2014 Awards


basil stuart stubbs winner


Arthur Erickson: An Architect’s Life by David Stouck


basil stuart stubbs silver


The shortlisted titles for the 2014 Basil Stuart-Stubbs Prize for Outstanding Scholarly Book on British Columbia are:



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David Stouck, Arthur Erickson: An Architect’s Life. Douglas & McIntyre.

Arthur Erickson’s life was a saga of contrasts and contradictions. An architect of international reputation, he was “Canada’s national treasure as a designer” who, at the height of his career, went spectacularly bankrupt despite lavish financial support from his admirers. He was a creator and, for new buildings, “his proposal [was] always more than you anticipated,” but he could not be bothered with either the mechanics of construction (such as leaking roofs), the mundane administration of an office, or financial restraint. Erickson partied with the international jet set but spent much time alone in a converted garage in Vancouver. David Stouck’s study, based on exhaustive research, details in well-written prose the manifold contrasts and contradictions. While some may question Stouck’s restraint in passing judgment, others will appreciate the author’s success in maintaining respect and even affection for Erickson despite the damning evidence that is presented.






Robin Kathleen Wright, Daina Augaitis, Robert Davidson and James Hart, Charles Edenshaw. Black Dog Publishing.

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Indigenous art of the Northwest coast is a glory in which British Columbians, whatever their origins, can take common pride. That art springs from and is intrinsic to the Indigenous cultures, but it was expressed and shaped through the achievements of individual artists. Among these men and women, Charles Edenshaw (c. 1839-1920) stands out due to his skills in art forms including metal, horn, argillite, wood and weaving, and the sheer beauty of his conceptual designs in all these media. Through stunning illustrations and accompanying text, with contributions from the artist’s descendants and close analysis of his artistic work and achievements, Charles Edenshaw makes manifest the central role that Edenshaw played in shaping Haida art forms – not just in his own lifetime but for succeeding generations, inspiring the work of Bill Reid among others. This work celebrates a British Columbian of outstanding artistic accomplishment.






book coverSean Kheraj, Inventing Stanley Park: An Environmental History. UBC Press.

Stanley Park, a jewel in the middle of Vancouver, is frequently perceived as an untouched, pristine wilderness. As the title of Sean Kheraj’s book proclaims, the park has been from its earliest days very much an invention.  The text shows how natural forces – from fire and storms to insect infestation and fungal disease – have combined with human practices, including forest management techniques, seawall construction, and roadway and sewage building, to shape a space that is in constant evolution. The text, enhanced by excellent illustrations, identifies and investigates the key external influences in this process, ranging from the political and the military to the legal and the economic. Thanks to this book, we can understand that Stanley Park exists as an ever-changing yet splendid invention by both humans and nature.