Jack Knox: A sesquicentennial quiz to put B.C. Day in perspective

Right, the B.C. Day long weekend, a time when the people of this province traditionally celebrate who they are by racing to the outlet stores at Bellingham.

Not this year, though. This year, we’re mostly spending the weekend within British Columbia, which is appropriate given that this is B.C.’s sesquicentennial.

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How well do you know your own backyard? Just for fun, here’s a holiday quiz.

B.C. joined Confederation:

A) in 1867

B) in 1871

C) in a moment of weakness

D) perhaps 15,000 years after it was first settled

At 944,735 square kilometres, B.C. is larger in area than:

A) California (423,970 square kilometres)

B) Texas (695,622)

C) France (643,801) and England (130,279) combined (a concept, BTW, that would mortify both the French and the English).

D) the overflow from the Tsawwassen terminal this weekend (783,072)

Yet its entire population of five million is:

A) less than that of metro Toronto

B) only one-seventh that of greater Tokyo

C) nervous about reopening the border

D) still in line at the Tsawwassen terminal

At 31,285 square kilometres, and with a population of 850,000, Vancouver Island is:

A) bigger than Belgium, pop. 11.5 million

B) much bigger than Israel, pop. nine million

C) larger than Rwanda, pop. 12.5 million

D) considered overcrowded by those who live here

If you’re travelling by car, Victoria is:

A) equidistant to Port Renfrew and Nanaimo

B) farther from Port Hardy than it is from Kelowna

C) closer to Los Angeles than it is to Lower Post, B.C.

D) off-limits

Some people believe the name British Columbia is outdated. Would you prefer:

A) Cascadia

B) Alberta-by-the-Sea

C) Horganistan

D) not to point out the crown or Union Jack on B.C.’s flag

Rank the following in order of smokiness:

A) The 20th-century Cominco smelter at Trail (the logo of the local hockey team, the world champion Smoke Eaters, featured two belching industrial chimneys)

B) 21st-century Kamloops during wildfire season

C) Any newsroom in 1982

D) Centennial Square on 4:20

Chinese lore says that in the fifth century a group of Buddhist priests sailed thousands of kilometres east before encountering an unknown land. Legend says a priest named Hoei Shin returned describing a place that sounded much like B.C., because its inhabitants:

A) made textiles from the bark of a large tree

B) extracted oil from fish, possibly the oolichan

C) Hummed Sarah McLachlan tunes

D) complained about the wi-fi on the ferries

Which of these entertainment industry facts do you find most remarkable?

A) Among the five Canadians who have been nominated for a best supporting actress Oscar are two Vancouver Island-raised sisters: Meg Tilly for Agnes of God in 1985 and Jennifer Tilly for Bullets Over Broadway in 1994. Meg published her 10th book, the Runaway Heiress, last week.

B) In 1957, Victoria-born producer Stephen Bosustow became the only person to ever receive all the nominations in an Academy Awards category in one year. His Mr. Magoo cartoon Magoo’s Puddle Jumper was named best animated short film.

C) The first woman to do a full-frontal nude scene in big-screen history was Victoria-born Nell Shipman in 1919’s Back To God’s Country.

D) After landing on Juno Beach on D-Day, Vancouver-born James Doohan — Scotty on Star Trek — shot two German snipers, but was then plugged six times by another Canadian soldier. One of the bullets cost him his right middle finger, something he always tried to hide during filming.

“Drought, wildfire, famine, locusts, wailing and gnashing of teeth.” That passage is from:

A) the New Testament

B) the Old Testament

C) Twitter, reacting to the Canucks signing a third-pairing defenceman

D) next week’s weather forecast

In 1892, Rudyard Kipling wrote “Were I an intending immigrant, I would risk a good deal to get on to the land in British Columbia; and were I rich … I would swiftly buy me a farm or a house in that country for the mere joy of it.” Were he to write that today, he would be:

B) hit with a two-per-cent speculation tax

C) slapped with a 40-per-cent foreign buyers tax

C) deported to Alberta

D) worried about the farm drying up/burning down

In B.C., which is highest:

A) The Golden Hinde on Vancouver Island

B) Mt. Robson in the Rockies

C) Mt. Fairweather in the St. Elias Mountains

D) Seth Rogen in Vancouver

British Columbians’ favourite pastime is:

A) watching the Olympics

B) bragging that they don’t watch the Olympics

C) fixating on real estate prices

D) being self-righteously indignant on social media

They most enjoy being self-righteously indignant about:

A) people who drive/park/cycle/walk

B) people who don’t drive/park/cycle/walk

C) the failure of other people to be sufficiently indignant about the things that make them indignant

D) any attempt to engage in civil discourse

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