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British Columbia History

The Vancouver Public Library has extensive primary and secondary resources on the history of British Columbia. This guide is designed to help you begin your research on this topic and use library resources effectively.


A snowboarder soaring past the Olympic rings during the opening ceremony of the 2010 Winter Games

Although still early into the 21st Century, British Columbia has been at the centre of some remarkable historical shifts as a result of changing demographics, technological change, and increasing ties to the Asia-Pacific region.
  • In March 2006, BC Ferries MV Queen of the North ran aground then sank near Hartley Bay. Two missing passengers were never found.
  • In December 2006, a severe windstorm battered British Columbia's southwest coast, causing significant damage and forever changing iconic Stanley Park.
  • In 2008, the Canadian government issued a formal apology for abuse suffered by Indigenous students attending residential schools, many of which were located in B.C.
  • In 2010, Vancouver and Whistler hosted the 2010 Winter Olympics.
  • In 2011, the Vancouver Canucks reached the final of the Stanley Cup play-offs. The final game was marred by violence and rioting in the streets.
  • In 2012, a 7.7 earthquake was registered just offshore the archipelago of Haida Gwaii, stemming the flow of some of the islands' sacred hot springs.
  • In 2013, the City of Vancouver embarked upon a year of reconciliation to "form a sustained relationship of mutual respect and understanding with local First Nations and the Urban Indigenous community." A walk for reconciliation was attended by over 70,000 participants.
  • In 2014, the British Columbia government issued a formal apology for historical wrongs against members of the Chinese community.
  • In 2015, the impact of a summer drought and wildfires were felt throughout a large portion of the province.

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