Daniel Francis

Reading the National Narrative


December 13, 2022

November 15, 2022

Canada's History Society has announced the winner of its Governor General's History Award for Popular Media, better known as the Pierre Berton Award.

This year the award goes to Thomas King, the prolific novelist, historian, humourist, broadcaster and I could go on. In...

October 31, 2022

 I braved the monsoon rains last week to attend the regular meeting of the Vancouver Historical Society where Gregory Betts was speaking about the Grateful Dead and their visits to the city back in the 1960s and '70s. You can watch the lecture yourself here on YouTube.

What I remember about the music of those years was not the Dead -- I was out of town for their concerts -- but the Jefferson Airplane. For me, the...

October 14, 2022

The 1907 anti-Asian riots are remembered as one of the most shameful episodes in Vancouver's history. A crowd of several thousand people gathered at city hall to support a rally against Asian immigration. Following the meeting a mob descended on Chinatown, trashing businesses and threatening residents, before moving on to Powell Street to attack the Japanese community. (The...

October 2, 2022

In case you missed it -- and it was very easy to miss, given the scarcity of book news these days -- the BC Book Prizes were awarded last week. Here are the winners.

Ethel Wilson Fiction Prize -- Ruth Ozeki, The Book of Form and Emptiness (Viking/Penguin Random House)

Hubert Evans Non-Fiction Prize -- Jordan Abel, NISHGA (M&S/Penguin Random House)

Dorothy Livesay Poetry Prize -- Henry Doyle, No Shelter (Anvil Press)

Roderick Haig-...