New Book Launched on December 15, 2017!
See details below.
The B.C. Agricultural Association
Exhibition Building at the Willows
Stuart Stark, award-winning Heritage Consultant, tells the grand story of Victoria’s astonishing ‘Crystal Palace’, which was built in 1891 and burned in a night-time conflagration in 1907.
Using social and architectural history, the history of the Exhibition Building is recounted, starting in 1861, when the first agricultural exhibition was held as a means of survival for the people living in the Colony of Vancouver’s Island.
The exhibitions developed and grew, culminating in the construction of the landmark building, built on the fortieth anniversary of its London namesake. The roles of the Secretaries of the Agricultural Association – and the hundreds of private individuals and many city councils who planned, organized and controlled the exhibitions – and the politics that made the building possible provide the compelling background of a little–known building that was important to the lives of early Victorians. Fifty-eight agricultural exhibitions were held over the course of 81 years, through social changes, economic tribulations and two wars, until the last Exhibition was held in 1941.
In an age before emails and computers, the amazing accomplishments of a city are celebrated. Royal visits, wonderful exhibits, horse-racing, circuses, fireworks, sports, sideshows and gold medals frame the story of the Exhibition Building as a place “where everyone could come and do their best”.
The agricultural exhibitions developed from an annual show of animals and produce to a huge fairground showcasing industrial exhibitions, automobile shows and movie production facilities. The city’s own history is reflected in the account of this great building, and the exhibitions that came before and after, allow a unique perspective of a town’s story.
With 242 illustrations, including some amazing architectural renderings constructed by Ron Soule, the great-grandson of the building’s original architect, the Exhibition Building comes back to life, as never before.
320 pages. 242 illustrations. Footnotes. Index. ISBN 978-1-77512-040-7 Softcover. 6″ x 9″
Historic Media. www.LostVictoria.com
The Book was launched on December 15, 2017, at the Oak Bay Library.
It is available at:
• Ivy’s Bookshop, 2188 Oak Bay Avenue, Victoria, B.C. 250-598-2713
• Munro’s Books, 1108 Government Street, Victoria, B.C., 250-382-2464
• Bolen Books, Hillside Shopping Centre, Victoria B.C., 250-595-1458
A Book Launch was held at the Oak Bay Library on December 15, 2017, sponsored by Oak Bay Heritage; the Oak Bay Archives; and the Greater Victoria Public Library.
Top: Stuart Stark presents a copy of the book to Caroline Duncan, Archivist, Oak Bay Archives
Middle: Signing the book
Bottom Left: Cake featuring the book cover.
Bottom Right: Stuart Stark signing a copy of the book for Mayor of Oak Bay Nils Jensen, who introduced the author.
Stuart Stark signing Books at Ivy’s Bookshop on December 20, 2017
Story in the Oak Bay News. Online: December 15; Print: December 20, 2017