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UBC Theses and Dissertations

The PNE prize home : Tradition and change Mackenzie, M. Elizabeth

Abstract

In 1934, a proposal was put forward to the Vancouver Exhibition Association's Board of Control to construct a 'model bungalow,' charge visitors ten cents admission and draw their ticket stubs on the last day of the exhibition - Labour Day - to select the winner of the house. The $3,000 house was moved to its lot a block away from the fairgrounds by a team of horses. Seventy years later, a modular home building company constructed a Prize Home for the renamed Pacific National Exhibition (PNE), the Lower Mainland's annual fair. Worth $700,000, its design was a blend of East Coast Cape Cod and West Coast casual styles. Fairgoers and others (online) bought five-dollar tickets. After Labour Day, the house modules were moved by truck and barge to its present location on the Sunshine Coast, many miles from the fairground. Society's values are expressed through architecture and our homes tell us much about our individual preferences. The Prize Homes have appealed to a large middle ground and, as society has become more conservative, so has the Prize Home. The modern homes, popular through the early 1980s, have been replaced with more traditional styles just as the world of possibilities and modernity of those earlier years have been replaced with our more complacent era, perhaps more premodern than postmodern With few exceptions, the Prize Home has captured the imagination of fairgoers. Buying a ticket means buying a dream - a single family home and the life it entails. Two-hour lineups for entry to the home and increasing ticket sales continue in spite of recent competition from other home lotteries. Increasing profits, promotion of local manufacturers and products and attraction itself have been major goals for the PNE. The established format of the Prize Home coupled with the lure of the single-family home have combined with changing players, styles, materials and final site locations to continually produce the dream come true.

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