Archive for March, 2021

Book review – Four Umbrellas

March 28, 2021

Four Umbrellas:  A Couple’s Journey into Young-Onset Alzheimer’s by June Hutton and Tony Wanless  Dundurn Press, 2020  

Reviewed by Janet Nicol

Caregiving for a spouse – as opposed to a parent – has its own specific stories and heartbreaks. June Hutton, a Vancouver-based novelist and teacher, has experienced both. The author’s mother had Alzheimer’s in her final years and then her spouse, Tony Wanless unknowingly was struck with “young-onset” Alzheimer’s prior to his retirement from the Vancouver Province, aged 53. Fourteen years would pass before Wanless received a diagnosis in 2017, allowing him and Hutton to fully understand his inexplicable episodes— such as when Wanless packed a suitcase with four umbrellas.

So begins my review of ‘Four Umbrellas’ for Senior Line magazine, March 2021 issue. The magazine is available in print at various locations in Vancouver and on-line at the Senior Line magazine website. (You can also click on hyperlink ‘Senior Line Archive’ below book cover image on this post.)

‘Zoom’ talk on Sybil

March 15, 2021

Join author and art historian Janet Nicol for a discussion of her book On the Curve:  The Life and Art of Sybil Andrews.  She and the curator, Jenelle M. Pasiechnik will be discussing the major themes of her book and the current exhibition.

Event time –   Saturday, March 27, 2021 at 2pm PDT (one hour)

Registration for this online ‘zoom’ event is now open at the Campbell River Art Gallery website.  

The talk is part of the CRAG exhibition (March 6 to May 1) and featuring Nicole Crouch, Karver Everson, Jake James, Kari Kristensen and Marni McMahan.  Each of these BC artists have produced new work in response to Sybil Andrews’ biographical history, aesthetic style and artistic practice.

Covid Chronicles

March 9, 2021

By Janet Nicol

A living history project by workers and the BC Labour Heritage Centre.

Canadians on the job during the COVID-19 pandemic are facing risks that workers faced a century ago when the Spanish flu swept the globe — but this time working people are telling their stories and people are listening, including volunteers at the BC Labour Heritage Centre, in Vancouver.

“It sets you to thinking about your own history,” says Marie Decaire, a member of the centre’s board who recently retired from her job at the Community Savings Credit Union. “My mother was born in the Kootenays around the time of the flu outbreak. She never mentioned the Spanish flu when I was growing up. And I never asked.”

Lasting from February 1918 to April 1920, the 1918 flu pandemic infected 500 million people, about a third of the world’s population at the time. Last year, Decaire researched Vancouver newspapers published in 1918 and she noticed how workers’ lives were rarely mentioned. She didn’t want the same thing to happen to workers and their experiences during the COVID-19 pandemic, and so she proposed an oral history project called “COVID Chronicles: Labour’s Story.”

“Workers’ voices need to be heard,” she says. “When I proposed the idea of collecting COVID stories, everyone loved it.”

So what are BC workers saying? Check out the latest issue of Our Times magazine to find out.

Our Times magazine, Winter 2021.