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In the Field:  The ACA Blog

Contemporary archivists are engaged in a broad range of work within the field of archives. Whether through their work environment; through initiatives in the digital realm; through their involvement with communities to document, preserve, and provide access to their records; and through other outreach endeavours, archivists are involved in a variety of spaces. In the Field is a place for discussion about the wide range of issues encountered and raised in these spaces related to archives, archival education, and archival interventions. 
For more information on proposing or submitting a blog post please read and complete the submission form We look forward to reading your contribution! 
Rebecca Murray, In the Field Editor 
The ACA Communications Committee

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  • 2 Aug 2022 8:00 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Olivia White is a Digital Preservation Archivist at Simcoe County Archives. Olivia completed her Master of Information and Master of Museum Studies at the University of Toronto. She is passionate about ensuring the stories within archival records can be preserved and shared far into the future.

    The 15th annual Archives and Technology Unconference (TAATU) occurred via Zoom on June 14, co-chaired by Allie Querengesser and Andréa Tarnawsky. The event encourages anyone interested in IT and digital culture to contribute, as there is no minimum IT experience required. This was my second time attending the Unconference as a new professional, and I appreciated the breadth of resources shared during the conversations.

    With about 45 people in attendance, the session began with an icebreaker on Slido, which asked “What are you looking forward to the most about this year’s ACA Conference?” The most common replies related to connecting with others, particularly in person, and learning and listening to the discussions.  

    Figure 1: Screenshot of Icebreaker #1 on Slido, depicting a word cloud with participants’ responses

    A second icebreaker on Slido occurred later in the event, asking participants “Which tech skill or knowledge would you most like to have or improve on?” Coding in scripting languages, such as Python, was the most selected answer. 


    Figure 2: Screenshot of Icebreaker #2, depicting a ranking of participants' responses 

    Lightning Talks

    There were 9 five-minute lightning talks on a variety of topics.

    Peter Van Garderen:
    “Yes, #web3 stinks but hear me out…”

    Peter began by acknowledging the known concerns about Web3, particularly regarding the volatility of cryptocurrency and the common criticisms of NFTs. Peter discussed the potential of applying the functionalities of Web3 towards alternative uses. For example, Peter stated that the concept of registering unique documents to create NFTs could be used for representing assets such as land records.

    Kelsey Poloney:
    AtoM Import Tool for Formatting Bulk Descriptions at Simon Fraser University Archives

    Kelsey discussed the app they created that enables users to convert legacy CSV files into the Access to Memory (AtoM) template for ingest. Kelsey also provided links to additional apps they created: an
    image scanning resolution calculator, and an extent calculator using measurements of box sizes used at SFU.

    John Richan and Sarah Lake: Bitcurator at Concordia University Archives and Special Collections

    John outlined the process of establishing an internship to introduce and explore the application of the
    Bitcurator software at Concordia University Archives to improve upon workflow gaps. Sarah detailed their experience using digital preservation tools, designing workflows, and creating documentation while participating in the internship. 

    Rebecca Dickson:
    “What’s up with COPPUL’s WestVault?”

    Rebecca talked about the Council of Prairie and Pacific University Libraries’ WestVault, which is a “distributed digital preservation storage service that uses the LOCKSS platform” (Slide 3). Rebecca also discussed infrastructural challenges, and the current activities of the Preservation Infrastructure Working Group.

    Paul Hebbard and Andréa Tarnawsky: Crossing Fonds: Pollinating Access and Interpretation research project

    Paul and Andrea outlined the project’s goal to design a “replicable, open-source digital archive ecosystem that allows generous interaction, study, and exhibition” (“Project Goals,” Hebbart and Tarnawsky’s slides). Paul and Andrea also highlighted
    Wikidata and IIIF, and provided spreadsheets containing a growing list of open-source tools and platforms.

    Elizabeth-Anne Johnson: DANNNG (Digital Archival traNsfer, iNgest, and packagiNg Group)’s resources

    Elizabeth-Anne presented on the history of DANNNG and its resources, such as their Disk Imaging Decision Factors document, and Digital Archives Technical Glossary. Elizabeth-Anne also discussed DANNNG’s forthcoming Tool guide for those with all levels of experience performing digital forensics.

    Kelly Stewart: Industrializing Digital Preservation: Artefactual introduces Enduro

    Kelly introduced Enduro as a tool designed by Artefactual “to aid automation of Archivematica and surrounding workflows” (Artefactual Labs). Enduro performs metadata verification, monitors the ingest project, logs AIP storage, and other automated functions (Enduroproject).

    Corinne Rogers:Using Diplomatics for… Machine Learning? Applying AI to Archival Problems

    Corinne presented upon the InterPARES Trust AI research project aimed to “generate new knowledge on the uses of [Artificial Intelligence]” (“About the Research”). Corinne discussed how diplomatics and deep learning are being applied to digitized notarial parchments from the Middle Ages in Milan to generate a list of the surviving documents of Milanese notaries from the 12th and 13th centuries.

    Anna Dysert and Kelli Babcock: Updates from the AtoM Foundation

    Anna provided an
    AtoM Foundation update, detailing the sustainability of AtoM and community involvement as its overarching goals. Kelli provided an update for AtoM 3 by outlining the activities of the AtoM Foundation Roadmap Committee and the proposed design principles of AtoM 3, such as using archival terminology and its suitability for Linked Open Usable Data (LOUD).

    Group Brainstorming Sessions

    Email appraisal

    Several tools and resources were provided by participants in the discussion surrounding email appraisal, including:  

    Finally, the complexities surrounding archiving MS Team messages was discussed, as they are stored in a strange location in Online Outlook. It was proposed that the decisions made in MS Teams would likely be documented elsewhere, and thus their preservation may be rendered redundant.

    Conciliation of Record and Data Lifecycles

    The difficulties of coping with different lifecycles for records was discussed, as well as the need for digital preservation management to begin early in the records management lifecycle.
    The Relational DataBase Archiving Interest Group Mailing List was presented as a potential resource.

    In conclusion, the Unconference provided an excellent virtual collaboration space to share ideas and keep updated about current activities and research projects related to IT and digital culture.

  • 19 Jul 2022 8:00 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Faythe Lou is a settler on Katzie, Semiahmoo, and Kwantlen lands. She holds a Master of Archival Studies from the University of British Columbia and works for the City of Richmond. She is passionate about local history and currently volunteers as a member of the Surrey Heritage Advisory Commission. 

    From June 15 through 18th, I attended my first Association of Canadian Archivists (ACA) conference. This year, it was hosted at the University of British Columbia (UBC) in a hybrid format. I attended primarily in-person. UBC is on the unceded territory of the xʷməθkʷəy̓əm (Musqueam) First Nation, and I felt privileged to be welcomed into the space by the Musqueam people who generously shared their elements of their culture with us to open and close the conference. For those who haven’t attended an ACA conference, I highly recommend it! I graduated in the spring of 2020, and as you can imagine, my first two years in the field have been non-traditional, unprecedented, even. While my coworkers have been extremely welcoming and supportive, to be honest, working in half-empty offices and from home, alone, has been a bit isolating. Being immersed in the theory and surrounded by other archivists again brought me back to being in grad school in the best way. Now, with a couple of years of experience under my belt, I also felt like I could engage more deeply with the material and think more fully about the practical applications to my work. 

