MOVirtual: Neon Vancouver Ugly Vancouver with historian John Atkin

April 28, 2021

April 28, 2021

$1-$10 Sliding Scale




Events Description


Join us for another installment of the monthly virtual tour series at MOV. This next event will give you the opportunity to tour one of MOV’s most popular exhibitions, Neon Vancouver Ugly Vancouver. Led by local historian, John Aktin, the tour will give an overview of the exhibition, offer some historical insight into Vancouver’s bright neon past, and follow with a brief Q&A period.

Did you know? In the 1950s Vancouver had approximately 19,000 neon signs – one of the largest displays in North America!

While some thought that thousands of signs signaled excitement and big city living, others thought they were a tawdry display that disfigured the city’s natural beauty. This deep civic controversy resulted in a turning point in Vancouver’s history and a change to the city’s urban landscape.

Neon Vancouver Ugly Vancouver displays these remarkable signs, some lit for the first time since they were rescued from the Neon Products junk yard. They are accompanied by the tale of how the city went through a war of aesthetics that resulted in a transition of the very way Vancouver imagines itself.

Participants will learn about the history of select signs and get an insight into how the City felt during Neon’s height in popularity as well as its downfall. The tour will be coupled with historical photos of the signs in their original locations and touch on the history of Neon Products in Vancouver.

Guests will also have the opportunity to ask questions at the end of the tour during a short Q&A Period.

The tour will be held over Zoom Webinars and pre-registration is required.

Who is it for?

All ages


Tickets : $1-$10 Sliding Scale

A service fee and GST is also applied to ticket sales.

How to get tickets?

Buy online



Date: Wednesday April 28, 2021 | 5:30pm – 6:30pm

Venue & Address

Museum of Vancouver, 1100 Chestnut Street

Wheelchair accessible

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