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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.


Happy Holidays!

Posted: Wednesday, December 23, 2015 at 5:03pm

Happy holidays to all of our wonderful booksellers, authors, book reps and readers! we couldn't have made 2015 such a memorable year without your support. We wish you all the very best for 2016!

Please note our office is closed between December 25, 2015-January 3, 2016. We hope to talk to you in the new year!


Soul of Wilderness on Tour!

Posted: November 5, 2015

Meet adventurers and authors John Baldwin and Linda Bily on tour! They will be giving slide show presentations based on their spectacular new mountaineering book, Soul of Wilderness: Mountain Journeys in Western BC and Alaska, at the following locations:

November 5, 2015: Chilliwack, Sardis Secondary School, with Mt. Waddington Outdoors
November 12, 2015: Vancouver, VIMFF Fall Series “Snow Show” at the Rio Theatre
November 15, 2015: Victoria, St. Ann’s Academy, with Russell Books
November 16, 2015: Nanaimo, Vancouver Island Regional Library, Nanaimo North Branch
November 17, 2015: Courtenay, Courtenay & District Museum
November 19, 2015: Squamish, Squamish Public Library, with Escape Route
November 20, 2015: Whistler, Millennium Theatre, hosted by the Whistler Arts Council, with Armchair Books
December 1, 2015: Vancouver, Cambrian Hall, hosted by the Vancouver Skiers
December 8, 2015: Vancouver, Anza Club, hosted by the BC Mountaineering Club
January 9, 2016: Revelstoke, Coast Hillcrest Hotel, as part of Canuck Splitfest

Soul of Wilderness is a stunning collection of photos and essays featuring the wild magnificence of western British Columbia and Alaska. Baldwin and Bily continually return to these places of astonishing natural beauty, where wild wolves, salmon and grizzly bears often have cameos in their adventures! This high energy field guide will bring readers up close with this one-of-a-kind region.

If you can't go see them in action, you can always listen to their interview on The Commentary.  For more information about the events, please visit our events calendar!


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.


Kayla Czaga named finalist for 2015 Debut-litzer Prize!

Posted: Friday, July 24, 2015 at 3:35pm
Debut author Kayla Czaga has garnered international recognition with her latest nomination! For Your Safety Please Hold On has been named a finalist for the 2015 Debut-litzer Prize. The submissions were carefully considered by eighteen volunteer readers whose decisions were made independent of Late Night Library’s staff and Board of Directors.

Winners will be announced in August and will be featured on the organization's podcast Late Night Conversation, and become literary judges on Late Night Debut.

Good Luck Kayla!


Rachel Rose Wins 2016 Pushcart Prize!

Posted: Friday, June 5, 2015 at 3:51pm

Vancouver Poet Laureate Rachel Rose has just won a 2016 Pushcart Prize for her poem, “White Lilies,” that will be appearing in Marry & Burn, her forthcoming collection from Harbour Publishing (2015). This is Rose's second Pushcart Prize— she is the recipient of a 2014 Pushcart Prize and was nominated for a second 2016 Pushcart Prize as well. "White Lilies" was nominated for the prize by PRISM international. The Pushcart Prize: Best of the Small Presses series has been published since 1976 and has represented hundreds of presses and thousands of writers of short stories, poetry and essays in their annual collections.

Rose's fourth collection, Marry & Burn, will be released in October 2015. It is a journey through a troubled relationship and a troubled city, charting the territory of love and addiction, and the stories we tell ourselves about ourselves. Inspired by struggles both personal and global, these are not gentle poems—they probe deep into comforting personal and cultural myths, rending them to pieces even as they expose the beauty in the bright shards that remain.

Rachel Rose's work has appeared in various journals including Poetry, The Malahat Review and The Best American Poetry, as well as numerous anthologies. Her most recent poetry collection, Song & Spectacle (Harbour, 2012) won the Audre Lorde Award in the US and the Pat Lowther Award in Canada. She was the librettist for the opera When the Sun Comes Out, which grapples with fundamentalism and forbidden love. She is the winner of the Peterson Memorial Prize for poetry and the Bronwen Wallace award for fiction. She is the Poet Laureate of Vancouver for 2014–2017.