    Attending the ACA Conference, I really felt like a professional archivist! However, being a professional is strange. It comes with connotations of snobbery, gatekeeping, racism, and classism. In a way, feeling like a professional means that I’ve absorbed all the theory, complete with the colonial, racist, sexist, and heteronormative assumptions that come with it. Maybe being a professional archivist also means being a little bit of a know-it-all. 

    A couple of presenters with backgrounds in history remarked off-handedly in the beginning of their presentations that they felt intimidated to present at an archivists’ conference - after all, what could they tell archivists about archives? The theme of this year’s conference, Unsettled: Redefining Archival Power challenged us to be unsettled: to transform the way we view ourselves as professionals and our role in our community. Dominique Luster’s invitation to squeeze our top and bottom lips together and listen was a call that hit the room hard. She further advised to be more “interested than interesting.” To unsettle ourselves, we may need to get comfortable with not being the experts in the room. In fitting with the theme, various presentations discussed how traditional archival theory and practices have been actively harmful to people, communities, and records. Francis Garaba, in his presentation about decolonizing archives, called for a new start. He noted that decolonizing is really the act of re-humanizing the world. It is now widely accepted that archives reflect the inequitable power structures that existed and persist to today, which shapes which people and communities can access their past.  

    For many historically marginalized people, especially non-English speaking women, and other historically marginalized people, this means invisibility in the archives. In Laura Ishiguro’s animated and enthralling plenary, she discussed her own research journeys - adventures in finding and often not finding things while doing archival research. She took us through her research into the 1868 Barkerville fire, noting what records were in the archives but also all the evidence that was absent. She discussed how she’s coming to reconceptualize those absences as abundance. Archives are often the archives of those in power. Therefore, to analyze what isn’t there can tell stories about the lives of these marginalized people as they navigated the complex power structures of their times. During the session’s question period, one participant bemoaned the push towards digitization, often encouraged and demanded by historians, as causing archivists to focus their output on creating more content - sometimes at the expense of context. Ishiguro pointed out that academic historians too are pressured to produce more and more, forcing historians into a structure of work that punishes browsing, which can often lead to deeper understandings of the records. 

    For other historically marginalized communities, they are over-documented in government archives. One of the sessions I found the most interesting was “Lost and Found: Reconsidering Chinese Immigration records at 100 years since the Chinese Exclusion Act.” The speakers, June Chow, Catherine Clement, Henry Yu, and Emilie Létourneau discussed the types of records that document this history of Chinese immigration to Canada and the challenges with accessing and preserving them. I enjoyed how the speakers discussed how they’ve grappled with key archival concepts, like the significance of the creation of the records. Through decades of the Head Tax and the Chinese Exclusion Act in 1923, Chinese Canadians were over-documented by the government. Government officials insisted on documenting heights, weights, and even moles of each person. Clement discussed the Paper Trail to the 1923 Chinese Exclusion Act Project, which seeks to identify these records and build a digital collection. Most of these records are still in private family records, not in governmental repositories. June Chow discussed how the digital archive will use reparative description for the project. For example, the records will be arranged and described in one big series, rather than using the arbitrary division and numbering used by the government when issuing certificates, which traditionally would have resulted in multiple series. In this way, June explained, families which were separated by unjust policies will be reunited in this archival setting. The way the speakers grappled with archival theory in their work and adapted practices to do right by the people in their records is a great example of how archival practices can be used to uphold unjust power structures, but it doesn’t have to be this way. 

    In Ted Lee’s presentation, he discussed a series of articles and letters published in Archivaria in the 1980s, triggered by George Bolotenko’s 1984 article “Of Ends and Means: In Defence of the Archival Ideal.” Lee pointed out that within the many heated exchanges, the only person who wrote in to Archivaria to denounce the whole exchange was not a seasoned professional, but a student. When you’re a student or a recent graduate, you often feel like your main purpose in the workplace is to absorb and learn. While that’s true, you often lose sight of what you can offer - new insights and perspectives. As a UBC grad, an added bonus of an in-town conference was the opportunity to connect with classmates that I hadn’t seen since we all went home and stayed home in March 2020. During the breaks, it was great to discuss our journeys since graduating. We talked about the stress associated with precarious employment. Of course, the personal implications of precarity include financial instability, the inability to make big life decisions, and the lack of mental and physical health support. However, we also discussed the professional repercussions for the field as a whole. In a conversation with another new grad who found a permanent position around the same time as me, they confessed that it feels like they can engage in the ideas at the conference more fully now. You hold your breath when you’re precarious - you’re afraid to admit you’ve ever made a mistake at work - even if it’s just that you would maybe describe an item differently if you did it now. The conference theme called for us to be unsettled, but when you are precarious, your whole life is unsettled. We have to push for our field to support stable positions that enable archivists to engage in this challenging work.  

    There were many other projects that I found very interesting. In the Poster Lightning Round, Kim Stathers and David Pettitt from the University of Northern British Columbia shared their Rules of Archival Description (RAD) Physical Description Builder tool - a public and open-source tool that allows those who aren’t familiar with the descriptive standard to answer a series of questions in order to build a RAD compliant physical description. It’s public - I highly recommend checking it out! I also enjoyed hearing about Concordia University’s work to establish an Acquisitions Advisory Committee, first internally, and now beginning to branch out to the external community as well. Alexandra Mills talked about how acquisition is often an opaque and mysterious process to those outside the institution. By seeking out sustained external engagement, Concordia will be able to better reflect and serve its community. Alexandra noted that depositing records in an archival repository can cause a psychological distance between the community and its records. By involving the community in all aspects of archival functions, from acquisition to arrangement and description, Alexandra noted this distance could be bridged. I look forward to following the progress of Concordia’s Acquisitions Advisory Committee, as this could be a model that other institutional archives can look to implement. These are both examples of practicing archivists daring to imagine doing things differently. By sharing these projects with the conference attendees, their ingenuity will reach out further in the archival realm.  

    Overall, I had a great experience at my first ACA conference. I was lucky that it took place so close to home for me, as I could attend in-person, but the hybrid format allowed participants to attend from anywhere in the world. Additionally, many sessions were recorded and will be available to attendees for three months following the conference. As there were so many interesting concurrent sessions, it’s a huge benefit to be able to view the recordings afterwards. After a long day at the conference, when I couldn’t find anything to watch on Netflix, I even thought, “Maybe I should watch one of those sessions I missed..?” I didn’t, but I look forward to doing so over the next few months. 

