Rare Books and Special Collections at UBC Library is excited to announce a new public exhibition in the Chung Collection exhibition room, “Fashioning the Landscape: Women’s Interwar Sportswear at the Canadian Pacific Railway Resorts.” The exhibition has been guest curated by Klahanie Research.

Interwar CPR brochures courted elite female consumers by advertising resorts as more gender neutral spaces than day-to-day life. Images of progressive women’s sportswear, which borrowed from men’s fashion, were used to rationalize and naturalize the rugged activities of the recreational holiday landscape. Distant, isolated, outdoor locations helped to relax social codes that would have been more vigorously enforced in more formal, populated urban centres. With the removal of city clothes, women symbolically shed workplace and household inequalities and seized pleasure with an outfit for every activity. From arrival to an evening of
glamour, this exhibit explores the sportswear of: golf, hiking, skiing, canoeing, swimming, and riding, worn across CPR resorts.

“Fashioning the Landscape: Women’s Interwar Sportswear at the Canadian Pacific Railway Resorts,” which is free and open to the public, will be on display in the exhibition room of the Wallace B. Chung and Madeline H. Chung Collection, in the Rare Books and Special Collections reading room. The RBSC reading room is open Monday through Friday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. For more information, please contact Rare Books and Special Collections at (604) 822-2521 or rare.books@ubc.ca.

The exhibit, located in the David Lam Management Research Library and Level 2 of the Irving K. Barber Learning Centre runs until the end of the year.

“Life’s too short to wear boring shoes.” — John Fluevog

The David Lam Management Research Library and Canaccord Learning Commons, Rare Books and Special Collections, and the Irving K. Barber Learning Centre at UBC Library are pleased to present “50 Years of Sole: A History of Fluevog: Honouring a Vancouver Icon,” which is on display in David Lam Library from November 20 to December 24, 2019.

The exhibition coincides with the 50th anniversary of Vancouver-based John Fluevog Shoes, and the publication of a new book, Fluevog: 50 Years of Unique Soles for Unique Souls. John Fluevog is a celebrated Canadian shoe designer known for his witty and unconventional style, as well as the uplifting messages that he includes on every pair of shoes. His designs are among the most distinctive footwear of the last fifty years.

Darren Dahl, Senior Associate Dean, Faculty at the UBC Sauder School of Business, Director of the Robert H. Lee Graduate School and Professor in the Marketing and Behavioural Sciences Division, attests to Fluevog’s significance as both a business and a cultural treasure, affirming that “Fluevog put Vancouver on the map for innovative and progressive shoe design.”

John Fluevog’s work in shoe design and business has been a winding journey with ups and downs. His career began in Gastown, where the Vancouver flagship store is located today, when Fluevog partnered with Peter Fox in 1970. The partnership, known as Fox and Fluevog, lasted a decade and saw the opening of multiple stores before an amicable split. The split marked the birth of “John Fluevog Shoes” with more store openings in Seattle, Boston, and Toronto. Fluevogs broke into the mainstream in the 1990s when they were worn by both Madonna in the film Truth or Dare and by Lady Miss Kier from the band Deee-lite. To keep up with demand, John opened up stores in New York, San Francisco, and Chicago. Today, Fluevog has 27 stores in the United States, Canada, the Netherlands, and Australia. Throughout his career, Fluevog has woven his love of cars, his focus on community and culture, and design and sustainability into his craft and stores.

The Mini Gorgeous is UBC Library’s favourite Fluevog shoe, as voted on by Library personnel in an online poll.

The exhibition hosted within the David Lam Library and Canaccord Learning Commons highlights how John Fluevog has successfully built a business, a brand, and a community over the course of 50 years. Just as Fluevog values its customers as collaborators, locating the display in a vibrant, learner-centred space allows students to experience directly Fluevog’s collaborative, creative, and inspiring approach to business.

In addition to the exhibition at David Lam Library, a display on level 2 of the Irving K. Barber Learning Centre will feature original multimedia illustrations from Vancouver artist Robert Chaplin’s The Elves & the Shoemaker, featuring charming and helpful elves making and wearing Fluevog shoes. The book is a delightfully illustrated adaptation of the Brothers Grimm original tale, inspired by the soul and soles of Fluevog shoes.

