Events for The HBC Brigades

My Métis ribbon skirt, red and turquoise blue

My Métis Ribbon skirt, red and turquoise blue, with a little bit of my sash showing.

Here is a listing of the events that I have so far planned for the publication of my book, The HBC Brigades: Culture, Conflict, and Perilous Journeys of the Fur Trade

Because the book is being published in July, and also because I have learned that books often get published later than planned (as has happened for all three of my books), I have not planned anything for immediate action. As a result, we will slowly roll into the promotion part of book-selling.

For those who live in the Pacific Northwest of the United States, both The York Factory Express, and The HBC Brigades, will be available in your local bookstores, and on the occasions when I am speaking in the United States, I will be promoting both books. Which will be fun: they are connected, after all.

For booksellers in the United States, the American distributor for Ronsdale Press is Independent Publishers Group, at Both books now appear on their website (under Nancy Marguerite Anderson), although, of course, they are not yet in stock. But you can order them, and the more bookstores that request them, the more books they will bring in.

In August I am going to Williams Lake and 100-Mile House, to investigate the brigade trails that ran through that area. I have no events going on: its summertime. But if you can find me there (I am not sure where I will be at any point in time), come and talk. Other than that, its a research trip: two brigade trail historians are being shown over Dairy Fields, outside of Williams Lake. We will also be exploring and photographing both the Watson Creek valley south of Lac la Hache, and Exeter Lake, west of 100 mile House. Then we will head north to identify the various locations of Fort Alexandria (there were three locations that I know of). After that we will explore the brigade trail as it heads up the east side of the Thompson plateau just west of Little Fort, and I will make a quick trip through Green Lake once again: I missed something while I was there a few years ago.

On August 17, I will be attending the Metis Rendezvous at Cowichan Exhibition Park, Duncan, BC. I am selling both my books there. If you are a Vancouver Island resident, come visit me — the entertainment is great (not that I will be able to see it, as I am selling books). You don’t actually have to be Metis to attend, by the way. For me it will be a long day, and I will probably not have the energy to stay behind to take part in the evening events. But you can do that. There are a lot of good musicians and dancers performing there: Ed Peekeekoot, for example, will be there, as will Ivan Flett Memorial Dancers, among others.  

Another event: On September 21, I will be selling my books at the Bicentennial commemoration of the James McMillan Expedition to the Fraser River from Fort George/Astoria in 1824. This expedition resulted in the building of Fort Langley a few years later, in 1827. The celebration of this historic event is being put on by the Museum of Surrey and the Historical Stewart Farmhouse, and will be held at Elgin Heritage Park in Crescent Beach, South Surrey — which, as it happens, is on the banks of the Nicomekl River. As you know, I wrote about this journey on my blog, beginning here:   

Also in September, I am heading off to the Wine Country Writers Festival in Penticton, BC. On my way there I plan to visit the Old Grist Mill in Keremeos — did you know that it started its life as the HBC’s Similkameen post before it evolved into a grist mill? AND that one of my ancestors (and an A.C. Anderson cousin named William James Anderson) might well have lived in what is now Keremeos and sold his apples to this establishment? I didn’t know that, so a visit to this place is, for me, both a study of fur trade history a little after the time period I generally write about, and family history as well! 

Another Event: So while I am in Penticton, I am attending a Book Signing at Indigo Books, in Kelowna, from 11 am to 4pm on Saturday, September 28. This is a book signing rather than a book launch: I will have a table, and can mingle with the customers and tell them about my book, and encourage them to purchase it; I can sign books they or you have purchased, and you (and they) are also free to ask me any question you (they) want (and we will see if I know the answers!) If you bring your own book into the store, should you come with a receipt? I don’t know, but it might be a good idea.

So, three days at a writer’s festival sounds like fun! The real purpose is, of course, to discover what people at these events; what they talk about, how they introduce their books, etc. etc. Knowing that I can then take part in more local book festivals. Also, on my way to Penticton I will signing books I find in Fort Langley, Hope, Princeton, and Keremeos. There are, however, very few bookstores and no functioning Museums along this valley — every single museum, from Hope to Osoyoos, is closed down for renovations this year! Bad planning, guys!

So after that event comes another: I will be speaking in front of the Friends of Fort Vancouver, at Vancouver, Washington, on October 19 (John McLoughlin’s birthday). They get sizeable crowds of people who are interested in their local history, and so it should be an interesting evening! Also, they will have both my books for sale in their sales shop: they have been waiting for The York Factory Express for four years, and so I hope they get their copies quickly. (The old Ronsdale Press chose to not distribute my books into the United States, all without telling me. The new Ronsdale Press is fixing this.)

