History

A Brief History of the WVYB Society

May Day 1930

The Kitsilano Boys Band visits West Vancouver to perform and the West Vancouver Youth Band is formed.

May Day 1931

The new West Vancouver Boys Band gives its first performance under the direction of Arthur Jordan. It was a difficult beginning for the new band starting as it did at the edge of the depression, but 20 students began that season. Founders Mr. and Mrs. J.E. Condon handled the business affairs of the band. Jack Condon was Principal of Pauline Johnson School at the time. 

1931

 The band receives a technical education grant from the school board. 

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. 

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.

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.

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.

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 Kergrade, Holland.

Cliff Bryson becomes director 

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

1965

D'Arcy Mossing directs the band.

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

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.

1970

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

1978

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

1981

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

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 Cornickparticipate in the show.

"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

1988

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

1993

In the fall of 1993 Douglas Macaulay became director and, with the exception of Delamont, is the longest serving director in the bands 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 170 members in four levels: Beginner Band, Junior Band, Concert Band and Symphonic Band.

1995

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

2001

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

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.

 

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.

2009

March 28th marked the opening of the new Recreation Centre including the band's new home:  The Community Music Hall

2010

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

2012

NIck Urquhart became the strings director for the two levels of strings.