2013 Awards




British Columbia: A New Historical Atlas by Derek Hayes


Basil Stuart-Stubbs award logo


The shortlisted titles for the 2013 Basil Stuart-Stubbs Prize for Outstanding Scholarly Book on British Columbia are:


Book coverSandra Djwa, Journey with No Maps: A Life of P. K. Page Montreal & Kingston: McGill-Queen’s University Press, 2012, ix, 418pp.

An accomplished poet, painter, fiction writer, children’s author and essayist, P.K. Page was a major figure in the Canadian literary and cultural world.  Sandra Djwa, chosen by Page to be her biographer, spent over a decade interviewing “P.K.,” as she was known – investigating her papers, talking to her family and friends, and combing her poetry for insights into her personality. The outcome is a portrait of a strong willed, talented woman who, during a rich and complex life, constantly sought a larger meaning to existence and a secure setting in which to live. During almost half her existence, up to her death in 2010, P.K. Page resided in Victoria, where she played a significant role in the cultural scene while producing works that enriched her standing as an artist.  Djwa’s study vividly depicts a complex, often difficult personality who contributed much to both Canada and British Columbia.


Book cover

Derek Hayes, British Columbia: A New Historical Atlas Vancouver BC: Douglas & McIntyre, 2012, 368pp.

Print is often considered to be the indispensable means of conveying knowledge and understanding, but images are an equally effective if underappreciated way of doing so. Maps can be said to combine the best of visual and print, conveying the reality of both our current surroundings and those existing before we were born. Derek Hayes employs a wide range of maps, photographs, prints and drawings to take us into the sometimes vanished worlds of British Columbia from pre-contact through the 20th century.  Often in colour and always arresting, the images are explained and placed in context by textual annotations and an intervening text. Hayes makes a welcome contribution to our understanding of the nature and the development of our province.




Book coverJim McDowell, Father August Brabant: Saviour or Scourge? Vancouver BC: Ronsdale Press, 2012, xv, 500pp.

The interaction between Indigenous peoples and the newcomers has been and remains central to our understanding of British Columbia. Jim McDowell’s study of the first colonial missionary to live among the Nuu-Chah-Nulth peoples on the west coast of Vancouver Island is much more than a biography. Drawing not only on Father August Brabant’s accounts of his missionary endeavours from 1874 to 1900 but also on Indigenous testimony, McDowell provides a close account of the interplay between different and often incompatible cultures, giving substantial background information on the contending cultures and narrating the twists and turns of a confrontational relationship. The study is enhanced by the restraint and even-handedness with which McDowell presents, and seeks to understand, a saddening and often baleful dimension of British Columbia’s existence.