Sunday, March 12, 2006

10 Provinces: British Columbia

The Environment: The Great Vancouver Shakedown

The worst natural disaster to hit Canada since confederation was in British Columbia during the summer of 1978. A massive earthquake hit Vancouver, viciously tearing it apart from the mainland and causing a gazillion dollars in damages.

The face of the province would be forever changed and Vancouver Island was resituated off the coast of south-western British Columbia. The earthquake became known as the Great Vancouver Shakedown, an apt title that took into consideration not only the magnitude and location of the disaster, but also all the crazy shaking that it brought.

After the dust settled, affected Canadians set about ordering new plates and mugs to replace the ones they had lost. The chaos hit a peak when the value of the Canadian dollar dropped a whopping 24 cents due to the province's hampered ability to ship Nanaimo Bars (British Columbia’s third largest export after grizzly bears and Hot Hot Heat). Support poured in from all over the world in the form of food, blankets, plates, and rock 'n roll. Scotland’s Nazareth captured the event in their hit Vancouver Shakedown, released later that year.

“But we got laid over
Ya we was done over
Somebody tell us what's goin' down
Don't need another Vancouver shakedown”

Reminded of their vulnerability by the shocking disaster, Canadians wanted to ensure that no more of their precious land was lost to the sea. Taking extreme measures, all major Canadian cities and highways are now securely stapled and glued to the earth before they are paved. Although the multi-billion dollar initiative met with controversy at the time, it is today recognized that no other land has been lost since, suggesting that it was a worthwhile endeavour after all.

[mp3] Nazareth - Vancouver Shakedown
[mp3] Gordon Downie - Vancouver Divorce


Here are a few more British Columbia-themed tunes that we forgot to include. Some are more obvious than others.

[mp3] Billy and the Lost Boys - Hastings & Main
[mp3] Death Cab For Cutie - Expo '86
[mp3] Jeff Buckley - Vancouver

* Be power smart with BC Hydro


gigantor said...

Yeah, when I lived on Vancouver Island last year, people were very hesitant to talk about the Vancouver shakedown.

Anonymous said...

you guys are hilarious... i am actually old enough to remember this songs being released...

waterandblade said...

I haven't decided if it's Vancouver, Washington or Vancouver, BC, but Modest Mouse's song "Heart Cooks Brain" is one of my favorites and it mentions Vancouver) (Modest Mouse is from Washington, but Vancouver, Washington is on a river and is less likely to be connected with lyrics seagulls and shore... )