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Harbour Publishing Congratulates its BC Book Prize Finalists


March 12, 2009

Harbour Publishing is pleased to announce that Simon Fraser: In Search of Modern British Columbia by Stephen Hume and British Columbia: Spirit of the People by Jean Barman have both been shortlisted for BC Book Prizes. Simon Fraser has been shortlisted for the Roderick Haig-Brown Regional Prize, which recognizes books that most contribute to the enjoyment and understanding of British Columbia, and British Columbia: Spirit of the People has been shortlisted for the BC Booksellers’ Choice Award, which recognizes the book with the most public appeal, initiative, design, production and content. Each award comes with a certificate and a $2,000 cash prize. 

In Simon Fraser: In Search of Modern British Columbia, journalist and poet Stephen Hume followed in explorer Simon Fraser's footsteps and canoe wake for four years. Hume studied fading maps and diaries in archives across North America, interviewed the descendants of people who aided Fraser and retraced Fraser's route across British Columbia's vast and varied landscape. He found Fraser's own blazes and signs in the wild terrain that the Nor'wester crossed with the help of aboriginal peoples, all the way from the Rocky Mountains to the mouth of the ferocious river we now call the Fraser. It is the story of diligent research and reconstruction of Fraser’s route, the rigours of early nineteenth-century travel and the peoples and places he saw and recorded.

Stephen Hume was raised in fishing, farming and logging communities across Alberta and BC and studied at the University of Victoria. A journalist for over 35 years, Hume was editor-in-chief at the Edmonton Journal before moving to BC to become a columnist and feature writer for the Vancouver Sun. He has won more than a dozen awards for his poetry, essays and journalism, including the Writers Guild of Alberta Literary Award, the Southam President’s Award and the Marjorie Nichols Memorial Award. He currently teaches at Vancouver Island University.

British Columbia: Spirit of the People is a lavish coffee-table book that celebrates the founding of the Crown Colony of British Columbia and 150 years of cultural diversity, community and achievement. The text, by respected historian Jean Barman, delves into the region's history, from the first humans to arrive in British Columbia twenty thousand years ago to the promises and hopes of the twenty-first century, including the first contact between Indigenous peoples and newcomers; the legacy of the fur trade and gold rush; the contributions of immigrant cultures; the development of communities and urban centres and the flourishing of the arts. A rich selection of archival images depicting the province's past are paired with iconic and stunning colour photographs capturing the diversity of the modern landscape.

Jean Barman is the author of ten previous books, including the bestseller The Remarkable Adventures of Portuguese Joe Silvey and Stanley Park's Secret, the winner of the 2006 City of Vancouver Book Prize. Barman's longtime, impassioned pursuit to understand and uncover the history of British Columbia has earned her a position as a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada, among other honours.

The winners of the BC Book Prize will be announced at the Lieutenant Governor’s BC Book Prizes Gala on April 25th in Vancouver at the Marriott Pinnacle.