Cool Aid co-founder Charles Barber (right), photographed with staff in the old Emmanuel Baptist Church at Fernwood Road and Gladstone Avenue, circa 1970. (Photo contributed)

Cool Aid co-founder Charles Barber (right), photographed with staff in the old Emmanuel Baptist Church at Fernwood Road and Gladstone Avenue, circa 1970. (Photo contributed)

Captured in time: Cool Aid unveils photos from its 50 years of history

The photos will be on display and for sale at their Downtown Community Centre

Victoria’s Cool Aid Society is celebrating a milestone anniversary: 50 years of reaching out to its community.

To commemorate this, Cool Aid staff have dug through the archives and found 50 of their favourite photos and newspaper clippings and are putting them on display at their downtown community centre from June 14 to Aug. 10.

The photos range through the five decades, with an emphasis on the 1960s when Cool Aid began. The pictures include the long hair and shaggy beards of the days of flower power, when “hippies” were the ones trying to get the society rolling as an outreach centre for youth.

“That’s how Cool Aid became cool,” said Alan Rycroft, the organization’s community relations manager. “It was 1968 and everyone was cool then.”

The society started in the church at Fernwood and Gladstone – now the Belfry Theatre – and focused on helping youth. They also started a crisis phone line that offered help on everything from counselling in moments of personal distress, to providing information on local health offices, in the days long before the Internet.

Circa July 1967- Founders of the Cool Aid Society Laurie Smith (left), Lynn Curtis and Charles Barber. (File contributed)

Some of the founders have already seen the display.

“When we took them into the community centre, they just went straight to the walls with the photos, they just had to see them,” Rycroft said with a laugh. One of their favourites showed three of the founders standing on the roof of an old Chevy. “They were talking about how solid that roof was, I don’t think that would work now.”

Rycroft also appreciated the image, he said, as it looked like the three of them were looking forward to the future.

Undated- A glimpse of Cool Aid’s previous Street Link shelter at 1900 Fernwood Avenue (File contributed)S

The pictures will be for sale for $50 each, with contributions going to the Cool Aid Society. Artistic work from some of the society’s members will also be for sale.

The exhibit is on display at Cool Aid’s Downtown Community Centre at 755 Pandora Ave. through Aug. 10. Admission is free, but donations towards the society will be gladly accepted.

For more information you can visit coolaid.org.

nicole.crescenzi@vicnews.com

cool aid

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

 

Circa July 1967- Founders of the Cool Aid Society Laurie Smith (left), Lynn Curtis and Charles Barber. (File contributed)

Circa July 1967- Founders of the Cool Aid Society Laurie Smith (left), Lynn Curtis and Charles Barber. (File contributed)

Just Posted

Artist Daniel Cline discusses his sculpture, Harmony Humpbacks, during the June 20 walking tour of Oak Bay’s 2019 ArtsAlive sculptures. Harmony Humpbacks was purchased by Oak Bay as the 2019 people’s choice winner and is permanently installed at the Beach Drive entrance to Willows Park. (Kevin Murdoch Photo)
Influx of donated art a ‘fantastic problem to have,’ says Oak Bay mayor

Oak Bay goes from zero to 10 permanent art pieces since 2015

Tomo Vranjes, a Greater Victoria musician and longtime fan of late rock guitar icon Eddie Van Halen, joins artist Paul Archer behind the latter’s Fort Street gallery. Archer, whose airbrushed paintings of rock greats have made him many connections in recent years, painted a likeness of Van Halen following the guitarist’s death last month from cancer. (Don Descoteau/News Staff)
Victoria artist’s king-sized tribute to Eddie Van Halen draws on personal connection

Paul Archer had an up close and personal day with the legendary guitarist in 1980

The Sheringham Point Lighthouse, near Shirley. (Contributed - Lee-Ann Ruttan)
New book shines a light on Sheringham Point Lighthouse

Publication examines history, lightkeepers, and volunteer society

Victoria-based guitarist Eric Harper performs at the Port Theatre on Nov. 27. (Photo credit Tatum Duryba)
Classical guitarist to play at the Port Theatre

Eric Harper to play new songs composed during the pandemic

A sample of some of Lou-ann Neel’s jewelry.
Lou-ann Neel wins the Fulmer Award in First Nations Art

Originally from Alert Bay, Neel’s family is steeped in renowned Kwakwaka’wakw artists

I-Hos Gallery manager Ramona Johnson shows some of the paddles available at the retail outlet. Photo by Terry Farrell
I-Hos Gallery celebrates 25 years of promoting First Nation artwork

K’ómoks First Nation-based outlet has art from all over the country

Bard to Broadway Theatre Society may stage shows outdoors next summer. (PQB News photo file)
Qualicum Beach’s Bard to Broadway group may stage shows outdoors

Theatre society plans smaller productions due to ongoing pandemic

A new short film festival called MORVENFEST is encouraging B.C. secondary students to step into the world of film during their Christmas break. (Jane Skrypnek/News Staff)
New film festival gives Victoria students exciting opportunity

MORVENFEST is open to all B.C. secondary students over Christmas break

Port Alberni author Diane Dobson has put together a collection of childhood memories, with proceeds going towards the Ty Watson House. (ELENA RARDON / ALBERNI VALLEY NEWS)
Port Alberni writer looks through the eyes of a child

Book raises funds for the Alberni Valley Hospice Society

Most Read