  • 5 Jul 2022 8:00 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    By Kailey Fukushima, Jordan Kerr, and Emma Moros

    Kailey Fukushima is a dual master’s student in Archival Studies and Library and Information Studies at the University of British Columbia. She earned her Master’s of Arts in English from the University of Victoria in 2020. Kailey is currently the ACA@UBC webmaster and communications executive.

    Jordan Kerr is a dual master’s student in Archival Studies and Library and Information Studies at the University of British Columbia. She earned her BA (honours) in history and sociology from the University of Victoria in 2021. Jordan is the former events coordinator and current publicity executive for the ACA@UBC.

    Emma Moros is a former communications professional and current student at UBC, pursuing a dual Masters of Archival Studies and Library and Information Studies. They were the communications executive for the ACA@UBC from 2021-2022 and are now a co-coordinator.


    The student-run University of British Columbia Chapter of the Association of Canadian Archivists (ACA@UBC) hosted its 13th annual Symposium and Seminar in an all virtual format on April 28-29, 2022. ACA@UBC welcomed twenty-seven dynamic speakers from around the world to discuss our central theme, “Transforming Archival Education.” This year’s conference theme asked archival communities to challenge and broaden their understanding of who archival education can serve and how, asking how does someone learn to be a good archivist, and what does being a “good archivist” mean? Seminar and Symposium topics ranged from decolonizing archival education, to working with non-archivists in archives, to teaching technology in archives.

    Of particular note in this year’s event was the inclusion of student lightning talks as well as the flexible virtual format. During the student talks, four archival students spoke about their ongoing projects and explained how their work could support or expand archival education. Even though the virtual format had some limitations, it allowed us to include speakers and attendees who may have been unable to join an in-person event due to reasons such as distance, cost, travel, time, and conflicts with care responsibilities. Informal community-building was still possible in a new format via our dedicated conference Padlet, and some attendees even hosted their own small in-person listening parties!


    The ACA@UBC Seminar took place during the first day of the two-day event, and attendees heard from ​​Jessica Bushey, Lisa Darms, Karen Suurtamm, and Ashlynn Prasad about their experiences working with non-archivists in the archives, and best practices they have identified for doing so. The role of emotional connection of donors and archival users to archives was a prominent point of discussion in this panel, which Jennifer Douglas, Anna St. Onge, Nicola Laurent, and Emily Larson expanded on during the “Preparing for Emotional Archives'' session. They spoke about emotional labour in the archival profession and the importance of community support and trauma-informed education and training for archivists. In the “Decolonization of Archival Practices and Education” panel, Tamara Rayan, Elizabeth Shaffer, Jesse Boiteau, and Danielle Robichaud came together to discuss decolonizing approaches to archival work and education. This included the colonial history of archives in Canada, the need for archival students to learn about decolonial theory and practice throughout their coursework, and examples of decolonizing work in Canada and Palestine. Krista McCracken, Moska Rokay, Marika Cifor, and Tomoko Shida concluded the day by speaking about “Unlearning Archival Education” and discussing how their work and academic experiences in other disciplines expanded and shaped their archival work.


    After a full day of interactive panel discussions, we returned on April 29 with a more familiar conference-style presentation format for the ACA@UBC Symposium.

    Graduate students Whitney Thompson, Nigel Town, Josh Wilson, and Charlotte Leonard kicked off the Symposium with 10-minute lightning talks in the “Student Voices” panel. Whitney Thompson presented her creative class project, Provenance--a Twine-based interactive fiction game that teaches players about fundamental archival concepts.  Next, Nigel Town discussed their co-op at the Nikkei National Museum and Cultural Centre, focusing on their contributions to the Women of Change exhibit. Josh Wilson then discussed his research on how critical theory could help build capacity for liberatory archival futures based on structured interviews he conducted with practicing archivists. Charlotte Leonard wrapped up the panel with a presentation on her work as an archivist for the Karen Jamieson Dance Company, with a special focus on the Coming Out of Chaos: A Vancouver Dance Story project. Attendees gave us positive feedback about this year’s inclusion of students’ voices and experiences, and we hope to feature similar opportunities in next year’s conference! 

    After “Student Voices,” we launched into two panels of traditional 20-minute conference-style presentations. First, Elaine Goh and Mpho Ngoepe presented on “Teaching non-Western Archives.” Elaine gave a critical review of Singapore’s archival histories, traditions, and systems of education. Mpho explained some disconnects among traditional archival concepts and South African modes of cultural documentation (e.g., showcasing African rock art archives) and then reflected on contemporary attempts to decolonize and Africanize archival curricula. The next panel, “Teaching Tech in Archives,” featured Richard Arias-Hernández and Walker Sampson. Richard discussed his pedagogical approach to teaching technology in archives, emphasizing community-engaged practices and experiential learning. Walker followed by reflecting on the challenges that video game archives pose to conventional archival practices and how the process of play can be preserved in video game archives. These two panels sparked lots of thought and discussion among our virtual audiences. 

    Our final panel of the day featured Rebecka Taves Sheffield and Sam Winn on “Teaching Community and Personal Archives.” After giving brief 10-minute introductions, the speakers opened the floor up for an interactive Ask Me Anything (AMA) session. Audience members asked questions about the role of community ownership of oral histories, death positivity in personal memory work, and self-care when engaging with emotionally-charged community and personal records, ending with a reflection on the values that community and personal archival practices might bring to traditional archives and recordkeeping. 

     After another full day of thought-provoking presentations, we wrapped up the Seminar and Symposium with closing remarks from our co-coordinator Kisun Kim and our faculty advisor, Professor Luciana Duranti. Luciana tied together many strands of thought from both days of the Seminar and Symposium, relating them to the broader history of recordkeeping and gesturing towards hopeful possibilities for the transformative futures of archival practice. 

    Key Takeaways 

    As we reflect on the many insightful discussions and presentations given by our twenty-seven speakers in the wake of our thirteenth annual ACA@UBC Seminar and Symposium, we wish to refer back to our guiding questions: how does someone learn to be a good archivist, and what does being a “good archivist” mean? The events of this year’s Seminar and Symposium offer an answer to this broad question.  Learning to be (and being) a good archivist requires flexibility in our ever-shifting professional and academic positions. It is essential to facilitate discussions between students, professionals, and academics because we are forever switching between these roles and learning from one another. In closing, if our Seminar and Symposium is any indication, the archival discipline is heading towards an exciting transformation– one we as students are thrilled to be a part of.

    On behalf of the ACA@UBC Executive Team of 2021-2022, we want to conclude by thanking everyone who helped make the ACA@UBC Seminar and Symposium a success. To all of the speakers, thank you for the generous gift of your time and for spurring so many thought-provoking discussions. Thank you to all of our student volunteers for moderating the panel discussions, presentations, and the chats, and to Dr. Luciana Duranti, our faculty advisor, for her supportive guidance during the planning of the event and for providing closing remarks. Thank you as well to the live captioning team who helped us with virtual conference accessibility. We are also deeply grateful for the generous support of the Association of Canadian Archivists, ARMA Vancouver, the Archives Association of British Columbia, and the Alma Mater Society of the University of British Columbia, which made this event possible.

