“It’s so sad to see this happen again. This is not Vancouver,” said Larissa VanDam, standing with her family on the corner of Georgia and Hamilton. “This is a real black eye on our city. We saw this happen in 1994 and I was so, so hoping it wouldn’t happen again.”
At Vancouver’s Queen Elizabeth Theatre, the performance of Broadway hit Wicked continued despite the riot. The city-owned-and-run theatre is right in the area where the rioting first broke out. The first indication that something was wrong came at the beginning of intermission, when the stage manager announced over the public address system that due to the situation outside, the audience was to remain in the building and not go out onto the balconies.
The first indication that something was wrong came at the beginning of intermission, when the stage manager announced over the public address system that due to the situation outside, the audience was to remain in the building and not go out onto the balconies.
“Everyone just froze,” said Heather Bourke, who was at the show with her husband. “Then everyone went to the windows and stared out. It was unbelievable. Right in front of us: cars on fire, people being beaten up all around us, every direction you looked - smoke.”
When the performance resumed the cast did an excellent job of staying focused, Ms. Bourke said. “The actors were incredible; they didn’t miss a beat. People were still laughing and clapping and really enjoying it. It was surprising.”
In the emptied atrium of Vancouver’s main library, Myles Baerg sat with his head bandaged. The 17-year-old from Chilliwack said he was hit in the head with a rock thrown by a bystander after it bounced off a window at the library.
“It seemed calm. A couple of fireworks went off. I heard a crack above me. I looked up and saw a rock and it hit me,” he said.
“It’s just hockey fans. I figured something like this would happen if we won or lost,” said Mr. Baerg, sporting a No. 33 Canucks jersey.
“It's terrible,” Canucks captain Henrik Sedin said, shaking his head. “This city and province has a lot to be proud of, the team we have and the guys we have in here. It's too bad.”
NBA star Steve Nash, from nearby Victoria and the brother-in-law of Canucks forward Manny Malhotra, sent a Twitter message imploring the fans to stop the violence. “We're a great city and have a lot of class. Our team is great and our championship will come. Soon,” Nash wrote.
With reports from Wendy Stueck, Sunny Dhillon, Rod Mickleburgh, Jill Mahoney, Ian Bailey, Mark Hume, Vivian Luk and Marsha Lederman and The Associated Press
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