Classic Boat Festival:

Honourary Commodore

Honourary Commodore for the 2019 Classic Boat Festival: HOWARD WHITE


“No publisher has trumpeted the romance of Canada’s western coast more than Howard White,” wrote the Globe and Mail in 1988. He started a coastal newspaper in 1970, began publishing the west coast journal Raincoast Chronicles in 1972, and founded Harbour Publishing in 1974. To date his company has been for publishing some 1000 books about British Columbia, including such well-known titles as Westcoasters: Boats That Built BC by Tom Henry, The Encyclopedia of West Coast Place Names by Andrew Scott, Keepers of the Light by Donald Graham, Fishing With John by Edith Iglauer, From the Wheelhouse by Doreen Armitage, Dangerous Waters by Keith Keller, Ships of Steel by T.A. McLaren, Legacy in Wood by Ryan Wahl and Boats in My Blood by Barrie Farrell.


Howard has been equally active as a writer, with poetry, articles, and fiction to his credit. His thirteen books to date include Raincoast Chronicles First Five, Raincoast Chronicles Six Ten, Spilsbury’s Coast (with Jim Spilsbury), The Accidental Airline (With Jim Spilsbury), Writing In The Rain, The Ghost In The Gears, Raincoast Chronicles Eleven Up (editor/contributor), The As a publisher, his major project to date has been The Encyclopedia of British Columbia (2000). Howard has won numerous awards including the Canadian Historical Society Career Award, the Roderick Haig-Brown Award for BC History, the Stephen Leacock Medal For Humour, the Order of British Columbia, an honorary doctorate of laws from the University of Victoria and the Order of Canada. He has twice been president of the Association of Book Publishers of BC and was the first winner of the James Douglas Publisher of the Year Award.


Having grown up on the water, first on Nelson Island then in Pender Harbour (where he still lives), Howard has been around boats all his life. Cruising this coast of endless wonders in his 37 Farrell is his favourite pastime, one he never gets enough of. He is a firm believer that when one’s allotted time on earth is being counted up, all days spent out on the water are deducted from the total. 


A commodore refers to a person of high rank, commanding a body of ships. Examples include: Captain in the Navy, Commander of a body of merchant ships, or President of a Yacht Club. The Honourary Commodore at the Classic Boat Festival is present at the Sailpast and all formal ceremonies.



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