A New Book!


The BC Agricultural Association Exhibition Building at the Willows

is available at the following fine bookstores:

Munro’s Books in downtown Victoria

Bolen Books at Hillside Shopping Centre

Ivy’s Books in Oak Bay

                                Tanner’s Books in Sidney, B.C.

Second Edition. 349 pages. 293 illustrations. Footnotes. Index. ISBN 978-1-7751204-1-4 Softcover. $29.95
Historic Media. www.LostVictoria.com

Review and Excerpt in the Times-Colonist

A full page excerpt and review of the Exhibition Building Book appeared in the Times-Colonist  ‘Islander’ section on December 9, 2018.

It featured three coloured renderings of the building by Ron Soule, and a 1,000-word book excerpt, as well as a review from Dave Obee, the editor and publisher of the Times-Colonist.

Book review: A history of a remarkable structure from Victoria’s past.


Book excerpt: The race to build the city’s ‘Crystal Palace’


Exhibition Building INTERIOR PANORAMA

 The only known interior panorama of the Crystal Palace from 1901. Daily Colonist photo.

The Second Edition of 

The BC Agricultural Association Exhibition Building at the Willows
was printed in September 2018.

Revised and expanded, the book now contains thirty new pages of text and illustrations, totalling 293 illustrations, many never seen before. The only panorama illustration of the interior of the Exhibition Building is revealed, as are several photographs of exhibits in the building.

Cover 2018 Edition Exhibition Book

On September 27, 2018, Stuart Stark presented a lecture on the Exhibition Building to The Victoria Historical Society. Around 60 people attended the lecture.

Historic Society Lecture

Stuart Stark receiving a ‘Communications Award’ from Ken Johnson, president of the Hallmark Heritage Society, May 1, 2018 for his book:
The BC Agricultural Association Exhibition Building at the Willows

Stuart receiving Hallmark Society Communications Award from Ken Johnson, President

 Stuart Winning Hallmark Award for Exhibition Book


 Stuart at Tanner's Books Sidney

Author Stuart Stark at Tanner’s Books, Sidney, B.C.





Book signing at Bolen Books on April 28, 2018

To celebrate Canadian Independent Bookstore Day!
Booksigning at Bolen Books April 28, 2018
Bolen Books, Hillside Shopping Centre, Victoria, B.C.

Bolen Books Signing April 28, 2018

New Book Launched on December 15, 2017!
See details below.

Cover, Exhibition Book for SStark websiteThe 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

• Tanner’s Books, Beacon Avenue, Sidney, B.C. 250-656-2345

Price: $29.95




Munro's Books LOGO 



Bolen Books logo


Tanner's Books LOGO 



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.

Book Launch at Oak Bay Library December 15, 2017


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

Stuart Signing Books at Ivy's Bookshop December 20, 2017




 Story in the Oak Bay News. Online: December 15; Print: December 20, 2017

Oak Bay News Story December 15, 2017

Top Left: Robert Taylor, president Oak Bay Heritage Foundation; Oak Bay Mayor Nils Jensen; Victoria Councillor Pam Madoff; Stuart Stark
Top right: Stuart Stark explaining the Exhibition Building
Bottom Left: The book cover rendered in cake, courtesy of the Oak Bay Heritage Foundation
Bottom Right: Mayor Jensen and Stuart Stark

Thank you.