Complimenting the displays in the David Lam Library and the Irving K. Barber Learning Centre, the Walter C. Koerner Library will host a book display starting on December 1 that delves into the “sole” of Fluevog, bringing together materials on the subjects of footwear, fashion, celebrity, subculture, and Vancouver history that influenced and were influenced by John Fluevog. The display will also feature interactive de-stressing activities that tap into Fluevog’s creativity and playfulness.

Drop-in tours of the exhibition at the David Lam Library and Canaccord Learning Commons  will be offered on the following dates:

November 26: 12:00-12:30pm and 12:30-1:00pm
November 28: 12:00-12:30pm and 12:30-1:00pm

We are pleased to announce these tours during Global Entrepreneurship Week, and we will feature subsequent posts featuring short interviews with UBC Fluevloggers on UBC Library’s Small Business Accelerator: sba.ubc.ca.

These multi-site displays will run from November 20 to December 24, located in the David Lam Management Research Library, level 2 of the Irving K. Barber Learning Centre, and the main lobby of Walter C. Koerner Library (starting December 1). For more information, please contact Rare Books and Special Collections at (604) 822-2521 or rare.books@ubc.ca.

UBC Library’s Rare Books and Special Collections, Emily Carr University of Art + Design, The Vancouver Asian Heritage Month Society and the Asian Canadian Writers’ Workshop have collaborated to present an exhibition that captures the continual impact of iconic Asian Canadian Jim Wong-Chu.

Jim Wong-Chu (1945- 2017) was a well-known Asian-Canadian historian, editor, author, and poet. Born in Hong Kong, Wong-Chu came to Canada in 1953. He attended the Vancouver School of Art (Emily Carr University of Art + Design) from 1975-1981, majoring in photography and design. From 1976-1981, Wong-Chu was involved with the Vancouver Co-op Radio Program on culture and assimilation, Pender Guy Radio Program while working at the Vancouver School of Art.

Considered one of the first Asian-Canadian authors who gave voice to the Asian Communities in the times when the support for the Asian arts was difficult to obtain. Jim Wong-Chu dedicated much of his time to compile a literary anthology, “Many Mouthed Birds” to showcase the richness of Asian-Canadian literature. During 1995 and 1996 Jim Wong-Chu co-founded the Asian Canadian Performing Arts Resource (ACPAR) and became one of the founders of the Asian Canadian Writers’ Workshop (ACWW) where he helped many young Asian-Canadian writers to succeed by editing and finding publishers for their works. Jim Wong-Chu along with Mishtu Banerjee, Mo-Ling Chui, Grace Eiko Thomson, and Winston Xin​ formed the Vancouver Asian Heritage Month Society, as an organization that endeavoured to explore the diversity of Asian Canadian life and culture and promote the discussion of relevant issues and concerns within and beyond the Asian Canadian communities.

RBSC is proud to hold both the Jim Wong-Chu fonds and books from Jim’s personal library collection.

The exhibit, Jim Wong-Chu: Iconic | Asian | Canadian, runs October 10 to November 15 on level 2 of the Irving K. Barber Learning Centre, located on the UBC Vancouver campus. For more information, please contact Rare Books and Special Collections at (604) 822-2521 or rare.books@ubc.ca.

Science Literacy Week (September 16-22, 2019) is an annual celebration of science in Canada, in which libraries, universities, museums, and other partners offer events and displays to highlight research and learning at our institutions.

This year focuses on the OCEAN, a perfect theme for a country that borders the Pacific, Atlantic, and Arctic Oceans. All branches of the UBC Library on both the Vancouver and Okanagan campuses will showcase items from their rich collection of ocean-related books, films, and even puppets.

Rare Books and Special Collections is delighted to feature displays of historical materials related to the ocean from the W.C. Gibson History of Science & Medicine Collection, as well as modern poetry books inspired by our world’s oceans, notably some beautiful small and fine-press limited editions featuring British Columbian and Canadian poets.

For more details about RBSC’s book displays as well as displays and activities at the other UBC Library branches, visit the UBC Library Guide to Science Literacy Week.

