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Jean Barman Announced as Finalist for Social Awareness Award

Posted: June 22, 2006

Stanley Park’s Secret: The Forgotten Families of Whoi Whoi, Kanaka Ranch and Brockton Point by Jean Barman is one of three finalists for the George Ryga Award for Social Awareness in BC Writing and Publishing.

Stanley Park’s Secret  details the often forgotten past of Vancouver’s most popular tourist destination. Each year, over eight million people visit Stanley Park, a 400-hectare (1000-acre) haven of beauty that offers a backdrop of majestic cedars and firs and an environment teeming with wildlife just steps from the sidewalks and skyscrapers of Vancouver.

Working in collaboration with descendants of the families who once lived in the park area, historian Jean Barman skillfully weaves together the families’ stories with archival documents, Vancouver Parks Board records and court proceedings to reveal a troubling, yet deeply important, facet of BC’s history.

Jean Barman is the author of six previous books, including the BC bestseller The Remarkable Adventures of Portuguese Joe Silvey. Barman’s long-time, 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 other books shortlisted for the George Ryga Award for Social Awareness are Vanishing British Columbia by Michael Kluckner (UBC Press) and In Plain Sight, edited by Leslie Robertson and Dara Culhane (Talonbooks). The winner will be announced at a special award ceremony hosted by Paul Grant, national arts reporter and host of the CBC Radio’s Hot Air, at the Vernon Performing Arts Centre on what would have been George Ryga’s 75th birthday, July 27, 2006.