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Douglas & McIntyre remembers Hilary Stewart

Douglas & McIntyre remembers Hilary Stewart

June 2014

It is with sadness we must note the passing on June 5 of the renowned BC artist and author Hilary Stewart, author of 10 Douglas & McIntyre titles including Cedar: Tree of Life of the North West Coast Indians and the perennial bestseller Looking at Totem Poles. Long a resident of Quadra Island, Stewart was an important authority on Northwest Indian art and culture with numerous titles directly concerned with Aboriginal cultures starting with Artifacts of the Northwest Coast (1973) and Indian Fishing: Early Methods on the Northwest Coast (1977).

Cedar (1984), an examination of the various ways Aboriginal cultures utilized cedar, received one of the first four B.C. Book Prizes that were presented in 1985. Stewart’s reiusse of the journal kept by English sailor at Nootka Sound in 1803, John R. Jewitt, Captive of Maquinna (1987), also received a B.C. Book Prize. Other titles included Robert Davidson: Haida Printmaker (1979) and Totem Poles (1990).

Hilary Stewart was born in St. Lucia, West Indies in 1924, educated in England and came to Canada in 1951. She lived for many years on Quadra Island but was forced to move to Campbell River after a stroke. She had spent the past five years in a nursing home in increasingly frail health.

"Hilary Stewart was one of those unique talents who was equally distinguished as a writer and a graphic artist," said D&M publisher Howard White. "Her keen study of aboriginal cultures of the BC coast led her to make a major contribution to popular understanding."

A memorial service will be held at the Community Centre on Quadra Island on June 21 starting at 12 noon.

Read more about Hilary Stewart >>