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On Tour

March 27, 2014

Tour Schedule 2014
Posted by Kristie Poole

From April 13–May 2, a selection of finalist authors hit the road On Tour, with FREE readings at schools and public venues throughout BC. We visited communities in Northern BC, the Peace River region, and the Kootenays.

Be sure to check out the On Tour Blog for author blog posts, photos, and more from the Tour.


Northern BC Leg

April 13-17, 2014
Jesse Donaldson | Ashley Little
View the full Northern BC tour schedule here

  • Burns Lake
  • Fort St. James
  • Houston
  • Kitimat
  • Prince George
  • Quesnel
  • Smithers
  • Terrace

Peace River Leg

April 22-25, 2014
Catherine Greenwood | Robin Stevenson
View the full Peace River tour schedule here

  • Chetwynd
  • Dawson Creek
  • Fort Nelson
  • Fort St. John
  • Hudson’s Hope
  • Taylor

Kootenays Leg

April 28-May 2, 2014
Ari Goelman | Kathryn Para
View the full Kootenays tour schedule here

  • Chilliwack
  • Cranbrook
  • Creston
  • Erickson
  • Fernie
  • Nelson
  • Princeton
  • Sparwood

*Schedules subject to change

Filed under: Tour Schedule | 0 Comments | Permalink

May 01, 2014

The World’s Biggest Truck ... and More
Posted by Ari Goelman

Ari Goelman

Having just finished our event in the beautiful Fernie library, we are now packing up for our early departure tomorrow.  The event was fun—Kathryn read from her book, Lucky, and talked about her goals in writing Lucky.  I read the first chapter of The Path of Names, and a short bit of an old short story of mine called ‘4 Short Parables on the Theme of Travel.’  (It being an entirely adult audience, I thought it would be fun to read something for adults, too.)  Then Kathryn and I fielded questions together and each asked the other insightful and extremely interesting questions, provoking equally insightful and extremely interesting answers.

The last few days have been busy, filled with school visits, and our visits to various sights in the Kootenays, including a giant truck and an even more enormous open pit mine.  (see my blog here for lots of photos and more details.)

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May 01, 2014

The Strange Species Called Teenagers
Posted by Kathryn Para

Kathryn Para

Whew! It’s Thursday already and I haven’t had a spare moment! Our road trip through the Kootenays has been a whirlwind affair punctuated by school visits, stunning scenery and huge laughs with my new friends, Ari and Bryan.
This is my first time with teens. To this point in my life I’ve managed to successfully avoid teenagers and when I realized that my part of the tour was aimed at grades 10-12, I had a few misgivings. My own memories of teen-aged-ness, well, not the best of memories. And what would I say to the next generation of writers? What would they hear?
I prepped and agonized and at the last minute someone suggested a writing exercise that I thought might be a useful add-on, in case things went quiet or the AV presentation didn’t work. At several schools this has been my best route to actually connecting with the strange species called teenagers. At one point, I responded to a young woman’s scenario by paraphrasing it so that she might better understand what kind of a story she was proposing through the exercise. Her face lit up and she gave me such a look of pleasure and gratitude. I was stunned. All this time I thought high school teachers must be slightly crazed to be in that environment of their own volition. Now I know the sweet reward of connecting with kids. I won’t forget that moment, ever.

Filed under: Kootenays Leg 2014 | 1 Comments | Permalink

April 29, 2014

Kootenays Tour - Day 1
Posted by Ari Goelman

Ari Goelman

I have posted pictures and a description of day one of the Kootenays book tour on my blog here:  http://arigoelman.com/blog/.

Filed under: Kootenays Leg 2014 | 0 Comments | Permalink

April 24, 2014

Northern BC Airports
Posted by Robin Stevenson

Robin Stevenson

We flew to Fort Nelson this morning, in a Very Small Plane. There was a lot of snow, and the pilot said we might not be able to land. For some reason, I thought of Dr. Seuss: “I do not like this, Sam I am.”

Free books at the Fort Nelson AirportBut… can I just mention how AWESOME northern BC airports are? Fort St John’s has TOASTERS! A whole display case of funky old toasters, including one which is actually a kettle as well. NEED! And Dawson Creek, Fort St John and Fort Nelson all have shelves of books- for a donation, exchange, or free. Plus all the staff are super friendly and helpful and kind of laid back and low-key in a way that us slightly nervous flyers really appreciate. Other airports further south- you have some catching up to do! I’d suggest starting with the book shelves.

