Archive for November, 2019

At the Wilderness Edge – book review

November 24, 2019

By Janet Nicol

In the Winter 2019 issue of BC History I review J.I. Little’s book, “At the Wilderness Edge: The Rise of the Anti-Development Movement on Canada’s West Coast.”

Little examines five environmental protests in the province’s post war years, proving small groups of committed people can make big changes. His findings challenge assumptions about the people behind the activism and provide blueprints for future actions.

Behind the Magic

November 19, 2019

by Janet Nicol

Working conditions have created a powder keg inside dozens of Vancouver’s animation studios.

In this cover story for Our Times magazine, I interview artists employed on contracts in Vancouver and Toronto animation studios, as well as the organizers working toward building a union as a means to better their conditions.

The full article is available in the Fall 2019 issue of Our Times magazine, available this month at Chapters/Indigo and some independent book stores as well as on-line subscription.  The article is also posted on line at the “Our Times” magazine website.

‘Girl Strikers’ and the 1918 Vancouver Laundries Dispute

November 19, 2019

by Janet Mary Nicol

Abstract

Canadian soldiers were still fighting overseas alongside the British, when more than 300 laundry workers in Vancouver—most of them female—went on strike in September of 1918. During the ensuing four months of the dispute, trade union men protested conscription, the Spanish flu pandemic swept through the city and on November 11, an armistice in Europe was celebrated in the streets. Trade unions had gained leverage by 1916 in Vancouver and across Canada, strike activity proliferated between 1917 and 1920. During the tumultuous final months of the war, the ‘laundry girls’ found an opportunity to take a stand. This narration examines a labour dispute at seven Vancouver steam laundries in 1918 through the lens of four female participants: Helena Gutteridge, union organizer and executive member of the Vancouver Trades and Labour Council; Ellen Goode, a 20 year old striker who gave a oral account of the strike decades later; Josephine Nelson, a 31 year old Irish immigrant and 43 year old Matilda Cruickshank. The intent of this research note is to better understand the lives of working women a century ago. Issues raised as they intersect with class, gender and race will be considered. The strike was a transformative experience for many women involved, their lives changed—‘as the world was changed.’

Full article can be purchased on-line for $5 at the BC Studies website, and journal at $20.   Direct link at –
https://bcstudies.com/issue-single/bc-studies-no-203-autumn-2019/