COQUITLAM, B.C., July 28, 2021 – Coquitlam’s latest City Archives online exhibit turns back the clock 30 years to the summer of 1991, when the City hosted the B.C. Summer Games as part of its centennial celebrations.
Check out, Catch the Spirit! The 1991 B.C. Summer Games in Coquitlam, at www.coquitlam.ca/catchthespirit to browse photos and records detailing the perseverance that ultimately secured the games for Coquitlam, and the enduring footprint the event left on the community.
Third Time’s the Charm
The road to hosting the B.C. Summer Games was not easy for Coquitlam. In fact, it took three bids – the first two in 1983 and 1989 – and finally the lure of the City’s 100th birthday in 1991 to finally hook them.
While many people were instrumental in the three attempts, two of the most dogged champions were Lou Sekora, initially as a City Councillor and later as Mayor, and long-time Director of Parks and Recreation, Don Cunnings.
Using the Archives’ collection of photographs, documents and meeting records, the exhibit leads readers through the process from the idea’s birth in 1983 – the year Return of the Jedi was in the theatres – through to the event planning in 1990 and the execution in 1991, when the event was opened on July 25 by Canada’s first female Premier, Rita Johnson, at the new Town Centre Stadium.
Games' events and ceremonies took place over four days at 32 venues throughout the Tri-Cities and beyond, showcasing more than 29 sports and involving more than 4,200 participants from across the province.
The legacy of the 1991 B.C. Summer Games continues to be enjoyed today: the 103-acre, award-winning Town Centre Park in the heart of downtown Coquitlam, featuring scenic Lafarge Lake, Percy Perry Stadium, festival grounds, a variety of sport and play amenities, walking trails, concessions, free WiFi and more. Park details can be found at www.coquitlam.ca/towncentrepark.
Explore Online Exhibits
The City of Coquitlam Archives website at www.coquitlam.ca/onlineexhibit features 16 online exhibits on a variety of topics. Archives staff produce a new exhibit each quarter, mining the Archives for insightful and sometimes quirky stories about Coquitlam’s past. Some exhibits also share information about new acquisitions and highlight upcoming events.
Each online exhibit marries engaging text with scans of documents, maps and photos to bring the subjects to life. Online visitors can while away a pleasant afternoon learning about the local business that was Canada’s first plywood producer, Coquitlam’s First World War soldiers, the City’s changing boundaries, early scrapbooking efforts, Coquitlam’s May Day tradition, Colony Farm’s Holstein herd, the Westwood racing circuit, the history of Coquitlam Centre, the story of psychiatric nursing at Essondale, the art of archival processing, the Great Flood of 1948 and other topics.
About the City of Coquitlam Archives
The City of Coquitlam Archives serves a dual purpose: to preserve and to make accessible. Since the inception of the archives program, the Archives has been raising its profile to encourage people to use its services and discover the trove of records in the collection. Other outreach includes weekly #TBT posts on the City’s social media platforms and a small collection of historic photos at www.historypin.org.
For more information about the City of Coquitlam Archives and to view the online exhibits, visit www.coquitlam.ca/cityarchives.
Information, Privacy and Administrative Services Manager
City of Coquitlam