An overwhelmingly successful launch of the book Forgotten Cranbrook has raised $4,500 for the Columbia Basin Institute of Regional History.
The institute, which serves as an archive of historical photos and documents from around the region, was presented with the cheque on Thursday morning.
“Through Wildhorse Creek Press, I work closely with the Institute, and for part of that process, we were going to raise some funds for them,” said Keith Powell, co-author of Forgotten Cranbrook. “I thought it would take us a year or more to actually accomplish that, so thank you for the enthusiasm of everyone who bought books.”
Columbia Basin Institute of Regional History executive director Erin Knutson accepted the cheque on behalf of the organization.
“The more money we can raise, the faster we can get our website built, the more we have to move forward with our projects and the more we have to offer the community,” said Knutson. “I’m thrilled we’re continuing to reach and branch out into the community.”
She was also involved in co-authoring the book along with Institute founder Derryll White.
“When Keith came to us with this book project, it was a no-brainer and we thought it was a perfect marriage between Wildhorse Creek Press and the Institute. We went for it and it turned out incredibly well,” said Knutson.
Money raised through book sales, as well as a $30,000 grant from Columbia Basin Trust, will be used to help the Institute modernize its archives.
“I believe we have over 200,000 images in the back end, and we’re going to bring this up to 2023, carry it forward and automate everything,” explained Knutson. “I think it’s really going to carry forth the 20 years of work the Institute has already done to preserve all this documentation and images and history in the Basin.”
Powell said the money is thanks to the book flying off shelves faster than any of the authors expected.
“I thought we were printing a couple of years’ supply of books, and within a month, we’ve almost sold out,” said Powell. “The reaction has been very positive and people have been making a lot of comments on the book, the format, the images and the stories that go along with them.”
The book has sold out in some locations, but copies can still be picked up at a few local vendors, such as Huckleberry Books, Canadian Tire and Pages.
You can also contact the Columbia Basin Institute of Regional History directly for a copy.