Time Capsule: The '00s

October 24, 2017

This edition of Time Capsule looks at the 2000s...the aughts seem like they were yesterday, right? But think about them this way: after dodging that Y2K bullet on January 1, 2000, we didn’t yet have iPods, smartphones, Facebook, or Twitter, and most of those only until halfway through the decade. Dare we say, we miss those simpler times a little?

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After catching up on  historical books this January, we're cracking open time capsules from each decade to see what books – and publishers born during that time – will fall out.


The '00s



What Went On

  • The September 2001 terror attacks in New York and Washington killed nearly 3,000, intensified Islamophobia in the Western world, and started “War on Terror” conflicts in Afghanistan and Iraq. Canadian troops participated in the Afghanistan war and did not withdraw until 2014 (though the conflict still continues to this day).
  • After already being introduced in several provinces as early as 2003, the Civil Marriage Act came into law on July 20, 2005, granting marriage rights to same-sex couples in Canada.
  • In 2006, the Indian Residential Schools Settlement Agreement became the largest class action settlement in Canadian history, awarding $2 billion in compensation to Indigenous peoples affected by the schools. Another outcome of the agreement was commencing the 2008-2015 Truth and Reconciliation Commission on Residential Schools.


Books of Note

  • emvalpoems

    Stacey May Fowles wrote how The Emily Valentine Poems by Zoe Whittall (Invisible Publishing) and other books by riot grrrls in the 2000s “gave me permission to write about the things I felt were important to me.” 
  • Poet and soldier Kanina Dawson penned the collection Masham Means Evening (Coteau Books) at the cusp of Canadian troop withdrawal from the Afghanistan War, detailing the innumerable complexities, cruelties, and banalities of the conflict. 
  • It’s safe to say that the 2000s brought on increased public awareness – or at least concern – of where our food comes from. Annabel Soutar’s play Seeds (Talonbooks) dramatizes the true story of Saskatchewan farmer Percy Schmeiser’s 2004 case against GMO giant Monsanto. 
  • Carole Giangrande’s sensitive novel All That Is Solid Melts Into Air (Inanna Publications) follows a woman vacationing in St. Pierre and Miquelon pondering the possible infidelities of her husband and the uncertain safety of her New York-based son and his partner on September 11, 2001. 
  • In her collection of essays Of Hockey and Hijab (Mawenzi House), Sheema Khan digs into what it means to be a Muslim woman in North America, both educating on her religion and calling for tolerance in a decade woefully short on it. 


Publisher Birthdays

Fun Fact: NON publisher Chris Needham finds publishing This Location of Unknown Possibilities  extra-notable because “it's written by a UBC professor [Brett Josef Grubisic] that once gave me a C- on a paper.” 


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There's only one decade left to explore in our Time Capsule series – check back on decades past, here.


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