RBSC’s Science Literacy Week displays, which are free and open to the public, will be up in our reading room from September 16 until September 30, 2019. The RBSC reading room is open Monday through Friday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. For more information, please contact Rare Books and Special Collections at (604) 822-2521 or rare.books@ubc.ca.

The Wallace B. Chung and Madeline H. Chung Collection exhibition at Rare Books and Special Collections has been open to visitors in its current location in the Irving K. Barber Learning Centre since April 2008. Since then, the RBSC team has diligently tracked attendance. Earlier today, we were delighted to welcome the 10,000th and 10,001st visitors to the Chung Collection exhibition!

Over the years, the visitors to the Chung Collection have been diverse and varied, including UBC classes, visiting scholars, University staff, students and faculty, seniors groups, as well as community members from Greater Vancouver and many visitors from afar. Today’s special visitors were Ivy Ng (the 10,000th visitor) and Susanna Ng (the 10,001st visitor). Ivy and Susanna had known about the Chung Collection for some time and finally visited the exhibition to see in person some of the Collection’s many special and unique artifacts related to the Chinese community. They were thrilled to discover they were milestone visitors to the exhibition, particularly Ivy, who received a UBC Library gift bag. Given their good luck today, Ivy and Susanna said they were considering buying a lottery ticket. Like most lottery hopefuls, they have already partially spent their winnings—generously offering funds for a Chung Collection endowment if they win big.

The Chung Collection exhibition features only a small portion of the Chung Collection’s more than 25,000 items. Materials not on display can be accessed for consultation in the Rare Books and Special Collections reading room. Accumulated over 60 years by Dr. Wallace Chung, the extraordinary Chung Collection covers three main themes: early British Columbia history and exploration, the Canadian Pacific Railway Company, and early immigration and settlement with a focus on the Chinese diaspora.

Stay tuned for 20,000th visitor celebrations!

UBC Library has partnered with local non-profit 2 Paycheques Away to bring an exceptional and striking photography exhibit to two library locations.

Roberto. Photographed by Mihailo Subotic

This summer, students may see some unfamiliar faces on campus, and deliberately so. UBC Library has partnered with local non-profit 2 Paycheques Away.. to bring an exceptional and striking photography exhibit to two library locations. The exhibit aims to bring the campus and Vancouver communities a little closer together and facilitates portrayals of spirited and resilient individuals from Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside (DTES), by displaying their portraits and stories as shared during their visit to the barber.

2 Paycheques Away.. is the brainchild of Vancouver-based barber and musician Alysha Osborne. In her early teens, Osborne learned that her stepmother had run away from home and ended up in Vancouver in her early twenties, addicted to heroin and working as a prostitute in Vancouver’s DTES. Osborne struggled to reconcile how someone she admired so much and who was a beloved family member, mentor, and parent had lived that life. “I came to realize that my stepmother and I were not that different, and that I, with just a little worse luck, could have landed in the same spot,” she explains.

Giving back to the community

Osborne was working in Gastown and had been wanting to give back to the DTES community for some time, but was unsure how she could contribute in a meaningful way. “The idea for 2 Paycheques Away.. came to me during a trip to the North American Hair Awards. I was watching all these pictures going up on the screen and I put two and two together and had an epiphany/meltdown. I turned to my husband and said: ‘I know exactly what I want to do’.”

When Osborne returned to Vancouver, she reached out to portrait photographer Mihailo Subotic, whom she met working in the same building, about the idea. “I explained to Mihailo that I wanted the pictures to be real with no special lighting or crazy editing so you could just really see the people. He showed me the work of a couple of photographers he knew that used a similar style and understood exactly what I was looking for.”

Rebuilding bridges and relationships

The two began capturing community members during their trips to the barber and learning more about their individual stories — stories of people like Roberto who lost his sense of smell when a grenade detonated near him during his home country of El Salvador’s civil war and moved to Vancouver in 1983 or Angie, from Six Nations, Ontario who moved to Vancouver to join two of her brothers and try something new.

