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Andrew MacLeod Wins George Ryga Award for A Better Place on Earth!

Posted: Monday, May 30, 2016 at 11:11am

Andrew MacLeod, journalist and Legislative Bureau Chief for The Tyee, has won the twelfth annual George Ryga Award for Social Awareness for A Better Place on Earth: The Search for Fairness in Super Unequal British Columbia.

The literary prize is awarded to a B.C. writer who has achieved an outstanding degree of social awareness in a new book published in the preceding calendar year. MacLeod was chosen from a shortlist of six authors, including David Boyd, Larry Gambone, Chris and Josh Hergesheimer, Carrie Saxifrage, and David Suzuki.

Extensively researched and poignantly written, A Better Place on Earth explores the reasons for, and consequences of, inequality in British Columbia – a province where the top ten percent of the population hold more than half the wealth, and more than one in five children live below the poverty line.

Speaking to BC BookWorld about his win, MacLeod explained, “Christy Clark became premier promising to put families first,” he says, “but five years later British Columbia continues to have one of the worst records in Canada for child poverty…B.C.’s economic growth may be leading Canada as the provincial government frequently reminds us, but it’s little comfort to the many people who are struggling to afford a place to live, coping with high debt payments and receiving stagnating wages.”


Nightwood Editions Author Wins Richard Carver Award!

Posted: Thursday, May 26, 2016 at 9:48am

Nelson author Donna Macdonald has won the 2016 Richard Carver Award for Emerging Writers for her memoir, Surviving City Hall (Nightwood Editions). She shares the award with Kootenay Bay novelist Alanda Greene. The award is sponsored by the Nelson and District Arts Council and the Elephant Mountain Literary Festival and honours emerging writers who show dedication to their writing practice and engagement with their communities.

Surviving City Hall was released this spring, and she has two more writing projects on the drawing board. The jury recognized her “unwavering commitment to the arts, as she truly does embody the spirit of the Carver Award.”

Macdonald remembers Richard Carver, who served on the Arts Council, the Nelson Library board, and who was a regular at Nelson City Council meetings. "Richard was such a force of creative energy—I could feel it while talking to him," she says. "He was a unique and lovely man, and receiving this award in his name means a lot to me."

Macdonald and Greene will receive their awards and read from their work at Elephant Mountain Literary Festival’s 100-Mile Gala on Thursday, July 7 at 7:30pm at the Hume Room in Nelson’s Hume Hotel. The evening also features winners of the Kootenay Mountain Culture Magazine fiction competition, CBC personality and author Grant Lawrence, and children’s author and jazz chanteuse Jill Barber. Tickets are available at

Congrats, Donna!


Nightwood Editions Author Wins BC Book Prize!

Posted: Tuesday, May 3, 2016 at 5:18pm

Vancouver author Raoul Fernandes' debut poetry collection, Transmitter and Receiver (Nightwood Editions), has won the 2016 Dorothy Livesay Poetry Prize! The prize is awarded to the BC author of the best work of poetry, published in the preceding year.

Transmitter and Receiver was also shortlisted for the League of Canadian Poets' Gerald Lampert Memorial Award, which recognizes the best first book of poetry published by a Canadian writer.  

The BC Book Prizes, established in 1985, celebrate the achievements of British Columbia writers and publishers and areawarded annually in seven categories. The awards carry a cash prize of $2000 plus a certificate. This year the winners were announced at the Government House in Victoria, BC, on April 30.

Congrats Raoul! 


