The following article recently appeared in Business in Vancouver newspaper.

Business in Vancouver May 20-26, 2008; issue 969

UBC to host largest conference in its history

Social sciences gathering highlights rise of cultural industries in the province

Glen Korstrom

The University of British Columbia is preparing to host the largest conference in its 100-year history later this month.

Approximately 10,000 researchers and academics from around the world will converge on UBC’s four campuses for a nine-day conference that starts May 31.

It will also be the largest Congress of the Humanities and Social Sciences conference in that event’s 77-year history. Last year, about 5,000 academics who attended the congress converged on Saskatoon at the University of Saskatchewan.

Organizers expect the event will raise UBC’s standing in the academic world and stimulate recruitment efforts by introducing delegates to Vancouver’s high livability and the university’s Point Grey, Robson Square, Great Northern Way and Okanagan campuses.

Dave Gazley, Tourism Vancouver’s vice-president of meeting and convention sales, estimates that the congress will generate approximately $5 million in direct visitor spending.

“The congress is very important for recruitment,” said Richard Cavell, who helped organize the event and is the congress’ academic convener.

“But I would say that if you’re interested in the economic impact, it goes way beyond that. We have 10,000 delegates coming to Vancouver. That represents a multimillion-dollar infusion into the Vancouver and British Columbia economy.”

Cavell believes the conference’s academic focus – social sciences and humanities – is particularly relevant in the wake of recent B.C. Liberal government moves to support arts and culture.

In March, Premier Gordon Campbell announced cultural initiatives totalling $209 million, including $50 million toward a new home for the Vancouver Art Gallery, $150 million for an arts endowment fund and $9 million for an expanded and renovated Vancouver East Cultural Centre.
“Why did [Campbell] do that? said Cavell. “Because he’s aware that forestry is dead. Mining is dead. Fishing is dead. Where’s the economic action? It’s in cultural production and that’s what we [as social scientists] do.”

Cavell believes the social science congress symbolizes both a shift in society and the relevance of internationally acclaimed and Toronto-based theorist Richard Florida’s ideas.
Florida wrote the 2002 best-seller The Rise of the Creative Class. The book argues that talented, creative people, not resources or strategic locations, drive knowledge-based economies.

The Congress’ launch is at the Irving K. Barber School of Arts and Sciences at UBC’s Kelowna campus, and it will be simulcast to the Irving K. Barber Learning Centre at UBC’s main campus.

“It’s significant that it’s kicking off in the Okanagan where Ike Barber made his fortune in the lumber industry,” Cavell said. “That’s a beautiful symbol of how the resource-based economy of this province has now slipped into this brilliant cultural economy.”

But Barber believes that’s an exaggeration. He accepts that knowledge-based and cultural industries are both a growing and significant part of B.C.’s diverse economy. However, he thinks the province’s future remains rooted to the land.

“I expect [forestry, mining and fishing] to stay as bedrock parts of our society. They’re going through significant transformation, there’s no question on that,” Barber said. “But the roots of our lifestyle come from the planet and the earth on which we live and the things that flow from that.”

Barber said there could just as easily be an academic conference with 10,000 delegates in the next few years that focuses its attention on resources.

Meanwhile, Barber remains active ensuring that the nearly $25 million he donated to UBC is spent as intended.

“My mind is racing. It’s my feet that are in slow gear,” the 85-year-old told Business in Vancouver.

Barber’s money has helped create UBC’s:
•Irving K. Barber School of Arts and Sciences in Kelowna;
•Irving K. Barber Learning Centre at the Point Grey campus.

Separately, Barber provided a $5 million contribution to a scholarship endowment fund on the condition that the B.C. government provides $10 million. That program could annually provide 150 $5,000 scholarships for students at 24 regional colleges across the province. •

Ralph Stanton, Head of UBC Library’s Rare Books and Special Collections, is featured in this article from a recent issue of Business in Vancouver newspaper (April 22-28, 2008, Issue 965).

You can download a PDF of the article here:

Download file

Updates on UBC Library and the Irving K. Barber Learning Centre appear in the latest issue of the CPSLD Newsletter – a publication from the Council of Post Secondary Library Directors.

