Selling British Columbia examines the development of the tourist industry in British Columbia throughout the twentieth century. Looking at tourism from an innovative perspective, Michael Dawson shows how the province's Aboriginal and British cultures were commodified and marketed to potential tourists, and considers the gendered nature of some of the promotional campaigns, particularly during the 1940s.Dawson's rich analysis draws upon promotional pamphlets, newspaper advertisements, and films, as well as archival sources about government, civic, and international tourism organizations. He argues that in order to understand the roots of the fully-fledged consumer culture that developed in Canada, it is necessary to understand the connections between the 1930s, 1940s, and the postwar era. He understands the significance of the Depression and the Second World War -- ostensibly periods of "underconsumption" -- for the development of tourism promotion and consumerism in general.This highly readable and engaging cultural history will be welcomed by British Columbian and Canadian historians, as well as scholars of consumer culture and tourism.
Michael Dawson teaches in the Department of History at St. Thomas University in Fredericton, New Brunswick.
Illustrations Acknowledgments Acronyms Introduction: Tourism and Consumer Culture 1 Boosterism and Early Tourism Promotion in British Columbia, 1890-1930 2 From the Investment to the Expenditure Imperative: Regional Cooperation and the Lessons of Modern Advertising, 1916-35 3 Entitlement, Idealism, and the Establishment of the British Columbia Government Travel Bureau, 1935-39 4 The Second World War and the Consolidation of the British Columbia Tourist Industry, 1939-50 5 Differentiation, Cultural Selection, and the Post-war Travel "Boom" 6 Tourism as a Public Good: The Provincial Government Manages the Post-war "Boom," 1950-65 Conclusion: From Tourist Trade to Tourist Industry Appendix: Key tourism promotion organizations in British Columbia, 1901-72 Notes Bibliography Index