Author Tags: Kidlit & Young Adult

Nope, William Vander Zalm isn't the only B.C. premier to have published a book. Both Michael Harcourt and Dave Barrett have published their memoirs. Way back when, B.C.'s second premier, Amor de Cosmos, was a newspaperman and prolific journalist. But none have been as enthusiastic about books and reading as Gordon Campbell. In 1995 Campbell published a children's book, Tuaq: The Only One, about a baby beluga that was born in the Vancouver Aquarium. It was originally written for his own children.

As mayor of Vancouver, Campbell spearheaded the building of the new Vancouver Public Library main branch on Georgia Street. He declared a Library of the Future Week in preparation for the November 1990 civic referendum that gave assent to moving the headquarters from its cramped quarters at Georgia and Robson. "We live in an Age of Information," Campbell said, "where knowledge doubles every two years. I recently read that one copy of the New York Times contains more information than the average person a century ago would acquire in a lifetime." An eight-month $300,000 study was undertaken to hear the general public's views and to secure funding. Private sector partners included Cominco, Placer Dome, Teck Corporation, Weldwood, Thorne Ernst & Winney, and Touche Ross & Co. "The planning process for our new library will be the most important thing I ever do as a librarian," said City Librarian Madge Aalto, who had taken over from Aileen Tufts. Aalto was replaced by Paul Whitney in 2003.

Also in 2003, after ten years of failed lobbying, Access Copyright, the Canadian Copyright Licensing Agency, served notice to the government of B.C. that it was going to the Copyright Board of Canada to gain a tariff to license photocopying of books, magazines, newspapers and journals by government staffers--but Campbell himself had earned the respect of B.C.’s publishers by introducing a $2 million loan program that same year to boost the industry—a major step forward. When Campbell tours the province, he often detours from politics to visit the local bookstores. Having taught with his wife Nancy in Yola, Nigeria for CUSO, Campbell has remained a staunch advocate of literacy programs. In 2004 he launched his own website at to offer commentaries on books he has read and enjoyed.

[BCBW 2004] "Kidlit"

Campbell Announces New Literary Prize
Press Release (2004)

October 21, 2004

VANCOUVER - British Columbia will recognize Canada's finest literary
non-fiction writers with the first British Columbia Award for Canadian
Non-Fiction, launched today by B.C. Premier Gordon Campbell and Keith
Mitchell, chair of the British Columbia Achievement Foundation.

"Great books by great Canadian authors are an important part of our culture
and our national identity," said Campbell. "This award is an opportunity to
celebrate the rich tradition of non-fiction literature in B.C. and across
the country, and to encourage the next generation of Canadian writers."

"This is an award that honours the best of Canadian authors in the
non-fiction genre," said Mitchell. "Non-fiction provides a forum that
captures the drama of our history, provokes discussion of ideas that will
shape our future, and reflects the richness of our diverse culture and
communities. We chose to focus on non-fiction in the hope that this
recognition will ensure the genre continues to flourish in Canada."

An independent jury panel will select the winner of the British Columbia
Award for Canadian Non-Fiction from a shortlist of up to three books
submitted by Canadian publishers. The winner will receive $25,000 and will
be entitled to add the British Columbia Award for Canadian Non-Fiction seal
on the front jacket of their book. The other short-listed entries will each
receive $1,000.

Eligible books are works of non-fiction written by a Canadian citizen or
permanent resident of Canada. They must be published in English by a
Canadian publishing house between Jan. 1 and Dec. 31, 2004. The deadline for
submissions is Jan. 15, 2005. More information on the award and the British
Columbia Achievement Foundation can be found at or by
calling 604 261-9777.

The British Columbia Achievement Foundation is an independent foundation
established with an initial endowment of $6 million from the Province. The
Award for Canadian Non-Fiction is the third initiative of the foundation,
following the launch in 2003 of the British Columbia Community Achievement
Awards, recognizing those who have made a significant contribution to their
community, and the launch on Oct. 4, 2004 of the British Columbia Creative
Achievement Awards, recognizing outstanding work in the field of applied art
and design.