Authors for Indies Day

Posted: Thursday, April 28, 2016 at 7:34pm

Authors for Indies Day

Saturday, April 30th is Authors for Indies Day, a national event where authors show their love for independent bookstores by volunteering as guest booksellers. Across the country, authors will be chatting to customers, recommending books and thanking book buyers for the support that they provide to their communities by shopping at indie bookstores. More information and a full list of participating authors can be found at

This year, participating Harbour Publishing authors include:

Robert Budd - Munro's Books and Russell Books (Victoria, BC)
Caroline Woodward - Munro's Books
Grant Lawrence - 32 Books (North Vancouver)
Sharon Hanna (Vancouver, BC)
Mark Leiren-Young (Vancouver, BC)


National Poetry Month Celebrated with Award Nominations

Posted: Wednesday, April 27, 2016 at 4:50pm

We love National Poetry Month here at Harbour Publishing, especially when it coincides with poetry award nominations! Congratulations to the Harbour Publishing and Nightwood authors who have been shortlisted for the following awards adminstered by the League of Canadian Poets:

The winners of these awards will be announced on Saturday, June 18 at a special awards luncheon at the Canadian Writers’ Summit. Visit for more details!


US Distribution in Transition

Posted: Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Harbour is in the process of rearranging its US distribution. Its former distributor, Partners Publishers Group, has now ceased operation and arranged for the transfer of many of its customers including Harbour to Midpoint Book Sales and Distribution of New York. Midpoint expects to begin filling orders for Harbour titles in June and  many are still available from wholesalers such as Ingram. In the mean time Harbour will happily fill orders to the US from its BC warehouse. More as it happens.


Watershed Moments shortlisted in the BCHF Historical Writing Competition

Posted: Tuesday, March 22, 2016 at 11:07am

Watershed Moments: A Pictorial History of Courtenay and District (Harbour Publishing, $34.95), by Christine Dickinson, Deborah Griffiths, Judy Hagen and Catherine Siba has just been shortlisted in the British Columbia Historical Federation Historical Writing Competition! The award celebrates books that make significant contributions to the historical literature of British Columbia.

In Watershed Moments, the Courtenay and District Museum opens its vast collection of historical photographs, glass plate negatives and other ephemera, much of which has never before been available for public viewing. Spanning from the late 1800s to the modern era, here are scenes of K’ómoks village life, boating parties, family celebrations, agricultural events and economic activities. This rich visual depiction of the region and its development is complemented by lively text, drawing heavily on the museum’s extensive holdings of primary source material. Local authors Dickinson, Griffiths, Hagen and Siba write of ancient fish weirs, bride ships and gentlemen adventurers, back-breaking work and astounding beauty, tracing the complex development of a diverse and ever-changing community.

The winner of the BC Lieutenant-Governor's Medal for Historical Writing, as well as the second and third place winners of the competition, will be announced at the British Columbia Historical Federation Conference Book Awards Reception on Saturday, May 28, 2016 at the Revelstoke Mountain Resort.


BC Book Prize Nominations Announced!

Posted: Thursday, March 10, 2016 at 10:38pm

The shortlists for the 2016 BC Book Prizes have been announced, and Harbour Publishing and Nightwood Editions have been nominated for five awards!

The titles in the running for these prestigious prizes include Orca Chief, a beautifully illustrated children’s book in the Northwest Coast Legend series by Roy Henry Vickers and Robert Budd, which is a finalist for both the Christie Harris Illustrated Children’s Literature Prize and the Bill Duthie Booksellers’ Choice Award.

Also vying for the Bill Duthie Bookseller’s Award is the BC Bestseller Light Years: Memoir of a Modern Lighthouse Keeper, by Caroline Woodward, a lightkeeper who lives off the West Coast of Vancouver Island. Made in British Columbia: Eight Ways of Making Culture, by Maria Tippett—a book that celebrates BC culture by looking at the careers of eight ground-breaking British Columbian producers in the fields of painting, aboriginal art, architecture, writing, theatre, and music—is a finalist for the Hubert Evans Non-Fiction Prize.

Nightwood Editions’ author Raoul Fernandes has been nominated for the Dorothy Livesay Poetry Prize for his debut book, Transmitter and Receiver. Fernandes’ book is a masterful and carefully depicted exploration of one’s relationships with oneself, friends, memories, strangers, and technology.

