Sunday, December 5, 2010

WHN/BC 2010 Conference Sessions - links and info posted

Here is a recap with information links for those who were in the Zhindagee and BC Digitization sessions yesterday at the Women's History Network of BC's 2010 conference.

The first session, with Mahinder Kaur Doman Manhas, author of the new book, Zhindagee: Selected stories of our first daughters, was at turns sad, moving, funny, and heart warming. We heard readings from the book from Mahinder and also friends and relatives of women in the book. Good questions and so much to think about. One point mentioned about preserving women's history in general too was the importance of keeping journals - and preserving those already written by family. With the family's permission, excerpts from one woman's previously unpublished manuscript are included in the book. I can't wait to read all the stories in the book myself.

Zhindagee, Selected stories of our first daughters - cover.

This is a limited edition book, and Mahinder suggests people, if they can, buy one to donate to a library or other place where more people will be able to read it. (I'm donating a copy to the BC Genealogical Society library, for example.) If you'd like to buy one, or more, you can contact the author - see the Zhindagee website - or contact her through WHN/BC There will be an Zhindagee event early in the New Year in Vancouver and probably books will be available there.

West Beyond the West: British Columbia's history, heritage and culture:

In the second session, Ken Cooley, Associate Librarian at the University of Victoria Library, spoke about both the BC Digitization Coalition and the University Library's current projects, and Lara Wilson, University of Victoria Archivist, spoke about her Archives' digitial initiatives and about the Archives Association of British Columbia.

Although a good number of projects to digitize BC historical materials are completed or underway, these are mainly from larger institutions (with larger budgets). Among other things, the BC Digitization Coalition is working to promote digitization in smaller institutions and groups by promoting the use of the West Beyond the West portal website, and the free software Digital Collection Builder, and by providing training for this and some support. Soon there will be a Digital Collection Builder workshop at the University of Victoria, for instance. And the Archives Association of British Columbia offers education sessions, some by distance education, including Managing Your Oral History Project and Managing Archival Photographs. These are open to members and non-members.

University of Victoria, BC, Digital Collections:

The University of Victoria Library and the University Archives digital collections - Digital Collections A-Z - already includes several resources of particular importance to women's history - the British Colonist newspapers 1858-1910, selections from the records of Peggy and Nicholas Abkhazi, photographic glass-plate transparencies by Herbert Geddes depicting life in Japan c. 1910, military oral histories, and BC Provincial Normal School oral histories. Projects underway include future digitization of a collection of lesbian and bi-sexual oral histories (to be on-line in 2011) and of Government of British Columbia publications, and of materials from the Victoria Women's Movement Archives, held by the UVic Archives. Funds for this last project are being raised right now; read about it in Times Colonist article by Katherine Dedyna, November 4, 2010. Lara Wilson stressed that the University of Victoria Archives collects local history, as well as University materials. Contact her if you have a collection that may be of interest there.

And, last but not least, thank you to all the conference participants and volunteers!

Edited 7 Dec 2010 Mdr

Saturday, December 4, 2010

The Most Significant BC Women Writers?

Alan Twigg’s new book, 150 Great B.C. Books & Authors: The Essentials, Volume 4 of his Literary History of British Columbia (Vancouver: Ronsdale Press, 2010) has raised a bit of controversy already.

Although many more women are mentioned in the text, these are the women Twigg highlights.

Margaret McNaughton
Audrey Thomas
Julia Henshaw
Pat Lowther
Martha Douglas Harris
Alice Munro
Agnes Deans Cameron
Helen Akrigg
E. Pauline Johnson
Susan Musgrave
Lily Adams Beck
Terry Reksten
Irene Baird
Margaret Trudeau
Emily Carr
Anne Cameron
Dorothy Livesay
Lynne Bowen
Elizabeth Smart
Jeannette Armstrong
Ethel Wilson
Sheryl McFarlane
Gilean Douglas
Alexandra Morton
Louise Jilek-Aall
Sage Birchwater
M. Wylie Blanchet
Biruté Galdikas
Jane Rule
Irene, Hazel and Veera Witte
Christie Harris
Maria Coffey
Margaret Craven
Ivan E. Coyote
Sheila A. Egoff

Who's missing? Whose writing do you feel might not be 'really' significant to BC literary history, especially women's literary history in BC?

What might your list of significant BC women authors and books look like?

What about including more poets, historians (and publishers and bookstores)?

