Russell B.

Vancouver, British Columbia

Vancouver Heritage Fair

The Gulf of Georgia Cannery

The evolution of the cannery over 100 years and counting gives an insight of the jobs people took, especially immigrants. The GGC has shaped the community around it.




What was the most interesting thing you learned about your topic?

You had only a single task your whole career. Workers were in charge of doing one step of the canning process. When my grandma worked at a cannery, she usually scraped the scales and cleaned the fish.

What important lessons have you learned that you want to share with other Canadians?

We need to preserve historic buildings like the cannery because they can teach so many people about the communities around us. The GGC has lasted for over 100 years and it had such a diverse workforce. Many immigrants from all over came together to make a living. It doesn't matter where we are from, we are all Canadian.

How would you compare your life today to the lives of those studied in your project?

The people working at the cannery had over eight-hour shifts and used to work into the night. In overtime season when the fish came from their journey from the ocean to back home, that was the only time when there was much work, so that's when they had to work hard. Nowadays, workers usually work shorter shifts and most menial jobs are done with machinery, so the process is easier.