A completely satirical yet oddly practical guide to surviving and thriving in Canada’s westernmost province.
So you’ve arrived in British Columbia. Perhaps you’re just passing through; perhaps you want to stay a while. You may even be contemplating making British Columbia your home. What you need is a well-researched, comprehensive guide to living and even prospering in Canada’s westernmost province. This isn’t it. However, the information contained in this book will allow you to experience British Columbia with minimal damage to your well being.
Having lived in nearly every province in the country before settling in BC, Ian Ferguson can say with authority that things work differently here. So differently, in fact, that visitors and newcomers from other parts of Canada may put themselves in physical peril if they try to dress, act, drive, work, vote, or socialize in the same ways as they would elsewhere. With practical advice, little-known facts, and personal anecdotes, Ferguson tackles everything from how to recognize a local (and differentiate the various types of facial hair that delineate the male British Columbian) to how to survive both natural and unnatural disasters (whether it’s a light dusting of snow on the southern tip of Vancouver Island or a full-blown hockey riot) to how BC has been governed through the ages (like the time a bootlegger was put in charge of prohibition). Illuminating, hilarious, and only mildly offensive, The Survival Guide to British Columbia will make you question why you ever came here in the first place.
About the author
Ian Ferguson won the Stephen Leacock Medal for Humour for his book Village of the Small Houses and is the co-author, with his brother Will Ferguson, of How to Be a Canadian, which was shortlisted for the Leacock and which won the CBA Libris Award for non-fiction. He was selected for inclusion in the Penguin Anthology of Canadian Humour, was a contributing essayist to Me Funny, an anthology of Aboriginal humour, and has had his writing published in the Globe & Mail, the National Post, Reader’s Digest, Maclean’s, and EnRoute, among other publications. For the past ten years, he has worked as a writer and creative director in the film and television industry.
“Sure, the British Columbia Tourism Association won’t speak highly of Ian Ferguson . . . but he will live on in my heart as a very entertaining writer. (He may not live on for much longer, mind you, as the province is due to try to kill him again. Pick up this book while you can still get him to sign it!)”
Hassan Ali, stand-up comic, actor, and host of CBC’s Laugh Out Loud
"Somewhere in Kamloops is a hipster Welsh fashion designer who is going to be about as happy with this book as she is with her Canucks season tickets. But that’s okay, because any one of the rest of us who have lived in or visited BC is going to get one of those ice-cream-headache/hernia-kind of injuries from laughing at Ian Ferguson’s latest address to the nation.”
J. Marshall Craig, author of Eh Mail and Megalife: The Autobiography of Nick Menza
“When I first met Ian Ferguson I called him an arrogant easterner—he did live in Alberta, after all. But since moving to BC, Ian has discovered all our embarrassing secrets. This is the essential guide to Canada’s wild west coast.”
Mark Leiren-Young, winner of the Leacock Medal for Humour for Never Shoot a Stampede Queen
“Having finished Ian Ferguson’s very instructive and fact-filled treatise, I now feel prepared for anything BC can throw at me. On a more serious note, and believe me, nothing about this book is serious, my sides are still aching from reading this special guide. Line after line, page after page, Ian Ferguson keeps the laughs and satirical insights coming.”
Terry Fallis, two-time winner of the Leacock Medal for Humour
“Some people think of British Columbia as nothing more than a place to film movies for tax breaks, or a convenient spot to put the business end of a pipeline. Ian Ferguson, however, understands that there’s more to us than that—we’re also brimming with deadly wildlife. And this survival guide is deadly funny.”
Charles Demers, author of Property Values and the Juno Award–nominated Fatherland
“Laced with Ferguson’s trademark wit and observant style, The Survival Guide to British Columbia is a book that will educate those from different hemispheres about the province’s benefits and problems, and amuse those more local who are aware that British Columbia is neither British (anymore) nor Columbian (ever). You will learn about the importance of salmon to B.C. residents (excluding vegans), and oddly enough, how the Welsh are viewed. You should be prepared to have your perception of that noble land forever altered. I laughed. I cried. I longed for a Nanaimo bar. It’s that tasty.”
Drew Hayden Taylor, playwright, filmmaker, and author
“He’s like a brother to me.”
Will Ferguson, author of Beauty Tips from Moose Jaw
“One-third practical, one-third odd, one-third enlightening, and one-third bloody hilarious (based on Ian Ferguson’s arithmetic skills. Thank God he writes better than he maths.) If a provincial guide and a stand-up comedy routine mated, this book would be their bastard love child. Worth getting arrested for. Please send bail.”
Cassie Stocks, winner of the Leacock Medal for Humour for Dance, Gladys, Dance