Academic journal article British Journal of Canadian Studies

Made in British Columbia: Eight Ways of Making Culture

Academic journal article British Journal of Canadian Studies

Made in British Columbia: Eight Ways of Making Culture

Article excerpt

Maria Tippett, Made in British Columbia: Eight Ways of Making Culture (Madeira Park, BC: Harbour, 2015), 272 pp. 16 page colour insert. Cased. $32.95. ISBN 978-1-55017-729-9.

British Columbia has been, and is, home to a wealth of talented culture-makers. Here Maria Tippett considers eight makers whose lives and work collectively span the period from 1867 to 2009, presenting them individually in eight separate narratives. In her epilogue, she widens her focus to consider some of the underlying features that have helped to shape culture-making in British Columbia and looks at the contemporary scene. She is sensitive throughout to British Columbia's founding First Nations culture and respectful of it, but with one exception she focuses on people who made culture from within Canada's more recent tradition of inward migration and settlement.

Her chosen makers, of whom two are women, include two architects (Francis Mawson Rattenbury and Arthur Erikson); three writers (Martin Allerdale Grainger, George Woodcock and George Ryga); one composer (Jean Coulthard, whose work was heard in early 2016 on BBC Radio Three's 'Composer of the Week'); one artist (Emily Carr); and one sculptor/carver and jewellery-maker (Bill Reid, the only maker in the selection to have a First Nations background). In his foreword, Tom Berger notes that while some of these figures are famous and others are less well known, all have contributed 'to the way we in this province think about ourselves'.

The book is framed, therefore, within well-specified boundaries of time and space in respect of Tippett's selection of makers. However, in her accounts of their lived experience one finds continual overflowing of these boundaries and also continuing challenges to the external or internal borders which these makers met or found within themselves. …

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