May Wong, author of City in Colour: Rediscovered Stories of Victoria’s Multicultural Past, will delight with tales about early Victoria people beginning at 7pm on Tuesday, October 22 at the Courtenay and District Museum.

May’s stories will include: Kanakas, a medical pioneer, BC’s first professional artist, a woman with chutzpah, and more. The talk is based on her recent book which is a timely, intriguing collection of the overlooked stories of Victoria’s pioneers, trailblazers, and community builders who were also diverse people of colour.

The westernmost headquarters of the fur-trading Hudson’s Bay Company, Fort Victoria was an isolated community in the Pacific Northwest when it was established in the mid-19th Century. The presence of British HBC executives and their Métis wives, as well as French and Métis trappers, itinerant Indigenous traders, and Hawaiian workers made it a multicultural and polyglot community. When the 1858 Fraser River Gold Rush brought thousands of fortune seekers and entrepreneurs from all over the world, the diversity increased, and significant contributions were made to the province’s capital by many people of colour with fascinating stories.

Copies of City in Colour will be available for purchase ($22.00, Touchwood Editions) and signing after the talk.

Admission to the evening is $5 per Historical Society member; $6 non-members (plus GST). Advance tickets recommended.

The Courtenay and District Museum is located at 207 Fourth Street in downtown Courtenay. FMI or to purchase tickets over the phone: 250-334-0686 ext.2

Catherine Siba

Curator Social History, Courtenay and District Museum