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Davis, Hal

  • A.2019.011
  • Persona
  • 1924 - November 1, 1998

Hal (Harold Leon) Davis was born on January 16th, 1924 in Edmonton Alberta to parents Osias and Jenny Davis. He had an older brother, Frank, who was born 10 years earlier, and an older sister, Lily. In 1945, Hal married Esther Kuchuk and in 1948 had their daughter Andrea, and in 1953 their son Jeff followed.

In 1941, CJCA Edmonton staged an "Announcing Contest". The winner was Hal Davis. The prize - two weeks employment with CJCA. It was the start of a long and impressive career in radio broadcasting
While attending the University of Alberta from 1941 to 1943, Hal did part-time work at the university's radio station - CKUA, and worked the summer of '42 at CJCA.
Serving in the RCAF from 1943-45, and while stationed in Calgary, there was some part-time work at CFAC. On discharge, Hal did a stint as a disc jockey at New Westminster's CKNW, leaving there in September to enrol in Lorne Greene's Academy of Radio Arts in Toronto, from which he graduated cum laude in April of 1947.
The same year, Hal began his long association with CKNW - first, as Copy Chief; 1950 - Production Manager; 1956 - Program Director; 1959 - Assistant Manager/Program Director; 1974 General Manager.
In 1978, Hal was appointed Director of Research - Radio for CKNW's parent - Western Broadcasting Company Limited (later, Western International Communications (WIC)). Retiring in 1989, Hal continued at CKNW as a consultant and broadcaster.
Hal set a remarkable record in radio annals when, in 1991, he chalked-up 35 years as the voice of CKNW's 8 am news. Also, he hosted a Saturday night music program on 'NW. for a span of 20 years.
In the news area, Hal conceived, organized and developed B.C. RADIO NEWS, (later WESTERN INFORMATION NETWORK (WIN)), directed it until 1988, and making it the first private information network in Canada to be transmitted by satellite.
On the local scene, Hal was an Administrator of the CKNW ORPHANS' FUND, and a member and chair (1972-89) of BROADCAST COMMUNICATION ADVISORY COUNCIL at the British Columbia Institute of Technology.
Active in the affairs of the broadcasting industry, Hal was a director of the British Columbia Broadcasters Association (80-85), and president from 82-84. He served as a director of the Canadian Association of Broadcasters from 83-84.
In 1985, he was named BCAB Broadcaster of the Year in recognition of his development of the WIN network.
In 1996, Hal Davis was inducted into the CAB Broadcast Hall of Fame.
He died on November 1st, 1998.

Potts, J. Lyman. “Davis Harold L. ‘Hal.’” History of Canadian Broadcasting. Accessed November 6, 2019.

Staniloff, Sid

  • A.2020.001
  • Persona
  • 1920 - 1995

Sid Staniloff was born circa 1924 in Winnipeg, Manitoba to Max and Sophie Staniloff. It is unknown how he settled in Vancouver. Sid served as an officer in the Royal Air Force and completed a tour of duty in the Far East Theatre. He became a manager of a menswear shop, in Lansdowne Centre, Richmond (unknown years and store name). Sid and his wife Ethel had two children, Howard and Mindi Staniloff. Sid was a loyal member of B’nai B’rith and during the 1970s (circa 1972 – 1974), became president of the Lions Gate Lodge No. 1716 B’nai B’rith. In the 1980s, Sid became president of the Shalom Legion Branch #178 of the Royal Canadian Legion. Sid also became one of the founders of the Jewish War Veterans in Vancouver. Sid had a successful career conducting charitable events for the Jewish community and Vancouver’s community at large. He passed away in 1995.

Goldman, Mona

  • A.2020.002
  • Persona
  • 1923 - 2009

Mona Goldman (nee Silverstein) was born April 8, 1923, in Terespolya, Poland before moving to and growing up in Toronto. She began painting at an early age, being taught by a founding member of the Group of Seven, Arthur Lismer. In 1943 she attended the Chicago Institute of Design. Shortly after graduating and moving back to Toronto, she married Dr. Bill Goldman in 1947, and moved to Vancouver where they raised 3 sons, Ron, Howard, and Lorne. Mona began a successful art career, working in a nature-inspired modernist style until the turn of the century when she switched her medium to photography and digitally manipulated her images. Mona was an art teacher for UBC’s Continuing Education program for 22 years and from the 1980’s to 2002 she hosted UBC funded art tours to New York, Paris, and London.

Landauer, Otto F.

  • Persona
  • October 3, 1903-September 19, 1980

Otto Landauer was born to Jewish parents in Munich on October 3, 1903. He was the second son of Simon Landauer and Senta Seller. There was an older son, Leopold, and a third son, Albert. An only daughter, Johanna Henrietta, was born in 1912. She was named after her paternal and maternal grandmothers, and was always called "Hansi."

Landauer moved first to Portland Oregon in 1941, before moving to Vancouver in 1945. On October 1, 1946, Landauer completed the purchase of the Leonard Frank Photos (Leonard Frank passed away February 1944). Otto continued in the business until he passed away September 19, 1980. His last photographs were taken September 12, 1980, at the Marine Institute.

Ehrmann, Sarah

  • Persona
  • [ca. 1930 - ]

Shirley Gurevich was born approximately 1930 and was originally from Vancouver. Shirley married and is now known as Sarah Ehrmann and lives in Israel. She attended Habonim Camp Miriam in ca. 1949-1950. Habonim Camp Miriam began in 1948 when they purchased land on Gabriola Island. However, while the Camp was being built, Camp Miriam held it's first year at Camp Hatikvah on Crescent Beach. Camp Miriam is a vital part of the Habonim program, where its ideals are practiced by living them.

