Images from the West 4th Avenue Khatsahlano Street Party

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      Georgia Straight publisher and cofounder Dan McLeod has won his share of awards over the years, including lifetime achievement nods from the Western Magazine Awards Foundation and the Jack Webster Awards Foundation.

      Yesterday, he added another one: a plaque from the Kitsilano 4th Avenue Business Improvement Association to mark the Straight's 50th anniversary.

      It was presented to McLeod on one of the stages during the annual West 4th Avenue Khatasahlano Street Party.

      For much of its early years, the Straight was based on West 4th near Arbutus Street. In recognition of this, a plaque the size of the Georgia Straight cover will be installed at that corner.

      From the stage, Kitsilano 4th Avenue Business Improvement Association executive director Jane McFadden told the large crowd that McLeod was arrested after the first issue rolled off the presses. Then she said McLeod's printer quit.

      "He had 27 counts against him for publishing an article on how to grow marijuana," McFadden added. "The city didn't like it."

      Then she thanked McLeod for his contributions to arts and culture in the city.

      In his speech, McLeod thanked everyone who contributed to making Khatsahlano a success.

      "It's a great coincidence that Joey Shithead is here as well," McLeod said, noting the on-stage presence of D.O.A. frontman Joe Keithley. 

      McLeod revealed that more than 30 years ago, he met Keithley at the Straight's office at West 4th Avenue and Arbutus.

      "We were trying to negotiate to manage D.O.A. and it was a very heated discussion," McLeod said. "In the end, Joey told us to fuck off, which is appropriate. And he's been pretty good ever since—and he's been on a couple of covers, as well."

      Watch the video of a plaque being presented to Dan McLeod, along with his recollection about negotiating with Joe Keithley.

      The Straight publisher also told the crowd that the first issue featured a photo of some hippies being run out of town. Back in the late 1960s and early 1970s, Kitsilano was home to thousands of hippies, environmentalists, pot smokers, and other assorted radicals.

      Since Khatsahlano was devised in 2011 by Zulu Records founder Grant McDonough, it has grown into one of Vancouver's landmark events.

      Over the years, it's showcased dozens of local bands for free, including the Poppy Family, Yukon Blonde, Hannah Georgas, and Kathryn Calder. This year's headliner was the Zolas

      McDonough told the crowd that he's been involved in the local music scene for about 35 or 40 years.

      "There's great senior musicians and up-and-coming musicians who inspire others—and boy, perhaps it's the Rockies, perhaps it's the border line—but this city oozes great musicians," he said.

      Below, you can see some images of what things were like on the street.