History (B.C.)

1464 Chinatown settlers and letters

Occupying Chinatown by Paul Wong Vancouver: On Main Gallery, 2021 $80.00 / 9780969477778 Reviewed by May Q Wong * In this limited-edition clothbound book, the reader will share a personal journey with world-renowned artist Paul Wong, who pays homage to his mother and family, and by extension, the early Chinese immigrants who established Vancouver’s Chinatown….
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1461 Denman Island calling

The Denman Island Readers & Writers Festival is back — and it will be good by Howard Macdonald Stewart * The Denman Island Readers & Writers Festival is on again this year from July 15-17, with related events beginning July 11. Festival organisers improvised in 2020 and 2021 but now it’s back to our traditional…
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1460 Trainspotting in the Kootenays

When Trains Ruled the Kootenays: A Short History of Railways in Southeastern British Columbia by Terry Gainer Victoria: Rocky Mountain Books, 2022 $25.00  /  9781771604017 Reviewed by Ron Verzuh * Trainspotting in the Kootenays: Did we miss the train as a better way to travel in the 21st century? When I was a kid growing…
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1459 Rabbit Lane: Douglas Coupland

Art Exhibit Review: RABBIT LANE: DOUGLAS COUPLAND At the West Vancouver Art Museum, March 30-May 28, 2022, open Tuesday–Saturday, 11 a.m.–5 p.m. Reviewed by Heidi Greco * Between March 30 and May 28, 2022, the West Vancouver Art Museum is hosting an exhibit of photographs, RABBIT LANE: DOUGLAS COUPLAND. Heidi Greco, on behalf of The…
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1455 Settlers at the edge of empire

Providence: A Novel. The McBride Chronicles, Book One by Valerie Green Surrey, BC: Hancock House, 2022 $26.95 / 9780888397393 Reviewed by Vanessa Winn * Historian Valerie Green’s debut novel, Providence, is the first of a family saga trilogy. The engaging story is told from the perspective of two protagonists, settlers who make the arduous journey…
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1452 Scuttling Solidarity, 1983

Solidarity: Canada’s Unknown Revolution of 1983 by David Spaner Vancouver: Ronsdale Press, 2021 $24.95 / 9781553806387 Reviewed by Larry Hannant * Solidarity erupted in the very month I arrived in BC. I went straight from a moving van to the streets of Van. For me, Solidarity’s Empire Stadium rally on 10 August was a thrilling…
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1445 One-way ticket to Anyox

Dominion of Mercy by Danial Neil Edmonton: NeWest Press, 2021 $20.95 / 9781774390207 Reviewed by Zoe McKenna * Danial Neil’s Dominion of Mercy details a journey across continents and across centuries. Though the events of the novel are firmly set in 1917, few British Columbians will be unable to stop themselves from drawing parallels between…
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1444 Terminal City spooks

Vancouver’s Most Haunted: Supernatural Encounters in BC’s Terminal City by Ian Gibbs Victoria: TouchWood Editions, 2021 $20.00 / 9781771513180 Reviewed by Valerie Green * Ian Gibbs, who has spent years collecting and sharing ghost stories as a Ghostly Walk tour guide in Victoria, British Columbia, has done another impressive job in his second book Vancouver’s…
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1440 SS Valencia remembered

The Final Voyage of the Valencia by Michael C. Neitzel Victoria: Heritage House, 2020 (first published 1995) $9.95 / 9781772033151 Reviewed by Ron Verzuh * SS Valencia Remembered: More than 100 women and children died needlessly in this tragic event off Vancouver Island in 1906 It wasn’t as world stopping as the sinking of the…
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1438 Bill Holm (1925-2020)

Bill Holm (1925-2020) An obituary by Liz Hammond-Kaarremaa * Think of a slow, gentle, deep-water earthquake. You may have missed it, but think how its waves reverberate for a long long time, repeatedly coming ashore and changing entire landscapes over time. That was American art historian Bill Holm. Bill Holm died in December 2020 at…
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1436 The northern precedent

Lewis & Clark Reframed: Examining Ties to Cook, Vancouver and Mackenzie by David L. Nicandri, with a foreword by Clay S. Jenkinson Pullman, WA: Washington State University Press, 2020 $32.95 (US) / 9780874223804 Reviewed by Barry M. Gough * Long before the bicentennial of the Lewis and Clark Expedition, with all its patronizing by Steven…
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1434 Kootenay mother lode

Silver Rush: British Columbia’s Silvery Slocan, 1891-1900 by Peter J. Smith Ladysmith: Two Daughters Publications, 2020. Also available at many BC bookstores. $39.95  /  9781999045906 Reviewed by Ron Verzuh * Kootenay Mother Lode: Mammoth Tome offers Detailed Account of Mining History in BC’s Colourful Slocan District A book the size of the old Eaton’s Catalogue…
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1433 Social media update

Social media update by Richard Mackie * As most of you will  know, we changed our name to The British Columbia Review from The Ormsby Review less than two months ago, on February 10th, and since then we’ve never been busier:  we’ve posted 52 book reviews, two essays, one photo essay, and one docuseries review….
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1431 A naval labour of love

Dutchy’s Diaries: Life as a Canadian Naval Officer in His Own Words, 1916-1929 by John Crispo Inglis “Dutchy” Edwards, edited by Helen Edwards [Victoria]: Helen Edwards, 2020 $29.50  /  9780969728252 Reviewed by Valerie Green * Helen Edwards, a well-known heritage professional researcher in Victoria, has achieved a work of immense importance to naval history in…
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