From the Women's History Network of British Columbia's November 2010 newsletter. See the website for a full copy.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Walk Myself Home Book Launch - Vancouver - Dec 6 2010

Walk Myself Home, an anthology of poetry, fiction, non-fiction and interviews, all on the subject of violence against women, edited by Andrea Routley (Caitlin Press, 2010).

Book Launch, Monday, December 6, 2010

at Joy Kogawa House, Vancouver, 7:30 - 9:30 pm.

With authors Sara Graefe, Kate Braid, Anne Hopkinson, Fiona Tinwei Lam, Roy Roberts, Zhong Chen and Elee Kraljii Gardiner.

R.S.V.P. to
Historic Joy Kogawa House, 1450 West 64th Ave., Vancouver.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Women's History Network of BC - Newsletter On-line

The November 2010 WHN/BC newsletter is now on-line at the website:

More news about the conference, 4 December 2010 in Victoria, book reviews, upcoming events and more about our members, as well as some snippets of British Columbia women's history.

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Women's History Conference - Victoria BC - December 4, 2010

Zhindagee cover, author, publisher, Mahinder Kaur Doman Manhas (Victoria, BC: Zhindagee Publishing, 2010).

December 4, 2010, Victoria, BC

1 - 4 pm, Emily Carr Branch Library, Victoria, BC

History of Asian Indian 1st daughters in BC 1920-1950, with speaker Mahinder Kaur Doman Manhas, Anthology editor/publisher of
Zhindagee, Selected stories of our first daughters born in BC
Digitizing BC’s History, the BC Digitization Coalition.
$15 per person. Refreshments, free parking.
Emily Carr Branch Library,
3500 Blanshard St., Victoria.

Please pre-register: Women’s History Network of BC

or e-mail: Registration forms on the website.

Registration available at the door, but space limited.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Room Magazine - Past and Present

I just received my copy of the latest Room Magazine. Had my first browse through and I'm really looking forward to reading all of this issue - the theme is 'Past and Present'. The fiction writers included are Pearl Luke. Tracy Oliver, Lorrie Miller, Kristin Andrychuk, Jann Everard, Heather Debling and Valerie Laub, and the poets, Jan Wood, Adele Graf, Sandy Pool, Elena E. Johnson, Janet Hepburn, Lesley Washington, Lauren Carter, Bronwen McRae and Lesley Pasquin. And there's more...

This issue includes a thank you to the Women's History Network of BC (WHN/BC) as Room Magazine was one of the participants in WHN/BC's Women's History Fair earlier this year. Thanks for the thanks, Room!

And I noticed that two of my genealogy friends are mentioned, Lorraine Irving who gives cemetery tours at Mountain View Cemetery in Vancouver and Celia Lewis who teaches genealogy.

Room Magazine began with the Growing Room Collective in Vancouver in the 1970s and was originally called Room of One's Own - from Virginia Woolf 's writing, so Room's already made lots of history itself. It's now Canada's oldest literary journal by and about women.

To learn more about Room, this Past and Present issue, future issues, or to subscribe, go to Room Magazine's website:

Diane R

Monday, November 1, 2010

"Women in Wartime: Vivandieres and Land Girls" - November 11, 2010 - Vancouver BC

A special event for Remembrance Day in Vancouver, BC. with dance, song and historical talks.

"Women in Wartime: Vivandieres and Land Girls"

Remembrance Day, Thurs. 11th November, 2010 at 7:30 pm (doors at 7)

St James Community Square (3214 W 10th Ave at Trutch)

Through dance, music, and a literary/historical presentation, two significant groups of women will be highlighted: the vivandieres who brought supplies to 19th-century troops, and members of the Women's Land Army who provided agricultural labour during WW I and II while the men were away overseas.

Half of all proceeds will be donated to Doctors Without Borders.

For further info, please contact silkmothdance @ (Please remove the spaces before and after @ when e-mailing.)

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Laura Ingalls Wilder's Little House Books - a talk - Sept. 28, 2010, Vancouver BC

September 28, 2010 - 7 pm, Tuesday in Vancouver BC at the historic Sylvia Hotel, 1154 Guildford St on English Bay. The talk is free - drop-in only, seating limited. Hotel parking available.

Herstory Cafe presents author Anita Clair Fellman speaking on "The Impact of Laura Ingalls Wilder's Little House Books or How a Series of Children's Books Helps Explain Anti-Government Sentiment in the U.S."

