My Artwork

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Brockton Point - 1986, "Grace's Pearls" (thumbnail) Lions Gate Bridge - 1939 (thumbnail) Chinatown ? 1960, East Pender Vancouver Collection (thumbnail) Abbotsford - 1922 (thumbnail) Capitol Theatre, Granville S. - 1956; Love me Tender (thumbnail) Theatre Row, Granville St. - 1962 (thumbnail) Stanley Park Junction (thumbnail) Bon Voyage, Vancouver Harbour - 1938 (thumbnail) A Capital Christmas (thumbnail) Wigwam Inn, Indian Arm - 1913 (thumbnail) Theatre Row, Granville St. - 1950 (thumbnail) Marine Building on Hastings  - 1945 (thumbnail) Columbia Street - New Westminster - 1924 (thumbnail) Ten Years of Art (thumbnail) The Sunshine Coast Collection (thumbnail) The Langleys Collection (thumbnail) Canadian Skies Collection (thumbnail) Vancouver Collection (thumbnail) BC Airways at Vancouver Airport - 1928 (thumbnail) Boat and Plane at Pender Harbour (thumbnail) Boat in Boathouse (thumbnail) Cannery Worker's Shack (thumbnail) Egmont Post Office (thumbnail) Final Berth on Fraser (thumbnail) May Queen's Ball, Fort Langley - 1941 (thumbnail) Steveston Collection (thumbnail) Saturday Night at the Langley Hotel (thumbnail) Snug Haven - Finn Slough (thumbnail) Porter's Coffee and Tea House (thumbnail) Molly's Reach (thumbnail) Steveston Quay (thumbnail) Theatre Row, Hastings St. - 1926 (thumbnail) Out to Pasture, Street car # 153 (thumbnail) Pacific Gateway, Vancouver - 1912 (thumbnail) Top of Granville Street - 1912 (thumbnail) Passing Woodwards-1939 (thumbnail) Christmas Windows - Woodwards on Hasting (thumbnail) Lonsdale Quay-1919 (thumbnail) The Old Street Car Barn - 1894 (thumbnail) A Christmas Reunion-1914 (thumbnail) Stanley Park-1900 (thumbnail) Vancouver Exhibition - 1910 (thumbnail) Vancouver Public Market-1908 (thumbnail) Blackburn's Service, Seymour Street-1928 (thumbnail) Theatre Row, Granville Street-1948 (thumbnail) New Westminster BCER Depot - 1926 (thumbnail) Park Row, New Westminster - 1909 (thumbnail) Car #101 on Hastings-1949 (thumbnail) Red Racer Diner, Penticton-1960's (thumbnail) On the Rocks at the Garden Bay Pub (thumbnail) Starfighter Pilot (thumbnail) First Flight in Western Canada (thumbnail) Brookswood Barn (thumbnail) Halfway Between Yesterday and Tomorrow (thumbnail) Christmas in Milner, Langley - 1915 (thumbnail) White Spot No1, Granville Street - 1958 (thumbnail) Granville Street Bridge - 1921 (thumbnail) Christmas Shoppers, Hastings St. - 1913 (thumbnail) North Vancouver Ferry Dock - 1916 (thumbnail) Murrayville Cash Grocery - Christmas (thumbnail) Vancouver Bus Terminal - 1939 (thumbnail) Chilliwack - 1915 (thumbnail) Bathhouse on English Bay - 1931 (thumbnail) Cloverdale - 1913 (thumbnail) Aristocratic Drive-in - 1958 (thumbnail) English Bay, Vancouver, Canada (thumbnail) Granville and Hastings Streets in Vancouver (thumbnail) Crossroads at Langley Prairie - 1928 (thumbnail) White Rock Beach - 1929 (thumbnail) Christmas at Home - 1929 (thumbnail) Open Late, Otter Farmer's Institute, Winter (thumbnail) Otter Co-op (thumbnail) test (thumbnail) Fort Langley Station (thumbnail) Drive-in Heaven (thumbnail) Danceland on Robson Street on September 7, 1963 with the Ike and Tina Turner Review performing a one night gig. (thumbnail)
Christmas Windows - Woodwards on Hasting (large view)
 
Christmas Windows - Woodwards on Hasting
Limited Edition Giclee print on canvas of Woodward's Christmas Windows on Hastings Street, Vancouver, B.C. Canada

“Christmas Windows – Woodward’s on Hastings” belongs to my “Streetcars of Vancouver” collection. This collection brings to life the colourful and exciting story of the British Columbia Electric Railway Company (BCER) and its electrified streetcar and tram service.

The first six brand new streetcars began operations on June 27, 1890. The first streetcar lines were installed and operated by fledgling companies, which were formed in rapid succession during the difficult early start-up years. First the Vancouver Street Railway Co, then the Vancouver Electric Railway and Light Co, New Westminster service was started by the Westminster & Vancouver Tramway Company and eventually Consolidated Railway and Light Company took over the combined financially troubled operations. New capitol was eventually organized with the formation of the BCER Co. in 1897. Under the able leadership of Robert Horne-Payne the newly formed BCER began to flourish marking the beginning of what was to be a new and long era of success.

The #1 Fairview line was the core of Vancouver’s Streetcar system for many years. The line served Vancouver’s two main business streets Granville and Hastings. Woodward’s Department Store on Hastings was one of the more popular stops; The enormous retail giant stood proudly in the midst of a vibrant and exciting business district.

Anyone who remembers shopping at Woodward’s will probably have vivid memories of the fabulous festive window displays that the store’s staff put in place as Christmas approached. Not only were the displays skillfully constructed but the magic of animation was used everywhere. Elves nodded and shook their heads, reindeer pranced, and small animals poked their heads out from all manner of hiding places. Lights twinkled everywhere adding to the fantasy. The windows were a major attraction in Vancouver and were always surrounded by families with children and the rest of us who suddenly felt young again. Those of us who saw these wonders carry them forever in our hearts.

Time has been unkind to Hastings Street, the streetcars and Woodward’s. Hastings Street, a once bustling center of commerce and entertainment, is today a sad graffiti-scarred shadow of its former self. Streetcars ended service on Hastings in 1955. The grand downtown flagship Woodward’s store closed its doors for the last time in 1993. The long line of display windows was boarded-up and the once elegant Woodward’s now gazes blindly onto Hastings Street. The Woodward’s windows were no more. The story twists onto a happier path when Canada Place Corporation purchased the Christmas window displays. Each year as Christmas approaches they are unpacked and carefully assembled for display at “Christmas at Canada Place” a special community holiday celebration.

My painting “Christmas Windows – Woodward’s on Hastings” is a partial fantasy because streetcars were withdrawn from service well before these particular window displays were built. Abandoning my traditional adherence to historical timelines I mixed equal portions of artistic licence, memories and Christmas spirit to create this image. It is of a special time and place that can only be found in the hearts of Vancouverites who saw Woodward’s on Hastings in the days of Christmas past.
Brian Croft
20" H x 32" W
Price: CA $700.00