  • 13 Jun 2022 8:00 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    The ACA 2022 Annual Conference is approaching fast! The ACA blog, In the Field, is featuring the profiles of a few conference presenters. This post features R.L. Gabrielle Nishiguchi, Archivist at Library and Archives Canada.

    Q: What is the title of your conference presentation?

    Gabrielle: Decolonizing an Archives: The Japanese Canadian Internment Photographs

    Q: Can you walk us through your academic and professional path?

    Gabrielle: I am a government records archivist in the Society, Immigration, Employment, Indigenous and Government Affairs Section, Archives Branch, Library and Archives Canada (LAC). Before coming to LAC, I worked as a historical research consultant at the CBC, Parks Canada, and the Department of National Defence. My MA is from the School of Canadian Studies at Carleton University. I also have a Hon. BA in English Literature and a BSc (Cell Biology) from the University of British Columbia.

    Q: What brought you to the field of archival studies and practice?

    Gabrielle: From 1941-1949, the Government of Canada took unprecedented actions taken against Japanese Canadians, including forced removal, internment, confiscation and sale of property and post-war deportations.Archival government and private records from the 1940s preserved by the then National Archives of Canada and used by community citizen activists were critical in building the Japanese Canadian case for Redress.By preserving the records that hold our government accountable in the face of injustice, I viewed our national archives to be one of Canada’s key fundamental democratic institutions and I wanted to work there.

    Q: What does the theme of the ACA 2022 conference, “Unsettled: Redefining Archival Power,” mean to you in terms of overall archival orientations and practice?

    Gabrielle: With respect to my own institution, redefining archival power means that Government of Canada (GC) archivists cannot remain neutral when describing records because neutrality re-enforces the prevailing dominant narrative. To my way of thinking, GC archivists must actively facilitate the creation of space for the emergence of minority narratives and voices that need our assistance to be recognized. This is not remaining neutral. This is choosing sides.And all power shifts are unsettling.

    Q: What are you most looking forward to at this year’s conference?

    Gabrielle: Learning how colleagues in other archives and memory institutions are having the hard and complex discussions about decolonization and how they are effecting change.  

    Caption: A group of Japanese Canadian deportees, who had been interned during the Second World War, waiting for a train to take them to a ship bound for Japan. Slocan City, British Columbia, 1946. Credit: Tak Toyota (c047398), Library and Archives Canada.

  • 10 Jun 2022 8:00 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    The ACA 2022 Annual Conference is approaching fast! The ACA blog, In the Field, is featuring the profiles of a few conference presenters. This post features  June Chow, Master of Archival Studies candidate at the University of British Columbia (UBC) School of Information.

    Q: What is the title of your conference presentation?

    June: Our panel will speak on Lost and Found: Reconsidering Chinese Immigration records at 100 years since the 1923 Chinese Exclusion Act. It’s timely to discuss these records created through the discriminatory immigration legislation, and to share work to address the traumas embedded within them.

    Q: Can you walk us through your academic and professional path?

    June: I’m local to Vancouver; I did my Bachelors at Simon Fraser University and had a first career in major gifts fundraising at UBC. Over my time at UBC Library, I helped steward Dr. Wally Chung and his monumental gift of the Chung Collection benefiting academia and the Chinese Canadian community at large. It brings valuable donor relations and person-centered perspectives to my work and research on community archives.

    Q: What does the theme of the ACA 2022 conference, “UnSettled: Redefining Archival Power,” mean to you in terms of overall archival orientations and practice?

    June: Working in community archives and challenging how things are normally done, one can feel simultaneously powerful and powerless which is very unsettling. I’m not sure if it’s a symptom of pursuing graduate studies in a pandemic, but there seems to be a certain ‘TBD’ orientation tied to many issues across the archival field. I don’t yet know if it’s a characteristic of the profession, but maybe it should be to ensure adaptability.

    Q: Can you tell us about your research approach and perspectives?

    June: I study and practice community archives within Chinatown contexts, in complement to existing heritage and activism work. There’s not a lot of scholarship on Chinese Canadian archives, and very few Chinese Canadian archivists, speaking from here in Vancouver. Our panel is a small step towards addressing this gap. It’s a chance to examine the institutional and community roles and responsibilities that are being redefined together in the pursuit of archival access, accountability and equity. Maybe we’ll be able to build a better model for doing this work moving forward.

    Q: What are you most looking forward to at this year’s conference?

    June: I’m looking forward to the networking and social events! After attending school in a pandemic, it will be nice to get some face time. 

  • 8 Jun 2022 8:00 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    The ACA 2022 Annual Conference is approaching fast! The ACA blog, In the Field, is featuring the profiles of a few conference presenters. This post features Daochun Li, a master’s student at the University of Toronto’s Faculty of Information.

    Q: What is the title of your conference presentation?

    Daochun: The title of my conference presentation is “Personal Archiving and Identity Formation in the Context of Social Media.”

    Q: Can you walk us through your academic and professional path?

    Daochun: I'm in the dual Master of Information and Master of Museum Studies (MI/MMst) program at the University of Toronto’s iSchool. I completed my undergraduate degree in Languages, Literature and Culture Studies, and Film and Media Studies at Queen's University (Kingston, Ontario). I am also working at the Department of Fisheries and Oceans (DFO) as an Information Management Student this summer.

    Q: What brought you to the field of archival studies and practice?

    Daochun: I have always been passionate about arts, human memories, and storytelling. In the meanwhile, I am also looking to learn more about how and why human memories can be preserved for future generations. My undergraduate experience was eye-opening for me when I encountered a course about oral cultural traditions and a course in semiotic studies. They both influenced me a lot in understanding how information is highly associated with human memories that have the cultural significance of telling the truth and preserving traditions. My experience in media studies further encourages me to explore a pathway that not only involves my passion for information and human memories, but also offers me a chance to critically challenge the current reality of the archival field, and to understand how technology can be better adapted to social needs for meaningful memory-keeping practices.

    Q: What does the theme of the ACA 2022 conference, “Unsettled: Redefining Archival Power,” mean to you in terms of overall archival orientations and practice?

    Daochun: In my opinion, redefining archival power means rethinking what archival practices have been done and what could be done in the future. The power of archives reveals an ability to change, to allow voices to be heard, but it also empowers silences and erasure with the contested interests. Archivists are constantly confronted with choices about what to include and what to exclude. I think that it is good if the questioning process is ongoing, so we are trained to ask ourselves, “why it is important to keep one thing instead of the other?” More importantly, I think questioning must involve pushing oneself one step forward to ask: “Why should it be excluded?” In this way, the status quo of the power of archives can be continuously questioned and redefined by finding voices through silences.