The coverage runs from pages 17 to 21. You can download a PDF of the newsletter here:

Download file

The following events take place at UBC Library and the Irving K. Barber Learning Centre in conjunction with the 2008 Congress of the Humanities and Sciences (

Anne of Green Gables: A Literary Icon at 100
Exhibition schedule: May 31 to June 8, 2008
Irving K. Barber Learning Centre, 1961 East Mall

Exhibit Opening & Symposium

Saturday, May 31, 2008
Exhibit – Lillooet Room
Symposium – Dodson Room

Both the exhibit and symposium are open to the public.


10:30 a.m. to noon, Dodson Room
Leading and Emerging Scholars Reflect on Anne of Green Gables in the Centenary Year
Chair: Irene Gammel


12:15 p.m. to 1 p.m., Dodson Room
Looking for Anne; Exhibit Opening and Book Signing with Curator and Author Irene Gammel
The exhibit opening talk in the Dodson Room is followed by an exhibit tour and book signing by Irene Gammel in the Lillooet Room.

1 p.m. to 3:30 p.m.
Guided tours of the Lillooet exhibit

4 p.m. to 4:30 p.m.
Anne of Green Gables: New Directions
A workshop co-hosted with the University of Toronto Press, Dodson Room


4:45 p.m. to 6 p.m., Dodson Room
Anne of Green Gables: New Directions at 100

6 p.m. to 7 p.m.
Exhibit tour, Lillooet Room

For more information, please visit

UBC By Design
(Re)constructing Spaces of Academic Culture and Community

What is the University? Why is the design important? Who defines its purposes and fabric? How is it experienced?

May 22 to June 6, 2008
Koerner Library, 1958 Main Mall
Visual Arts Gallery, Level 1
11 a.m. to 4 p.m.

For more information, please visit

Congress Book Fair at UBC’s Student Recreation Centre (the Bird Coop)
6000 Student Union Boulevard

From May 31 to June 3, the UBC Library Vault ( will have a table at the Congress Book Fair, and will sell Library Vault card sets, tote bags and vases.

June 4, 2008
At 4 p.m., the Bibliographical Society of Canada will tour Rare Books and Special Collections, located on the first level of the Irving K. Barber Learning Centre. This will be followed by a 4:30 p.m. reception at the School of Library, Archival and Information Studies, located on the fourth level of the Learning Centre.

Music Library
The Canadian Association of Music Libraries and Archives will meet with the Canadian University Music Society at Congress 2008 from June 5 to June 8. Most sessions will be held in the Music Building (6361 Memorial Road). On June 6, there will be a tour of the Irving K. Barber Learning Centre, along with a display of items from the Stravinsky Collection and the Philip J. Thomas Popular Song Collection at Rare Books and Special Collections. There will also be joint sessions and concerts held by the two groups over the four days.

The Union of British Columbia Indian Chiefs (UBCIC) has launched several new digital collections. These were supported in part by the BC History Digitization Program, which was launched by the Irving K. Barber Learning Centre.

You can view the news release here:

And you can view the collections here:

Please view the announcement below for an update on a Saanich Archives digitization project. This project is supported by the BC History Digitization Program, which was launched by the Irving K. Barber Learning Centre in 2006.



April 30, 2008

**Saanich Archives Now Online**

Saanich Archives is pleased to announce that over 2,500 archival photographs are now available online at The digitization project was made possible through generous funding from the Irving K. Barber Learning Centre at UBC and the Municipality of Saanich.

Photographs of early pioneer life, cultural events, architecture, farming and the growth of the community can now be searched by keyword, subject and local area of Saanich. The images, selected from a collection of 15,000 photographs, slides, negatives and albums, have rarely been viewed by the public. They are now freely available via the Internet.

Saanich Archives collects and preserves archival material relating to the Municipality of Saanich and invites visitors to explore Saanich’s rich history online or in person. The collection includes photographs, maps, documents, oral histories, books and reference material from the earliest days of the municipality to recent times.

Saanich Archives is located in the Saanich Centennial Library at 3100 Tillicum Road and is open Monday to Friday, 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. For further information, please call 250-475-1775 or visit our website at


For more information please contact:

Caroline Duncan
Saanich Municipal Archives
3100 Tillicum Road
Victoria BC V9A 6T2
Tel: (250) 475-1775 ext.3478
Fax: (250) 388-7819

Richard Moore, UBC Library’s Facilities Coordinator, is one of the winners of the presitigious 2008 President’s Service Award for Excellence.

You can read about Richard and the other winners here:

a place of mind, The University of British Columbia

UBC Library





Emergency Procedures | Accessibility | Contact UBC | © Copyright The University of British Columbia

Spam prevention powered by Akismet