It seems incredible that 2013 is here already; time really does seem to be flying by! We thought we would start off with a short blog on our recent activities.
As many of you may have read in one of our previous blogs, we filmed a feature on the Vancouver Police Mounted Squad in Stanley Park. To help tell the story we needed some older photographs showing a brief history of the Mounted Unit and they kindly pointed us in the direction of the Vancouver Police Museum, which holds a huge collection. The museum curator, Kristin Hardie, was kind enough to help us and search out a number of fascinating photographs from the Mounted Unit’s past.
Vancouver Mounted Police Squad Display at the Police Museum.
Over the coming few weeks we will be putting together this feature in a basic demo form to see what you all think and show you the general direction we’re going in with the documentary. We hope you’ll like it!
We wanted to take this opportunity to tell you a little bit about the Police Museum as we feel it is not only an important fixture in Vancouver’s history but also one of its more unusual and interesting places to visit.
The museum has many displays and exhibits, some telling the stories of some of Vancouver’s most famous criminals. They also have many displays showing the history of the various divisions of the Vancouver Police.
The building itself is rather noteworthy. A short excerpt from the museum’s website: “Built in 1932, our building has housed both the Coroner’s Court and the City Analyst’s laboratory; it is also a municipally designated heritage structure. The basement and main floor were home to a forensics lab and related facilities. The museum is housed on the top floor of the building and encompasses the original Coroner’s Courtroom, offices, morgue and autopsy room. All of these facilities on the top floor are included in our guided tour of the museum.”
Out front of the Vancouver Police Museum.
They also conduct walking tours, taking in some of the oldest parts of Vancouver and exploring the origins of the Vancouver Police Department and how some of the laws came into being.
Please visit the museum’s website: -
Kristin Hardie, Vancouver Police museum curator in front of her women in policing display.
We would like to thank Kristin massively for her help and for her kind words about our project and we look forward to helping in any way we can to spread the word about the museum.
If you haven’t done so already, go and pay them a visit, it really is worth it!
That’s it for now everyone. Many thanks as always for reading, we really do appreciate it.
Anyone who has spent a lot of time within Stanley Park wandering its many scenic areas will surely have seen at some point one of its most endearing and magnificent sights, that of the Vancouver Police Mounted Squad patrolling on their beautiful horses.
Having seen them on a number of occasions, we knew we had to include them in some way in our film. Many people we have talked to who are born-and-raised Vancouverites had no idea the Mounted Squad even existed and that made up our mind that we should set aside a feature for them in our documentary.
Permission was granted through the Vancouver Police media relations and I found myself in direct contact with the Sergeant in charge of the unit, Doug McMillan. After a few emails back and forth we arranged our first visit to the paddocks and our first encounter with these glorious animals and the wonderful officers that work with them every day.
It is a humbling and a rather moving experience to be up close to these gentle creatures and we can only imagine how the officers and staff must feel to be able to spend time with them each day.
VPD Sergeant Doug McMillan
Our time down at the paddock has been joyful in every moment and has to be one of the most beautiful experiences so far in this adventure of ours. Every person we met treated us with such kindness and went out of their way to help in any way they could.
We first interviewed Doug who gave us a great insight to the history of the unit, how it’s run on a daily basis and the work that they do. The second of the three interviews we did there was with Conrad and his horse Gunner. He gave us an extremely detailed interview about the horses and how they are trained for police work and the challenges involved in certain situations. The last interview was with Susan Sharp and her horse Duke. Luckily, the sun decided to shine and she suggested the rose garden as a location for the interview. Susan talked about the bond the officers have for their horse and how fortunate she feels to be patrolling Stanley Park.
VPD Conrad and his horse Gunner
Of course, they all talked about many other aspects of the unit, too many to list here but they all gave a very interesting and unique take on this wonderful and important job they do.
This feature would never be complete without filming the officers and horses riding through the park and after Susan’s interview she asked two other officers, Des Sparrow and Rich Horner to help out with some shots down at the totem poles, which was a wonderful backdrop. After filming them, Conrad and Susan met with us down at Third Beach, which made for some beautiful shots.
VPD Susan and her horse Duke
We are extremely grateful that they were all so willing to go to these locations without a moment’s hesitation and I really cannot thank them all enough for being so helpful and so generous with their time.
We would like to thank Doug for allowing us to come down and film in the first place and for giving us the freedom to film whenever and wherever we wanted. It was truly a privilege and we thank all the officers and staff of the mounted squad, you made us feel so welcome.
And thanks again to everyone for keeping up with our blogs, it’s a real pleasure to be able to share all these experiences with you. Keep smiling!
Vancouver Police Mounted Squad at the Totem poles