British Columbia History14 min letti
UNION LAUNDRY The Story of Harry and May Yuen
If you were in Vancouver’s Chinatown in the early 1970s, standing on the corner of Union Street and Gore Avenue, you could not have missed the Prior Street on-ramp of the new Georgia–Dunsmuir viaduct. As you came off the viaduct, you would see our re
British Columbia History1 min lettiWorld
Did You Know That Written Chinese Has Two Character Sets?
Standard Chinese, also known as Modern Standard Mandarin, uses a simplified character set that came into use in 1949. It is used today in Mainland China and in Singapore. The characters Elwin has used in his article are from the Traditional Chinese
British Columbia History6 min letti
OUR HISTORY IS PART OF THE CANADIAN RECORD Reflections on the work of the South Asian Studies Institute
The South Asian Studies Institute is a unique research centre that studies both the South Asia region and the South Asian Canadian diaspora. In 2004 a group of intrepid community leaders met with the University of the Fraser Valley’s senior administr
British Columbia History3 min letti
They Persevered and Built a Community
Originally named Mayo Siding, this mill town just west of Duncan was founded by Mayo Singh in 1917. It flourished for two decades, then struggled after the mill closed in the 1940s. People gather each summer to remember the meaning of this place, and
British Columbia History4 min lettiPolitics
STOP AND WITNESS: Decolonizing BC’s roadside history
In September 2016, a sign was unveiled just up the street from my home in Kamloops. It was the kind of familiar sign that dots Canada’s highways, meant for motorists to pull over and read, learn a thing or two about local history, and move on with a
British Columbia History1 min lettiPsychology
Culturally Modified
Joanne Hammond’s article—in a previous form—appeared in Culturally Modified, a quarterly online publication edited by Delani Valin. Culturally Modified seeks to explore the tangible and intangible aspects of culture. Each issue delves into a resona
British Columbia History3 min letti
Ichiro Shiino’s Photographic Legacy
The Arrow Lakes owes a debt of gratitude to the photographic foresight of a former Paldi mill hand. Ichiro Shiino left a legacy in film, chronicling the industrial and social life of Nakusp and its environs over several decades. Born in Cumberland in
British Columbia History4 min letti
Bulkley Valley Museum via Collections Online
Photographs have a wonderful power to uncover long-buried memories. While scanning the Bulkley Valley Museum’s Collections Online portal I stumbled across a photo of the Smithers CNR train station that triggered an instant flashback. It’s where I ste
British Columbia History3 min letti
Prince Rupert City and Regional Archives
With only a card table for a desk, a four-drawer wooden filing cabinet, and an interest in preserving the historical records of the region, Gladys Blyth, Phylis Bowman, and Barbara Sheppard established the Prince Rupert City & Regional Archives in Se
British Columbia History2 min letti
Past Forward | Bc History Through Digital Media
Digital media takes many forms. The range of options used to share narratives in British Columbia’s history are as diverse as the stories themselves. This issue of “Past Forward” features interactive websites, a YouTube channel, and a card game that
British Columbia History12 min letti
Accessing BC History in 2020
Books are only one way to learn about the past. I visit heritage sites to feel transported back to a place in time, and I appreciate the flexibility museums have to interpret a multitude of stories. Every year I make dozens of visits to heritage site
British Columbia History1 min letti
Book Marked!
