The Georgia Straight newspaper has thrilled, enraged, educated, and enlightened Vancouverites for five decades. But even after all these years, some people remain confused about the name.
It originated over beers in the old Cecil Hotel in 1967. That's when poet and UBC math student Dan McLeod and artists Michael Morris and Glen Lewis settled on Georgia Straight in the hope of generating free publicity.
That's because radio stations of that era often mentioned marine conditions in the body of water known as Georgia Strait.
Many of the early writers and illustrators were keen environmentalists and antiwar activists. One of them, Paul Watson, went on to found the Sea Shepherd Society to save whales and other ocean wildlife. Another writer in the mid 1970s, Bob Geldof, became a household name when he organized the Live Aid Ethiopian famine-relief concerts in London and Philadelphia in 1985.
Famous Vancouver illustrators like Bob Masse and Rand Holmes honed their craft in the pages of the Georgia Straight.
The McLeod family still owns the Georgia Straight, making it the longest lasting, independently owned urban weekly newspaper in North America.
To celebrate its 50th birthday on May 5, 2017, the Georgia Straight will highlight 50 recommended events, called the Straight 50, this year in Vancouver. You can find them listed here.
Below, you can click links to learn more about the history of the paper or just to read some articles that were pubished in the past.
The Georgia Straight: A 50th Anniversary Celebration Book
This beautifully produced coffee-table book brings together over 100 of Georgia Straight's iconic covers, along with short essays, insider details and contributor reflections, putting each of these issues of the publication into its historical context.