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                    Reading the National Narrative


                    BC Encyclopedia Now Free

                    April 5, 2020

                    Good news for anyone seeking to learn more about things British Columbian.

                    The Encyclopedia of British Columbia is now free online. My publisher, Harbour Publishing, has decided generously to make the EBC available at a time when the public, and especially students, are looking for reliable sources of information. So it has torn down the paywall. All you have to do is get yourself over to the , and start reading.

                    Not only that but several other of Harbour's online resources have also been made available. That includes my own history of British Columbia for young readers, Far West, as well as Where Mountains Meet the Sea, my history of North Vancouver, along with several other titles.

                    Check it out.

                    April 2, 2020

                    For several years I have been?a member of the local heritage advistory committee, which as the name suggests advises local government on heritage issues.

                    As a committee, we spend a lot of time regretting?the disappearance of yet one more valuable heritage structure. So it is nice to have a small success story to report.

                    The home pictured above is known as the Copper Cottage. Built in...

                    March 31, 2020

                    As many readers know, I've been working on a new book for the past couple of years, a history of Vancouver.?

                    Becoming Vancouver: A New History was in the middle of the editing/design process, scheduled for fall publication, when the epidemic hit. My publisher (Harbour Publishing)?and I agree that it makes little sense to bring a new book into such an uncertain world: stores closed, festivals cancelled; readings dangerous. Especially a book?which is not time-sensitive.?

                    March 17, 2020

                    I suppose one thing we can be thankful for in the present health crisis is that we are not fighting a world war at the same time.

                    You'll have seen lots of references to the 1918-19 flu epidemic (it is often called the Spanish flu but in fact it originated in China) which swept the world and killed in the neighbourhood of 50 million people. At least that is the number we seem to have...

                    February 29, 2020

                    Tom Hawthorne has an interesting article at Montecristo Magazine about an episode in wartime Vancouver when some members of the Junior Board of Trade pretended for a day that the city was occupied by Nazi invaders. A mob of "soldiers" occupy the radio station. The mayor is marched...

                    February 18, 2020

                    The other day I was leafing through a copy of Arduous Destiny by P.B. Waite in search of a factoid when the pages fell apart in my hands. No surprise, I guess. My edition of Waite's book dates to 1978 and has followed me from Ottawa, where it was purchased, to Montreal and across the country to North Vancouver. Forty-two years later it doesn't owe me anything.

                    Arduous Destiny...