Our pilot did manage to land us in Fort Nelson- and fly us out again later, despite the impressive amount of snow. And it was more than worth the trip. I spent the afternoon with 170 students in grades 5,6 and 7- and they were the most wonderfully engaged, curious, thoughtful and creative group. I thoroughly enjoyed my time with them and could happily have stayed for twice as long.

We are back in Fort St John tonight, and tomorrow we head out on the last day of our tour- visiting schools in Chetwynd and Hudson’s Hope. I am looking forward to being in two communities I have never been to before.This tour has been a wonderful adventure. 

Filed under: Peace River Leg 2014 | 0 Comments | Permalink

April 23, 2014

Natural Born Storytellers
Posted by Robin Stevenson

Robin Stevenson

It’s cold and windy and snowy, but today was wonderful despite the weather- because I was visiting schools and talking with kids. Grade 4, 5 and 6 kids. Fort St John kids and Dawson Creek kids. Curious, energetic, excited kids. Overflowing with questions and ideas kids.

SO MUCH FUN. We talked about writing and books and where ideas come from and how they turn into stories. And then the kids came up with stories of their own…

In Fort St. John, the students conjured up Jack, a six foot tall thirteen year old who wants to be an NBA star, and Sherman, his best-friend-since-forever, affectionately known as Shrimp. Sherman has been in a devastating accident and lost all his memories of their friendship. Jack is determined to help him recover- and prepared to do whatever it takes.

In Dawson Creek, the kids created Angela, a girl with purple streaks in her hair and an annoying-but-cute two year old brother who she is fiercely protective of. Angela’s family has decided that they won’t celebrate their kids’ birthday’s because they have no money… but Angela is turning eleven and she wants a big celebration. How many bottles and cans will she have to collect to pay for it? And will her parents understand how important this is to her? Stay tuned…

Filed under: Peace River Leg 2014 | 0 Comments | Permalink

April 22, 2014

And We’re Off!
Posted by Robin Stevenson

Robin Stevenson

It’s 10 pm and I am sitting in my hotel room after a whirlwind of a day, which took us from Victoria to Vancouver to Dawson Creek (those were flights), and then to Taylor, Fort St John, back to Dawson Creek, and now back in Fort St John (and those were rather nice drives with good jazz playing in the car and a slow rain falling outside).

Flying into Dawson Creek was particularly cool for me because Dawson Creek was the first place in Canada I ever lived (I moved there from England with my parents when I was four). My sister was born there. We stayed a year—and that was in 1973! Today was the first time I had been there in FORTY YEARS! Wild.

Flying into Dawson Creek was also great because the airport actually has a bookshelf where you can help yourself to a book and stick a few coins in a donation box. Seriously awesome, and made me absurdly happy. I took two books, because I had only brought three with me and was worried about running out of stuff to read (I know this makes no sense, given how busy we are, but I’m slightly phobic about ever being without a book).

The afternoon at Taylor Elementary School was fabulous and a great way to kick off the tour. Eighty enthusiastic kids ranging from age seven to eleven or so… and all of them writers! Seriously. I was reading to them from my novel Record Breaker—which is about a boy who desperately wants to break a world record—but Taylor, BC is going after a record of its own. Taylor is on track to become the town with the most published writers per capita—and I will be cheering these young writers on.

And this evening we were welcomed by a lovely group of readers, writers and librarians at the Dawson Creek library. What a gorgeous space- colorful quilts hanging on the walls, cozy couches and chairs, and—of course—books everywhere. I very much enjoyed listening to Catherine Greenwood’s poetry, and talking to everyone who came out to hear us read. Thanks to all of you for laughing when I read the funny parts of my book. And a huge thanks to the library for hosting us.

Feeling very lucky to be on this book tour and grateful for the opportunity. Many thanks to BC Book Prizes and all the sponsors who make this possible. And now—off to bed. The adventures will continue tomorrow…

 

 

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April 17, 2014

THOUGHTS FROM ON TOP
Posted by Jesse Donaldson

Jesse Donaldson

1.) In Terrace, the Welfare Office is in the same mall complex as the liquor store.

2.) The new smelter upgrade in Kitimat employs so many people, they’ve had to rent a FREAKING CRUISE SHIP to house them all.

3.) There’s a 15-year-old girl in Terrace who has already written 7 articles for the local newspaper. When asked if she’d considered charging them for her efforts, she replied: “Oh, I’m not in it for the money.”

4.) Somebody in Northern BC has a Heisenberg Air Freshener.

5.) There is a funeral parlour in Prince George named “Assman’s”. Nothing says dignity like a service at Assman’s.