    Q: Can you tell us about your research approach and perspectives? 

    Daochun: I love to start my research with something that I have a connection with. While thinking about the information density of my personal life, I realize that using social media has become one of the major gateways for me to understand my surroundings and become a reflective tool for the curation of self. My personal life and identity have been heavily impacted using social media, and sometimes, it is a bit “spooky” to see how my interpretation of the world and myself could simply be shaped through a platform. My research draws upon the embedded power dynamics within social media platforms by looking at, for instance, the entity of user’s profiles, information policy, and the external flow of social media posts, to explore where and how an individual’s identity is shaped using social media and its potential impact on making personal archiving decisions.

    Q: What are you most looking forward to at this year’s conference?

    Daochun: I am looking forward to visiting the conference in person this year, and most importantly, spending a few days staying in Vancouver and exploring the city a bit. I’m especially excited about the session of “Lost and Found: Reconsidering Chinese Immigration records at 100 years since the Chinese Exclusion Act” and the session “Technology and Archives” on Friday. I am also looking forward to meeting new people at the ACA conference!

  • 6 Jun 2022 8:00 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    The ACA 2022 Annual Conference is approaching fast! The ACA blog, In the Field, is featuring the profiles of a few conference presenters. This post features Michael Marlatt, Film Archivist and current PhD candidate in the Communication and Culture program at York University. 

    Q: What is the title of your conference presentation?

    Michael: I am hosting the Accessibility Forum.

    Q: Can you walk us through your academic and professional path?

    Michael: I am a trained film archivist who graduated from Toronto Metropolitan University’s Film + Photography Preservation and Collections Management MA program five years ago. I am currently working on my dissertation, which looks at the lived experience of students/alumni of moving image archival education programs in North America who identify as having a disability or chronic illness, or are neurodivergent. I’ve worked on preservation projects in the past with the Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF), the Canadian Filmmaker’s Distribution Centre (CFMDC), Archive/Counter-Archive, and other organizations. I also serve on various committees for the Association of Canadian Archivists (ACA) and the Association of Moving Image Archivists (AMIA).

    Q: What brought you to the field of archival studies and practice?

    Michael: The interest came from my previous experience working for arts organizations, particularly film festivals. I have been a fan of film history for as long as I can remember and was curious about how film materials were preserved. I have since become just as interested in the experiences of the archivists who care for that film material.

    Q: What does the theme of the ACA 2022 conference, “Unsettled: Redefining Archival Power,” mean to you in terms of overall archival orientations and practice?

    Michael: The theme of this year’s conference makes me think about the role that identity can play in working within an archival institution. I’m of the mindset that diverse representation is needed not only in community archives but institutional ones as well. This extends to upper-level management positions. Hopefully, the conference can be a place for such discussion.

    Q: Can you tell us about your research approach and perspectives?

    Michael: The work I often do involves interviewing people about their experiences in archival education and their careers post-graduation. My role at this year’s conference is less of a formal presentation and more so hosting a safe space for conference attendees who identify as having a disability, chronic illness, or who are neurodivergent to share thoughts and experiences in the field. I try to bring themes related to disability studies to the moving image archive.

    Q: What are you most looking forward to at this year’s conference?

    Michael: As someone with epilepsy and a history of working with film, I’m interested in hearing other archivists’ experiences. I’m excited to get a chance to support others who may have always wanted to share these experiences but never knew how. These conversations have the opportunity to examine our profession, perhaps even leading to a reflection of the resources and support that ACA currently provides.

    Connect with Michael on LinkedIn. 

  • 2 Jun 2022 8:00 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    The ACA 2022 Annual Conference is approaching fast! The ACA blog, In the Field, is featuring the profiles of a few conference presenters. This post features Csaba Szilagyi, Chief Archivist/Head of Human Rights Program at Vera and Donald Blinken Open Society Archives (Blinken OSA) at Central European University (CEU), Budapest/Vienna. 


    Q: What is the title of your conference presentation?
    Csaba: Taming the ghosts: Uncovering ‘tacit narratives’ by rethinking power relations in archives of violent past(s) 
    Q: Can you walk us through your academic and professional path? 
    Csaba: For over 25 years, I have worked in human rights archiving and archival activism in various institutional environments, including the Blinken OSA, Columbia University, Human Rights Watch and the Open Society Foundations. Since 2019, I have been an archival consultant with the Srebrenica Memorial Center Archive in Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH). As an educator, I have co-taught an archival course and a specialization for students in law, history, and cultural heritage studies. I have an MA in American Studies and am currently a PhD candidate at the Amsterdam School for Heritage, Memory and Material Culture at the University of Amsterdam. 
    Q: What brought you to the field of archival studies and practice? 
    Csaba: As an advanced graduate student, I got involved with archives by coincidence. Because of my relevant language skills and knowledge of contemporary history, I was hired as a part-time archives assistant to physically process records related to one of the harshest Communist dictatorships in Eastern Europe. In just a few months, working with records on violations of fundamental rights, censorship, and state sponsored terror, as well as curating the microhistories of the oppressed ordinary people inscribed in them, became a lifetime commitment. 
    Q: What does the theme of the ACA 2022 conference, “Unsettled: Redefining Archival Power,” mean to you in terms of overall archival orientations and practice? 
    Csaba: In the past years, I have been exploring ways of making record keeping more hospitable to voices that had been traditionally ignored, misrepresented, obliterated, or entirely excluded from the archives by rethinking archival standards and practices and the agency of the archivist within. The current theme of the ACA 2022 conference underscores the importance and timeliness of these inquiries and promotes inclusion and power relations in the forefront of archival thinking and practice. 
    Q: Can you tell us about your research approach and perspectives? 
    Csaba: My current research project focuses on the roles, responsibilities, and limitations of archives/archiving in creating knowledge on violent past(s)and transforming memory politics relating to violent past(s), based on the documentary heritage of the 1992-1995 wars in Bosnia and Herzegovina. I am critically examining existing archival standards and curatorial practices and proposing necessary changes to transform knowledge production on and creation of collective memory of political violence in the archives. Finally, I am looking at how bottom-up archiving can contribute to postwar mnemonic practices outside the frames of archives and transitional justice. 
    Q: What are you most looking forward to at this year’s conference? 
    Csaba: Although I will not be physically present at the conference, I hope that I will have the chance to meet colleagues and peers working on related topics online. Case studies on reinstating groups and individuals at the margins of our society in the archives from other parts of the world have always been inspirational for my work. And, hopefully, there will also be something for others to take home from our work at Blinken OSA.


  • 31 May 2022 8:00 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    These recommendations were put together by the ACA 2022 Host Team.


    Rain or Shine Homemade Ice Cream - 6001 University Boulevard, Vancouver, BC V6T 0C5 
    A locally-owned ice cream shop with fun flavours, perfect for summer. Host Team member Emily loves trying out the new seasonal flavours, but will always recommend a scoop of Malted Milk Chocolate Honeycomb. Host Team member Maria recommends trying the Blueberry Balsamic for an unusual but delightful flavour combination! 

