Thor & Dorty's Brackendale Art GallerySaturday, June 26, 2010
During the 1950s and 1960s we didn't have a place to hang our paintings. Vancouver artists were starving for a place to exhibit. And if you wanted to play music there were only a couple of coffee houses, The Classical Joint for one. If you were an actor there were few venues available. If you wrote a play you could kiss it good-bye. It would never be seen. Only George Ryga was able to break the barrier.
On top of that we were stifled because there was only one art critic, working for both major papers, and she was not interested in helping us. So we either had to do something about it or live with it.
I started looking at land all over southern B.C., on my fly fishing trips, and weighing the pros and cons. One day, in 1968, I was fishing at Dragon Lake with Jack Grundel, Jim Killburn and Wade Chernenkof. Jack had started B.C. Fish and Game Magazine. So I asked him "Where do you think I should put this dream of mine?" Jack said "It doesn't matter where you put it, Thor, as long as you do a good job they will find you." One day I found myself fishing my favorite river with my fishing partner,Gary Weir, again talking about my dream.
And Gary said "I'm sick and tired of listening to you spouting off about your dream. We have fished all over the province, looked at all the places. Now will you make up your mind." So I said "If I take Jack at his word, I should put it right here"
That was just up here at the confluence of the Cheakamus and the Squamish Rivers. We packed up our gear for the day and walked up to Brackendale, to Boomer's Alpine Cafe and Service Station, for coffee and pumpkin pie. We looked out through the window and there was a sign saying "!/2 acre of commercial property For Sale" with a phone number. I realized that the time had come to act.
On Feb. 20, 1970 I bought the property, with a low down- payment and low monthly payments, from Harry Sims. We built a fence in 1970, poured the foundation in '71, started building in '72 and opened, 15 months later, in '73.
To be continued...