Skip to main content Skip to search Skip to search

History British Columbia (bc)

The City of Rainbows

A Colourful History of Prince Rupert

by (author) Blair Mirau

Heritage House Publishing
Initial publish date
Jun 2024
British Columbia (BC), Social History, Native American
  • eBook

    Publish Date
    Jun 2024
    List Price
  • Paperback / softback

    Publish Date
    Apr 2024
    List Price

Add it to your shelf

Where to buy it


A vivid and comprehensive history of the City of Prince Rupert, from its ancient roots as a rich, multicultural trading hub between different Indigenous Nations to its current state as an ethnically diverse community set against the stunning natural backdrop of the Great Bear Rainforest.

Since time immemorial, rain has defined life on Kaien Island, now known as the townsite of Prince Rupert. As the rainiest and cloudiest city in Canada, Prince Rupert is the perfect environment for rainbows—and the rainbow is an apt metaphor for the city: a symbol of diversity and inclusion, a supernatural gateway between worlds, and a universal sign of hope and calm after a storm.

From its original Ts’mysen inhabitants to the first European explorers and fur traders, the building of dozens of salmon canneries to the construction of the transcontinental railway, the global upheaval of two World Wars to decades of industrial boom and bust, Kaien Island, and Prince Rupert, has always been a rich, multicultural trading hub that has weathered countless storms.

By weaving together historical events illustrated by compelling archival photographs, The City of Rainbows strives to tell the story of Prince Rupert from a modern perspective, one that confronts the impact of colonization head-on and moves away from a romanticized account of the development of a “pioneer” town. Balancing the histories of Indigenous Peoples, European and Asian settlers, and recent immigrants, this book reveals powerful, intriguing, uncomfortable, and beautiful truths about an undoubtedly colourful city.

About the author

Blair Mirau is a born-and-raised Rupertite and former Prince Rupert city councillor. Since 2016, he has served as the chief executive officer of the Gitmaxmak’ay Nisga’a Society, which has been recognized with the BC Indigenous Community-Owned Business of the Year Award. In 2018, Mirau was named one of BC’s Top 30 Under 30 by BC Business magazine. He holds a master’s in Interdisciplinary Studies and a graduate certificate in Sustainable Community Development from Royal Roads University, as well an undergraduate degree in International Development from the University of Winnipeg. He is most proud to be the father to Rowan Mirau, husband to Chelesy Ellis, and son of Brad and Janet Mirau.

Blair Mirau's profile page

Related lists