Picturing Canada



UBC Rare Books and Special Collections (RBSC) and UBC iSchool present Picturing Canada, an exhibition that explores the changing historical and cultural aspects of Canadian identity through the lens of children’s illustrated books. The exhibit was curated by seven UBC iSchool students under the direction of Dr. Kathryn Shoemaker, Adjunct Professor of Children’s Literature at UBC.

This exhibit is a testament to the artists, authors, publishers and ultimately readers who shaped and continue to shape children’s literary culture in Canada. The exhibition will take visitors on a journey from the earliest published Canadian illustrated children’s books to current ones. Commencing with Northern Regions, published in 1825 to On the Trapline, a 2021 award-winning picturebook, nearly 200 years of children’s books in Canada are covered.

Picturing Canada is named in tribute to the book written by UBC iSchool alum Dr. Gail Edwards and Emeritus Professor Dr. Judith SaltmanPicturing Canada: A History of Canadian Children’s Illustrated Books and PublishingTheir book was an essential resource to the curation of this exhibit.

The exhibition is free, open to all ages and runs from March 8 to May 31, 2022. The exhibit can be found in UBC Rare Books and Special Collections (level 1) and the south wing (level 2) of the Irving K. Barber Learning Centre. Please visit the official Picturing Canada website for more information about this exhibit and its curators.

Dr. Kathie Shoemaker and the student group have also curated a teaser of this exhibit in the school’s display case, located in the Bralorne Room. If you are around the school and have a moment, check it out!



The Picturing Canada student exhibit is located and situated on the traditional, ancestral, and unceded territory of the xʷməθkʷəy̓əm (Musqueam) and səl̓ilwətaɁɬ təməxʷ (Tsleil-Waututh) nations.

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