A photo of the Revelstoke Italian Men's Lodge

Revelstoke Museum hosts talks on history of Italians in British Columbia

Revelstoke Museum & Archives hosting talks by author Lynne Bowen on the history of Italians in British Columbia on Monday, May 13.

Contributed

The Revelstoke Museum & Archives invites the public to a lively and interesting presentation about the history of Italians in B.C. by award-winning historian and author Lynne Bowen. Bowen is the author of Whoever Gives Us Bread: The Story of Italians in British Columbia ($32.95, Douglas & McIntyre), and she will be speaking at the museum on Monday, May 13, at 12 noon, and again at 7 p.m. The lunchtime talk will feature a catered Italian meal.

An intimate and dramatic telling, Whoever Gives Us Bread vividly illustrates the irrepressible spirit of BC’s Italian immigrants and the enormous contribution they have made in the building of a province.

When Italians began to immigrate ‘across the pond’ in the early 1860s, they came first to British Columbia via San Francisco, arriving in the province 50 years before their fellow countrymen would begin settling in Ontario or Quebec. Fleeing grinding poverty back home, they came north to the isolated valleys and cities of the province to pan for gold, raise cattle, dig coal, fell timber, build railroads, smelt copper and refine lead, or to start small businesses. B.C. welcomed them grudgingly.

Recounting the stories of individual immigrants, Bowen has crafted a people’s history of the Italian settlement of B.C., exploring the strong connections between Italy and the towns where Italians found work, including Vancouver, Victoria, Nanaimo, Powell River, Prince Rupert, Trail, Revelstoke and area, and many other towns. The stories she uncovers are rife with discrimination and tragedy, and families torn apart when their men left Italy for more promising futures. Yet always there is a rich sense of pride and community, as though the Italians were able to keep a firm foot planted in each country.

Lynne Bowen is the author of five books of Western Canadian history: Robert Dunsmuir, Those Lake People, Muddling Through, Three Dollar Dreams and Boss Whistle. She has won the Lieutenant-Governor’s Medal for writing British Columbia history, the Hubert Evans Non-Fiction Prize and the Canadian Historical Association’s Regional Certificate of Merit. Bowen was the Rogers Communications Co-Chair of Creative Non-Fiction Writing at UBC from 1992 to 2006. She lives in Nanaimo, British Columbia. You can visit her website at www.lynnebowen.ca.

The Revelstoke Museum & Archives is located at 315 First Street. For more information, please call the Museum at 250-387-3067. Tickets to the catered Italian lunch at noon are $12 each and pre-registration is required. The talk at 7:00pm is free. Books will be available for sale at both talks.

Just Posted

Revelstoke ladies make 2,200 cabbage rolls for charity

The money raised was donated to former NHL player Aaron Volpatti, who is raising funds for ALS

Revelstoke Golf Club open weeks early

The club didn’t open until May last year

Okanagan-Shuswap weather: Clear skies and pushing 20 C

Environement Canada forcasts a sunny and warm Easter weekend

Revelstoke roads and weather: mix of sun and cloud

Heavy rains have destabilized the snowpack. Be careful in the backcountry

Update: Fire destroys Peachland home on Somerset Avenue

Crews are still on scene pumping water onto the blaze

Waste not: Kootenay brewery leftovers feed the local food chain

Spent grains from the Trail Beer Refinery are donated to local farmers and growers, none go to waste

Summerland student examines effects of sound

Science fair project will go to national competition in New Brunswick

Cuteness overload: duckling thinks dog is its mom

Vernon photographer Fiona Hook shot a cute video after noticing one of her ducklings had taken a special liking to her dog.

Sons of Anarchy’s Kim Coates stops by Okanagan café

Coates was spotted in West Bank’s Kekuli Café on April 20

Deck collapses in Langley during celebration, 35 people injured

Emergency responders rushed to the Langley home

B.C. mom wages battle to get back four kids taken from her in Egypt

Sara Lessing of Mission has help from Abbotsford law firm

B.C. mountain biker sent home from hospital twice, despite broken vertebrae

Released in Maple Ridge to go home with three fractured vertebrae

Seven tips to travel safely this Easter long weekend

An average of three people are killed, and hundreds more injured, each Easter long weekend in B.C.

Most Read