The project was eventually developed into a book where it caught the attention of a friend of Subotic, Melany Lund, who also happened to be a circulation assistant at UBC Library. “My friend’s ears perked up when I told her about this project,” he says, “She came to the book launch and suggested we get in touch with Rare Books and Special Collections because it was so unique.”

Mihailo Subotic and Alysha Osborne

Bringing 2 Paycheques Away.. to campus

The library acquired a copy of the book for the university’s rare books collection, but saw an opportunity to do more. Inspired by the UBC Learning Exchange’s two-way learning model that ensures knowledge also flows from the community back into the university, Katherine Kalsbeek, Head of Rare Books and Special Collections and Aleteia Greenwood, Head of the Woodward Library proposed an exhibition of photographs and stories in UBC Library spaces. Their backgrounds and experiences informed their interest in using UBC spaces as a platform to open minds and shift perspectives. “Hosting this exhibition on campus allows these stories to reach a broader audience and reach people who might not see them otherwise,” says Greenwood, “The Library is committed to meaningful engagement and knowledge exchange with the community.”

Osborne and Subotic are just as thrilled to bring their work to UBC, “Young minds change the world and we want them to see these photos and know these people,” says Osborne.

Osborne and Subotic are grateful for the awareness that working on the project has brought them and hope that the exhibit helps to broaden that awareness. “We’ve learned so much about the issues and problems that the DTES community and neighbourhood is facing,” says Osborne, “We hope this exhibit will help raise that kind of awareness on campus.”

 

The exhibit will run in the Woodward Library and Ike’s Café in the Irving K. Barber Learning Centre until the end of 2019 and will move downtown to the UBC Learning Exchange in early 2020.

View the 2 Paycheques Away.. book in the library’s collection.
Copies of the book are also available for purchase at the UBC Bookstore.

The exhibit, hosted in Rare Books & Special Collections located on Level 1 of the Irving K. Barber Learning Centre, will run until July 31, 2019.

June is recognized as Aboriginal History Month but at UBC Library we hold a tradition of (Un)History Month — a celebration and acknowledgement of the importance of Indigenous Peoples – not only in history – but in the present and future.

This collaborative exhibit showcases the first digital books to come from RavenSpace, a new model of publishing, for interactive, media-rich books in Indigenous studies, where communities and scholars can work together in a culturally respectful way:

  • Elsie Paul, with Davis McKenzie, Paige Raibmon, and Harmony Johnson, As I Remember It: Teachings (ʔəms taʔaw) from the life of a Sliammon Elder (UBC Press)
  • Kathryn Bunn-Marcuse, with Coreen Child, Kaleb Child, and Tommy Child of the Kwag’uł, Kans Hiłile (Making It Right): A Collaborative Reframing of Kwakiutl Film and Audio Recordings with Franz Boas (University of Washington Press)
  • Musqueam First Nation, Musqueam Stories Transformed (UBC Press).

RavenSpace is an initiative of UBC Press with the participation of University of Washington Press.

Come and see how these publications – with animations, classroom resources, and multiple pathways through text and media – are made.

EXHIBIT LAUNCH AND RECEPTION: June 5 from 5:30 to 7 pm, Chilcotin Room (256), IKBLC

Exhibit partners include UBC Press, Musqueam First Nation and UBC Library.

The exhibit is open to the public daily from 6 a.m. to 1 a.m. in the Irving K. Barber Learning Centre, Level 2, and will be on display from June 1 until August 30, 2019.

During the first week of June there are several satellite events happening as part of Indigenous (Un)History Month, see the attached poster for more details:

Teaching through telling: The RavenSpace Publishing Project
June 4 from 9 am – 3:30 p.m.
UBC Education Library

Colloquia: RavenSpace – Taking the Book to the Web
June 5 from 1:30 – 5 p.m.
UBC First Nations Longhouse

UBC is located on the traditional, ancestral, unceded territory of the xʷməθkʷəy̓əm (Musqueam) people.


About Indigenous (Un)History Month

The “un” represents the continued importance and relevance of Indigenous peoples in Canada and around the world. These contributions should be recognized daily, not just once a year. UBC Library’s first Aboriginal (Un)History Month event kicked off in June 2012.

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