Since November of 2018, Barkerville has been developing an online learning and teacher's resource portal called RICH IN HISTORY, which officially launches in September of 2019. This multimedia project, made possible with support from the Province of British Columbia's Rural Dividend Fund, uses KLYNT, an affordable and easy-to-use web-based platform designed to explore new narrative formats on the internet, as an interactive repository for images, music, digitized documents and video recordings pertaining to the history of Barkerville and the Cariboo Gold Rush, in an ongoing effort to bring the essence of Barkerville Historic Town & Park's award-winning educational programs and immersive historical interpretation into the 21st-century classroom.
Whether it is used as a field trip planning guide or stand-alone online teaching tool, RICH IN HISTORY hopes to provide teachers and students with evolving virtual access to the wealth of gold rush and contemporary cultural resources offered by western North America's largest living history museum; the provincial treasure that is Barkerville, British Columiba. This workshop will introduce participants to the concept and contents of Barkerville's RICH IN HISTORY project, as well as discuss simple ways that modern museums and heritage sites can connect with educators and learners online using relatively inexpensive digital technology and engaging historical interpretation.
Social studies teachers of grade 4/5 and 9/10 BC Gold Rush curriculum; other interested participants
James originally received acting training at the University of Victoria and the American Academy of Dramatic Arts in New York. As a performer he has appeared in stage plays across North America, including THE MERCHANT OF VENICE, THE COMEDY OF ERRORS, HAMLET, A VIEW FROM THE BRIDGE, THE MAIL ORDER BRIDE, CHEMIN DE FER, ROMEO AND JULIET, SEVEN STORIES, FILTHY RICH, ODD JOBS, THE MAROWITZ HAMLET, ELECTRA, ION andTHE FRED WELLS SHOW.
In 2000 James was awarded a Bachelor of Arts degree in English Literature from the University of Victoria, and in 2004 completed one year of graduate coursework at the university’s Theatre department before embarking on an internship with renowned avant-garde theatre director and drama critic Charles Marowitz during his historic production of Vaclav Havel’sPOKOŬSENÍ [English: TEMPTATION] at the National Theatre of the Czech Republic.
In 2005 James traveled to the Netherlands to write, produce, and direct THE TULIP & THE MAPLE LEAF, a documentary short film celebrating the enduring post-WWII friendship between the Canadian and Dutch peoples, which premiered at Ontario’s Royal Botanical Gardens in 2006. Since then he has written dramatic scripts and screenplays for projects funded by the Legislative Assembly of British Columbia, Hatley Park National Historic Site, Barkerville Historic Town & Park, Destination British Columbia, and the Provincial Capital Commission. James was the on-air host of Shaw TV’s BC150 YEARS series of documentary shorts in 2008, and in 2010 began production of a broadcast television documentary about British Columbia’s past and current gold rushes (narrated by CBC Radio’s Mark Forsythe) called WILDS TO RICHES. The film was officially presented by CBC Television in July of 2013, and has been rebroadcast throughout British Columbia and internationally via satellite more than a dozen times since. The film was nominated for a 2014 Leo Awards for Best Documentary Screenplay, and for his role as co-producer James received the Cariboo Chilcotin Coast Tourism Association's Best Marketing Initiative award.
Over the past two decades James has produced or co-produced a number of noteworthy theatre projects, including the national touring premiere of Daniel McIvor’s NEVER SWIM ALONE on the Canadian Fringe Festival circuit, three seasons of a live, improvised, comedic serial soap opera (V8W 1K8: A TABLE FOR FOUR) for the Eclectic Circus, CHARLES MAROWITZ: RECYCLING SHAKESPEARE for the Metro Theatre, Don Webster’s SPIN for the New Vic Theatre, THE SAINTS OF BRITISH ROCK for London UK Records, and a site-specific staging of William Shakespeare’s LOVE’S LABOUR’S LOST at Victoria’s Emily Carr House.
James’s recent directing credits include TO CARIBOO IN ’62, LESTER, THE SAINTS OF BRITISH ROCK, BRIDE OF BARKERVILLE, LADY OVERLANDER, THE GREAT LOVE OF QUEEN VICTORIA, THE SINISTER SECRET OF HATLEY CASTLE, FANGS FOR THE MEMORIES, and DAS LOVE BOOT. He has also worked as dramaturge on critically-lauded productions of Andrew Hamilton’s KALIBAN, Sally Clark’s WANTED, and Anne Carson’s contemporary translation of Sophocles’ ELECTRA.
Since 2012, James has produced a number of short films, including DEFENSELESS, PIGBOY, THROUGH BLOOD LIKE ICE, and STALKING. In 2017 James wrote, produced and directed his first feature film, THE DOCTOR’S CASE, based on a Sherlock Holmes story written by Stephen King, which has won ten awards at 28 international film festivals. He is currently the Public Programming and Global Media Development Lead for Barkerville Historic Town & Park.