The BC Book Prizes annually celebrate the finest books published in the province. The winners will be announced at the 32nd Annual Lieutenant Governor’s BC Book Prizes Gala on Saturday, April 30, 2016, at Government House in Victoria. British Columbia’s Lieutenant Governor, the Honourable Judith Guichon, OBC, will be in attendance. For more information about the prizes, go to www.bc


Orca Chief Recognized as Honour Book

Posted: Friday, March 4, 2016

Orca ChiefOrca Chief, by Roy Henry Vickers and Robert Budd, has been recognized by the jury of the Elizabeth Mrazik-Cleaver Canadian Picture Book Award as an honour book. The award recognizes Canada's pre-eminent book illustrators and outstanding artistic talent in Canadian picture books. It is administered by IBBY, the International Board on Books for Young People (, which represents an international network of people committed to bringing books and children together. IBBY Canada is one of over 70 national sections worldwide.

Orca Chief is the third installment of the Northwest Coast Legend Series, a collection of children's books featuring Roy Henry Vickers' vivid artwork. The other books in the series include Raven Brings the Light and Cloudwalker.

Orca Chief is set thousands of years ago ...

Continue Reading »


Made in British Columbia shortlisted for 2016 Basil Stuart-Stubbs Book Prize

Posted: Friday, February 26, 2016 at 11:28am

Congratulations to Maria Tippett, whose book Made in British Columbia: Eight Ways of Making Culture (Harbour Publishing, $32.95), has just been shortlisted for the 2016 Basil Stuart-Stubbs Book Prize for Outstanding Scholarly Book on British Columbia! This prize was established in 2012, and it recognizes the best scholarly book published on a British Columbia subject by a Canadian author.

In Made in British Columbia, Tippett explores the idea that an artist’s work can affect the cultural landscape of a province, the way we see ourselves and the world around us. Within, she profiles eight creative figures who made an enduring mark on Canadian culture during the twentieth century and whose work is intimately interwoven with British Columbia’s identity.

Dr. Maria Tippett is the author of several award-winning books of cultural history including Emily Carr, which won the Governor General’s Award for English-language non-fiction in 1979. She has taught in BC at Simon Fraser University, the University of British Columbia and the Emily Carr University of Art and Design; in Ontario at York University; and in England at Cambridge University where she was a Senior Research Fellow at Churchill College and member of the Faculty of History.  She lives on Pender Island, BC.


The Sea Among Us wins Vancouver Aquarium Coastal Ocean Award!

Posted: Friday, February 26, 2016 at 11:15am

The Sea Among Us: The Amazing Strait of Georgia (Harbour Publishing, $39.95) has just won the Vancouver Aquarium Coastal Ocean Award for Conservation and Research Communication! The award was presented to Richard Beamish and Gordon McFarlane, editors, Peter A. Robson, project manager, and Howard and Mary White, President and Publisher of Harbour Publishing. It recognizes highly significant recent work and/or an entire career of important contributions in media, journalism and digital communications related to Coastal Oceans.

Beamish and Robson received the award during the 21st Annual Dinner celebrating Excellence in Aquatic Research and Conservation, held February 16 at the Vancouver Aquarium.

In The Sea Among Us, twelve expert contributors came together to present the first book that is a comprehensive study of the Strait of Georgia in all its aspects. With chapters on fish, marine mammals, geology, oceanography, birds, history of settlement and of industry, among others, it is the function of this book to inform British Columbians about the Strait of Georgia. As editor and contributor Richard Beamish says, “All authors hope that the readers will use the information to ask questions about how the Strait of Georgia is coping with change and how they can provide more of the information that is needed to maintain a healthy Strait of Georgia.”


A Better Place on Earth is a Finalist for the George Ryga Award!

Posted: Tuesday, February 23, 2016 at 3:47pm

Congratulations to Andrew MacLeod, author of A Better Place on Earth: The Search for Fairness in Super Unequal British Columbia, who has been shortlisted for the 2016 George Ryga Award for Social Awareness in Literature. A Better Place on Earth is one of five titles to be selected for this prestigious award recognizing a B.C. writer who has achieved an outstanding degree of social awareness in a book published in the previous calendar year.