Have dinner beforehand with the guest speaker and others, from 5:30 pm. Dinner reservations required: 604 681-9321. Food and beverages for purchase.

"Laura Ingalls Wilder's books, bestselling favourites for seventy-five years, offer an engaging picture, presumably true, of one family's late 19th-century pioneering experience on the Great Plains of the U.S. These beloved books are present everywhere in American life, and are the source of many people's understanding of the shaping influence of the frontier on U.S. character and history."

Anita Clair Fellman was previously an academic, teaching in Canada and the U.S. Her book, Little House, Long Shadow: Laura Ingalls Wilder's Impact on American Culture, was published in 2008.

For more information, see the Herstory Cafe website:

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Vancouver's Herstory Cafe Picnic - Sunday August 22, 2010

It's time for the Herstory Cafe's Annual Picnic!

Sunday, August 22, 2010 starting at 11 am at Trout Lake.
(Cancelled if raining.)

Bring your favourite women's history book or photograph to share or discuss.

Meet at Trout Lake in Vancouver at the South East corner (by the washrooms).
Look for the "Camp Vivian" banner.

Bring your own lunch, chair, blanket, or other picnic necessities and comforts.

Saturday, June 19, 2010

History of West Kootenay Feminism - June 24 - Vancouver BC

Images cover, Volume 6 #4 (1978?) Art by Leni. Personal collection.

A Special Invitation from the Herstory Cafe to all those who were part of the 1960's-80's Feminist Movement in British Columbia (or anywhere else).

IMAGES - Kootenay Women's Paper: A Primer on Feminism (1973-1991), an illustrated presentation by Dr. Marcia Braundy.

When: Thursday, June 24, 2010 from 7-8:30pm.
Where: Rhizome Cafe in Vancouver, 317 Broadway.

The whole cafe's been reserved, so do come early for dinner.

This is a free event! Limited seating; come early.
Food and beverages for purchase.

Speaker Dr. Marcia Braundy is a founder and member of the original IMAGES collective, and Editor of the CD, IMAGES, Kootenay Women's Paper (1973-1991) and she will share illustrated stories of the times.

If you were at the Women's History Network of BC's Women's History Fair in Vancouver in April, you will remember seeing the West Kootenay Feminism display and perhaps, even leafing various issues of IMAGES and speaking with Marcia Braundy.

The 85 issues of IMAGES - Kootenay Women's Newspaper, published over 19 years from 1973 to 1991, represents the early writings of many of British Columbia's prize-winning women authors and artists as they struggled to develop their personal and political perspectives on Second Wave Feminism. In writing by rural BC women and others, it tells the stories of women and feminist groups from Trail, Nelson, Kaslo, the Slocan Valley, Salmo, Fruitvale, Rossland and Castlegar, for instance, of the Nelson and District Women's Centre (1972-), the oldest rural women's centre in Canada.

Theme issues addressed topics like: Aging, Health, Machinery, Sexuality, Reproductive Rights, Working, Lesbian life, Mothers and Daughters, The Arts, Media, Feminism, Technology, Violence Against Women, Travel and Relationships, while other issues covered local, regional and national news from feminist perspectives.

Images cover, August/September 1983. Cover art by Swanson. Personal collection.

The innovative Kootenay Feminism website, covering 1970 to present, launched in February this year (2010) and includes a timeline, historical minutes, posters, samples of IMAGES, interviews, music, photographs and more. The IMAGES newspaper collection was digitized with assistance from a 2009 grant through the BC History Digization Program, University of British Columbia and from a BC150 Heritage Legacy grant. The newspaper issues are available on CD.



Kootenay Feminism:

Nelson & District (BC) Women's Centre and West Kootenay Women's Association:

The Herstory Cafe is a get together where women’s history buffs can meet, hear a presentation and socialize.

British Columbia History Digitization Program:

Friday, April 9, 2010

Women's History Fair Participants - Vancouver April 10, 2010

More groups participating in the Women's History Fair, Central Branch, Vancouver Public Library, Saturday, April 10, 2010 from 1-4 pm.

The Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom (WILPF), Vancouver will be showing information about WILPF's work on peace issues since 1915 showcasing a display of historical material of the organization's work, publications, archival photographs and a record of past activities.

WE*ACT: Women Elders in Action is funded by the Women’s Program of Status of Women Canada and the 411 Senior Centre Society. The group’s focus is to raise awareness and to act on the most pressing social and economic issues facing older women in BC. They have recorded and transcribed the life stories of nearly 80 women elders around the province and published these materials.

