The Kitsilano Showboat

The story of Bea Leinbach and her Kitsilano Showboat.


The Kitsilano Showboat just keeps rolling along! Now in its 84th year, this book, compiled for the 75th anniversary of the Showboat, looks at:
* The  origins of the Showboat  in 1935
* The lady who single-handedly was  responsible for the success
of the Kitsilano Showboat over the years, Bea Leinbach or Captain
Bea as she is known to all
* The many performers who over the years went on to star status
and to become celebrities
* Supporters of the Showboat over the years, the executive and
volunteers who without their help Showboat would never have
been possible
* The 100s of dance and musical theatre groups who provided the
acts over the years
* The 1000s of entertainers who became better citizens and lived
happier more fulfilled lives because they each had their moment of
stardom on the stage of the Kitsilano Showboat.
Everyone remembers seeing Showboat at some time in their youth
if they lived in Vancouver. Families would stroll down to Kits beach
and lay a blanket on the lawn or sit on the bleachers. It was all free
and still is, no one gets paid, the performers, the staff, the
executive, only the audience. The audience gets paid in spades
with a beautiful evening under the stars watching the acts unfold
on stage and the activities around them, in the water, the pool and
on the beach. The motto of the Showboat has been since it began,

“amateur entertainment for three months during the summertime
in the most beautiful setting in the world.”
A place where kids can come and perform in front of a real live
audience on a real stage. No matter what stage in their lives they
eventually wind up on, they all remember fondly the first stage they
were ever on, the Kitsilano Showboat with Captain Bea.

Since the 1940s, Bea Leinbach has been the organizing guru
behind many civic and municipal organizations in Vancouver and
Kitsilano. Whenever entertainers were needed people called on
Captain Bea. In the early days when Bert Emery thought up the
the idea for a Mississippi Showboat moored on the beach at Kitsilano,
he also developed a Kiddies parade which was held at the
beginning of each summer. Then there was the venerable Miss
Kitsilano Contest which was held for decades. Bea Leinbach
started another institution akin to the Showboat called the Kitsilano
Community Concert Party.  Made up of around 12 to 15
entertainers from each past Showboat season, they performed at
institutions around town, seniors homes, and hospitals, during the rest
of the year for people who were unable to get out to see the
Showboat…..  all these activities including the Showboat were
designed to increase civic spirit and bring the communities closer
together and they sure did!

Over the course of the years, Captain Bea received many awards,
from the Kitsilano Best Citizenship Award to a National Citizenship
Award, to  a much-coveted YWCA Women of Distinction Award all
the way up to the Order of Canada.

We hope you enjoy the story of Bea Leinback’s Outdoor School of
the Performing Arts, ‘ The Kitsilano Showboat.’

Published by: Warfleet Press
Release Date: 2nd Ed/ Fall 2022
Pages: 189
ISBN: 978-0-9868793-6-4

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