An extensively researched, powerful title, A Better Place on Earth explores the reasons for, and consequences of, British Columbia’s exponential rate of inequality. Featuring interviews with economists, politicians, policy-makers, activists and citizens, MacLeod argues that British Columbians face the consequences of shortsighted public policies including those on taxation, benefits and services. Cautionary yet hopeful, persuasive yet objective, A Better Place on Earth is an in-depth analysis of a chronic, growing problem and – most importantly – the voice of solutions.

The $2500 literary prize, named for the twentieth-century Canadian playwright and novelist George Ryga, will be presented at the Vancouver Public Library on June 29, 2016.


Carol Daniels shortlisted for THREE Saskatchewan Book Awards

Posted: Friday, February 12, 2016

The shortlists for the Saskatchewan Book Awards have been announced, and Carol Daniel’s debut novel, Bearskin Diary (Nightwood Editions, $21.95) is a finalist for three awards: The Fiction Award, the Rasmussen, Rasmussen & Charowsky Aboriginal Peoples’ Writing Award, and the O’Reilly Insurance and The Co-operators First Book Award.

Bearskin Diary follows the story of Sandy, a young First Nations journalist who faces bullying and abuse on a daily basis. Sandy was one of over twenty thousand Aboriginal children to be taken away from their families at birth—part of the Sixties Scoop. She was adopted by a Ukrainian family, and as the only Aboriginal person in her town, Sandy tried to “scrub the brown off her skin.” But when she becomes a journalist, she begins to learn more about her heritage, and ultimately becomes stronger through it, learning to embrace the culture that the Sixties Scoop had tried to deny. Bearskin Diary is a story of hope and resilience, and it gives voice to a generation of First Nations women who have always been silenced.

Carol Daniels is a journalist who became Canada’s first Aboriginal woman to anchor a national newscast ...

Continue Reading »


The End of an Era

Posted: Monday, January 4, 2016 at 3:55pm

It is with sadness that we note the passing of Dal Richards, Vancouver’s legendary bandleader, who died on December 31, 2015, just five days before his 98th birthday. His remarkable life and career was showcased in his autobiography One More Time! The Dal Richard’s Story (2009), which he wrote with his good friend, the journalist Jim Taylor.

Dal Richards started his career at a time when songs came from records and radio instead of CDs and iPods. He saw Vancouver’s entertainment scene in Vancouver in the 1920s when the public’s appetite for vaudeville shows was insatiable, and in the 1930s and ’40s when Prohibition was in full swing. He started playing the clarinet in the Kitsilano Boys Band at the young age of 15 and went on to lead the Dal Richards Orchestra in nightly gigs at the Panorama Roof. He also met and befriended a legion of stars in the days when Hollywood’s big-name performers made Vancouver a regular tour stop. He played at the Pacific National Exhibition for over 70 years, and conducted the BC Lions marching band for 30 seasons. He won a legion of awards and honours, including the Variety Club of BC Heart Award, the PNE President’s Lifetime Achievement Award, the Order of BC, the Order of Canada, and a place in the BC Entertainment Hall of Fame.

In One More Time!, Dal ended his book with the passage: “One day the true Hour of Parting will come. When it does, I hope I’ve got a front-row seat in the real Balcony and the bands who’ve gone before are swinging.” The bands are swinging, Dal, and they’re swinging for you.


Frank White Passes

Posted: Sunday, October 18, 2015 at 10:39pm

Frank White, pioneer, raconteur and author of bestselling books, died October 18 at his home in Garden Bay BC. White claimed to be British Columbia’s oldest active author when he published his memoir That Went by Fast at the age of 100 in 2014, a followup to his 2013 bestseller Milk Spills and One-Log Loads. A workingman and small businessman who didn’t retire until age 80 and wrote about his long life in a colloquial, unvarnished style, White’s trademark was his self-deprecating humour.