Plans for what else I do when I am at Vancouver are not yet developed, so if you have any good ideas, let me know. I want to go to the first location of the fort on the bluff above the river, so that is already on my list of things to do, and I know where it is (sort of). If the fort itself is open and busy, I will visit it too — when I saw it last it was empty. Will I drive out to Cathlamet to once again visit my ancestors graves: yes, I might do that. Maybe their historical society will want a talk about James and Charlot Birnie? Do they know that James Birnie went out in the first York Factory Express to Hudson Bay? 

I will be fitting in a book launch for Victoria sometime, but no one is interested in thinking about that right now. I have also approached Friends of the BC Archives for a talk about illustrating books of history when there are no photographs of the time because cameras didn’t exist: which is a difficulty that I am faced with whenever I publish one of my books! And my next book heads north, which makes illustrating it an entirely different project, with searches in different archives than I have usually searched. But as a subject I think it has interest for the Friends of BC Archives. These people like to hear about the difficulties of research, and after four or five books, I will have plenty to say about that!

So that is a beginning, and there will be more to come. I hope one of these events will work for you! And if you have any interesting ideas to offer, let me know.

Copyright, Nancy Marguerite Anderson. All rights reserved.








12 thoughts on “Events for The HBC Brigades

  1. Bill Stevens

    I wish you the best with your schedule and subsequent sales. I hope you will appear in the Edmonton area one day. I live in Sherwood Park. My great great grandfather was Robert Campbell, and I have several of his diaries. I wish I could talk with the tough women and men of the 1800s.

  2. Lindley Roff

    I’m really looking forward to this release. Please consider adding the Kamloops Museum and Archives to your tour. I’m not sure who sets the schedules (I should because I volunteer there); however, the new Archivist is Mitchell Friedman and the Museum supervisor is Julia Cyr

    1. Nancy Marguerite Anderson Post author

      I will get there. It is the centre of the BC fur trade, after all, and tons of information about Kamloops in this book. I knew they finally had a new archivist. I should get in touch, fill another space or two. I have just been busy this last month or so, finishing off the book. Thanks for getting in touch.

  3. Sheila Mason

    Hi your Metis Ribbon Skirt is Very Beautiful indeed & I’m hoping to
    go to The Metis Day @ Cowichan Exhibition Grounds & get to meet You
    & Purchase your Books !!!!!!

  4. Gordon MacIvor

    I see Bill Steven’s post.
    He and I should get connected.
    When are you coming to Alberta???
    The Saskatchewan River story, Fort Edmonton, Athabasca River, Jasper, etc etc etc .
    I am Treasurer of the Historical Society of Alberta, under our umbrella is the Edmonton and District Historical Society and Peace Country Historical Society (Grande Prairie) plus all our affiliated local historical societies and museums.
    WE will arrange stuff for you.
    Walk the North Country and sell your books.
    I will talk to my friends, my people.
    WE will set things up for you.
    Don’t tell anybody but we have some money just for things like this.
    Let me know what you think.
    Cowboy Gord
    Calgary Stampede time.

    1. Nancy Marguerite Anderson Post author

      Yes, The York Factory Express was published at a very bad time — end of pandemic, etc., plus beginning of illness. The promoting of it basically did not happen, unfortunately, because of that. If you want to hear about the two books I can do it. Make me an offer!

  5. Mark Young

    This post makes me wish that I lived in Canada or could get there to attend some of these events.
    Does anyone know of any podcasts about the Fur Trade? I listen to many history podcasts, but ones detailing this subject are scarce.

    1. Nancy Marguerite Anderson Post author

      If you make a long (expensive) visit to Canada and PNW of the United States, there are all sorts of fur trade events going on in the various replica forts: ie, Brigade Days at Fort Nisqually, Brigade Days at Fort Langley, etc. They draw crowds and make learning history a lot of fun. Maybe I should write a blogpost about the fur trade events I know of, just for people like you. I understand Carlton House, Saskatchewan, is a great place to visit. Norway House has York Boat races every year for example.

    1. Nancy Marguerite Anderson Post author

      You will enjoy yourself. 2025 is a big year in the Pacific Northwest fur trade history, and both Forts Colvile and Fort Vancouver are celebrating the construction of their respective forts. Lots of stuff going on.

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