6.) I have it on good authority that the Magic: the Gathering scene in Kitimat is “about fifty strong”.

7.) Fort St. James had snow TODAY. Even the locals agree that this is weird.

8.) There is a high school in Houston where students aren’t allowed to leave a presentation unless someone asks a question at the end. This can lead to awkward moments when nobody asks a question at the end.

9.) There’s a place in Kitimat called Hospital Beach. It’s a scenic picnic area which also happens to be a storage area for heavy industrial machinery.

10.) Smithers. Just Smithers. Seriously. Actually just Smithers. Honestly. Do it. Now. Seriously, honestly, actually, just Smithers. Now.


Filed under: Northern Leg 2014 | 2 Comments | Permalink

April 14, 2014

VIEW FROM THE TOP
Posted by Jesse Donaldson

Jesse Donaldson

Hospital Beach Picnic Area and Industrial Equipment Repository. Kitimat, BC

Filed under: Northern Leg 2014 | 0 Comments | Permalink

May 04, 2013

Gratitude
Posted by Alan Woo

Alan Woo

I can’t believe the BC Book Prizes tour is now over! This past week has simply flown by and was an experience I will always treasure.

I am thankful for the wonderful kids at Courtenay Elementary and their exceptional staff. In fact, I am thankful for all the kids I met on this tour. Each and every one of them gave me hope for a better world ahead.

Alan Woo with kindergarten and grade 1s at lass at Courtenay Elementary

Thank you to my friends who came over to the island to show their support, as well as to all the people who attended our events throughout the week, especially the folks at last night’s public reading at Courtenay Library. There were a few people who wanted to go out afterwards to continue the festivities, so we had an impromptu after party with our new friends!

Flying Canoe after party in Courtenay

Flying Canoe after party in Courtenay

Thank you to all the sponsors, Coho Books, Laughing Oyster Books, and Mulberry Bush Books. Thanks to Kids Can Press for not only publishing my book, but also for supplying me with bookmarks to give out at all the events - the kids loved them! Thank you to Monica for taking such good care of us.  Thank you to Anne for being an amazing road trip buddy - I can’t imagine having gone with anybody else!

Anne Fleming & Alan Woo at Mulberry Bush Books, Parksville

Finally, thank you so much to BC Book Prizes for short listing Maggie’s Chopsticks and for taking me on this magical tour! All the best to each and every one of the other finalists! You are all superstars!

Mini Starfish in Parksville

Filed under: Vancouver Island Leg 2013 | 0 Comments | Permalink

May 03, 2013

BC Book Prizes On Tour Wraps Up
Posted by Bryan Pike

Bryan Pike

Today is the final day of this year’s BC Book Prizes On Tour, and what a tour it has been! I’ve been on the road with Evelyn Lau and Stefan Czernecki visiting communities throughout the BC interior for the last week. Here are some photos from our adventures so far:

Stefan Czernecki with students at Glenmerry Elementary in Trail

Stefan with students at Glenmerry Elementary in Trail

Evelyn with students at Sparwood Secondary

Evelyn with students at Sparwood Secondary

Fernie Heritage Library reading

During Stefan’s presentation at the Fernie Heritage Library

Evelyn at Fernie Secondary

Evelyn at Fernie Secondary

After visiting schools in Princeton this morning, we will head back home to Vancouver. Thank you to everyone who has made this year’s tour such a success!  I look forward to seeing everyone tomorrow at the 29th Annual Lieutenant Governor’s BC Book Prizes Gala in Victoria!

Filed under: Interior Leg 2013 | 0 Comments | Permalink

May 02, 2013

Rita Hayworth and a Diffident Donkey
Posted by Anne Fleming

Anne Fleming

Should I make it public knowledge I stayed in the Rita Hayworth Suite at the fabulous Crown Mansion in Qualicum Beach, where Hayworth was once a guest? It has a giant claw-foot tub (with bubble jets) right smack in the middle of the big bay window and no one to look in at you as you bubble in the tubble. In my case, discretion prevailed and I drew the curtains anyway. Earlier in the evening, Alan Woo cottoned me on to Rita Hayworth is Staying Alive on youtube — worth a watch — while we snacked on apples and brie from Little Qualicum Cheeseworks.

