The West Coast Book Prize Society has announced the finalists for the 2020 BC Book Prizes and Harbour's Voices from the Skeena, by Victoria author Robert “Lucky” Budd and Northern BC author Roy Henry Vickers, has been shortlisted for the Bill Duthie Booksellers’ Choice Award. Presented to the originating publisher and the authors of the book that is the most successful in terms of public appeal, initiative, design, production and content, the prize is shared by the publisher and the authors. BC booksellers determine the winner by ballot vote. Winners will be announced on September 19, 2020, at an awards gala in Vancouver.
Voices from the Skeena takes readers on a journey inspired directly by the people who lived along the Skeena River. The Skeena, second longest river in the province, remains an icon of British Columbia’s northwest. Called Xsien—“water of the clouds”—by the Tsimshian and Gitksan, it has always played a vital role in the lives of Indigenous people of the region. Since the 1800s, it has also become home to gold seekers, traders, salmon fishers and other settlers who were drawn by the area’s beauty and abundant natural resources. Combining forty vivid and evocative illustrations with text selected from pioneer interviews recorded by CBC radio producer Imbert Orchard in the 1960s, the book follows the arrival of the Europeans and the introduction of the fur trade to the Omineca gold rush and the building of the Grand Trunk Pacific Railway.
Vickers and Budd have collaborated on many award-winning and bestselling books over the years, including Raven Brings the Light and the First West Coast Books series for children. Roy Henry Vickers is an acclaimed artist known for his striking prints of West Coast landscapes. He runs an artist-owned gallery in Tofino, BC, where—if you’re lucky—you can find him telling stories around the centre pit. He lives in Hazelton, BC. Robert “Lucky” Budd holds an MA in history and is an oral historian and the author of numerous bestselling books including Voices of British Columbia. He was recently honoured by the University of Victoria with a Distinguished Alumni Award. He lives in Victoria, BC.
Other nominees for the award include, Cedar and Salt: Vancouver Island Recipes from Forest, Farm, Field, and Sea by Danielle (DL) Acken and Emily Lycopolus (Touchwood Editions); Vancouver After Dark: The Wild History of a City’s Nightlife by Aaron Chapman (Arsenal Pulp Press); Indigenous Relations: Insights, Tips, and Suggestions to Make Reconciliation a Reality by Bob Joseph (Page Two Strategies); and I Saw Three Ships by Bill Richardson (Talonbooks).