Visit Destroying Tradition, an exhibit at Belzberg Library

Red Circular Logo with black text, D.O.A. Destroy Tradition

Destroying Tradition: Movements in Vancouver Punk Rock, a display showing Vancouver's punk rock history—at SFU Vancouver all summer.

A punk rock handbill in black and white using collage techniques: "Canada Day punk concert, 1 pm Lumberman's Arch, Stanley Park." With DOA, Negatives, Subhumans.

Anarchy in Canada? Canada Day Punk Concert handbill, July 1, 1978. Vancouver Punk Rock Collection. MsC-109-Posters-0303.

A punk rock handbill in pink with blue and red gradient, using collage techniques and hand-drawn art: "Subhumans, K-Tels, Contagious, Perfect Stranger, Dance for Nuclear Survival, $3, 8pm, Friday Oct. 12, South Court Lounge, Simon Fraser University. Support benefit for Nuclear Awareness Week Oct 9-13 at S.F.U."

Dance for Nuclear Survival handbill, October 12, 1979. Vancouver Punk Rock Collection. MsC-109-Posters-0597.


Punk was different. It was anti-establishment, it made fun of everything, and it was powerful, loud, and obnoxious, the way rock was meant to be. Punk was political, too.

– Joe Keithley, Prelude of I, Shithead: A Life in Punk (2003)


About the exhibit

Punk is disruptive, expressive, and exciting music. Punk is also much more than music—it is a movement that will get in your face. Through this disruption, punk often criticizes injustices such as poverty, racism, war, and authoritarianism. Punk will never be content with the status quo.

The items exhibited are a peek into the Vancouver Punk Rock Collection, held at SFU Special Collections and Rare Books. The collection holds approximately 1200 posters (with over 800 digitized), 100 CDs/LPs/45s, several periodicals, some pictures, various pieces of ephemera, and a genealogy of Vancouver punk bands.

The Vancouver punk scene emerged in the 1970s, challenging mainstream music and societal norms. Bands such as D.O.A. were—and continue to be—among the most outspoken groups featured in the collection, raising awareness both on stage and on the ground. 

Destroying Tradition: Movements in Vancouver Punk Rock presents several different movements in the scene, from within and outside Canada. The exhibit also presents the music that propelled protest and solidarity.

Move with us! Check out the exhibit playlist on Spotify, featuring music from a small selection of the bands found in the Vancouver Punk Rock Collection.

What's on display?

The materials in the exhibit are from the following:

The exhibit contains these types of materials:

A set of three vinyl record covers sitting next to each other. First vinyl in yellow with red text, black text, and further black text with white accents: "D.O.A., The John Peel Session, Don't Turn Yer Back On Desperate Times." Second vinyl in black text with white background, white text with black background, riders on transit in centre: "The Subhumans, Incorrect Thoughts." Third vinyl in blue with green, pink, red, and orange accents: "Pointed Sticks, Perfect Youth."From left to right:

1. Don’t Turn Yer Back (On Desperate Times) by D.O.A, 1984. John Peel Session, 12” vinyl EP. Vancouver Punk Rock Collection. M 1679.2 D62 D67 1984.

2. Incorrect Thoughts by The Subhumans, 1980. 12” vinyl LP. Vancouver Punk Rock Collection. M 1679.18 S83 I53 1980.

3. Perfect Youth by Pointed Sticks, 1980. 12” vinyl LP. Vancouver Punk Rock Collection. M 1679.18 P65 P47 1980.

About the curator

Bran Eveland Cron is the Project Archivist at Special Collections and Rare Books. They first came to SCRB as an SFU undergraduate student and ARL Digital and Inclusive Excellence Fellow, 2018-2019. It was during this fellowship that they encountered the Vancouver Punk Rock Collection for the first time, which kickstarted their appreciation of worldwide punk rock music and activism.

Bran would like to thank Andréa Tarnawsky for their guidance, expertise, and unwavering patience through the process of making this exhibit possible.

May 21 - August 30
Belzberg Library (SFU Vancouver)
Contact for further information
For further information, contact Bran Eveland Cron (, Andréa Tarnawsky (, or Special Collections and Rare Books (