The Basil Stuart-Stubbs Prize for Outstanding Scholarly Book on British Columbia

Established in memory of Basil Stuart-Stubbs, the annual Basil Stuart-Stubbs Prize for Outstanding Book on British Columbia recognizes the best scholarly book published on a British Columbia subject by a Canadian author. This prize was established in 2012 to honour the memory of Basil Stuart-Stubbs, whose many accomplishments included serving as the University Librarian at UBC Library and the Director of UBC’s School of Library, Archival and Information Studies.

The prize is administered by UBC Library and the Pacific BookWorld News Society.

If you wish to honour Basil’s memory and support the award, please click here for more information.

Prize winners

  • 2024 – Wayne McCrory
  • 2023 – Robert Amos
  • 2022 – Gregory Betts
  • 2021 – Lara Campbell
  • 2020 – Michael Layland
  • 2019 – Daniel Marshall
  • 2018 – Marianne Ignace
    & Ronald E. Ignace
  • 2017 – Arthur Ray
  • 2016 – John Thistle
  • 2015 – Jean Barman
  • 2014 – David Stouck
  • 2013 – Derek Hayes



2024 Winner

Wayne McCrory, The Wild Horses of the Chilcotin.  Harbour Publishing.

Published by Harbour Publishing, McCrory’s book is a masterful story about his intellectual and emotional journey in the country of the Tŝilhqot’in people of the Xeni/Tŝilhqot’in in the Brittany Triangle section of the Chilcotin Plateau of southern British Columbia.

McCrory is a registered professional biologist specializing in the study of wild horses, bears, and western toads. He has published more than ninety scientific reports on wildlife and conservation, including two technical reports on wild horses in BC and Alberta and, with horse genetics expert Dr. Gus Cothran, two reports on the genetics of wild horses in the Chilcotin. McCrory lives on a small farm in Hills, BC, with his wife, conservationist and journalist Lorna Visser.



The shortlisted titles for the Basil Stuart-Stubbs Prize for Outstanding Scholarly Book on British Columbia are:

For the latest information about the prize, visit the Library’s news page. For pictures of the winners, the annual reception, or other media, visit the Library’s Flickr page.



Robert Amos, E.J. Hughes Canadian War Artist. TouchWood Editions.

Published by TouchWood Editions, Amos’ book examines a treasure trove of Hughes’ paintings, diaries, and letters from the Second World War. Through a meticulous study of Hughes’ life and artwork, Amos provides rich insight into an important chapter of history and Canadian art.

Robert Amos is a self-employed artist and writer, known in his hometown as “the man who paints Victoria.” E. J. Hughes: Canadian War Artist is his twelfth book, and is the fifth about Hughes.



The shortlisted titles for the Basil Stuart-Stubbs Prize for Outstanding Scholarly Book on British Columbia are:

  •  Wilson Duff: coming back, a life, Robin Fisher. (Madeira Park: Harbour Publishing).
  • Chinese Victoria: a long and difficult journey, John Adams. (Victoria: Discover the Past).


Gregory Betts, Finding Nothing: The VanGardes, 1959-1975. University of Toronto Press.

Published by University of Toronto Press, Dr. Betts’ book is an incisively written, compellingly argued, and wide-ranging look at Vancouver’s cultural life from 1959 to 1975. Through this book, Dr. Betts advances a strong claim that Vancouver was a key site for the cultural transformations spreading across English Canada at that time.

Dr. Betts is a poet, editor, essayist and professor in the Department of English Language and Literature at Brock University in St. Catharines, Ontario. Born in Vancouver and raised in Toronto, he has taught literature at four different universities in Canada and Germany. He has published five books of poetry, edited five books of experimental Canadian writing, including Avant-Garde Canadian Literature: The Early Manifestations. He is currently President of the Association of Canadian College and University Teachers of English.



