Surrey: A City of Stories

We are pleased to see that people really love our new book, Surrey: A City of Stories. 

They have told us that they feel connected to it — can find themselves and their families in its text and photographs, and can learn about the experience of others on the plane of a single municipality over time.

The stories it contains reflect challenges and human innovation — not merely in terms of built structures and industries and diverse economies, but also within relationships.  It’s our ability to reimagine relationships between each other and with government that will allow us to do the work of reconciliation, rethink the importance of place, and help us build great communities today and in the future.

Local history is powerful.  It speaks of the diverse experience of nearby people, and celebrates nearby places.


This photograph is a detail of “Threshing Crew, Loney Farm” 1900 from the Surrey Archives. (SA 1.2.01)



New History of Surrey : A Great Place to Live

We’re writing a history book called Surrey: A City of Stories. We’ve been out talking to people in Surrey.  We’ve walked and paddled and looked in many corners.  And we’re hearing that this is a great place to live.

Citizens value its history, its cultural diversity, its wild places, and the hum of activity that its urban side gives off.  Many people in the public outreach we’ve been doing tell us how proud they are of this place they call home.

We’ve been asked to create a visual buffet, a gorgeous popular history for release in early September of 2017.  Stay tuned!

If you have stories or documents related to this project, drop us a line through the contacts page.

Hooray! Liard Basin!

We are pleased as punch that one of our clients, Tony Kenyon, has been shortlisted for the Roderick Haig-Brown Regional Prize — one of six prizes offered by the West Coast Book Prize Society.

See the full shortlist here:

We wish him luck!

His Recorded History of the Liard Basin was also one of two recent winners of the Jeanne Clarke Memorial local history award established by the Prince George Public Library.

Roundin’ Up History

We are proud to be working on the new City of Surrey history book. To honour this project, we have sent out our people to experience Surrey’s living history. The Round-Up Café features its landmark neon sign, and the same traditional food that has been served since its opening in 1949, when it was a part of the original Whalley’s corner. We tried out their classic menu while enjoying the 1950s diner feel. When you get the chance, don’t hesitate to try out this living piece of Surrey’s history right at your back door!14237711_1277436752280922_7043877803921188375_n 14291780_1277437528947511_5960416413351956842_n

Fort Langley Festival of the Book

It’s that time again!  It’s time to celebrate the best of independent publishing and see the faces of people behind the text. Join us on July 1st from 11-2:30 join us at the Fort Langley Community Hall as we gather with local authors, chill with Amanda the Librarian from the Fraser Valley Regional Library, and spend time with our friends at Vivalogue Publishing, organizers of the Tidewater Festival the Whistler Independent Book Awards,

The Fort Langley Festival of the Book is one of nine venues celebrating Canada Day in Fort Langley: The Fraser Valley Regional Library, the Langley Centennial Museum, the British Columbia Farm Machinery Museum, Langley Heritage Society CN Station and the Flagship Gallery, Fort Langley National Historic Site and Sxwimela gifts, lelem’ arts and cultural cafe, and Bard in the Valley.



History of the Liard Basin

We have been working with Fort Nelson writer Anthony Kenyon for a few years now on his documentary history of the Liard Basin.

Tony draws on the documentary records of the region he knows so well, and traces settlement in the area in the century after 1800.

It is published by the Fort Nelson News and will be released this spring.

We have just pressed GO for printing, and we look forward to having the printed book in our hands.

We’ll keep you posted.


Have you ever felt yourself being one of those clients who just seems to never let go?  Does it ever feel like you are constantly trying to get something fixed? Changed? Done?

That is how I have felt about this website for awhile since the moment when — poof! — something happened and — yikes! — lots was gone.  I am pretty sure I was to blame, but I don’t even know enough about the inner life of websites to know that for sure.

This lettuce heart is for the great folks at Crocodile Creative who set a new standard in customer service.  They patiently listened, fixed, and beautified this site — a couple of times.

I am excited about Fenton Street’s work this spring and deeply grateful to have my site up and running — once again.

Brian Murdoch Shares his Antiquarian Wealth in the Art of the Book Series at Langley Centennial Museum

Brian Murdoch is the courageous first speaker in Langley Centennial Museum’s Art of the Book series kicking off this week.   His talk is Thursday April 9 at 7:00.

The Murdochs have owned and operated Murdoch’s Bookshoppe in Mission for just over two decades.  They have seen some pretty special books pass through their hands — from well-thumbed classics to the rarest of the rare.  Brian says

We have a strong collection of Canadiana in general, including First Nations material, as well as titles on the history of British Columbia.  You will also find in our collection First Editions, signed copies, military history, poetry and, of course, rare books.  In the final analysis, book browsing and collecting should be enjoyable, whether you are seeking an antiquarian title or staple-bound ephemera of local history.  We look forward to having the opportunity to assist in building your collection!


I am looking forward to hearing Brian talk about his career in the book business and the importance of the book beyond the text.

For more information or to register, follow the links:

Watt is Reading Local at Point Grey Library

As part of the Read Local campaign, I will be reading The Girl Who Writes and The Boy Who Paints to an enthusiastic audience at Point Grey Library in Vancouver.

Join us on April 15th at 1:30 as we talk about crafting these books and sending them out into the world.

For more information on Read Local events, see



Workshopping The Girl Who Writes at a Wonderful Place

We are happy to be conducting workshops on The Boy Who Paints and The Girl Who Writes over the next month with students from Hillcrest School in Surrey.

The day was warm.  Spring was in the air, and the warmth of the sun outside went right through to our bones after the winter.  And if that wasn’t enough, look what we found when we rolled into the parking lot with our canvases, our paints, and our load of kids books.  Our place was reserved by librarian Bonnie Chapman with this amazing sign.

It is a wonderful place, filled with the buzz of inspired minds.