Like many Baby Boomers, the Mainstreeters grew up with a range of relatively inexpensive still cameras, and they took hundreds of snapshots, documenting their lives as they lived them. But they also had access to a Portapak video camera -- first at Tupper, as Paul notes in his interview, then later through the Vancouver Art Gallery Extension Program, headed by Karen McDiarmid.
It was through the Vancouver Art Gallery's Stadium Gallery that Annastacia, Deborah, Jeanette, Kenneth and Paul -- all of whom were hired by Karen to work with Riley Park preteens -- attended workshops led by videographer Michael Goldberg, where they learned the fundamentals of camera maintenance, operation and editing.
Goldberg's workshops, and the group's growing involvement in a scene that later became the Video Inn, allowed the Mainstreeters to tape their inner-city excursions to roller rinks, Stanley Park, Wreck Beach and Karen's West Vancouver home, while at the same time conducting experiments with a technology that was still years removed from consumer availability.
Soon enough, these forays with the video camera resulted in discrete works. The same might be said of the individual group members and their relationship to the camera -- with Paul increasingly behind it, as auteur, and Jeannette increasingly before it, as actor.