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1979 pencil drawing for business card


1987 pencil drawing

1993 watercolour from Europe sketchbook


1998 watercolour from Canada sketchbook

Above: 50th birthday topographical study; right: contribution to the Artropolis 2001 Self-Portrait Exhibition

Me in 2024

I, Michael Kluckner, am a Canadian writer and artist/illustrator. The closest thing to a blog on this site is on the home page below the banner. My Facebook page has a lot of up-to-date material, too.

My early books on the history of Canadian cities, heritage, planning issues and art, include Vancouver The Way It Was, Vanishing Vancouver, Paving Paradise, and British Columbia in Watercolour. They received some acclaim, including the Duthie Prize, the Vancouver Book Prize, the Toronto Book Prize (short list), the Hallmark Society (Victoria) Award of Merit, and the Heritage Canada Medal of Achievement. All of them are out of print but can be obtained on used book websites such as, or found in libraries throughout Canada. They are listed on this site on the books page.

Also at the bottom of that page are three early self-published titles – an outgrowth of a job I had in the late 1970s running the publications department for the Student Association at BC Institute of Technology.

Books in the 1990s included Michael Kluckner's Vancouver, a collection of paintings, and The Pullet Surprise: A Year on an Urban Farm, which reflected on our move from the city to the country. My 1998 book, Canada, A Journey of Discovery explored the places and countryside that made up my childhood image of Canada. I followed up The Pullet with a farm-noir sequel, a tale of mind over mutton, entitled Wise Acres, published in 2000. Vanishing British Columbia, which developed on this website, was published by UBC Press in 2005. Vancouver Remembered was published in 2006, reprinted in 2011, by Whitecap Books and completed (I thought at the time) the cycle of books I began on BC more than 20 years earlier. Vanishing Vancouver: The Last 25 Years, published in 2012,  looks back to my earlier period living in Vancouver while recording and analyzing the remarkable changes that had  transformed the city.

Since then I returned, in a way, to my cartooning habits of the 1970s with Toshiko, my first graphic novel, published in 2015, with a second edition in 2020. A second graphic novel, 2050: A Post-Apocalyptic Murder Mystery, came out in 2016. An unconventional graphic biography, Julia, traces the life and times of the writer/explorer Julia Henshaw and came out in 2018.

The Rooming House, published in 2022, is a reflection back to life in the early 1970s – hippie drifting life, as it were. It is a kind of graphic novel, with illustrations and blocks of text, and takes place in Vancouver's Kitsilano neighbourhood, as well as Banff, San Francisco, and a commune in the Kootenays.

Here & Gone, published in 2020, is a collection of artwork – watercolours, chiaroscuro (brush-ink) drawings, and pencil work – beginning in Vancouver but extending through British Columbia and around the world, using art from my travel sketchbooks going back 30 years.

Published in 2024, Surviving Vancouver is a final, perhaps, kick at the city where I grew up and have spent much of my life

I had an early, brief career in 1979-80 as a newspaper cartoonist. An ongoing interest, more linked to the writing I've done and the small watercolours that illustrated it, is painting and drawing in a sketchbook as I travel: the travel index page links to these wanderings, and the Here & Gone book noted above reproduces some of them. My different types of artwork and a few recent gallery shows are linked from the artwork index page.

I lived from 1993 to 2006 on a farm in rural Langley, British Columbia, where I raised sheep and chickens and helped my wife maintain her large garden. My wife, Christine Allen, is the author of Roses for the Pacific Northwest (1999, Steller Press), Gardens of Vancouver (1999, Raincoast Books), and Climbing Up (2002, Steller Press), and regularly contributes to gardening magazines including "BC Home & Garden." Her A Year at Killara Farm, published by Harbour in 2012, includes my illustrations of our years of country living.

In 2006, we moved to Australia. We lived in Katoomba in the Blue Mountains west of Sydney from 2007-9 before returning to live in Sydney. The page of Australia paintings shows some of what I was up to during those three years. In 2010, we returned to Canada to live in Vancouver.

In 1991 I was the founding president of the Heritage Vancouver Society, and served as president of the Langley Heritage Society from 1993 to 1998. From 1996 until 2001, I was the British Columbia member of the board of governors of the Heritage Canada Foundation, and served as chair from 1998-2000. I chaired the Vancouver Heritage Foundation in 2002-3. I was chair of the Vancouver Heritage Commission (a civic agency) until 2021 and have been president of the Vancouver Historical Society since 2015.

We live in the Grandview area near Commercial Drive in Vancouver.

A good profile of me in Inspired Magazine in 2023


A profile in the Vancouver Guardian (with more photos) in 2022:


Killara Farm, Langley, British Columbia, Canada (illustration for Harrowsmith magazine, 2002), where we lived from 1993 to 2006.

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