The shortlisted titles for the Basil Stuart-Stubbs Prize for Outstanding Scholarly Book on British Columbia are:

  • Becoming Vancouver: a History, Daniel Francis. (Madeira Park: Harbour Publishing).
  • A Long Way to Paradise: a New History of British Columbia Politics, Robert A. J. McDonald. (Vancouver: University of British Columbia Press).


Lara Campbell,  A Great Revolutionary Wave: Women and the Vote in British Columbia.UBC Press.

Published by UBC Press as part of the Women’s Suffrage and the Struggle for Democracy series, Dr. Campbell’s book examines how the case for female enfranchisement in British Columbia grew and gained support while negotiating the ambiguities and features that distinguished the movement in British Columbia.

Dr. Campbell is a professor in the Department of Gender, Sexuality, and Women’s Studies at Simon Fraser University where she currently serves as Associate Dean of Undergraduate Programming, Teaching and Learning, and Student Experience.



The shortlisted titles for the Basil Stuart-Stubbs Prize for Outstanding Scholarly Book on British Columbia are:

  • Service on the Skeena: Horace Wrinch, frontier physician, Geoff Mynett (Vancouver: Ronsdale Press).
  • Landscapes of Injustice: A New Perspective on the Internment and Dispossession of Japanese Canadians, Jordan Stanger-Ross (Montreal and Kingston: McGill Queens Press).


Michael Layland, In Nature’s Realm: Early Naturalists Explore Vancouver IslandTouchwood Editions.

Published by Touchwood Editions, Layland’s book explores the richly diverse flora and fauna of Vancouver Island through the records of explorers, settlers, and visitors, and with due respect to the wealth of Indigenous traditional knowledge of the island’s ecosystems.

Trained as an officer and mapmaker in the Royal Engineers, Michael Layland was president of the Victoria Historical Society, the Friends of the BC Archives, and is an amateur naturalist.



The shortlisted titles for the Basil Stuart-Stubbs Prize for Outstanding Scholarly Book on British Columbia are:

  • Wendy C. Wickwire, At the Bridge: James Teit and an Anthropology of Belonging. UBC Press.
  • Selena Couture, Against the Current and Into the Light: Performing History and Land in Coast Salish Territories and Vancouver’s Stanley Park. McGill-Queen’s University Press.


Dr. Daniel Marshall,  Claiming the land: British Columbia and the making of a new El Dorado . Ronsdale Press.

Published by Rondsale Press, Marshall’s book is a carefully researched narrative of the 1858 Fraser River Valley gold rush that enriches our understanding of that pivotal period in British Columbia and the geopolitical forces at play.

Dr. Daniel Marshall is an adjunct assistant professor at the University of Victoria. He is also the author of Those Who Fell from the Sky: A History of the Cowichan Peoples, which received a BC2000 Millennium Award. Dr. Marshall serves as a Special Advisor on gold rushes to the Royal BC Museum.



The shortlisted titles for the Basil Stuart-Stubbs Prize for Outstanding Scholarly Book on British Columbia are:

  • Solen Roth,  Incorporating Culture:  how Indigenous People are Reshaping the Northwest Coast Art Industry. UBC Press.
  • Rick James, Don’t Never Tell Nobody Nothin’ No How: the Real Story of West Coast Rum Running. Harbour Publishing.



Dr. Marianne Ignace and Chief Ronald E. Ignace, A Secwépemc People, Land, and Laws: Yerí7 re Stsq’ey’s-kucw. McGill-Queen’s University Press, 2017.

Published by McGill-Queen’s University Press, the book is a model of collaborative approaches to Indigenous history. Drawing on Aboriginal sources and the work of outside experts, it masterfully integrates oral histories and ‘western’ scholarship.

Dr. Marianne Boelscher Ignace is a professor of linguistics and First Nations studies at Simon Fraser University. Chief Ronald E. Ignace is a Secwépemc historian, storyteller, and politician, and adjunct professor at Simon Fraser University.



