British Columbia·Photos

New group of Vancouver street photographers continue legacy of Fred Herzog

A new group of Vancouver street photographers, inspired in part by the late photographer Fred Herzog, launches their first show Thursday.

'There's a culture here that not many people know about ... and we just want to get that out there'

Photographers Stuart Weir and Trevor Wide are pictured in Vancouver, British Columbia on Thursday September 12, 2019. (Ben Nelms/CBC)

Inspired by the giants of Vancouver's street photography scene, a new group — brought together by Instagram — hopes to capture the city's streets in profound new ways. 

Photographers Stuart Weir and Trevor Wide are two of the curators behind the Vancity Street Collective. 

"I had started photographing Vancouver's city streets about a year ago and I realized that I just couldn't be the only one in Vancouver taking street photographs and I wanted to see if there [was] a group of like-minded individuals who wanted to join," Weir said. 

Wide joined the group in January, and since then they've been featuring works from many different photographers of scenes around the city. 

"The community grew and got bigger and we have people from amateur photographers to professional photographers, young and old, all showing their own unique style of how they interpret the city and how they've been inspired by people like Fred Herzog," Wide said. 

Fred Herzog captured the people and places of Vancouver over the decades. (Fred Herzog, Man with Bandage, 1968, Archival pigment print, Courtesy of Equinox Gallery. )

Herzog, who died earlier this week, was renowned for his colourful photographs, which captured Vancouver street scenes and changing times in the 1950s and '60s when almost all other art photography was in black and white.

The city lends itself well to photography, Wide says.

"There's so much out in Vancouver that most other cities don't have" Wide said. "There's the ever-changing environment, the weather. It's raining today but we're happy because we photographers love the rain — it gives a lot of good mood and moments."

A picture of the Vancouver Art Gallery featured on the collective's Instagram page. The group's goals are to capture the city in unique, new ways, says curators Stuart Weir and Trevor Wide. (@jercham/Instagram)

Weir says, however, too much beauty — like Vancouver's sweeping vistas of mountains, forest, and ocean — can also be a challenge. 

"A lot of photographs here have those mountains in the background and I think it's really challenging at times to really inspire people to take a look at Vancouver in a more in-depth way," he said. 

"There's so much out in Vancouver that most other cities don't have," says Trevor Wide, one of the curators of the Vancity Street Collective. (@m_marri/Instagram)

"There's a culture here that not many people know about," said Wide. "And we just want to get that out there."

"Often [Vancouver] is used as a city for filming and showcasing the city as New York or L.A. or somewhere else, but it's never featured as its own city and so that's kind of part of the reason why we chose to do this is to feature Vancouver as its own city," said Weir. (@njincolors/Instagram)

The show opens Thursday at 7 p.m. PT at Beaumont Studios, at 326 West 5th Avenue and runs till Sunday. 

Their Instagram account, which features work from many different Vancouver photographers, is @vancitystreetcollective.

With files from On The Coast