Sylvia Olsen

Sylvia Olsen

Sweater book wins

Local author Sylvia Olsen’s latest writings are award-winning. The book Working With Wool: A Coast Salish Legacy and the Cowichan Sweater was recently awarded the Lieutenant-Governor’s Medal for Historical Writing.

“As a writer and a historian, how much better does it get?” Olsen said after receiving the news of her win. Awarded annually by the BC Historical Federation, the Lieutenant-Governor’s Medal recognizes the best non-fiction book representing any aspect of BC history published in a given year.

Olsen is known for her award-winning books exploring the complex territory that lies in the place between First Nations and non-First Nations culture. Olsen is also a knitter who was involved for many years in the production and marketing of Cowichan sweaters.

Olsen was also nominated for the Roderick Haig-Brown Regional Prize for her book Working With Wool: A Coast Salish Legacy and the Cowichan Sweater.

That prize went to author Dan Savard who said it felt like he was at the Oscars when he walked across a West Vancouver ballroom to accept the B.C. Book Prize.

The recently retired Royal B.C. Museum curator won the Roderick Haig-Brown prize for his book Images from the Likeness House.

It took Savard five years to select the photos and write accompanying short essays for the book. It contains 310 images taken as photographers documented aboriginal life between the 1860s and 1920 in the Pacific Northwest.

The book was published by the Royal B.C. Museum.

The 27th annual prizes were awarded at an April 21 gala at the Kay Meek Centre.

Savard said he didn’t have an acceptance speech written and was stunned when his name was announced.

“I just went up and tried to acknowledge everyone including the other nominees and was joking about it being a very nice award and that I’d have to have it framed.”