The shortlisted titles for the Basil Stuart-Stubbs Prize for Outstanding Scholarly Book on British Columbia are:

  • Richard J. Hebda, Sheila Greer, and Alexander Mackie, editors. Kwädąy Dän Ts’ìnchį: Teachings from Long Ago Person Found. Royal BC Museum Press, 2017.
  • Jonathan Peyton, Unbuilt Environments: Tracing Postwar Development in Northwest British Columbia. UBC Press, 2017.



Winner: Aboriginal Rights Claims and the Making and Remaking of History by Arthur J. Ray. Montreal and Kingston: McGill-Queen’s University Press, 2016.

book cover

This authoritative, masterfully-written examination of land claims litigation between indigenous peoples and the settler societies of the United States, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, and South Africa powerfully demonstrates the important role proceedings in British Columbia played in events of global significance. Ray points out the critical place court processes in the province had in the validation of oral evidence as a viable form of proof and authentication. He traces the development of protocols that help ascertain pre-contact territorial boundaries and allow the character and extent of pre-contact resource use to be understood and recognized. Ray shows us how these processes contribute to an enrichment of judicial, political, and scholarly activity around the world. This book models the fashion in which occurrences in particular societies can be seen to have general importance and wide impact.


  • Yakuglas’ Legacy: The Art and Times of Charlie James by Ronald W. Hawker. Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 2016.
  • At Sea with the Marine Birds of the Raincoast by Caroline Fox. Calgary and Victoria: Rocky Mountain Books, 2016.



Winner: Resettling the Range: Animals, Ecologies, and Human Communities in British Columbia by John Thistle. Vancouver: UBC Press, 2015.

The British Columbia interior, particularly its grasslands, has not received the attention its historical importance merits. John Thistle’s innovative study paints a graphic, compelling picture of the occupation of the Cariboo-Chilcotin region by newcomers, mainly ranchers. Their imperatives, which their economic and political authority allowed them to enforce, particularly in respect to wild horses and grasshoppers, profoundly altered the ecological balance of the grasslands, often to the detriment of the indigenous peoples living there. This well constructed, clearly written, and persuasive book makes an important contribution to our understanding of an overlooked aspect of British Columbia’s past.


  • Working Mothers and the Child Care Dilemma: A History of British Columbia’s Social Policy by Lisa Pasolli. UBC Press.
  • Made in British Columbia: Eight Ways of Making Culture by Maria Tippett. Harbour Publishing.



Winner: French Canadians, Furs, and Indigenous Women in the Making of the Pacific Northwest by Jean Barman. Vancouver, BC: UBC Press.

Centering on the French Canadian presence in the Pacific Coast’s post-contact, fur trade-based life, paying detailed attention to the fashion in which that presence was strengthened and sustained by connections with indigenous women and the family formations those connections produced, and placing strong stress on the Pacific Northwest’s pre-international boundary context in which these interrelationships took form. Strongly grounded in little-consulted archival sources, possessing a critically important orientation towards both individual histories and the history of groups, and marked by an incisive orchestration of its notation and themes, it stands as a major transmitter of new information as well as a powerfully-structured agent of new ways of seeing the significance of the French Canadians in the making of British Columbia.



  • The Sea Among Us: the Amazing Strait of Georgia. Richard Beamish and Gordon Macfarlane, editors. Harbour Publishing, 2014.
  • Ancient Pathways, Ancestral Knowledge: Ethnohistory and the Ecological Wisdom of Indigenous Peoples of Northwestern North America by Nancy J. Turner. McGill-Queen’s University Press, 2014.



Winner: Arthur Erickson: An Architect’s Life by David Stouck. Douglas & McIntyre.

Arthur Erickson’s life was a saga of contrasts and contradictions. An architect of international reputation, he was “Canada’s national treasure as a designer” who, at the height of his career, went spectacularly bankrupt despite lavish financial support from his admirers. He was a creator and, for new buildings, “his proposal [was] always more than you anticipated,” but he could not be bothered with either the mechanics of construction (such as leaking roofs), the mundane administration of an office, or financial restraint. Erickson partied with the international jet set but spent much time alone in a converted garage in Vancouver. David Stouck’s study, based on exhaustive research, details in well-written prose the manifold contrasts and contradictions. While some may question Stouck’s restraint in passing judgment, others will appreciate the author’s success in maintaining respect and even affection for Erickson despite the damning evidence that is presented.



