What Is Shaping Us? From Bing Crosby to Bing Thom

Sunset Community Centre has always had a strong, yet humble and understated link to the arts.

In the late 1940s the Sunset neighbourhood was rapidly growing and the need was to build something new at the time in Vancouver: a modern community centre as we know it with community and recreation amenities all in one site. Hugely popular acting and singing superstar Bing Crosby performed a concert in Vancouver to save the original fundraising efforts and help regain the needed momentum at the time. The first Sunset Community Centre opened in 1950.

Built generations later in 2008, architect Bing Thom’s striking iconic new building reflects relentless flow and natural light that encourages health and movement.

Sunset is influenced by its proximity to the Fraser River as a link, flow, movement, industry, and hard work. This area captures some of the creative energy from the young minds at nearby Langara College, the passion for our neighbourhood parks, the beauty and speed of the skating at Sunset Ice Rink, and the colour and commerce of nearby Main Street. Proudly characteristic of a hardworking neighbourhood, Sunset Community Centre strives to carve out a place for everyone to recharge and renew with culture, community and recreation.

What seems to be shaping the cultural force of the neighbourhood? Among many examples are the Sikh temple and prominent and deep-rooted South Asian community, the emergent Filipino-Canadian population, new opportunities for intercultural connections, and the re-emerging aboriginal influence over traditional territories.

Unlike some other community centres in Vancouver, the heart of Sunset cannot be experienced in a singular location – we invite you to explore the spaces between. We also invite you to visit the community centre to learn more about how the community’s past is evoking a refreshed curiosity of the present and a vision that embraces reconciliation and new understandings about what is shaping us.