Room Magazine (formerly Room of One’s Own) is Canada’s oldest feminist literary journal, published since 1975, by, for, and about women by an all-volunteer Vancouver editorial collective. Room's display includes issues with a focus on BC women’s history.

Pioneer Indian Women Settlers Centenary Celebration 2010: In recognition of the first Indian women who in 1910—despite the law against them—emigrated to Canada from India to reunite their families. Display includes photographs and information on “first wave” women and children by researcher Mahinder Kaur Doman Manhas.

The Chinese Canadian Historical Society of British Columbia will feature a display on Chinese Canadian Women: A Legacy of Serving their Communities.The Society is dedicated to broadening our shared understanding of history of the Chinese in British Columbia through research, documentation, preservation and education.

Women's History Fair Participants - Vancouver April 10, 2010

More of the Women's History Fair 2010 participants - the British Columbia History of Nursing Society, the Vancouver General Hospital School of Nursing Alumnae, the Japanese Canadian National Museum, the Women's Studies Department of Simon Fraser University, the University Women's Club of Vancouver and the North Vancouver Museum and Archives.

The BC History of Nursing Society will display some of the archives and artifacts from their collection including pages of history, pamphlets and historical nurse’s uniforms.

Vancouver General Hospital School of Nursing Alumnae will show material from their archives and artifacts from the VGH School of Nursing that operated for 99 years (1899-1998) including photographs, publications, uniforms, etc.

The Japanese Canadian National Museum is displaying - 'Our Mothers' Patterns'. "Sewing and dressmaking in the Japanese Canadian community is a legacy of pride, skill and accomplishment passed on from thousands of women who mastered this vital art to practice their craft in British Columbia and across Canada from the early part of the twentieth century to the present". Museum website: Our Mothers' Patterns on-line exhibit at

Simon Fraser University Women’s Studies students are bringing their Women's History projects: original work being done by women's history students. Display includes visual images through a variety of creative student projects and a power point presentation. Students will be in attendance to speak about women's history in general, as well as their own research.

The University Women's Club of Vancouver's display includes archival photographs, brochures, information on the stewardship of their heritage clubhouse, Hycroft, and a display copy of their book, “Women Lead the Way”, written by three members for their 100th anniversary.

The North Vancouver Museum and Archives's display on the history of mountaineering on BC’s North Shore will be joined by 1920’s “Molly the Mountaineer”, (based on the life of famous BC mountaineer Phyllis Munday), who will share stories of BC women climbers and their outdoor adventures.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Women's History Fair Participants - April 10, 2010 Vancouver

Here's more about participants in this Saturday's Women's History Fair at the Central Branch, Vancouver Public Library - the Original Costume Society, the City of Vancouver Archives, the Arts and Culture Office of the Vancouver Board of Parks and Recreation, the Simon Fraser University Gallery Black Communities in British Columbia 1858-2008 project, and the Simon Fraser University Archives.

The Original Costume Museum Society will be at the Fair with Fashion Historian Ivan Sayers and a mannequin display of 'Women in Pants,' including a bloomer trouser costume from the 1860s, a bicycling costume from the 1890s, and factory overalls from the 1940s. Also illustrations from BC photographers, magazines, newspapers and a board game - 'What Shall I Be' 1966. Other representatives from the OCMS will be available to discuss the exhibits with visitors.

The City of Vancouver Archives display features holdings related to women’s history, including digital reproductions, reproductions of photos and other material, brochures, and a PowerPoint presentation.

A selection of posters will be displayed with photographs and biographies of the diverse women who appear on the Arts and Culture office of the Vancouver Parks and Recreation Department's 2008 and 2010 “Remarkable Women, honouring women from Vancouver’s communities” poster series. (2008 posters)

The Black Communities in British Columbia, 1858-2008 poster exhibit highlighting women is a project curated by SFU Women’s Studies 2009 Ruth Wynn Woodward chair Dr. Afua Cooper (not in attendance). Project partnered by the SFU Gallery.

The Simon Fraser University Archives will have an exhibit banner on the development of women’s rights at SFU and a laptop demonstration. Also, an “How to use an archive exhibit with special focus on women’s activism”.

