Important Women of British Columbia

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Important Women of British Columbia

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International Women’s Day is tomorrow, and with that we wanted to celebrate some of the women that helped shape British Columbia. Read below to see what amazing women came out of BC!

Hannah Maynard

  Hannah Maynard was an extraordinary woman who helped document the colonization of BC. She opened one of the first portrait studios
Mrs. R. Maynard’s Photographic Gallery back in the 1850s. She often liked to experiment with photography trying long exposures, and trying to photograph images that appeared in motion. Since photography was a very limited technology back then, she would often have to get creative in order to create her art. It was very unorthodox to see a woman be the owner of their own business, so Hannah helped pave the way for other women to become business owners of their own. Although she did create a new path for women, many Victorians were astonished by her entry into the business world. Her photo skills speak for itself however, and have helped photographers think about different ways of capturing a moment.

Emily Carr 

Did you know Emily Carr was from BC? We didn’t know either! Most people know the legacy of Emily Carr, but for those who don’t we’ll retell her amazing story. Born in December of 1871, Emily Carr was always into art. Her career started at the age of 16 when she went to the California School of Design. After travelling around the world to study art in different countries, she eventually made her way back to Canada in 1912. While on her travels her new art style of simple shapes and sweeping brush strokes were often laughed at in the art community. She traveled throughout Canada, painting many landscapes on her journey. Towards the end of her career she ran a boarding home called “House of all Sorts” that taught art to school children.

Catherine O’Hare Schubert 

Catherine O’Hare first emigrated into Canada in 1851. Her husband was a carpenter by trade while Catherine opened her own grocery store. In 1858, miners discovered gold in the Fraser Valley. Catherine’s husband chose to go on the next expedition into the Fraser Valley in order to get his own share of gold. Catherine wasn’t satisfied with staying behind, so she came along as an explorer. They trekked through the rocky mountains with their children and eventually made it to the Fraser Valley. As being some of the first people to explore BC thoroughly, we owe it to Catherine and her husband for starting the colonization of the Fraser Valley!


We hope you learned some new things about the ladies of British Columbia. Make sure to celebrate the women of your life tomorrow on international women’s day!

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