The Feckless Collection

January 19, 2023

A newspaper publisher shares hundreds of prints from his personal collection online.

by Janet Nicol

I interview Bob Doull, a collector of prints created by BC artists

in the latest on-line issue of Galleries West magazine.

Link at –

James Jervis Blomfield, “Old Prospect Point,” circa 1917 (coloured etching, 5” x 5” (courtesy the Feckless Collection)

Grind Writing group & Book Review

January 5, 2023

I interview Margo Lamont, founder of the Vancouver-based Grind

Wrters’ group in the current issue of Senior Line magazine

(Winter 2022)and review “The Aging of Aquarius: Igniting

Passion and Purpose as an Elder” by Helen Wilkes.

The magazine of the Jewish Seniors Alliance of Greater

Vancouver is available at no cost

on line (click link) and in print at venues around the city.

Alone in the Great Unknown – book review

December 8, 2022

by Janet Nicol

For my full review of this remarkable memoir by Caroll Simpson, see BC Studies, winter 2022 (click on hyperlink below)

November 25, 2022
Click on the headline above to read my full story
about life drawing at Basic Inquiry in
Montecristo magazine, an on line journal.

Sing Lim, Vancouver Artist and Printer

November 24, 2022

by Janet Nicol

Your name is Sing Lim and your wife is Chinese, too, and you run a printing shop in Chinatown in Vancouver and that is how you earn a living and you have chosen things to be that way.

—excerpt from In Search of Innocence, written, directed and narrated by Leonard Forest, National Film Board of Canada, 1963.

Sing Lim paints an image of a woman on a glass plate while a press rolls in the background of his print shop. He is clean shaven, wears glasses and a printer’s apron. A cigarette dangles from his mouth. The camera captures his quick movements as he creates this monotype from start to finish for a film about West Coast artists entitled In Search of Innocence. Ironically Lim’s artistic career takes a turn soon after the film is released in 1963.

So begins my portrait of Sing Lim (1915-1993), in Devil’s Artisan, (winter, 2022),–soon available in print at bookstores (including Chapters). Note – An abridged version of this story has appeared in Montecristo magazine (on line only)

Sing Lim, photograph by Jack Long. Printed with the permission of Frances Long.

Janna’s Path to Activism

October 7, 2022

by Janet Nicol

“My whole life led up to where I need to be now,” activist Janna Pratt says. A former Unifor 1-S member and residential school Survivor, Pratt’s remarkable life journey is profiled in the upcoming issue of Our Times, with its theme of Truth and Reconciliation.

Pratt created the painting below based on photographs of her five grandmothers, her five “nohkoms.” She has respected their privacy by not detailing facial features. Instead she emphasizes dynamic symbols connected to them—-“a ribbon skirt, a red jacket.”

Our Times is available on magazine stands across Canada and by subscription at their on-line website.

Image: Courtesy Janna Pratt

Secret Schools

September 22, 2022

Book Review by Janet Nicol

Secret Schools:  True Stories of Bravery, Ingenuity, and the Determination to Learn, by Heather Camlot and Illustrated by Erin Taniguchi, Owlkids Books, Toronto, 2022

What if the secret you were keeping was going to school?  This is the question Toronto-based author Heather Camlot poses in a fascinating book aimed at middle grade readers.  Camlot has researched and written fifteen true accounts about ‘underground’ classrooms around the world at various periods of history.   Thirty-three linocut prints by Vancouver printmaker and artist Erin Taniguchi illustrate each story.  

For the full review in BC Teacher magazine (Sept/Oct 2022) go to the BC Teacher’s Federation website.

Click on “What’s Happening”…and then “Teacher magazine”

August 27, 2022

Full story on line at Montecristo magazine – click on above story title.

Men’s Sheds

August 17, 2022

by Janet Nicol


Seniors form the backbone of the organization,” observes Mike Jennings about Men’s Sheds, a non-profit organization offering men space to talk over coffee—and employ their carpentry skills to help others. Jennings is a spokesperson for the Men’s Sheds Association of British Columbia (MSABC) and a member of the Men’s Shed in Coquitlam.

So begins a story about an impressive community organization spanning three continents. For the full article in Senior Line magazine, Summer 2022, click on the link below. Print copies also available at no cost at various Vancouver locations.

Senior Line magazine – COVER ART: Lone Tratt, Reflections, Center Panel from Triptych, 96″x48″, Acrylic on Canvas

Front-Wave Boomers – a book review

August 17, 2022


Written by Gillian Ranson

Reviewed by Janet Nicol

What does growing old—and “very” old—look like for a generation of Canadians born between 1946 and 1965? It’s a question Alberta-based journalist and sociologist Gillian Ranson sets out to answer in her highly readable and informative book, Front-wave Boomers.

Ranson is among the 25 percent of Canadians known as baby boomers and her first-hand experience and empathy serves to enhance this research. Besides delivering plenty of statistics, comparative studies and footnotes, the author interviewed more than 100 people of diverse backgrounds, between the ages of 62 and 77.

See the full review in Senior Line magazine, Summer 2022, available on line at the link below and in print (Vancouver) at no cost.