Fonds AM1600 - Chuck Davis fonds

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Chuck Davis fonds

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  • Textual record
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4.75 m of textual records and other material

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(Nov. 17, 1935-Nov. 20, 2010)

Biographical history

Chuck Davis was born in Winnipeg on November 17, 1935 to George and Hazel Davis. He came to live in Vancouver with his father in 1944. In 1953 he joined the Canadian Army and was stationed in West Germany. During his time in the Army he began working as a radio announcer. On discharge in 1957, he decided to stay in radio and worked at Radio Stations in Kirkland Lake, Kingston and Kitchener, Ontario. He got his break in television in 1962 when he was hired as a staff announcer by the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC) in Vancouver. In 1965 he married Edna Schmidt, who worked for CBC-TV News, and later in 1972 their daughter Stephanie was born. Davis left the CBC in 1967 to become a freelance writer and broadcaster. He authored several radio-dramas including 2.8 (1968) which was broadcast on CBC. During the 1980’s he was a daily columnist for the Vancouver Sun and The Province newspapers. He also wrote a variety of articles for magazines such as TV Guide, Beautiful BC Magazine, and Business in BC. In addition, he created hundreds of crosswords puzzles that were used in a plethora of magazines and newspapers across Canada.

Davis is best known as a popular and prolific author. He has 17 books to his credit, many of which are histories about Vancouver and the Lower Mainland. His publications include: Chuck Davis' Guide to Vancouver (1973), Two Weeks in Vancouver (with John Ewing) (1976), The Vancouver Book (General Editor) (1976), Chuck Davis' Vancouver Appointment Book (1980), Kids! Kids! Kids! And Vancouver! (With Daniel Wood) (1977), Chuck Davis' 1982 Vancouver Appointment Book (1981), Turn on to Canada (1983), ExpoPulse! (1983), Vancouver: An Illustrated Chronology (1986), One Hundred Years: A Celebration of the District of North Vancouver's Centennial (1990), The Greater Vancouver Appointment Book (1990), Reflections: A History of North Vancouver District (1992), Top Dog!: A Fifty Year History of B.C.'s Most Listened to Radio Station (1993), The Greater Vancouver Book (Editor-in-Chief) (1997), Where Rails Meet Rivers: The Story of Port Coquitlam (2000), Vancouver Then & Now (2001), and The Chuck Davis History of Metropolitan Vancouver (2011).

Davis won several literary awards including: The 1998 Vancouver City Book Award (for The Greater Vancouver Book, Simon Fraser University Chancellor's Distinguished Achievement Award for 1998 (for The Greater Vancouver Book), the 2012 Lieutenant-Governor's Medal for Historical Writing for The Chuck Davis History of Metropolitan Vancouver, the 2012 Roderick Haig-Brown Regional Prize for The Chuck Davis History of Metropolitan Vancouver, and the 2012 Bill Duthie Booksellers' Choice Award for The Chuck Davis History of Metropolitan Vancouver.

Davis was dubbed “Mr. Vancouver” due to his expansive and encyclopedic knowledge of the City and in October, the Mayor of Vancouver declared October 5 as “Chuck Davis Day”. In the same month, Davis was diagnosed with terminal cancer. Despite the diagnosis, he was determined to complete his most ambitious project, the exhaustive, year-by-year omnibus to be published as The History of Metropolitan Vancouver. He succumbed to lung cancer at the age of 75 on November 20, 2010 and the History of Metropolitan Vancouver was published posthumously in 2011.

Custodial history

Records were donated by Edna Davis, Davis' widow, in two accruals in 2011 and 2012.

Scope and content

The fonds consists of correspondence, subject files, research files, manuscripts, radio-plays, drafts of publications, and photographs. The records relate to Davis' activities as an author, historian, newspaper columnist, and freelance researcher and writer in Vancouver.

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Access to some files is restricted due to Archives privacy policy as they contain personal information. Researchers wanting to access this file must complete an 'Access to restricted records' form. See archivist for details.

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No further accruals are expected

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