Europeans in the Industry
Men of European ancestry founded British Columbia's salmon canning industry.
The first Fraser River cannery owners were Scottish, English and American businessmen. Many had made their fortunes in the gold rushes of California and British Columbia. By the 1890s, the salmon business became like a new gold rush. Wealthy European men such as Alexander Ewen, E.A. Wadhams, M.M. English, J.A. Laidlaw and T.E. Ladner, became leading canners. These men were connected to money and markets in the United States and England, necessary to the industry's growth and success. From the very beginning, ownership and control of the industry was in the hands of powerful, wealthy men of European descent.