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BC History “Speaks” For Itself: Robert Budd & the Orchard Collection

September 14, 2017 | 8:00 AM - 5:00 PM

From 1959 to 1966 the late CBC Radio journalist, Imbert Orchard (1909-1991), went on the road throughout British Columbia recording interviews of “old-timers who could tell him the story of the country before they died.” The collection altogether totals 2,700 hours of the remembrances gleaned from 998 first-generation and First Nations British Columbians. From personal memories that reach back as far as the late 19th century; the spoken voices and vernacular echoing from these eyewitness recordings convey emotions and inflections in the accounts that the written word cannot. In 1974, Imbert Orchard donated his audiotapes for the radio series “Living Memory” to the BC Archives.

In 2000, CBC Radio began a campaign to digitize all audio held in Canada’s archival collections. Later the same year BC Archives hired a former rock musician, Robert (Lucky) Budd, as an audio preservationist to digitize their CBC holdings

After gestating on the vast Orchard Collection for some eleven years Budd released his first book, Voices of British Columbia (Douglas & McIntyre), which became a national bestseller. He followed this book with a companion volume, Echoes of British Columbia: Voices from the Frontier (Harbour Publishing), in 2014, containing, interview transcripts, commentary, and (3)CDs of the original Orchard interviews.

Echoes of British Columbia received 2nd prize for the Lieutenant-Governor’s Medal for Historical Writing 2014. Budd occasionally brings the Imbert Orchard interviews back to the CBC airwaves through the radio series Voices of B.C., on the CBC Sunday morning program North by Northwest.

Be our guest and join Robert (Lucky) Budd for an evening exploring (and hearing) BC history straight from the voices of our early 20th century settlers themselves.

Son of Imbert Orchard (and Nanaimo Historical Society member), Tony Orchard, will also round out the evening by giving a talk about his father’s life and career.


September 14, 2017
8:00 AM - 5:00 PM
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Nanaimo Historical Society
Douglas & McIntyre
Harbour Publishing


Bowen Park Recreational Complex
500 Bowen Road,
Nanaimo, BC V9R 1Z7 Canada
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