    Loafe - 6163 University Blvd, Vancouver, BC V6T 1Z1 
    Located in the Robert H. Lee Alumni Centre, Loafe boasts some of the best coffee on campus, as well as great outdoor and indoor seating spaces steps away from the Nest. Don’t miss out on their fresh-baked pastries and handcrafted sandwiches! 

    Nest - 6133 University Blvd 4th floor, Vancouver, BC V6T 1Z1 
    Find a wide variety of healthy and delicious food options in the Nest, right alongside the rooms where you’ll be attending conference sessions! 
    Some of our favourite spots are Porch, Honour Roll, and The Delly. 


    Great Dane Coffee - 6011 Walter Gage Rd, Vancouver, BC V6T 0B4 
    Enjoy some of the best coffee and pastries on campus while taking advantage of the Great Dane’s large, shaded outdoor seating area. 

    Boulevard - 5970 University Blvd, Vancouver, BC V6T 1Z3 
    Conveniently located right at the entrance to campus, this is a lovely (and cozy!) little coffee shop with ample indoor and outdoor seating, and great coffee and sandwiches. 

    Blue Chip - 6133 University Blvd #1302, Vancouver, BC V6T 1Z1 
    A UBC institution centrally located in the Nest, Blue Chip has it all: delicious breakfast and lunch options, high-quality coffee and tea, space to sit – and of course, their famous cookies! 


    Beaty Biodiversity Museum – 2212 Main Mall, Vancouver, BC V6T 1Z4 
    Vancouver’s premier natural history museum. The Beaty features over 500 exhibits, a theatre where you can watch a documentary, and a 26-metre-long blue whale skeleton suspended in the atrium. 

    Museum of Anthropology - 6393 NW Marine Dr, Vancouver, BC V6T 1Z2 
    Widely regarded as one of Vancouver’s premier museums, the MOA is a place of world arts and cultures with a special emphasis on the First Nations peoples and other cultural communities of British Columbia. 

    UBC Botanical Garden - 6804 SW Marine DriveVancouver, BC V6T 1Z4 
    Conferences can be stressful, and what better way to unwind than a long, quiet walk in nature? Thanks to the UBC Botanical Garden, you won’t have to venture far to find this space of quiet solace! (The garden is even home to a small library and archives!)  

    Nitobe Memorial Garden - 1895 Lower Mall, Vancouver, BC V6T 1Z4 
    Considered one of the most authentic Japanese gardens outside of Japan, the Nitobe is a traditional Japanese stroll garden and authentic tea house located just a 10-minute walk away from where you’ll be attending conference sessions. 

    Wreck Beach - 6572 NW Marine Drive, Vancouver, BCV6T 1A7 
    It’s a bit of a workout getting down to Vancouver’s legendary clothing-optional beach – look for the steep staircases of Trail 6 at the west end of University Boulevard to find your way to beautiful Wreck Beach. Once you’re there, you can probably even find vendors selling snacks and drinks! 

    Aquatic Centre - 272 - 6081 University Blvd, Vancouver, BC Canada V6T 1Z1 
    Looking to do some laps, take a soak in a hot tub, or just have a personal spa day in a sauna? The UBC Aquatic Centre is a state-of-the-art facility that serves athletic training, competition, and neighbourhood leisure needs. It could be your ideal place to wind down after a full day of conference sessions! 

    Morris and Helen Belkin Art Gallery - 1825 Main Mall, Vancouver, BC V6T 1Z2 
    if you're in the mood for contemporary art and contemporary issues visit the Belkin Art Gallery. The Belkin’s collection contains more than 5000 artworks, making it one of the largest public art collections in the province, as well as over 20,000 archival items relating to the post-war history of art in Vancouver and the avant-garde narratives of the 1960s to 1970s. 

    Pacific Spirit Park - 4915 W 16th Ave, Vancouver, BCV6R 3E9 
    A paradise for nature lovers of all ages and abilities, Pacific Spirit Regional Park rings UBC’s Vancouver campus with lush rainforest trails. The 90-hectare park has almost 75 kilometres of walking and hiking paths — 50 kilometres of which are designated multi-use.If you’re taking part in the ACA 2022 Conference Run and Walk Challenge, this could be the perfect place to participate from! 

    Don't forget to check out Part 2!

    To see where in Vancouver all of these recommended spots are located check out this map!

  • 31 May 2022 8:00 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    These recommendations were put together by the ACA 2022 Host Team.


    Green Leaf Sushi - 3416 W Broadway, Vancouver, BC V6R 2B3 
    No trip to Vancouver is complete without some sushi! Located in Kitsilano, Green Leaf is a quick bus ride away from UBC and offers a good assortment of options, including some delicious aburi nigiri. 

    Salmon n’ Bannock - 1128 W Broadway #7, Vancouver, BC V6H 1G5 
    Salmon n’ Bannock is Vancouver’s only Indigenous owned and operated restaurant. Come for the amazing food made with traditional ingredients, stay for the best service in the city. Host Team member Emily highly recommends the mushrooms on toasted bannock and pemmican mousse. 

    Tacofino - 1909 W 4th Ave, Vancouver, BC V6J 3L9 
    Vancouver is not normally known for its Central and South American food, but Tacofino might just change your mind about that! Originally a food truck, Tacofino has enjoyed such success in recent years that they’ve been able to open locations all across the city. Make sure you try the fish tacos, and don’t miss out on happy hour either! 

    Chickpea Restaurant - 4298 Main St, Vancouver, BC V5V 3P9 
    Hummus-lovers rejoice! Chickpea serves Mediterranean-inspired vegetarian and vegan cuisine that feels equal parts hearty and healthy. Hip atmosphere, large portions, and their signature chickpea fries, which are a must. They've also got a great list of signature cocktails if you're in the mood for a drink.  

    Anh and Chi - 3388 Main St, Vancouver, BC V5V 3M7 
    Consistently ranked as one of the best Vietnamese restaurants in the city! There may be a line, but it's always worth the wait. 

    Fassil Ethiopian - 736 E Broadway, Vancouver, BC V5T 1X9 
    Fassil was Host Team member James’ introduction to Ethiopian food over 13 years ago and he’s loved it ever since. The atmosphere is upbeat, the injera perfectly soft and spongy, and the proprietors always welcoming to first-time eaters. For some of you, Fassil will taste like home; for others, who may be new to Ethiopian cuisine, there’s no better place to try it for the first time. 

    The Pokéman: Kakigori Café and Poké Shop- 3742 W 10th Ave, Vancouver, BC V6R 2G4 
    Not only is The Pokéman conveniently located just one bus stop away from campus on the 99 route, it also boasts some of the best poké in the city! Host Team member Ashlynn refuses to eat poké anywhere else. 

