Braid, Kate

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Braid, Kate

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1947-

History

Kate Braid is a Vancouver poet, carpenter, trade unionist and educator. Born in Calgary, Alberta and raised in Montreal, Que, Braid received a Bachelor of Arts degree in English and history from Mount Allison University in 1967.

In 1979 she earned her Master of Arts degree in the Communications Department at Simon Fraser University with a thesis entitled Invisible Women: Women in Non-Traditional Occupations in B.C. Meanwhile, she had begun working in the construction industry herself, and in 1983 received her Interprovincial Trades Qualification and Apprenticeship Certificate (Red Seal) for carpentry construction from the Pacific Vocational Institute (later renamed the British Columbia Institute of Technology or BCIT). She was the first woman member of teh Vancouver local of the International Carpenters' Union (Local 452, later 1995). In 1997 she earned her Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing at the University of British Columbia.

She continued to work in trades until 1989, forming her own company, Sisters Construction (1983-1987). Kate Braid was a founding member of the Vancouver Women in Trades Association, an advocacy and support organization that existed from 1979 to 1987.

Braid has written extensively on women and trades, including two booklets profiling Canadian tradeswomen for the Women's Bureau of Labour Canada. In addition, she prepared radio documentaries for the CBC's Ideas radio program. She has taught numerous courses and workshops since 1980, and in 1989 became the first full-time woman instructor in construction carpentry at BCIT. From 1991 to 1995, as Director of Labour Programs at SFU, she served as a liaison between academia and labour. Braid has also taught creative writing at Malaspina College (now Vancouver Island University), SFU and UBC.

Her poems and other writings have appeared in many journals and anthologies, and have been broadcast on radio and television. Her first collection of her poetry, Covering Rough Ground, won the Pat Lowther Memorial Prize in 1991. Her next collection, To this Cedar Fountain, was shortlisted for the Dorothy Livesay Poetry Prize in 1995. Her other publications include: Red Bait: Struggles of a Mine Local (1998), Inward to the Bones: Georgia O'Keeffe's Journey with Emily Carr (1998), Emily Carr: Rebel Artist (2000), In Fine Form: The Canadian Book of Form Poetry (2005), A Well-Mannered Storm: the Glenn Gould poems (2008), Turning Left to the Ladies (2009), and her prose memoir "Journeywoman: Swinging a Hammer in a Man's World" (2012).

She and her partner live in Vancouver, BC.

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