Before the Dam: Rural Life in the Kootenay Valley of B.C. Before it was Flooded


STANLEY TRIGGS was at UBC when I was there in the late 1940s, and I heard his name bruited about in relation to the Photographic Club. I never met him, so when I came to McGill in 1963 I was surprised to hear his name again, this time as Curator of the Notman Collection of 250,000 glass plates at McGill’s McCord Museum. We became great friends when we worked together producing the famous book of photographs from the Notman Collection in 1967.

One day he showed me some photographs he had taken of a valley in B.C. that was soon to be flooded by a giant dam currently under construction. They were wonderful and reminded me of the days when I had lived on a farm in the Fraser Valley. I made a dummy of a book but couldn’t get McGill Press interested, nor any other publisher, probably because we were in the East and the photographs were set in the West, and in Canada the twain never meets. But a few months ago I was pleasantly surprised to see a video of Stan’s photos shown on Vancouver’s Knowledge Network.

Many more photographs can be seen in the dummy, which is in my archives at UBC library in Special Collections.

Triggs 1

The book jacket

Triggs 2

Triggs 3