Congratulations to Patrick Lane and Kayla Czaga

Posted: Tuesday, June 2, 2015 at 5:22pm

Congratulations to Harbour author Patrick Lane and Nightwood Editions author Kayla Czaga who have just been announced winners of the League of Canadian Poets national poetry awards!

Patrick Lane won the Raymond Souster Award for Washita, his first collection of new work to be published in seven years. The Raymond Souster Award is given to a book of poetry by a League of Canadian Poets member published in the preceding year. The award honours the late Raymond Souster, an early founder of the LCP, and carries a $1,000 prize.

The judges (Micheline Maylor, Susan McMaster, and D.C. Reid) said that Lane’s Washita is “At times startling, at times soft with nostaligia, always attentive to language and image…. [it is] deeply moving and beautiful.”

Kayla Czaga's For Your Safety Please Hold On won the Gerald Lampert Memorial Award which is given in the memory of Gerald Lampert, an arts administrator who took a particular interest in the work of new writers. This award recognizes the best first book of poetry published by a Canadian in the preceeding year and also has a $1,000 prize.

The judges (Sonja Greckol, Charles Mountford and David Seymor) commmented that "Czaga unfulrs experience, observation and development with complexity and more than a little humour suspending a reader between this page's moment of assurance and the next moment's unsettling observation."


Harbour authors take home first and second prize at the B.C. Historical Writing Awards

Posted: May 24, 2015

Mark Forsythe and Greg Dickson have won first prize in the British Columbia Historical Federation's Historical Writing Awards for their book, From the West Coast to the Western Front: British Columbians and the Great War. They both received the B.C. Lieutenant Governor's Medal for Historical Writing at an awards ceremony in Quesnel on Saturday, May 23, as well as a $2,500 prize. Previous winners of this prestigious award include Jean Barman, Nancy Turner, Barry Gough, Jane Watt and Chuck Davis.

Robert Budd took home the second prize (worth $1,500) for his book, Echoes of British Columbia: Voices From the Frontier (Harbour Publishing, $35.00)

From the West Coast the Western Front was published to mark the 100th anniversary of the beginning of the First World War. In this compelling book, Forsythe, the former host of CBC Radio’s mid-day show BC Almanac, teamed up with Dickson to compile stories, artifacts and photos sent in by BC Almanac listeners from across the province. The result is a sweeping portrayal of that crucial chapter of BC history that reveals much about the spirit and resilience of a people who survived one of history’s greatest disasters to build the province we have today.

Echoes of British Columbia: Voices From the Frontier combines text, archival photographs and original sound recordings of stories from BC's pinoneers on three CDs. It brings the reader (and listener) in intimate contact with British Columbia’s past.

The BC Lieutenant-Governor’s Medal for Historical Writing is awarded annually to the author(s) whose book makes the most significant contribution to the historical literature of British Columbia. The other finalists for the 2015 Historical Writing Award were: Blood and Sweat Over the Railway Tracks: Chinese Labourers Constructing the Canadian Pacific Railway (1880-1885) by Lily Siewsan Chow (UBC & Chinese Canadian Historical Society of BC); The History of Leechtown, Part I: The VIEE and the Discovery of Gold on the Sook and Leech Rivers, edited by Bart van den Berk (VandenBerk-Books); Live at the Commodore: The Story of Vancouver's Historic Commodore Ballroom by Aaron Chapman (Arsenal Pulp Press); Written as I Remember It: Teachings (? ms ta? aw) from the Life of a Sliammon Elder by Elsie Paul (UBC Press) and Surveying Southern British Columbia: A Photojournal of Frank Swannell, 1901-07 by Jay Sherwood (Caitlin Press).