Daniel Francis

Reading the National Narrative


March 3, 2017

I have a couple of websites to recommend.

Lana Okerlund is a Vancouver book editor, writer and history buff who has begun blogging on the history of bookselling in BC at "A Most Agreeable Place." Apparently she set out to answer the question "What was the first bookseller in Vancouver?" and the result became this blog. (The answer to the question, by the way, is Seth Thorne Tilley who provided the pen, ink and paper for the city's first...

February 28, 2017


The day after the Oscars the district of North Vancouver held its own awards night. The gowns were less formal but at least the awards went to the correct recipients, of which I was one.

The Community Heritage Awards are presented annually to recognize efforts to promote heritage conservation in the community. Last night most of the awards went to homeowners who had...

February 17, 2017


Often when one is out walking in the city one encounters sites where history is buried not so far beneath the surface, sites of significance to First Nations people and therefore, usually, sites of injustice.

For example. I took this photograph last weekend on the False...

February 10, 2017


Every day the Dictionary of Canadian Biography posts a feature biography on its website and this past week one of the articles was about Vancouver's own Joe Fortes, perhaps to mark Black History Month. (That's him above in about 1918; courtesy of Vancouver city Archives ...

January 23, 2017

Several years ago I travelled to northern Vancouver Island to visit a pair of museums/cultural centres that tell the story of one of the most flagrant art heists in Canadian history. But this robbery was not carried out by cat burglars or art thieves; it was the work of the Canadian government on behalf of the Canadian people.

The Nuyumbalees Cultural Centre at Cape Mudge is on Quadra Island, a brief ferry trip from Campbell River, and...