“I’d got used to thinking my life hadn’t amounted to much,” he wrote, “and it seemed most people agreed with me on that. Now it’s, ‘Oh, you rode in a horse and buggy? You worked on a steam donkey show? Your girlfriend was a flapper?...You should write a book!’ By hanging around so long it seems I have become an object of historical interest.”

His was a typical life for a British Columbian of his time, comprised mostly of endless hard work, although on the evidence of his stories it was seldom dull. He grew up in Abbotsford the son of the town butcher and at age 8 began serving customers in his father’s shop by standing on a butter box so he could see over the counter. His father bought the first Model-T delivery truck in Abbotsford but couldn’t get the hang of the horseless carriage so young Frankie taught himself to operate it, lying about his age to get his driver’s licence at age 13. “By the age of 13 I already had two professions: butcher and truck driver,” he wrote.

He built on his early start to follow the trucking boom that hit BC in the 1930s and 1940s, pioneering highway freighting then truck logging. In the 1950’s he became a small-scale “gyppo” logger before moving to the coastal fishing village of Pender Harbour, where he operated an excavating business, a gas station and a municipal water system. Along the way he endured shipwrecks, topped 200-foot spartrees, fought forest fires, got physical with log rustlers, built houses, built boats, raised a family, dabbled in politics, built early computers, buried a beloved wife and daughter, travelled the world and wrote books. At age 92 he married the former New Yorker writer Edith Iglauer, 89, and they continued to live in their small waterfront cottage in Pender Harbour until the present. He died peacefully with his family and caregivers around him and his sense of humour intact. In his final hours when a nurse asked him how he was, he whispered between gasps, “Hundred per cent!”

White was bemused by his longevity and the celebrity that came with it. “When I was fifty and still had most of my marbles,” he wrote, “all people wanted me to tell them was why their car stalled at the intersection. Now that everything is starting to get hazy, they’re not satisfied unless I can tell them the meaning of life.”

On that score he wasn’t venturing any great pronouncements. “Life is life. It’s not under our control and it doesn’t follow any script. It just is.” He might have added, life goes a lot easier if you have a good sense of humour.

Franklin Wetmore White was born May 9, 1914 in Sumas, Washington. He leaves his wife Edith Iglauer, a daughter Marilyn, two sons Howard and Donald, six grandchildren and eight great grandchildren.


Harbour Team Adds New Member

Posted: Saturday, October 17, 2015 at 6:10pm

The Harbour gang welcomed a new member October 13th as managing editor Anna Comfort-O'Keeffe delivered a 8 lb. 13 oz. boy at Sechelt Hospital. Mum and baby are fine and already made it to a Harbour martini night on October 16. His name is Judah Forest Comfort O'Keeffe. Congratulations to the proud parents, Anna and Jay!


Bren Simmers shortlisted for 2015 City of Vancouver Award!

Posted: Tuesday, October 13, 2015 at 4:52pm

Bren Simmer’s collection, Hastings-Sunrise (Nightwood Editions, 2015), has been shortlisted for the 2015 City of Vancouver Book Award! Since 1989, the annual City of Vancouver Book Award has been recognizing authors of excellence of any genre who contribute to the appreciation and understanding of Vancouver's history, unique character, or the achievements of its residents. The winner of the 27thAnnual Book Award will be announced at the Mayor’s Arts Awards gala on November 12, 2015 and receive a $3000 prize.

Other books shortlisted for the 2015 City of Vancouver Book Award include Aaron Chapman's Live at the Commodore (Arsenal Pulp Press), Wayde Compton's The Outer Harbour (Arsenal Pulp Press), and Lois Simmie and Cynthia Nugent's Mister Got To Go, Where are you? (Red Deer Press).

Good luck Bren! 


Patrick Lane and Kayla Czaga receive Governor Generalís Award Nominations!