Habonim was founded in 1929 in Great Britain and over a period of years, spread to all English-speaking countries. Each country developed its own independent version of the original movement whilst sharing the core ideology of being a Jewish Socialist-Zionist cultural youth movement. Dror was founded in Poland in 1915 out of a wing of the Tze'irei Tziyon (Zion Youth) study circle. The majority of Tze'irei Tziyon had merged with a group called Hashomer in 1913 to form Hashomer Hatzair, and those who remained outside of the new group formed Dror. The group was influenced by the teachings of the Russian Narodniks. Habonim Dror (Hebrew: הַבּוֹנִים דְּרוֹר, "The Builders-Freedom") is the evolution of these two separate Jewish Labour Zionist youth movements that merged in 1982.

Kopelow, Ben

  • Persona
  • 1927-

Ben Kopelow was born in Winnipeg, Manitoba on July 10, 1927. The family was raised in Central Winnipeg where his parents operated a chain of grocery stores. The close-knit Kopelow family was comprised of four sons and one daughter. From the age of six, Ben was interested in theatre and he appeared in a number of school and amateur theatrical productions, writing, directing and producing skits and plays from a young age. Ben also worked at the YMHA (Young Men’s Hebrew Association) as a group worker in charge of teen town activities.

Ben worked in the family grocery until his father decided to move the family to Vancouver in April, 1948. Upon arrival his father opened a Super Market on West Broadway; Ben managed this store for two years. In 1950, Ben returned to Winnipeg to be a group worker with teenagers at the YMHA, writing and directing amateur musicals. He returned to Vancouver in 1951 to assist his ailing father. In 1957 it was discovered that his father was too sick to continue working, forcing the closure of the grocery store.

In 1954 Ben married Dolly Halpern. Before long, they had two children: Gordon and Bryna.

From his earliest days in Vancouver Ben became involved with the local theater scene. He joined Repertoire Productions and Vancouver Little Theater Association, where he met his long-time associate Max Power. Both were aspiring actors and producers. Ben’s first appearance was in Three Men on a Horse followed by Vancouver Little Theatre Association’s production of Room Service (1953). He also played Harry Shapiro in Vancouver Little Theatre Association’s 1954 production of “Stalag 17” at the York Theatre.

In 1956 Ben Kopelow, Max Power, and Doug Hellier formed The Barnstormers Theatre Company which produced a number of professional stage plays in the Georgia Auditorium and Queen Elizabeth Theatre. Among these productions were Stalag 17 (1955), The Diary of Anne Frank (1958), Once More, With Feeling (1959), plus a number of other stage productions including fashion shows, revues and melodramas, including A Night in the Nineties (1960) at the Cave Theatre Restaurant.

The Barnstormers disbanded around 1960, but Ben and Max continued to work as a comedy act, successfully auditioning as actors for Theatre Under the Starts (TUTS). The two appeared in four TUTS productions Annie Get Your Gun (1955 and 1960), Kiss Me Kate (1957), and Guys and Dolls (1961).

Ben was also involved with Totem Theatre, Vancouver Repertory Players, Burnaby Clef Society, CBC Radio, and CBUT Television. Ben was also well-known in business circles; he was associated with Roc Ventures Limited, managing the New La Salle Bowling Alleys and was a member of the Vancouver Tourist Bureau and the Vancouver Board of Trade.

In 1959 Ben was appointed the Public Relations and Advertising Director and Promotions Manager for The Cave Theatre Restaurant and during the course of the next couple of years worked with such stars as the Mills Bros., Tony Martin, Jane Russell, Marie McDonald, Dennis Day, Tommy Sands, Johnny Cash, Jim Reeves, Ford and Hines, plus many other showbiz personalities.

In September 1961 Ben established Pacific Show Productions Limited – an agency involving all aspects of stage and theatre production. Ben was the managing director with Max as his partner. Ben received the first franchise in British Columbia to book and produce entertainment using American Guild of Variety Artists (AGVA) performers and also, a franchise from the American Federation of Musicians. Ben produced and booked the following noteworthy productions: IBM Sales Conference – Vancouver (1968) Nassau (1969); Dawson City Gaslight Follies (3 years); Kelowna Regatta (4 years); Penticton Summer Theatre (3 years); Golden Garter Saloon Entertainment (Expo 67 Montreal); Kitimat July 1st Celebration (3 years); P.N.E. Water Safety Show; Victoria Exhibition (3 years); Rolf Harris shows (7 years); New Westminster May Festival (3 years); and over 500 major conventions in Vancouver.

While working to get Pacific Show Productions Limited of the ground, Ben continued on as Publicity and Public Relations Director for The Cave and doing publicity for Theatre Under the Stars.

After his retirement in 1992, Ben decided to nourish his interest in art. He enrolled in classes with watercolour artist Mona Goldman. Goldman commented on Ben’s love of colour and encouraged him to pursue more formal studies. He took an 8 week beginners’ art course at the University of British Columbia (UBC). The professor was impressed by Ben’s passion for art and encouraged him to continue his studies. Ben then enrolled in part time studies at Emily Carr University and, over the course of four years, received two years’ worth of credits in the study of art.

While painting, Ben shard studio space in the Dominion Bank Building on Hastings Street with his daughter-in-law and her friends. All of them were capable artists in their own right and Ben learned from them.

Ben’s passion for art took him beyond Vancouver. He travelled to Florence, Italy to attend a drawing course. He also travelled to an estate outside Lyon, France, where a Capilano College professor teaches painting and drawing. In both cases, his wife Dolly came along to enjoy everything these cities had to offer.

Ben was forced to stop painting in 2010 when he was diagnosed with macular degeneration. Since then, he has volunteered as a practice patient for medical students at UBC. He also enjoys listening to audio books from the local library.

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