    Sombreros Tacos – 1290 Howe St., Vancouver, BC, V6Z 1R5 
    Authentic Mexican taqueria in the heart of downtown Vancouver that also offers other Mexican specialties and snacks. Pick up any of their specialty combinations and enjoy an evening al fresco at nearby David Lam Park.  

    Breka Bakery & Cafe – 3750 W 4th Ave, Vancouver, BC V6R 1P3 
    Although Breka has various locations all around the city, this location is great because of its proximity not only to UBC, but also to Hastings Mill Park, which is just a few blocks north and right on the water. Stop by Breka for a sandwich and some coffee, then head up for some sunshine and some of the best views of the North Shore mountains and downtown skyline! 

    Parthenon Market - 3089 W Broadway, Vancouver, BC V6K 2G9
    A pillar of Vancouver’s Greektown, Parthenon Market offers freshly prepared options in their deli, as well as a variety of Greek and Mediterranean specialty products. Stop in for a spanakopita or tiropita (Host Team member Maria’s favourite on-the-go snack!) while exploring the West Broadway neighbourhood. 

    Puerto Mexico - 2710 W 4th Ave, Vancouver, BC V6K 3W2 
    This newcomer to Kitsilano is one of Host Team member Emily’s new favourites. It’s asmall shop with a lot of heart and a great place to stop for a to-go street taco on your wayto the beach.  

    Au Comptoir - 2278 W 4th Ave, Vancouver, BC V6K 1N8 
    Located in Kitsilano, Au Comptoir is a classic casual French restaurant. Host Team member Ashlynn thinks it’s some of the best authentic French food and service she’s had outside of France. 

    Trafiq Café and Bakery - 4216 Main St, Vancouver, BC V5V 3P9 
    If you ask Host Team member Emily, Trafiq has the best cakes in the city. Spend some time exploring Main Street and then stop in for a reviving sweet or savoury treat.  


    Platform 7 Coffee - 2300 W Broadway, Vancouver, BC V6K 2E5 
    Designed to resemble a Belle-Époque Parisian train station, Platform 7 offers a cozy, quaint experience in Vancouver’s trendy Kitsilano neighbourhood. Experience beautiful hand-crafted espresso drinks from the Espresso Bar, exquisitely brewed single origin coffees on the Brew Bar, or refreshing cold brews from the Cold Bar. 

    Aperture – 243 W Broadway, Vancouver, BC V5Y 1P5 – Cambie and Broadway; 4124 Main St, Vancouver, BC V5V 3P7 – Main and King Edward 
    Both of Aperture’s locations are favourites among locals and feature cozy, quiet study spaces in addition to expertly crafted coffee. Host Team member Ashlynn is a fan of the Main St. location in particular, which boasts a not-so-secret back room full of plush armchairs and couches – and did we mention a full bar? Kick back with an espresso and breakfast sandwich in the morning, or a glass of beer with a plate of nachos in the evening. If you’re lucky, you might even catch some live jazz. 

    Our Town Café (Main and Broadway) - 255 E Broadway, Vancouver, BC V5T 1W4 
    Conveniently located a stone’s throw from the Main and Broadway bus stop in Vancouver’s Mount Pleasant area, Our Town features a bright, open space full of cozy tables and corner nooks where you can unwind with a coffee and some food. This would be the perfect place to have a moment to yourself before joining us for the Vancouver Mural Fest walk! 

    Milano Coffee Roasters (8th between Cambie and Main) - 156 W 8th Ave, Vancouver, BC V5Y 1N2 
    While centrally located and easy to access via public transport, Milano also benefits from the peace and quiet of being a couple of steps removed from the hustle and bustle of Broadway. Here, you can samplefood and some of the best traditional Italian coffee in the city while enjoying the view of an open field across the street and beautiful sunsets over downtown in the distance. Plenty of indoor seating as well as a shady outdoor patio. 

    Café Cittadella (near Cambie and Broadway) - 2310 Ash St, Vancouver, BC V5Z 3C2 
    Discover this hidden gem inside a heritage building, serving up elevated café eats. The house was built in 1894 and has since been transformed into an espresso bar and bistro. It boasts spacious seating upstairs and downstairs, and a beautiful garden patio with plenty of shaded outdoor seating – just you and the trees. 

    Grounds for Coffee (Alma and 10th) - 2565 Alma St, Vancouver, BC V6R 3R8 
    Who doesn’t love a cinnamon bun? Conveniently located just one bus stop away from UBC on the 99 route, Grounds for Coffee has delicious coffee, a cozy and quiet atmosphere, and some of the best cinnamon buns in the city, including seasonal favourites. 

    Arbutus Coffee (near Arbutus and Broadway) - 2200 Arbutus St, Vancouver, BC V6J 3Y1 
    Tucked away a few blocks from the busy city thoroughfares, Arbutus Coffee is a lovely little neighbourhood coffeehouse located in a Class A Heritage Building. A casual place with great coffee, great baked goods and most importantly, an ambient atmosphere to tie it all together. 

    Café Lokal (4th and Macdonald) - 2610 W 4th Ave, Vancouver, BC V6K 1P8 
    Conveniently located just a 20-minute bus ride from UBC, Café Lokal is a bright, spacious spot where you can grab almost anything you’re craving – lunch, dinner, coffee, or drinks. From Wednesday to Friday, they’re open late, and you may even catch some live music during your visit. 

    49th Parallel and Lucky’s Doughnuts – 2198 W 4th Ave, Vancouver, BC V6K 1N7 
    49th Parallel boasts some of the best locally-roasted coffee in the city, and the location closest to UBC boasts a large outdoor covered patio in addition to a cozy and vibrant indoor seating space, all in Vancouver’s trendy Kitsilano neighbourhood. Did we mention 49th Parallel offers Lucky’s Doughnuts fresh in-house? 

    Pubs & Breweries 

    Long Table Gin Distillery - 1451 Hornby St, Vancouver BC, V6Z 1W8 
    If beer isn’t your thing, check out this intimate craft gin distillery tucked away in Vancouver’s North Yaletown neighbourhood. Stop in for a delicious cocktail made with their small-batch gins and botanical-infused mixers, or take a bottle home with you as a souvenir.  

    33 Acres Brewing Company - 15 W 8th Ave, Vancouver, BC V5Y 1M8 
    Minimalist-style craft beers that pack a punch. Stop in for a beer and some snacks in the evening, or visit them on the weekend for brunch. Host Team member Mariarecommends trying their Mezcal Gose.  

    Andina Brewing Company - 1507 Powell St, Vancouver, BC V5L 5C3 
    If you're exploring the breweries of East Van, you don’t want to miss Andina. (With its bright yellow exterior, how could you?) Andina is particularly known for crisp, fruity sours and unparalleled IPAs. Plus, a menu of Colombian snacks and shareables you won’t find anywhere else. I recommend the “platachos” — nachos made with plantain chips. 

