Linda K. polishes up the entrance to State of Mind one last time, closing day on Sunday, April 28.


It’s the end of an era for many long-time West Enders. After 27 successful years in business, State of Mind Boutique is closing its doors. State of Mind owners Linda K. and Sandra Skinner, who opened the men’s clothing boutique on Davie at Thurlow in 1992, are looking forward to retiring and enjoying a slower pace.

The West End Journal caught up with Linda on her last day of business, Sunday, April 28, and of course she was starting the day the same way she has started every business day for the past 27 years -- sweeping the sidewalk and polishing up the exterior of her shop. 

“it’s time for me to take some time for myself and look after me for a change” Linda told The West End Journal. She’s looking forward to heading to Montreal to join her wife Natalie.

Over the years State of Mind built a loyal following that ran the gamut from local residents to international entertainment world celebrities, all mostly due to Linda’s keen eye for contemporary men’s fashion. It was often said that “You don’t go into State of Mind to buy clothes, you go in to let Linda dress you.”

The West End says “thank you Linda” and wishes you all the best as the future unfolds.

Change is happening at Davie and Jervis.

Or In This Case The Bus Stop!

Despite reported plans to replace the former bus stop with a “parklet” a group of persistent West Enders was able to secure the return of the # 5 Bus stop on Davie at Jervis. As the notice to bus drivers indicated on April 28, it should be operative now.

The ad hoc group of concerned citizens, which has no official spokesperson, were concerned that not restoring the bus stop after adjacent construction would leave many nearby seniors without an important access point to the transit system. “We cannot lose bus stops in an increasingly densifying area with a high level of seniors/mobility impaired” the group stated in correspondence to city officials.

India, Canada, and Croatia To Compete

An inescapable fact of life for West Enders is the annual Honda Celebration of Light at English Bay, or “the fireworks”, as we locals refer to the event. Last month organizers announced the 2019 dates and competition lineup for their 29th year.

The 2019 lineup will feature fireworks displays from India, Canada, and Croatia. This marks the first year of participation for both India and Croatia.

The world’s longest-running offshore fireworks competition begins Saturday, July 27 with Amir Morani Fireworks of India’s show. Canada’s Firemaster Productions will follow on Wednesday, July 31, and Mirnovec Fireworks from Croatia will wrap up the three-night festival on Saturday, August 3.

The fireworks will take place rain or shine, beginning at 10 pm each night.

Music simulcast can be heard on The Breeze 104.3 FM and through the festival’s mobile app, which will be released in early summer. The winning team will be announced on Tuesday, August 6th.

“Celebrating 29 years in Vancouver, this popular summer festival is a wonderful platform to showcase our city on the world stage,” stated Mayor Stewart Kennedy in the media release announcing the dates. Whether all, most, some, or few West Enders agree with the mayor’s position, we will prepare to welcome the crowds.

Tickets to all three viewing areas are on sale to the public online here.

Skookum Festival 2018 at Brockton Point.


Skookum, the three-day music festival that rocked Stanley Park last September, isn’t returning for a repeat performance this year, instead taking a year off to get ready for 2020.

Billed as “the music that moves us, the food that delights us and the art that inspires us,” the festival was dubbed an “overwhelming success” by organizers with a reported 51,000 people attending over three days. However, some attendees were critical of the event, complaining online about long line ups for food and toilets.

That said, fans of the festival will have to wait another year for a repeat performance.

“As the inaugural year required extensive planning and artists often book on an 18-month cycle, event organizers are currently working towards a 2020 return,” organizers said in a statement emailed to the Courier.

Skookum was approved at by Vancouver Park Board at an in-camera meeting in July 2017. A park board spokesperson told the Courier that organizers would have to go back to the board for approval of any future proposal.

The festival took over Stanley Park’s 17-acre Brockton field complex for three days and nights in early September, with multiple stages that saw the likes of the Killers, Florence and the Machine, Arkells and Metric perform. There were a total of 52 stage performances, which included 25 B.C. artists and 14 Indigenous groups.

The festival is produced by Vancouver-based Brand Live, the same company behind the now-defunct Squamish Valley Music Festival, which was cancelled in 2016 after a six-year run.

Mike and his blimp.

An often seen site explained

Several times a year West Enders can be startled to notice a large yellow blimp floating over the neighbourhood. “What the heck is that? Police surveillance? Advertising?” runs the commentary. And before anyone gets curious, or concerned, enough to inquire further it’s gone. Until the next time.

Last time the blimp appeared above the Coal Harbour area The West End Journal noted a phone number on the side, and called. We can now answer most of your questions.

If you see the Photo Blimp, it’s likely courtesy of a friendly real estate agent who is having some panoramic shots taken for their website, to entice purchasers with a taste of the spectacular views. Since 1997, Photo Blimp Aerial Photography has been specializing in photography with altitude – specifically, low-level aerial photography with a tethered helium blimp.

“This is our full-time business” explains Photo Blimp owner Mike Clegg. “And we are fully insured, covered by WCB, and we do not require a flying permit, as the blimp is tethered to the ground. We’re not flying, we’re a legal UAV (Unmanned Aerial Vehicle) drone alternative. And we’re looking at the views, not in your window!” he assured us.

So relax and enjoy the bright yellow distraction in a blue summer’s sky. The authorities haven’t caught up with you. Not yet.

Floor By Floor It Disappears

The Empire Landmark Hotel, often still referred to by longtime West Enders by its original name, the Sheraton Landmark, was once the tallest free-standing hotel in Vancouver and was home to Cloud 9, one of Ourtown’s two revolving restaurants. The building closed in late September of 2017 and since then we have watched as slowly, floor by floor, it has disappeared. West End resident Greg Armstrong-Morris, a popular Vancouver actor and cultural tour guide, has chronicled this demolition, as seen in the following slide show.