[By Kendall Walters] We at Forbidden Vancouver are thrilled to welcome two talented new storytellers to our team! They will both be leading our signature walking tour, The Forbidden Vancouver Tour.
Aman Johal has worked at Fort Langley National Historic Site, run by Parks Canada, for an incredible 15 years! He created the site’s popular Grave Tales tour, which has run the past few Halloween seasons. He has also run countless interpretive programs, served on Parks Canada’s national board of interpreters and contributed to the creation of the Vancouver Police Museum’s Sins of the City walking tour.
Nevada Yates Robart has worked as a historical interpreter at Fort Steele Heritage Town in the Kootenays. She wrote and performed the Fort’s Halloween walking tour, An October Night’s Haunting, and recently co-developed the popular Ghost Train show. She currently works at the Museum of Vancouver and the North Vancouver Museum and Archives. She is also a Barre instructor.
Aman and Nevada will be leading The Forbidden Vancouver Tour, one of our signature walking tours. So, without further ado, let’s get to know them better!
Where are you from and how long have you lived in Vancouver?
Aman: I was born and raised in Surrey.
Nevada: I’m one of those elusive people who is actually from Vancouver and have lived here my whole life! I was born in the historic Saint Paul’s Hospital right downtown.
What interested you in working for Forbidden Vancouver?
Aman: I have always had a passion to explore my own backyard before exploring the rest of the world. I have led historic walks with the Vancouver Police Museum and also created Grave Tales at Fort Langley National Historic Site.
Nevada: I love history and love the experience of having it “brought to life” by an actor or storyteller. I also love to travel and some of my best experiences of cities have been on walking tours. I think Vancouver has such a rich past and I think Forbidden Vancouver gives travelers and locals a great opportunity to peel back the years and take a peek at the city’s earlier days.
What are you most excited about in your new position as a Forbidden Vancouver storyteller?
Aman: The fact that I can share the wonderful stories of Vancouver’s dark past, as well as learning more about it myself.
Nevada: I am excited to learn more about the place where I grew up and see the city through a new lens.
What’s the best bit of Vancouver history trivia you’ve learned since joining Forbidden Vancouver?
Aman: I would say the great deal of focus the city had on architecture back in that time, as well as the extreme corruption of high-profile Vancouver characters such as L.D. Taylor and Walter Findlay.
Nevada: Hmm, there are too many to list. I did think it was pretty amazing that the Holy Rosary Cathedral was at one time the tallest building in the city.
What’s your favourite thing to do in Vancouver?
Aman: I love to go to any coffee shop or restaurant with friends, where we can sit on a patio or look outside and just people watch. Every so often we will play a game where we insert our own inner monologues for them.
Nevada: Also a very hard question. Something that I really love to do is to go walking in Shaughnessy and look at all the beautiful old historic mansions. It’s the best place in the city to daydream.
Where is your favourite spot in Vancouver?
Aman: Stanley Park. So much history and mystery behind it.
Nevada: My favorite spot in the city is anywhere with a view of the water and the mountains.
If a tourist asked you for advice, what would you insist they must do while visiting Vancouver? (Other than a Forbidden Vancouver walking tour, of course!)
Aman: Walk the seawall from Coal Harbour to Kits. Then experience Granville Island. If you are a hiker, the Howe Sound Crest Trail, then stop right between the Lions and see the city before you.
Nevada: I would insist that they go out to Spanish Banks in the late afternoon/early evening and watch the sunset. It is the most beautiful spot to soak in the ocean, the mountains and the downtown city skyline all at once. Drink a local craft beer while you’re at it and you’ve got yourself the best time ever!
Welcome to the team Aman and Nevada – we’re excited to have you!