How important is saving Kogawa House? What other literary landmarks are in Vancouver?
Alan Twigg, author and publisher of BC Book World, says that Vancouver
only really has one literary landmark, and that one was controversial
and created under protest – the gravesite of poet
Pauline Johnson. Ann-Marie Metten, was talking with the
author of First Invaders: the literary origins of British Columbia and Aborginality which detail the first
writings about British Columbia.
If we can save and preserve the Kogawa Homestead, then we have the real
life equivalent of the fictional Anne of Green Gables House.
With the new Vancouver Opera creation of Naomi's Road, then we now have
the West Coast equivalent of the ever popular Anne of Green Gables
The Save the Kogawa Homestead Committee would like to preserve the
former Kogawa House as a writer's retreat, where the house could serve
as a temporary home for visiting writers, immersing themselves in
multicultural Vancouver, while providing a historic landmark to the
thousands of Japanese Canadians who once made up the fishing community
of Marpole neighborhood, but were uprooted from their homes, branded as
enemy aliens, and interened at re-location camps away from the Pacific
There are few historic houses preserved in BC. Our history is
still young, and many of our residents are immigrants with little
knowledge of BC's history.
Only a small handful of the homes of Canada's greatest Canadians or
writers are preserved or acknowledged. Pierre Berton was born in
a cottage in Dawson City, Yukon. Berton spent $50,000 to buy the
house to donate it to the Dawson City community where it is now a
historic landmark known as Berton House.
Other BC homes have been turned into historic landmarks or
museums. But none that I know of are by writers, nor homes that
were confiscated from Japanese Canadians during World War 2. In
addition to becoming a writers' retreat, Kogawa
House would also represent the tragedy of the upheaval and internment
Japanese-Canadian community and how we overcome our prejudices by
recognizing it and turning it into an important community landmark.
Haig-Brown House Education Centre
2250 Campbell River Road,
B.C. V9W 4N7
Rodde House Preservation Society
1415 Barclay Street
Emily Carr House
207 Government Street
B.C. V8V 2K3
Telephone: (250) 383-5843
Fax: (250) 356-7796
302 Royal Avenue,