  • Charles Edenshaw by Robin Kathleen Wright, Daina Augaitis, Robert Davidson and James Hart. Black Dog Publishing.
  • Inventing Stanley Park: An Environmental History by Sean Kheraj. Vancouver, BC: UBC Press.



Winner: British Columbia: A New Historical Atlas by Derek Hayes. Vancouver BC: Douglas & McIntyre.

Print is often considered to be the indispensable means of conveying knowledge and understanding, but images are an equally effective if underappreciated way of doing so. Maps can be said to combine the best of visual and print, conveying the reality of both our current surroundings and those existing before we were born. Derek Hayes employs a wide range of maps, photographs, prints and drawings to take us into the sometimes vanished worlds of British Columbia from pre-contact through the 20th century.  Often in colour and always arresting, the images are explained and placed in context by textual annotations and an intervening text. Hayes makes a welcome contribution to our understanding of the nature and the development of our province.


  • Journey with No Maps: A Life of P.K. Page by Sandra Djwa. Montreal & Kingston: McGill-Queen’s University Press.
  • Father August Brabant: Saviour or Scourge? by Jim McDowell. Vancouver BC: Ronsdale Press.

About Basil Stuart-Stubbs

Photo courtesy of University Archives.

Basil Stuart-Stubbs made a lasting contribution to the University of British Columbia and to scholarship, as well as the broader world of Canadian writing and publishing. His multi-faceted career at UBC included serving as:

  • the first Head of Special Collections;
  • University Librarian from 1964 to 1981;
  • and Director of the School of Library, Archival and Information Studies (SLAIS) from 1981 to 1992.

As well as being a leading advocate for the establishment of the Public Lending Right for Canadian authors, Basil took particular interest in the production and distribution of Canadian books. His significant accomplishments include:

  • chairing the UBC Publications Centre, which created UBC Press (Basil was Chair of the UBC Press Board for 10 years and Acting Director for a year);
  • collaborating with Bill Duthie and Harald Bohne to establish Canadian Books in Print, a key reference source;
  • organizing the first conference on regional publishing in Western Canada, which led to the establishment of the Association of B.C. Book Publishers;
  • serving as a founding member and second President of the Canadian Institute for Historical Microreproductions;
  • serving as a founding member of the Alcuin Society;
  • serving as a founding Board member of the SFU Centre for Canadian Publishing;
  • participating in the establishment of the scholarly journal Canadian Literature (he was the first Circulation Manager).

Basil Frederick Stuart-Stubbs, the eighth University Librarian at UBC, passed away on May 29, 2012. He was 82.

After his passing, many tributes were published, including “Basil Frederick Stuart-Stubbs: bibliophile, scholar, librarian” by UBC Library,  “He made books and writers a priority” in the Globe and Mail“Basil Stuart-Stubbs: 1930-2012″ in Quill & Quire and “Remembering Basil Stuart-Stubbs” in ABC Bookworld.


Established in memory of Basil Stuart-Stubbs, this annual prize recognizes the best scholarly book published on a British Columbia topic by a Canadian author.

The winning author or editor(s) need not be currently associated with an institution of higher learning, but the content of the work must exhibit high standards of research, diligence and originality. The winning book can published from anywhere in the world between January 2023 and December 2023.

The deadline for submissions is December 15th (or, if published later in the year, notification that it will arrive subsequently.) There is no entry fee. Applicants must simply send three copies of the book for consideration.

The $3,500.00 prize will be presented at a reception hosted by UBC Library in 2024.



Basil Stuart-Stubbs Book Prize

UBC University Librarian’s Office

Irving K. Barber Learning Centre
202A – 1961 East Mall | Vancouver BC | V6T 1Z1 Canada


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