234 Menzies St


About VHS Presentations

Presentations will take place on the fourth Thursday of each month (September – May).

Upcoming Presentations:

April 28, 2021, 7:30  // James Bay New Horizons Centre, 234 Menzies Street, Victoria, BC

Joseph McKay and the founding of BC // Greg Fraser and Pamela Spalding

Speaking from his research on his new book on J.W. McKay, Greg will give an overview of McKay’s life and then focus on his many connections with Victoria, especially real estate. One of his homes is on a national historical list.  Pamela Spalding, one of Joseph’s descendants will share some of the family stories of her ancestor.  

May 26, 2021 ,7:30  // James Bay New Horizons Centre, 234 Menzies Street, Victoria, BC

Springs and Scavengers: Waste and Water in Victoria, 1842–1915 // Dr. Kelly Black

A recent feature exhibit at Point Ellice House Museum and Gardens brings visitors up close (but not too close) to the story of water and waste management in early Victoria. Through images, stories, and artifacts, Springs and Scavengers: Waste and Water in Victoria, 1842 to 1915 tells a story of basic human needs, and the struggle that early Victoria had in keeping up with them. Kelly Black, Executive Director of Point Ellice House, will discuss the research that went into the exhibit and explore the history of drinking water and waste disposal in the city.

Dr. Kelly Black

Previous Presentations

September 23, 2021 // 8:00 pm

Telling Stories on the Whale Coast: Reflections on Public and Marine Environmental History // Dr. Jason Colby

The waters and marine life of the Pacific Coast have long shaped human history and culture and yet we know so little about this relationship. What has been lost in marine abundance over the last two centuries? What does the rising status of whales (and declining importance of salmon) tell us about our changing regional economy and culture? How do we balance scientific insights with indigenous knowledge in practicing marine environmental history?

October 28, 2021 // 7:30 pm

What Prompted British Columbians to Join Canada? // Dr. Patricia Roy

In this year, the 150th anniversary of British Columbia joining Canada, the Victoria Historical Society is proud to present Dr. Patricia Roy speaking on “What Prompted British Columbians to Join Canada?” as a live streamed event via Zoom on October 28th at 7:30. 

November 25, 2021 // 8:00 pm

The Transformer and the Creation of the Songhees World // Cheryl Bryce

Songhees wisdom keeper and story teller Cheryl Bryce will share Songhees history including stories about the transformation of the landscape into the landforms of what we today call Greater Victoria.

December 4, 2021 // Holiday Lunch at the Union Club

How I Came to Possess Meares Island // Dr. Barry Gough

In his new book Possessing Meares Island: A Historian’s Journey Into The Past Of Clayoquot Sound, Dr. Gough links early maritime history, Indigenous land rights, and modern environmental advocacy.

January 27, 2021 // TBA

Canada’s Residential School Legacy // Ry Moran

Join Ry Moran(Associate University Librarian – Reconciliation, University of Victoria) for a discussion on the origins, history and present-day ramifications of Canada’s residential school system. In this presentation, Ry will draw from extensive first-hand experience at both the Truth and Reconciliation Commission and the National Centre for Truth and Reconciliation.

February 24, 2021 // TBA

Building a Movement: A Story of Women’s Suffrage in British Columbia // Dr. Lara Campbell

Suffragists in British Columbia built a thriving movement for women’s political equality between the 1880s and 1917. Based on international co-operation, creative tactics, and powerful debate, the provincial suffrage movement envisioned a future built on equality even as it was shaped by policies of racial exclusion. The success and failures of the movement remain with us in the present, as we assess the powerful political legacies of the suffrage fight for greater freedom and equality.

March 24, 2021 // TBA

Victoria Unbuttoned: A Writer’s Journey By the Redlight // Linda Eversole

From the establishment of Fort Victoria, the story of  BC’s capital city includes a long history of prostitution. Little has been written on the lives of the women themselves—some of the most enterprising women in Victoria’s past whose stories have been relegated to judgmental newspaper headlines. In her presentation historian Linda J. Eversole will offer a deeper look at these women’s lives, from the mid-nineteenth century to the First World War and through the moral reform movement.