Lavigne (also: With Glowing Hearts and Generation Social).

Music: Derek K Miller (RIP) “(You’re the) Big Sky”

Dave uncleweed Olson shares Forgotten Vancouver Stories
Dave uncleweed Olson shares Forgotten Vancouver Stories


  • Frederick Varley – Group of 7 painter who lived in Vancouver for 10 years
  • Grateful Dead – (tried to) play free shows at Second Beach and Kits Beach in 1966
  • Bob Masse psychedelic poster artist
  • Gastown Riots, March on Blaine, Rock Against Racism
  • bev. davies – rock n roll photographer, community chronicler, punk rock mom
  • Blues in Vancouver – Sonny Terry and Brownie McGhee at the Bunkhouse
  • Vancouver punk rock glory days DIY spirit and fanzines (+ final days of The Clash and importance of ephemera)
  • Clayoquot Sound logging blockades
  • Jake Milford and the Canucks recruiting Swedish players in the 1970s
  • United Empire Loyalists + Burner Boys bringing jam band culture
  • Venues of note: Afterthought, Retinal Circus, York Theatre, the Cave, the Bunkhouse
  • Cubscout campfire blankets
  • Howard Hughes, Errol Flynn
  • ++ bits of Kris Krug, Bob Kronbauer, Rebecca Bollwitt, Dan Mangan, Jason Vanderhill and campfire helpers: Mark Blevis, Kemp Edmonds, John Biehler, James Lester, Ariane Colenbrander, Nicholas Demers


By exploring an oft-forgotten and eclectic variety of Vancouver stories, Dave shares new heroes, sort out historical conundrums, and remix artifacts from our local life. Plus explores ways effectuate positive change in the city – and shares changes he’d like to see.


Reviews and Artifacts:

Social artifact roundup (many audience photos, tweets, drawings, comments…) pardons redundancies…

Uncle Weed is awesome


Vancouver is far more interesting beyond the city of glass and endless resto-lounges put forth in glossy leaflet, we’re far cooler than the rampant consumerism and real estate price fascination. Indeed! Scratch just below the surface to find a vibrant, eclectic and often weird counter-culture history which makes Vancouver closer to world-class than yet another magazine list.

Start your journey by finding inspiration and interestingness in the  history of our own Vancouver, perhaps: forgotten breweries and legendary blues venues, a wealthy recluse at the Bayshore, an intrepid punk rock photographer, a bohemian group of seven painters  — storytellers past and future, true heavyweight champ in an unmarked grave, a dead Hollywood star and his grisly autopsy, stoner comedians’ first meeting, summer of love shakedown #nofun, Sammy Sr. at the Cave, Jello at the York, everyone at the Buddha,  and a host of our distant forebears and peers. Get ready for the ride…


In the presentation, audience were invited to draw a project card from the “Dossier of Importancy” and then, diligently research the topic to then report and share with the world. Track #daveostory to hear what they’ve discovered.

Dave uncleweed Olson and the Dossier of Importancy
Dave uncleweed Olson and the Dossier of Importancy


The core of personal expression is in the stories we create. Indeed, we humans are defined by the stories we tell and the people we tell them to. No matter what form your stories take – digital or analog – they come alive when shared with an audience. By exploring an oft-forgotten and eclectic variety of Vancouver stories, Northern Voice veteran (this is his 11th talk) Dave Olson @uncleweed, will send you on personal quests to discover new heroes, sort out conundrums, and collaborate with other storymakers to and remix artifacts from our local life. Along the way, you’ll explore forms your mixed media stories might take, and ways to share with audiences you’ve yet to meet.


Dave at Northern Voice 2009 by Megan Mallen Dave at Northern Voice 2009 by Megan Mallen

Your speaker Dave grew up in Guildford > Whalley > Newton and now lives in Lynn Valley and works in Mt. Pleasant – while he’s spent time in 29 other countries – he takes distinct interest in getting lost in neighbourhoods seeking craft ales, chill gardens and curious tales. You may have caught him sharing at Pecha Kucha, SXSW, TedX or local community clubs.


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