1376 The new British Columbia Review

The new British Columbia Review
by Richard Mackie


Margaret Ormsby, October 1958. Photo courtesy John Bosher

As of today, February 10th 2022, The Ormsby Review will be known as The British Columbia Review. This change comes with the strong endorsement of the two Boards that have guided The Ormsby Review through the last several years.

Named after Margaret Anchoretta Ormsby (1909-1996), a giant of twentieth century historical scholarship and the best-known BC historian from the 1950s to the 1990s, The Ormsby Review changed the landscape of book reviewing in British Columbia. It has reviewed books by BC authors and works on the province whatever their genre or topic. We have also published 150 memoirs, essays, and interviews with and about British Columbia and British Columbians. We are still asked, “Who was Margaret Ormsby?” Our new name confirms and reflects the true scope and breadth of our engagement with British Columbia.

A change of this magnitude can’t happen overnight. In the coming weeks I will be working with the indefatigable Shane Birley of Left Right Minds Initiatives to make the necessary changes to the website. Please bear with us while we do so.

Finally, I’d like to acknowledge the memory of Dr. Ormsby, a family friend and mentor in Coldstream Valley, whose contributions to understanding British Columbia inspired our beginnings, and whose name has served as our banner for five and a half years.

I’d like to think that she herself would approve of this transition to a broad and inclusive new name: we intend to make The British Columbia Review the go-to source of timely and thoughtful reviews of most newly-published books on BC and of commentary on events and issues of importance to this fascinating province.

Thank you, Margaret, for getting us this far!

– Richard Mackie, Editor and Publisher, The British Columbia Review


Linny D. Vine, A New Adventure (showing Fulford Valley and Mt. Maxwell, Salt Spring Island). Courtesy Linny D. Vine

Board members of The British Columbia Review are Byron Sheardown (president), Joanne Arnott, Daniel Francis, Trevor Marc Hughes, Renee Sarojini Saklikar, LiLynn Wan, and Eldon Yellowhorn (treasurer).

The advisory board of The British Columbia Review consists of Jean Barman, Wade Davis, Robin Fisher, Cole Harris, Hugh Johnston, Kathy Mezei, Patricia Roy, Maria Tippett, and Graeme Wynn.

Provincial Government Patron (since September 2018): Creative BC. Honorary Patron: Yosef Wosk. Scholarly Patron: SFU Graduate Liberal Studies.

“Only connect.” – E.M. Forster

24 comments on “1376 The new British Columbia Review

  1. This is a great move, Richard. Well done. The new name is much more indicative of the work you do to help BC authors and publishers throughout the province to highlight the literary achievements of so many talented people.

  2. Well done Richard. A timely shift. And many thanks again for this invaluable service to the readers and writers of our province.

    PS: I don’t think you need worry about BC changing its name. I mean we still have British Honduras, British Somaliland, British Guiana, and so on. So why would we change the name of British Columbia?

  3. And oh, but I love the painting you’ve included (the visuals you attach are always of interest). Even though there have been many changes on Salt Spring, Mt Maxwell still reigns — with that curve in the road as well. Congratulations. Just hoping the ‘old’ URLs will remain.

    1. Thanks, Heidi. Yes, I’ve been assured that the old URLs will remain active. Online sites do change their names occasionally, and some kind of forwarding of URLs can be done. It is far beyond my own ability, of course. PS I grew up in North Saanich very near Swartz Bay, and the Fulford Valley and Mt. Maxwell were a short ferry trip away. It was so kind of Linny D. Vine to give permission to use her evocative painting with the perfect title.

  4. Never certain about the wisdom of these name changes. What happens if, as some have suggested it should in keeping with the social implications of UNDRIP, “British Columbia” changes its name?

    1. Good point, Loys. I expect we will be known as the BCR or BC Review anyway. If the social implications of UNDRIP are followed through on, we will see a mass exodus from BC names: BC Studies, BC Business, BC Magazine, BC Bookworld, BC History. Until then we have lots to keep busy with.

    1. Thanks, Theresa. It’s immensely gratifying to know that we’ve filled a niche, found a market, and provided something useful to BC writers, readers, reviewers, and publishers.

    1. Thanks, Ginny. It has been on my mind for 2 or 3 years. We’ve always been the BC Review anyway in the range of what we do.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Pin It on Pinterest

Share This