Daniel Francis

Reading the National Narrative

February 2020

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...

February 14, 2020

Up at Squamish this morning for the grand reopening of the Sea to Sky Gondola, back in action after being vandalized six months ago.

Guess what? The view hasn't changed at all.

Congratulations to everyone involved.

February 12, 2020

Anyone looking for a new narrative for Canadian history should check out Richard Mackie's latest essay over at the Ormsby Review.

Mackie, who is editor of the Review, prowled the halls of academe before choosing the more perilous path of a freelance historian. He has written several well-regarded books, my own favourites being his two-volume, wonderfully illustrated, history of...

February 10, 2020

The local CBC has been commemorating the tenth anniversary of the Vancouver/Whistler Winter Olympics. I was invited to join a few other historians in ranking where the Games fit on a list of significant events in the city's past.

The results were tabulated and it seems we all agreed that the Olympics didn't have much of a long term impact at all. In fact, the Games came dead last, trailing other events by a large margin. Race riots, freeways debates, the world's fair of 1986, the...