Written by family insider Jinder Oujla-Chalmers, this book is both a biography of Asa Singh Johal and his family and an in-de pth look at BC’s lumber industry. Asa Johal was a toddler when he immigrated to Canada with his Sikh family in 1924. Johal g
British Columbia History1 min letti
Recently Released
Chinatown Through a Wide Lens: The Hidden Photographs of Yucho Chow by Catherine B. Clement (Vancouver: Chinese Canadian Historical Society of BC, 2020) $70 Chop Suey Nation: The Legion Café and Other Stories from Canada’s Chinese Restaurants by Ann
British Columbia History4 min lettiCrime & Violence
Letters from Readers
We were pleased to see the excellent article in the Fall issue of British Columbia History about Chinese laundries in BC. It is worth noting, however, that discriminatory legal measures against the Chinese were not confined to head taxes and labour r
British Columbia History2 min letti
The Kinsol Trestle Celebrates 100 Years
Completed in 1920, the Kinsol Trestle is the largest wooden railway bridge in the Commonwealth, offering a spectacular crossing of the Koksilah River. The trestle is notable for both its size and its unusual seven-degree curve. Also known as the Koks
British Columbia History1 min letti
British Columbia History
Gary Mitchell Honorary President K. Jane Watt Magazine Liaison to Council Mark Forsythe Time Travels Aimee Greenaway Book Review Editor Greg Nesteroff Editor-at-Large Sylvia Stopforth Archives & Archivists K. Jane Watt Managing Editor Sue
British Columbia History1 min letti
Nanaimo Harbour Then and Now
Fujikazu “Frank” Koyama and his wife Taka lived beside their wharf on Stewart Avenue in Nanaimo and were respected members of the community. During the Second World War, the Koyamas were forcibly removed from the coast along with thousands of other J
British Columbia History2 min letti
We Value These Histories
The importance of community and local history is not lost on someone who rarely sees her history reflected in Canadian public discourse or correctly reflected in the Canadian record. My thoughts turn to the early 1900s when my first brethren came to
British Columbia History1 min letti
History In Context
Contribute the photograph to British Columbia History magazine’s back page feature. We would like to encourage you help bring a photograph of the past to the present. Anyone can contribute a photograph! Please send your photograph of the past in the
British Columbia History7 min letti
Warp Weft Weave: Joining Generations
Canadian Museum of History, 71403 LS I began the art of felting wool over a year ago, because I wanted to feel my hands slide over the soapy warm fibres. It was so satisfying that I wanted more: I wanted to learn more about fibres and how they held t
British Columbia History5 min letti
The Washboard Legacy
City of Vancouver Archives, AM54-S4-: SGN 435.1 Laundry services grew to become a Chinese-dominant industry in British Columbia throughout the late 1800s to the 1960s as racism and discriminatory policies pushed Chinese immigrants into challenging ni
British Columbia History5 min letti
An Ode To Mom, COVID, And The Internment
Nikkei National Museum, 2010.80.2.76 As the COVID crisis was emerging in mid-March, I was going about my daily life and I started to feel this deja-vu feeling as I watched the news and as life as we knew it started to shut down. First the travel ban,
British Columbia History8 min letti
My Discovery of the Mainland Boyhood Rambles
Barry Gough collection  My earliest years, I recall, passed in paradise.1 Southernmost Vancouver Island seemed then, as Governor James Douglas remarked almost a century before my birth there, “the perfect Eden.” We lived in natural contentment with a
British Columbia History2 min letti
The Scabbler: A Solution To A Serious Cow Comfort Problem
Loose housing system. The cows are waiting to go into the milking parlour, 1970s. BC Dairy Historical Society Photo Gallery archives Before the 1970s, dairy cows on most BC dairy farms were housed in tie stall or stanchion barns for at least six mont
British Columbia History4 min letti
TIME TRAVELS: Langley Heritage Society
(Mark Forsythe travels through BC, and back in time, exploring the unique work of British Columbia Historical Federation Members) Time itself seems to have ground to a halt. The COVID-19 pandemic has forced people and organizations to take stock, and
British Columbia History3 min lettiLGBTQIA+ Studies
ARCHIVES & ARCHIVISTS: Connecting with Community through the BC Gay and Lesbian Archives
Daniel Collins, Ref. AM1675-S4-F47-: 2018-020.7591 Like all archives, the City of Vancouver Archives recognizes the role of both digitization and public outreach in raising awareness of our holdings and increasing access. Over the past two years, thr
British Columbia History2 min letti
Past Forward: Digital BC History
Stories and experiences in British Columbia’s diverse history are explored through many types of digital media. This edition of “Past Forward” features two interactive experiences: a quiz about Residential School locations and stories from a historic
British Columbia History12 min letti
British Columbia Bookshelf: Questioning History: The Search for Answers
As COVID-19 changed the lives of people in our province and around the world, many of us have looked to history to help us understand an unprecedented time. How did Canada and the world respond to the Spanish Flu pandemic of 1918-1920? What lessons r
British Columbia History1 min letti
Book Marked!
“This book is the product of the Chiefs’ recognition of the need to share our history with our own people and our neighbours before the knowledge becomes lost. Our Old Ones took care of our oral traditions and histories by preserving them even when t
British Columbia History1 min letti
Letters from Readers
I enjoyed the article about the Black pioneers who settled on Salt Spring Island. As I read it, I recalled a visit to the island some years ago when a friend who was an architect pointed out a house that reflected the style of houses built in parts o
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