Robert D. Watt (b. 1945) grew up in West Vancouver and as the Head of the Vancouver Centennial Museum wrote the 1977 text for The Shopping Guide of the West (J.J. Douglas), an historical compilation of Woodward's catalogues from 1898 to 1953. The transfer of the catalogues to the museum was facilitated by Twigg White, B.C. and Yukon member of the Board of Governors of Heritage Canada. She was a Woodward by birth. Watt later became the first Chief Herald of Canada, as of June 4, 1998. He held the post for 19 years until his retirement. More than one thousand grants of arms were made under his signature, and a large proportion of these were his own designs.

WATT, Robert Douglas, B.A., M.A.; Univ. of British Columbia; Carleton Univ. B.A.(Hons.) 1967, M.A. 1968; RIDEAU HERALD EMERITUS 2007_PRESENT (Chief Herald of Canada 1988_2007, retired); Archivist, Public Archives of Canada 1969_70 Vancouver City Archivist 1971_73; Curator of History, Vancouver Centennial Museum 1973_76; Chief Curator 1977_79; Dir., The Vancouver Museum (formerly Centennial Museum) 1980_88; Venerable Order of the Hospital of St. John of Jerusalem (Officer); Canada 125 Medal 1992; Queen's Golden Jubilee Medal 2002; Sr. Hon. Fellow, Renison Coll., Waterloo Univ.; Academicien, Académie Internat. de l'héraldique; Councillor, Conseil de l'Académie 2002_PRESENT; Hon. Fellow, Royal Heraldry Soc. of England; Fellow, Royal Heraldry Soc. of Canada (mem. 1969_PRESENT; Dir. 1977_80, 1982_85; Pres. 1987_88); Hon. Mem., Soc. of Solicitors in the Supreme Courts in Scotland; Bd. Mem., Community Arts Council Vancouver 1973_78; mem., Vancouver Civic Heritage Adv. Ctte. 1974_76; B.C.-Yukon Adjudications Ctte., Explorations Prog., Canada Council 1979_80; Vice-Pres. 1978_79, Pres., B.C. Museum Assn.; Bd. Mem., Friends of the Cdn. Museum of Civilization 1989_92; Secy.-Gen., 22nd Internat. Congress of Genealogical & Heraldic Sciences, Ottawa, 18_23 Aug. 1996; Pres., Bureau permanent des congrès internationaux de généalogie et d'héraldique 1998_2006. Co-editor Material History Bulletin 1976_86. [2007]


The Shopping Guide of the West: Woodward's Catalogues 1898-1958 (1978)

Rainbows in our Walls: Art and Stained Glass in Vancouver (1978)

Symbols of Splendour: Heraldry in British Columbia 1978-1983.

People Among the People: The Public Art of Susan Point (Figure 1/ UBC Museum of Anthropology, 2019) $50 9781773270425. With Susan Point

[BCBW 2019] "Commerce"



Coast Salish art book gets civic boost

Robert D. Watt's book with and about Susan Point, People Among the People: The Public Art of Susan Point (Figure 1/ UBC Museum of Anthropology $50) has won the 2019 City of Vancouver Book Award on October 19.

Watt tells the story of each piece of the Coast Salish artist's public art, ranging from her cast iron manhole covers in Vancouver, to cast bronze faces in Whistler, to massive carved cedar portals in Stanley Park, to moulded polymer murals in Seattle. Watt conducted interviews for the stories and he had extensive access to Susan Point's archives to describe the evolution of her public artworks. Often, he cites Point's own words.

Susan Point has been credited with reviving the traditional Coast Salish art style, once almost lost due to the impact of colonization. Now, the aesthetics of peoples living around the Salish Sea can be seen around the world, often in modern materials that Point has embraced, but also in the works of a new generation of artists she has inspired.

At the award ceremony on the Central Vancouver Public Library's recently opened 9th floor, with views over a rooftop garden designed by the landscape architect Cornelia Oberlander, Watt recalled the days before Susan Point's renaissance started, when he worked at the Vancouver Centennial Museum (now the Vancouver Museum) as curator of history. He was looking for artwork that represented the local Coast Salish and asked his secretary, who was from the Musqueam First Nation, if she knew anyone.

"I have a niece who draws," she told Watt. That was Watt's introduction to Susan Point, who was not at all well-known at this time. She has since become a major Canadian artist, known around the world.

In her long quest to re-establish a Coast Salish footprint in Southwest British Columbia and the Pacific Northwest of the U.S., Point has received many honours, including the Order of Canada, a Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal and the Audain Lifetime Achievement Award; and honorary doctorates in Fine Arts from UBC, SFU, the University of Victoria and Emily Carr University of Art and Design.

The other finalists were: Philip Huynh for The Forbidden Purple City (Goose Lane), Eve Lazarus for Murder by Milkshake: An Astonishing True Story of Adultery, Arsenic and a Charismatic Killer (Arsenal Pulp), Susin Nielsen for No Fixed Address (Tundra) and Shazia Hafiz Ramji for Port of Being (Invisible Publishing).

Christie Lee Charles, Vancouver's Poet Laureate (2018 - 2021), gave a traditional Musqueam welcome to open the event, which was emceed by Sandra Singh, the City of Vancouver's general manager of arts, culture and community services. Vancouver Public Library's chief librarian, Christina de Castell moderated a round of discussions from each author about their shortlisted book. 9781773270425