Daniel Francis

Reading the National Narrative

November 2020

November 23, 2020

Back in the day I worked for a while as an oral historian. For three summers I drove the length of the Trent-Severn Waterway in south-central Ontario, interviewing people who had lived and/or worked along the waterway. It was so long ago that I was actually using an old reel-to-reel tape recorder. One summer I got cheap digs in an old house with a group of university students. The house had...

November 18, 2020

Like so many others, my friends at The Ormsby Review are finding it difficult to navigate these troubled times.

The Ormsby is an online collection of book reviews featuring informed opinion about every book that is published in British Columbia or written by a British Columbian. If there is another such ambitious site in the country, I don't know about it.

Editor Richard Mackie runs a stripped down operation but even to do this he needs...

November 14, 2020

November 13, 2020, 3 p.m.

November 2, 2020

I wrote earlier in this space about Frederick Varley's sojourn in Vancouver, 1926-36. Not long ago I took a stroll to see if I could locate any sites in the city associated with the artist. 

When they arrived in the fall of 1926, the Varley family settled into a rented bungalow on the grounds of a much larger home on...