Women's History Fair - April 10, 2010 - Participating Groups

Today, tomorrow, and Saturday, this blog will feature the over 20 historical and cultural groups participating in this Saturday, April 10th's, Women's History Fair at the Central Branch, Vancouver Public Library. This event is presented by the Women's History Network of BC and is co-sponsored by the Vancouver Public Library, Special Collections Department, the Herstory Cafe and the Vancouver Courier newspaper.

Participating groups include the Jewish Museum and Archives of BC, the West Kootenay Women's Association, the Philippine Women's Centre of BC and the BC Genealogical Society. For the full list of groups, see the Women's History of BC website.

The Jewish Museum & Archives of British Columbia will be showcasing Jewish women who have made contributions to BC history since 1858 to the present. The display includes historical photos, memoirs, publications, and teacher’s resources on Jewish history and immigration. Jewish Museum & Archives website:

The West Kootenay Women's Association's display includes a guided presentation of their new website: featuring a 2nd Wave Feminism Time Line. Also available will be paper copies of IMAGES, the Kootenay Women's Newspaper 1973-1991. West Kootenay Women's Assn. website:

The Philippine Women’s Centre of BC is celebrating its 20th Anniversary this year. The Fair display includes information on the Centre and the women from one of Vancouver’s largest visible minority communities.
Philippine Women's Centre of BC website:

The BC Genealogical Society features a display on “Researching Female Ancestors” with photographs and artifacts and two themed displays – WW1 War Brides and World War II Canadian Women’s Army Corps members. Handouts will be available on researching women & there will be a laptop slide show on researching women. BCGS website:

Tuesday, February 16, 2010



Saturday, April 10, 2010
1 - 4 pm. Free.
Promenade, Central Library,
350 West Georgia Street,
Vancouver, BC.

The Women's History Fair features displays, exhibits, collections and programmes from museums, archives, historical societies, cultural groups and others - over 20 tables showcasing the history of the diverse women of British Columbia.

Co-sponsored by

For more information, see the Women's History Network of BC's website or contact WHN/BC at

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Women on Ice Book Launch - Women and hockey in Canada's West. Jan 24 in Vancouver

Women on Ice by Wayne Norton, 2009

The book launch for Women on Ice: The Early Years of Women’s Hockey in Western Canada by Wayne Norton will be at the Rhizome Cafe in Vancouver on Sunday, January 24, 2010 at 6 pm.

"Women on Ice follows the fortunes of the Vancouver women as they encountered teams from Victoria and New Westminster and the powerful squads from Calgary and Edmonton — teams that deserve to be legendary, but are now largely forgotten. Also profiled are teams from what was the geographic heart of women’s hockey in British Columbia until the First World War, the Kootenays, as well as some of the dominant teams of the postwar years from Alberta."

Women on Ice, published by Ronsdale Press in 2009, is thoroughly researched, easy to read and well illustrated too.

The author, Wayne Norton, has been researching women's hockey in the West for many years. He's a former teacher, and now is a writer and historical consultant. He's written two previous Canadian history books, A World Apart: The Crowsnest Communities of Alberta and British Columbia and Kamloops History: Fictions, Facts and Fragments.

Women on Ice book launch, 6 pm, Sunday, January 24, 2010. Rhizome Cafe, 317 East Broadway, Vancouver, BC. Free entry to this event. Food and beverages available for purchase.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Women's History Network of BC - new fax #

Please note - the Women's History Network of British Columbia - WHN/BC has a new fax number. Thank you.

604 420 2770

The contact information on our website is otherwise correct. The website will be updated as quickly as possible.

Friday, January 1, 2010

Happy New Year from the Women's History Network of BC - April-May 2010 Events

Tuck's Post Card, unused. New Year Post Cards Series #145; coloured; divided back. Private collection.

Happy New Year from the Women's History Network of British Columbia/WHN/BC!

2010 promises to be a busy year for WHN/BC.

Join us at our first Women's History Fair, Saturday, April 10th, in Vancouver at the Central Branch of the Vancouver Public Library, co-sponsored with the Herstory Cafe, the Vancouver Courier newspaper and the Vancouver Public Library, Central Branch. Registrations are now being taken for groups or individuals wishing to bring displays to the Women's History Fair. Space is limited, so register now.

And May 6-8th, meet us at the British Columbia Historical Federation/BCHF conference, also in Vancouver, at the Plaza 500 Hotel. You don't need to be a BCHF member to attend the conference, or the workshops on family history and community history outreach. And the 2010 BCHF Conference Book Fair will be open to the public free Friday, May 7th, from noon to 5 pm.