About

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“The Ormsby Review, named for pioneering historian and UBC professor Margaret Ormsby, is a remarkable and comprehensive online review of more British Columbia books than you ever imagined existing — the west coast publishing market is lively. It covers fiction, poetry, politics, memoir and much else, as well as a lot of local and west coast history.” – Christopher Moore, September 14, 2020.

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Editor and Publisher: Richard Mackie

Mission Statement:  The British Columbia Review, formerly The Ormsby Review, is a lively and inclusive Vancouver-based online journal devoted to the literature, arts, culture, and society of British Columbia. Our mandate is to review books by BC-based writers wherever they choose to publish them. We review books from the member publishers of the ABPBC (Association of Book Publishers of BC), but we also review books that are privately printed, self-published, or published by BC writers or on BC topics at publishing houses elsewhere in Canada or abroad. When possible, we also find BC reviewers. Our accessible and authoritative reviews, essays, and memoirs are open and free. Nothing is hidden behind paywalls.

The British Columbia Review works with writers, publishers, and literary professionals across Canada to promote books published by BC writers or about British Columbia in all its diversity. We include books by all authors, regardless of race, age, ability, sexual orientation, gender or gender identity, ethnicity, religion, political belief, marital or family status, and/or status as Indigenous, Métis, or Inuit.

The editorial offices of The British Columbia Review are located near Commercial Drive in East Vancouver, in the traditional, unceded, and sometimes overlapping territories of the Musqueam, Squamish, and Tsleil-Wauuth peoples. Indigenous British Columbia, the land on which we live and create, extends over a large area comprising three culture areas, eight language families, and 32 distinct languages. We endeavour to review all books by and about Indigenous BC. Those reviews can be accessed directly here.

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The British Columbia Review, in its original guise as The Ormsby Review, was named in honour of Margaret Ormsby, a trailblazing academic who was born in British Columbia. As a UBC historian, she wrote the first widely-acknowledged modern history of the province, British Columbia: A History (Toronto: Macmillan of Canada, 1958). For more, please see Welcome to Ormsby Street.

The British Columbia Review originated in September 2016 as part of Alan Twigg’s BC BookLook to provide a forum of in-depth reviews and essays regarding British Columbia. Our advisory board consists of Jean Barman, Wade Davis, Robin Fisher, Barry Gough, Hugh Johnston, Kathy Mezei, Patricia Roy, Maria Tippett, and Graeme Wynn.

Reviews edited by Richard Mackie were hosted on the BC BookLook site until The Ormsby Literary Society was registered under the BC Societies Act on April 30, 2018. The board members are: Byron Sheardown (president), Joanne Arnott, Daniel Francis, Trevor Marc Hughes, Renee Sarojini Saklikar, LiLynn Wan, and Eldon Yellowhorn (treasurer). The British Columbia Review has been fully independent of BC BookLook and BC Bookworld since November 1, 2019.

In addition to book reviews, The British Columbia Review website contains portals to a number of literary, cultural, and educational organizations with whom we have partnerships: The Association of Book Publishers of BC, The BC and Yukon Book Prizes, Quills Poetry Magazine, Kumtuks, Thompson Rivers University, The Graduate Liberal Studies programme at Simon Fraser University, and The New Orphic Review.

Our Honorary Patron is Yosef Wosk.

The British Columbia Review thanks

  for funding.

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March 21, 2022: The British Columbia Review also acknowledges financial support received from the Government of Canada, Department of Canadian Heritage, Recovery Fund for Arts, Culture, and Sports Sectors. August 2022: The British Columbia Review also acknowledges financial support received from the Government of Canada, Department of Canadian Heritage, Canada Book Fund.