Social realism, BC style: Historic mural may need new home

VANCOUVER — Tucked away in a nondescript union building at Victoria and Triumph streets is one of Vancouver’s great historic murals: Fraser Wilson’s 85-foot-long depiction of B.C.’s resource industries, circa 1947.

The mural is done in a colourful social-realist style, like the famous Workers Public Administration murals in San Francisco’s Coit Tower. The left side of the mural shows a variety of workers plying their trade around the province; the right shows Vancouver’s working waterfront in the 1940s.

Unfortunately, the Maritime Labour Centre, where the mural resides, has been hit by arson twice in recent years. The cleanup from the most recent fire a month ago is expected to take six to nine months, and the smell of smoke still lingers in the air.

Although the mural was unscathed in both fires, Mark Gordienko of the International Longshore and Warehouse Union thinks it’s time to put out “feelers� to find a new home

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