Daniel Francis

Reading the National Narrative
August 11, 2018

I spent a morning recently clambering around the top of Mount Seymour in the company of Alex Douglas, the "mountain man." Alex curates a small museum on the mountain and leads walking tours of some of the historic cabin sites.

According to Alex's website, "If you lived in Vancouver, Mount Seymour is where you learnt to ski." This was certainly true in my own case. Back in the mid-1950s my parents drove myself and my siblings up the...

July 22, 2018

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One of the joys of noodling around in the history of one’s hometown – in my case Vancouver – is the threads of personal connection that, tugged upon, unravel something new about one’s own relationship with the place.

A case in point is Maude Sherman (1900-1976). Sherman was a founding member of the BC Art League, a group of Vancouver art lovers who banded together in the...

July 8, 2018

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As mentioned below, I gave an illustrated talk on the history of squatting in Burrard Inlet recently. (If you are interested, Vancouver Sun reporter Kevin Griffin wrote a nice piece about it.)

One of the most organized of the...

July 2, 2018

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The debate about revising the historical reputations of some of our "founding fathers" and the consequent removal of street names, statues, etc. is an important and complicated one. But sometimes it descends into farce.

A case in point is a stretch of highway outside of Courtenay on Vancouver Island. In 1996 Glen Clark's NDP government christened a part of the...

June 24, 2018

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When I was a kid in 1950s Vancouver my father often took me to watch the Mounties play baseball at what was then Capilano Stadium. In fact I was part-owner of the club; at some point the team was community owned and my dad bought me a $25 share. Truth be told I found the games a bit boring but I appreciated spending time in the bleachers with my father and I daresay he felt the same...

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