Quebec Manor Housing Co-op celebrates 100-year-old-building and International Year of Co-operatives

On Saturday, July 21, Quebec Manor Housing Co-op members gathered to celebrate the centenary of their building on East 7th Avenue and Quebec Street in Vancouver. Members from other housing co-ops in Vancouver heritage buildings also joined the celebration in a heritage “co-op cluster” to celebrate the centenary and the United Nations International Year of Co-operatives. Co-ops in attendance included View Court, Robson Park, Vancouver East and Manhattan. Members of Charleston Place Housing Co-op in False Creek also attended as part of the local co-op community. And the co-op extended invitations to all their neighbours, with many attending.  

The event featured a fun-filled agenda with refreshments and entertainment – from a Taiko drummer, dancers including Kokoro Dance, a juggler, musicians and speakers that included local politicians, and representatives from Vancouver Heritage Foundation, CHF Canada, BC Co-operative Association, and CHF BC, who spoke in praise of the beautiful building that has stood the test of time, as well as the resilient and vibrant community spirit of the co-op itself, and the value of co-operative housing. The co-op gave a tribute to the late co-op housing developer Shirley Schmid who played a key role to help the founding members turn the rental building into a co-op 32 years ago. At two intermissions in the program guests were invited on guided tours of the co-op building where they learned more about the building’s history and viewed a special exhibit, mounted for the celebration, of art works created by the many artists who are members of the co-op.

The co-op gave guests the option to make a donation to Rooftops Canada and later presented Rooftops, the international development program of co-operative and social housing programs in Canada, with a cheque for $100 in honour of the building's 100th anniversary.

Photos (below): Quebec Manor founding member David Lach with CHF BC's president, Catherine Porter; cutting the cake; a Taiko drummer and Quebec Manor member Eileen Kage, kicks off the celebrations; Barbara Bourget from Kokoro Dance, also a Quebec Manor member, in front of Quebec Manor's heritage building; Quebec Manor's president Viola Funk accepts a plaque from CHF BC's president, Catherine Porter.