Posted: Wednesday, October 7, 2015 at 4:03pm

Patrick Lane’s most recent collection, Washita (Harbour Publishing, 2014), and Kayla Czaga’s debut poetry collection, For Your Safety Please Hold On (Nightwood Editions, 2014), have both been shortlisted for the Governor General’s Award in the Poetry category! Since 1937, the Governor General’s Award has honoured the best in Canadian literature, with seven different categories for both English and French-language authors. All finalists receive $1,000, and the winners, who will be revealed on October 28th, will each receive $25,000.

Both Washita and For Your Safety Please Hold On were shortlisted for the Dorothy Livesay Poetry Prize earlier this year. In addition, Washita won the Raymond Souster Award in 2015. 

Other English-language finalists for the Governor General’s Award in Poetry include Liz Howard’s Infinite Citizen of the Shaking Tent (McClelland & Stewart / Penguin Random House Canada),M. Travis Lane’s Crossover (Cormorant Books), and Robyn Sarah’s My Shoes Are Killing Me (Biblioasis).

Good luck Patrick and Kayla!


KnowBC 2015 Updates

Posted: Friday, July 24, 2015 at 5:26pm

Harbour Publishing and Educational Resource Acquisition Consortium (ERAC) have partnered, once again, to include in this year’s ERAC bundle. Member schools across British Columbia will have access to the new and expanded edition of KnowBC. was launched in 2001 as the online edition of Harbour Publishing’s Encyclopedia of British Columbia. In 2010, KnowBC underwent expansive changes to include, not just a new design, but the addition of major reference works from Harbour Publishing, including Marine Life of the Pacific Northwest, The Encyclopedia of Raincoast Place Names, Far West: The Story of British Columbia, Raincoast Chronicles 20: Lilies and Fireweed: Frontier Women of British Columbiaand Where Mountains Meet the Sea: The History of Coastal British Columbia.

Valuable insider information on the natural history of BC is also available through KnowBC’s Nature Guides, which feature a collection of field guides on a wide variety of topics including plant life, animals, wildlife and geography. The helpful guides are written by preeminent members of scientific fields of study, and provide photographic references alongside information such as scientific names, locations and other facts.

Harbour Publishing is proud to announce the 2015 updates to KnowBC, expanding the repertoire with new units on history, science, environmental studies and more. These include:

-       From the West Coast to the Western Front: British Columbians and the Great War

-       Tofino and Clayoquot Sound: A History

-       The Sea Among Us: The Amazing Strait of Georgia

The new additions join more than 10,000 existing entries and thousands of photos, maps, tables, charts, videos and audio clips. New and updated content is added to KnowBC weekly, and the online encyclopedia of marine life is maintained and kept current by marine naturalist Andy Lamb and underwater photographer Bernard P. Hanby. We continue to keep The Encyclopedia of British Columbia updated, and editor Daniel Francis’ blog focuses on all things British Columbia, joining the ranks of the ongoing KnowBC and Marine Life blogs. Resources for students include quizzes, fact pages and French language articles, while teachers can find curriculum-based resources such as lesson plans and handouts.

 “Our aim is to make KnowBC the main vehicle for delivering Harbour Publishing’s and Douglas & McIntyre’s continually expanding library of BC reference and history texts online. We intend this site to be a must-have product for every BC school, library and public institution.”
                                                                                                                                                                     — Howard White, publisher

The redevelopment of has succeeded in making the website an essential resource for the province’s educational institutions, and represents a commitment to teaching our children their own unique local history, culture and geography. To confirm your school or library’s membership, please visit For technical inquiries, please email

ERAC is a member based association of BC public school districts and many independent schools. ERAC evaluates resources such as novels, educational software and print, and shares the results with its members through its online collection. is also available for subscription by individuals. With reference books valuing nearly $300 in printed form, and more information added regularly, is an affordable and convenient medium for accessing this expansive collection. Please email or call 1.800.667.2988 to subscribe.