Monday, May 14, 2007

First of All...

Vancouver has paved the way for innovation through the years.
Canada's first movie theater opened in Vancouver in 1898, and the city has embraced Hollywood ever since. It was the birthplace of stars like Carrie-Ann Moss, Molly Parker and Pamela Anderson.

In 1919 the first international airmail was flown between Vancouver and Seattle, and in 1954, the RCMP ship St. Roch returned to Vancouver after becoming the first to circumnavigate North America - the goal of explorers for 400 years before then.

Greenpeace was founded in a Vancouver basement in 1971 to protest against American missile testing in Alaska at the time. Since then, the group has influenced and shaped the environmental movement worldwide.

In 1928, a strange ritual was invented in the city as a tradition to usher in the New Year: The Polar Bear Swim. The annual sprint into the icy waters of English Bay has started similar events now held in countries as far away as Russia.
Though many may question its positive effects on the participants' health, another Vancouver innovation has definitely contributed to the youthful complexion of thousands all around the globe.

Injections of the "pretty poison" known as Botox, derived from the same toxin that causes deadly botulism, were first developed as a wrinkle treatment by Vancouver ophthalmologist Dr. Jean Carruthers.
It is now among the top cosmetic procedures on the planet.

Just as Botox has spread all over, so has the internet, bringing "cyberspace" to reality. "Cyberspace" is a term coined by the famous Vancouver writer William Gibson in his famous sci-fi novel Neuromancer.

Innovation finds its place in many ways around Vancouver. The Vancouver Public Library shows how a traditional institution can break with the "usual". The stunning design by Moshe Safdie & Associates Inc. was the overwhelming choice of Vancouverites, opening its doors in May 1995.