With the surface deposits of California’s gold mines largely tapped out, in 1858 more than 25,000 fortune hunters headed north to the Fraser River Canyon, where local First Nations had discovered the precious ore. The resulting Fraser River War between newcomers and the Nlaka’pamux Nation compelled the British government to declare the territory the Colony of British Columbia. In 1860, prospectors discovered gold near Barkerville. Gold in British Columbia: Discovery to Confederation, by Victoria author Marie Elliott, offers new perspectives on both the Fraser River and Cariboo gold rushes and the establishment of colonial law and order during this social upheaval. Ronsdale Press 350 pages, paperback, $24.95
Vancouver Craft Beer Week, showcasing music, food, art and (surprise!) craft beer at events across the city starting May 31, winds up at the PNE fairgrounds on June 8 and 9, when 100-plus craft breweries and cideries will pour more than 300 libations. And on June 15, Red Truck Beer Co.’s Truck Stop Concert Series in East Van kicks off with a show headlined by Victoria indie rock band Current Swell and a lineup featuring Din DiNicolo, Dirty Radio, Freak Motif, Old Soul Rebel and Wooden Horsemen.
Summerland’s popular Grand Sommelier Express steam train ride with wine tasting is June 22 is sold out, but the area’s picturesque Bottleneck Drive will be open until October. Download a map of the route’s 19 wineries, three cideries, a distillery and a brand-new brewery, and plan your own itinerary, or follow the website suggestions for a Sparkling Wine or Cidery, Brewery and Spirits tour. If you pick up a Bottleneck Drive passport at one of the tasting rooms or the local visitor centre and get it stamped, you can enter a monthly draw for a chance to win wine, cider and beer.