Public Art Registry
Building A - Livestock Building
Artwork has been removed.
Photo: Henry Tsang
Concept Image - photo by Courtesy of the artist
 Building A - Livestock Building by Henry Tsang - photo by Henry Tsang
Plaque Inscription - photo by Henry Tsang
700 Hamilton Street
CBC Vancouver Broadcast Centre Plaza
On the wall to the right of the main entrance of CBC Vancouver (Hamilton Street plaza)
The artwork has been removed from this location.
Photo on vinyl
Two-dimensional artwork
No longer in place
Vancouver Heritage Foundation
Description of work

THE WALL is a Vancouver Heritage Foundation public art initiative. It is made possible by a partnership between Vancouver Heritage Foundation and CBC Radio-Canada, and is produced in partnership with the City of Vancouver Public Art Program. THE WALL features a new artist every year.

Artist statement

Building A - Livestock Building is an infrared photograph of the 1929 Livestock Building located on the Pacific National Exhibition (PNE) fairgrounds. The image has been captured by a thermal imaging camera, normally used by the construction industry, which has been designed to display differences in temperature by detecting light rays that are invisible to the human eye.

Most PNE fairgoers are familiar with the Livestock Building, entering through one of its many barn doors along its south side to cheer on the baby pig races, pet the chickens, llamas and rabbits, and ogle animals large and small. What is not so evident when wandering through this expansive space was its change of use in 1942 when the grounds, then known as Hastings Park, were expropriated by the Department of National Defense.

With the declaration of war against Japan, the Government of Canada evoked the War Measures Act and authorized removal of “all persons of Japanese racial origins,” from the west coast “protected area” of British Columbia, even though the majority were Canadian born and Naturalized Canadians. Some 22,000 Japanese Canadians, then labeled “enemy aliens,” were uprooted from their homes and sent to various sites, including internment camps, road construction camps and sugar beet farms in the BC interior, Alberta, Manitoba and Ontario. All personal properties, such as fishing boats, farms, businesses and homes, were confiscated and sold without owners’ consent to cover the costs of their internment.

Beginning in March 16, 1942, some 8,000 persons, removed from fishing, lumber and mining villages along the north coast and Vancouver Island, were held at Hastings Park while campsites to which they were eventually transferred were being developed. The stables and cattle stalls of the Livestock Building were converted into a makeshift women and children’s dormitory. Other structures were used as boys and men’s dorms, mess halls, kitchen, hospital and isolation ward. Young men were separated from their families, and sent to work at road camp sites. By September, 1942, there were 3,866 women, men and children living in various buildings on this

The archival photograph is from a series that local photographer Leonard
Frank was contracted to document for the BC Security Commission, which was created in 1942 to oversee the internment process. This image portrays the interior of the Livestock Building, with bedsheets dividing the living quarters. The thermal photograph suggests a way of seeing what is no longer obvious or visible to us today.

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