Our History

The Symphonic Band has gone on several tours to Europe, Hawaii and currently, we have adjusted our 2021 plans for our 90th-year tour. 

It is our intention to celebrate WVYB's 91st year in 2022 with a Canada Tour.

The WVYB musicians will perform several concerts coast to coast

in Canada from Victoria, B.C. to St. John's, Nfld in 2022.

May Day 1930

 

The General Gordon School Band from Vancouver conducted by Arthur W. Delamont, played in West Vancouver at the May Day celebrations.

The decision was made that It was time to create the West Vancouver community very own youth band. 

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1931

 

The first public concert was on May 1st, 1931, and the band participated in their first West Vancouver community event during the May Day parade and celebration on May 25, 1931 in Ambleside Park.

1933

 

Director Arthur Jordan leaves and is replaced by renowned bandleader Arthur W. Delamont. Under Delamont's direction the band grows in size and scope and achieves great success winning many awards and traveling throughout North America and Europe.

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1956

 

The Band celebrates its 25th anniversary with this booklet of photos and stories, and a message from the Reeve, J. Richardson. Advertisers included Woodward's, Black Ball Ferries, Eaton's and Ward Music.

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1960

 

The National Film Board produces a short documentary featuring the band, titled "Boy Meets Band". This is a wonderful slice of West Vancouver life. You can buy a copy at the National Film Board website, www.nfb.ca

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1969

 

The band finds a new home in the basement of Irwin Park School. Parents banded together to construct the room. The band had spent most of its time in the Community Centre but had outgrown the space for the reason that other groups needing the un-soundproofed centre had to be booked a reasonable distance away from the young musicians.

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1978

 

The baton is passed to Jeff Kenyon who leads the band for three years (1978-1981).

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1988

 

David Suomi-Marttinen leads the band (1988-1993).

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1995

 

Mayor Mark Sager and Council proclaim the West Vancouver Youth Band “The Official Youth Band of West Vancouver”.

2006

 

The band celebrates its 75th anniversary. An evening social reception was held at the Kay Meek Centre, followed the next morning by the Community Day Parade and concert where alumni joined the current band in a wonderful celebration of music.

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1930

 

 Founders Pauline Johnson School
principal, Jack (Jake) Condon and music director Arthur Jordan with help from Mr. Parks, Conn Band Instrument Company spoke to the West Vancouver School Board and the board approved the formation of the West Vancouver Schools Band.
The band receives a technical education grant from the school board.
The first band rehearsal was September 25, 1930, at Pauline Johnson Elementary school with 40 young musician.
 

1932

 

The band's first “trip” was to Keats Island. The students camped in donated army tents and rehearsed outdoors. Several of the boys from that first trip later served Canada in World War II. Some of those boys lost their lives overseas and today’s band members honour them each November 11th when they parade in the West Vancouver Remembrance Day Service.

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1938

 

The school board revokes the technical education grant. The band became a non-profit organization under the Societies Act. It has remained independent and self-supporting, driven by a board of directors of band member parents.

1958

 

Arthur Delamont retires after a year that saw a fabulous four-month tour across Canada and on to Europe where they won the World Title at Kerkrade, Holland.
Cliff Bryson becomes director

 

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1965

 

D'Arcy Mossing directs the band.
 

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Len Whiteley (1965-1970) takes over as Band Leader.

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1970

 

Roy A. Cornick becomes Band Leader (1970-1978).

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1981

 

The Band's 50th anniversary. Steve Toren becomes band leader (1981-1987).

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The Band's 50th year is celebrated with this pamphlet of photos, a wine and cheese party, a parade including graduates, and a dinner-dance at West Van Secondary School. Student and adult bands perform and former directors Delamont, Bryson, Whiteley and Cornick participate in the show.

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"On the occasion of the 50th Anniversary of the West Vancouver Band's existence, it is proper to say that no other organization eclipses them in their place in the fabric of our community." - Derek Humphreys, Mayor

1993

 

In August of 1993, Douglas Macaulay became the director and is the longest serving director in the WVYB's history. In September 1993, just 39 band members registered, split between four band levels. Macaulay reorganized the band into three levels and began a rebuilding process. With the help of the talented and dedicated band parents, the band has built to over 190 members in four levels: Beginner Band, Junior Band, Concert Band and Symphonic Band and now three strings programs.

2001

 

Mayor Ron Wood presents the band with a beautiful English horn, made in Paris by the famous F. F. Lorée Company.

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2009

March 28th marked the opening of the new West Vancouver Community Recreation Centre and in Sept it became the WVYB’s new home: The Community Music Hall.

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2011

July 2011 – During one of the Band’s semi-annual tours of Europe, the Band had the special highlight of playing in front of the Vimy Ridge Memorial.

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2016

 The band has grown in leaps and bounds and has over 180 musicians. There are four levels of band, Beginner, Junior, Concert and Symphonic. There are now two levels of strings, Concert and Symphonic Strings.

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2018

Mar 2018 - WVYB Symphonic Band with the Spakwus Slulem (Eagle Song Dancers) of the Squamish Nation world premiered THE GATHERING OF EAGLES. This cross-cultural event featured the 1st movement of the Squamish Symphony by Bob Baker and Robert Buckley

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Jun 2018 - we celebrated Douglas Macaulay 25 years commitment as the WVYB Principal Conductor and Program Director.

Sept 2018 - Genevieve MacKay joined us at the begin the WVYB Debut Strings level program.

Nov 2018 – Introduced our first WVYB Magazine publication.

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2020

Spring 2020 During this challenging time in 2020 all of the WVYB rehearsal sessions moved online to continue the music program during COVID-19

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In keeping with our tradition, we are engaging our musicians until we can resume rehearsals; we have in place online lessons and at-home music skill programs. Supporting and continuing to engage our musicians during this difficult time is our highest priority.

Sept 2020 WVYB musician have the option of being online and or rehearsing in the Community Centre.

 

At all times we support the musicians working within the safety protocol outline to keep everyone safe.

 

The musicians are learning many new skill and techniques as they have been recording several videos.

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2007

 

The Beth Rickman Memorial Scholarship is established in honour Beth Rickman who had been the West Vancouver Youth Band's Assistant Director for the last 12 years. Beth was also a WVYB alumni and a respected teacher at Vancouver Technical Secondary. She believed strongly in the value of music and the arts in the lives of all children.

2010

 

The West Vancouver Youth Band added the WVYB String Ensembles program.

2012

 

Nicholas Urquhart became the strings director for the strings.

2017

 

We started expanding the WVYB program with a specialized percussion program & orchestra opportunity for the musicians.

2019

 

Mar 2019 - WVYB Symphonic Band with the Spakwus Slulem (Eagle Song Dancers) of the Squamish Nation world premiered the WOLF SONG. This cross-cultural event featured the 2nd movement of the Squamish Symphony by Bob Baker and Robert Buckley.

Nov 2019 - Introduced our second 2019-2020 WVYB Magazine.

2021

 

Celebrating WVYB’s 90th Year

We will be premiering The WVYB: Reflecting An Ever-Evolving Community legacy video in June 2021.