    Superflux Beer Company - 505 Clark Dr, Vancouver, BC V5L 3H6 
    Creative craft beers and fancy hotdogs – the perfect pairing! Host Team member Maria is particularly fond of their Fountainbier Orange Cream, which tastes exactly like an orange creamsicle. Perfect for sipping on their patio on a warm summer evening.  

    Odd Society Spirits - 1725 Powell St, Vancouver, BC V5L 1H6 
    Host Team member Melanie loves the funky atmosphere and the unique small-batch craft spirits distilled onsite. Try a flight or make a selectionfrom the ever-changing cocktail list. Current personal favorite: Cream Soda Sour. 

    Brassneck - 2148 Main St, Vancouver, BC V5T 3C5 
    Visit Brassneck at both the beginning and the end of ACA 2022, and there might very well be new beers added to their menu in those intervening days. That’s how often they’re coming up with unique craft brews in addition to their delicious staples. Brassneck is where Host Team member James most often grabs an after-work drink with his best friend and where he brings beer-loving guests who are visiting Vancouver for the first time. 


    Stanley Park Explore the 400-hectare natural West Coast rainforest and enjoy scenic views of water, mountains, sky, and majestic trees along Stanley Park's famous Seawall. Discover kilometres of trails, beautiful beaches, local wildlife, great eats, natural, cultural and historical landmarks, along with many other adventures. The park offers a wide range of unforgettable experiences for all ages and interests, including Canada’s largest aquarium. 

    Granville Island Tucked below the Granville Street bridge, this Vancouver institution is home to shops, boutiques, arts and culture opportunities, breweries, and of course the famous Granville Island Market, where you can try almost any kind of food – just make sure you keep it away from the seagulls! This would be a great place to stop by for a bite or just a nice walk along the water, especially after you join us for our Vanier Park museum tours just a few steps away. 

    VanDusen Botanical Garden - 5251 Oak St, Vancouver, BC V6M 4H1 
    VanDusen Botanical Garden is a 55-acre oasis in the heart of Vancouver with over 7,500 plant species and varieties from around the world! Spot and photograph local wildlife, find your way through an Elizabethan hedge maze, unwind in a serene setting, dine on the patios of Truffles Cafe or Shaughnessy Restaurant, or browse the garden-themed gift shop. VanDusen has something for everyone to enjoy! 

    Queen Elizabeth Park and Bloedel Conservatory - 4600 Cambie St, Vancouver, BC V5Z 2Z1 
    QE Park is Vancouver’s horticultural jewel and a major draw for floral display enthusiasts and view-seekers. At 125 m above sea level, it’s the highest point in Vancouver and makes for spectacular views of the park, city, and mountains on the North Shore. It is also home to Bloedel Conservatory, which is a domed lush paradise which is home to more than 100 exotic birds, and 500 exotic plants and flowers. Host Team member Ashlynn recommends pairing a visit to this park with lunch at nearby Aperture café. 

    The Cinematheque - 1131 Howe St, Vancouver, BC V6Z 2K8 
    The Cinematheque is the home of art house cinema in Vancouver. It exhibits the kinds of films you don’t normally get to see on a big screen, movies that challenge you or blow your mind or mesmerize you visually. I also recommend The Cinematheque because it curates films from around the world, highlights under-represented voices, and often features artist retrospectives and Q&A’s with creators. 

    The Rio Theatre - 1660 E Broadway, Vancouver, BC V5N 1W1 
    The Rio reminds Host Team member James of the single-screen cinema he grew up with in his hometown. Going to the Rio fills him with nostalgia in a way the big chains just don’t. (It helps that the Rio frequently shows 70s, 80s, and 90s cult classics.) The concession stand has a great beer selection, there’s balcony seating, and — something that was not on offer at James’ hometown cinema — live events like burlesque shows or stand-up comedy.   


    Pulpfiction Books - 2422 Main Street; 2754 W Broadway; 1830 Commercial Drive   
    Pulpfiction describes itself as one of Canada’s largest and busiest bookstores, and I believe it! Their flagship location on Main Street has a huge selection of paperbacks and comics, with particularly impressive sci-fi and fantasy sections. Don’t make the mistake of coming back later for whatever caught your eye — their shelves have a high turnover and so that book may be gone by the time you return! 

    Canterbury Tales Bookstore - 2010 Commercial Dr, Vancouver, BC V5N 4A9 
    In Canterbury Tales’ tightly packed shop on Commercial Drive, you can’t turn around without spotting something you’d like to take home with you. They have a diverse selection, including a mix of used and new books, and a particularly strong selection of children's and YA titles.  

    Spartacus Books - 1983 Commercial Drive, Vancouver, BC V5N 4A8  
    Spartacus Books is a non-profit, volunteer-run bookstore and resource centre specializing in “anti-capitalist, political books not found in big-box bookstores.” Its books, zines, comics, magazines, and other materials are related to such fields as Indigenous fiction/non-fiction, race and society, queer studies, feminism, environmentalism, and radical theory. Spartacus has been around for more than 40 years and is like no other bookstore in Vancouver! 

    First Used Books - 69 Kingsway, Vancouver, BC V5T 3J1 
    I like my used bookstores unassuming and full of surprises, which is what you’ll get from First Used Books. This shop has a little bit of everything, with an emphasis on Canadiana, and is perfect for browsing. The proprietor — giving off some amazing Gandalf/Merlin vibes — will point you in the right direction if you're having trouble finding something. 

    Lucky’s Books and Comics - 3972 Main St, Vancouver, BC V5V 3P2 
    There are plenty of great comics stores in the city, but Lucky’s stands out for its dedication to independent comics and zines, especially by local artists. Lucky’s is an important part of the Vancouver comics community, hosting launches, readings, workshops, and even live music. The store offers plenty of niche publications, manga titles, and work by BIPOC/LGBTQ+ creators. 

    MacLeod’s Books - 455 W Pender St, Vancouver, BC V6B 2Z3 
    MacLeod’s is the quintessential second-hand bookstore, with nary a spare inch of shelf space or even floor space. There are books stacked or piled everywhere, making this the perfect place for bibliophiles and readers who relish the thrill of the hunt.  

    The Paper Hound - 344 W Pender St, Vancouver, BC V6B 2V6 
    Just a few blocks down from MacLeod’s, the Paper Hound is a smaller space with a more boutique-y feel and a more curated selection of titles. In their words: The Paper Hound doesn’t specialize in any one genre, instead favouring “the classic, curious, odd, beautiful, visually arresting, scholarly, bizarre, and whimsical.” 

    Massey Books - 229 E Georgia St, Vancouver, BC V6A 1Z6
    100% Indigenous owned and operated. 1,500 square feet of books plus an art gallery showcasing emerging community artists. 

    Don't forget to check out Part 1 for UBC recommendations!

    To see where in Vancouver all of these recommended spots are located check out this map!

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