May 2020
The British Columbia Historical Federation has provided a collective voice for its member societies since 1922.


UFV’s South Asian Studies Institute awarded grant from Centennial Legacy Fund

The South Asian Studies Institute of the University of the Fraser Valley is the 2020 grant recipient of the BCHF Centennial Legacy Fund. The $4,000 will be put towards a project called Missing aesthetics of early Sikh settlers in BC: Where are the women? Click below for a video interview between BCHF president Shannon Bettles and UFV’s South Asian Studies Institute director Satwinder Bains and co-ordinator Sharanjit Kaur Sandhra.

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Mark Forsythe wins BCHF News and Media Award


Mark Forsythe from the Langley Heritage Society is the recipient of the BCHF 2020 Best News and Media Award. Forsythe is the host of Valley Voices, a monthly podcast which promotes public history in the Fraser Valley. You can hear past episodes by clicking the link below.

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Awards of recognition announced

Chris Hay is the recipient of a BCHF 2019 Award of Recognition.

We're pleased to announce the recipients of the 2019 Recognition Awards, saluting outstanding contributions by individuals to the study and promotion of BC History.

Award of Appreciation: Bill Glasgow, who designing British Columbia History magazine, as well as over 100 local history books and memoirs, often as a volunteer.

Award of Merit: Michelle Willard and Kevin McPhedran who spearheaded the creation of interpretive signage to commemorate the once vibrant Japanese Canadian community in Cumberland.

Award of Recognition: Diane Johnson, a volunteer at the Surrey Archives, who in 2019 alone contributed 1,030 hours to extensive transcription projects to make archival records accessible.

Award of Recognition: Chris Hay, for his invaluable efforts to have the Stanley Park Rock Garden recognized as an historic site in Vancouver.

An interview with Michael Layland

BC Historical Federation vice-president Mark Forsythe caught up with the 2020 Lieutenant-Governor’s Medal for Historical Writing prize winning author Michael Layland to discuss his book In Nature’s Realm: Early Naturalists Explore Vancouver Island. Click below to watch the video.

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An interview with Wendy Wickwire

We also spoke with Wendy Wickwire, runner up in the 2020 Lieutenant Governor’s Medal for Historical Writing competition, for her book At the Bridge: James Teit and an Anthropology of Belonging. Click below to view that interview.

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An interview with Kyle Kusch

Kyle Kusch signs a copy of Our Coloured Past. Courtesy Arrow Lakes News

Take a virtual trip to the Arrow Lakes through this interview with Kyle Kusch. a recipient of the BCHF’s Community History Award for Our Coloured Past: The Arrow Lakes in the Age of Colour Photography.

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COVID-19 information for member societies

Our member societies, individual, affiliate and corporate members are affected by the pandemic in different ways. Please contact the BCHF if your society is undergoing hardship and needs support. We can help you access information or technology, manage your British Columbia History magazine subscription, or consider BCHF membership hardship options.

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Surrey to host 2021 BCHF conference

Parade through Cloverdale. Image courtesy Surrey Historical Society 40.3.06

The Surrey Historical Society will host the 2021 BCHF conference. The society was preparing to host the annual conference this June when health concerns caused by the coronavirus pandemic forced the cancellation of the event.

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2020 Johnson Scholarship Program opens

Johnson Insurance is offering 50 scholarships, valued at $1,000 each, to eligible students completing high school in 2020 and starting post-secondary education this fall. The program is open to children and grandchildren of all BCHF members (even if they are not Johnson policyholders). The application deadline is July 15.

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Welcome to our newest members

A warm welcome to our new members, who joined the BC Historical Federation in April.

Associates: D. Boersema (Telkwa), D. Flewelling (North Saanich), J. McIntosh (Port Alberni), S. Spohn (North Vancouver), R. Verzuh (Eugene, Oregon)



Vancouver’s Japanese Hall 1928-2018

The Japanese School Hall is a Vancouver institution, opened in 1906. By stubbornness and luck its board retained ownership through the war, and in 1953 a portion of the property was returned. Click the button below to view a presentation delivered by Laura Saimoto.

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Emergency support fund announced for cultural, heritage and sport organizations

The federal government is setting aside $500 million to help alleviate the financial pressures faced by culture, heritage, and sport organizations as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. This includes $53 million to the heritage sector via the emergency component of the Museums Assistance Program.

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BC Heritage Fair plans virtual event

BC Heritage Fairs Alumni and the Heritage Fair board are planning a 2020 virtual fair to take place over Zoom on June 27 and 28, with the theme of community. There will be a mix of student presentations/panels and interactive group activities for participants.

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North Vancouver Museum offers Zoom background images

Men cruising timber on Lot 605, ca. 1918.

North Vancouver Museum and Archives has made several images available that you can use as a background for your next Zoom meeting, from historical photographs (including one of the soon-to-be restored Streetcar 153) to contemporary photos of the Community History Centre.

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The curious case of the 1956 roll of Kodak Super XX

A still from the 1956 CBC-TV production Summer Afternoon.

Christine Hagemoen provides a fascinating update on five rolls of film she had developed 62 years after it was shot, and her efforts to identify the photographer responsible for the images of Vancouver’s Chinatown and False creek.

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A lonely grave has company

The fenced graves of William Pinchbeck (right) and Jack Aitchison (left) overlooking the Williams Lake Stampede Grounds circa 1925. From History and Happenings in the Cariboo-Chilcotin by Irene Stangoe

Barry Sale writes about the William Pinchbeck grave in Williams Lake — and another, forgotten man who is buried next to him.

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Neil Sterritt (1941-2020)


Neil Sterritt (left) is presented an award from BCHF President Gary Mitchell at the annual conference in Chilliwack in 2017.

We were saddened to learn of the passing of Neil Sterritt, Indigenous rights activist and award winning author. In 2017, Sterritt’s book Mapping My Way Home: A Gitxsan History earned a prize for BC historical writing.

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Robin Gresko (1947-2020)

Robin Gresko, a BCHF and Surrey Historical Society member, died April 10. We will miss seeing him at our events and annual conferences, and extend our condolences to his wife Jacqueline, a past BCHF president, and family.

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The BCHF offers a number of advertising opportunities in our e-newsletter, which is distributed to our entire membership monthly. Advertisements are jpeg images sized to 600 px wide for electronic distribution. To submit an ad, contact Greg Nesteroff: greg@bchistory.ca

Members enjoy discounted advertising rates. Choose 12 months for the best deal:

1-3 months = $100 each ($100-$300 annually)
4 months = $90 each ($360 annually)
6 months = $80 each ($480 annually)
8 months = $70 each ($560 annually)
12 months = $50 each ($600 annually)

Rates for non-members are as follows:

1-3 months = $150 each ($150-$450 annually)
4 months = $140 each ($560 annually)
6 months = $130 each ($780 annually)
8 months = $120 each ($960 annually)
12 months = $100 each ($1,200 annually)

BC Historical Federation
Box 448, Fort Langley, BC, V1M 247 • info@bchistory.ca

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