Rita Hayworth room at the Crown Mansion in Qualicum Beach

Campbell River treated us grandly, as noted by Alan in the previous post. Grade twelve English and Psychology students sitting in the back row at Timberline Secondary tipped their chairs back on cue at the same time as the character in the story I was reading tipped his back. No one was hurt. I continue to be inspired by the teachers and students I’m getting to meet. At Timberline, we talked about revision and collaboration with a poet, a screenwriter/filmmaker, and a rapper, amongst other students who didn’t declare their writerly tendencies, along with musing on boredom, creativity, agents and ten percent royalties.

Anne chats with Grade 11 & 12 students about writing

Today brought us to Courtenay and Comox, where western grebes mad-scooted away from a swooping bald eagle in between the two towns, and a mule deer held us up en route to Highland Secondary. I got to visit a Creative Writing class and loved that in the confusion ensuing from trying to pass papers from one person to the next in a round of Exquisite Corpse (the Surrealist game wherein you write an article and adjective, fold the paper and pass, then a noun, fold and pass, then a verb, fold and pass, another article and adjective, fold and pass to the last person, who writes another noun, and then you read sentences like “The freaky shark buffed the diffident donkey”), teacher Jill Peacocke interrupted to say, “We can have these desks in a circle in no time flat.” So we did, and there we were in that beautiful creative writing circle, passing words around. So great.

Tonight it’s a reading at the Courtenay Public Library, 6.30 pm, with book sales by the superlative Laughing Oyster Books, where we poked our noses in to say hello this afternoon to a warm welcome.

Courtenay Public Library

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May 02, 2013

Amazing Kids on Vancouver Island!
Posted by Alan Woo

Alan Woo

Day 3 was a busy day! I first visited Winchelsea Elementary in Parksville, where I was greeted at the front door by two of their student leaders. They led me down the hall to the classroom where I would be presenting, offered me water, and were super helpful with getting me all settled in! The reading went well with tons of great questions from the kids! I even got some random hugs out of nowhere! So adorable!

Alan Woo taking questions at Winchelsea Elementary in Parksville

Then it was time to make the trek down to Campbell River. It took about an hour but luckily we had some fine entertainment in the car! Anne Fleming on her ukulele! This helped the journey fly by as she strummed those strings and led us all in a road trip sing-a-long!

Anne Fleming playing ukulele in the car!

My next stop was at Penfield Elementary in Campbell River, where I had the good fortune to meet more awesome kids, like the ones in Mr Jarvis’ class, also known as The GummyBears! They had studied up on Chinese culture, made special welcoming signs for me, practiced their chopstick moves, and were enthusiastic and prepared with intelligent questions. Then they made me prove my chopstick skills by making me eat gummy bears with them! It was such a great experience and I can’t thank them enough for their hospitality, kind words, and genuineness.

Alan Woo reading to grade 1 & 2 students at Penfield Elementary in Campbell River

Alan Woo showing off his chopstick skills

The day still wasn’t over as we had a public reading to do at Coho Books! One student from Mr Jarvis’ class made her dad bring her down for it, even though she just saw me earlier that day! That’s super sweet! We talked about her own aspirations of one day writing a story of her own.  Even Mr Jarvis showed up for the event. What an awesome teacher and you can tell that by his amazing students as well!

Alan Woo with Hallie and her sister, and her teacher Mr. Jarvis

Thank you everybody for making this day such a terrific one! I will remember it for always! smile

Filed under: Vancouver Island Leg 2013 | 0 Comments | Permalink

May 01, 2013

Vancouver Island Tour
Posted by Alan Woo

Alan Woo

The Vancouver island leg of the BC book tour has been amazing. I get to visit communities I’ve never been to before like Nanaimo and Port Alberni.

The people here have been so nice and the scenery has been beautiful. Check out some shots below!

Bastion in Nanaimo

(Bastion in Nanaimo)

Sunset in Qualicum

(Sunset in Qualicum)

On Day One I read to about 40 kids at Park Avenue Community School who were delightful and full of rambunctious energy.

Park avenue community school

Day Two had me in front of a gym full of just over 100 kids who were simply thrilled to have an author visit them at their school, Alberni Elementary.  One little girl asked me for a hug on the way out - it was super cute!

Alan at Alberni Elementary in Port Alberni

I’m looking forward to the rest of the week. Traveling with fellow author Anne Fleming has been inspiring and I love attending her presentations as I am always learning something new! A huge shout out to Monica Miller for driving us around everywhere and being such the organizer. And after two days, I think we finally figured out how to use the GPS, whom we have named Jackie, obviously.

Jackie the GPS

For now, I’m heading to bed with the sound of frogs outside my window, their evening symphony lulling me to sleep.

Filed under: Vancouver Island Leg 2013 | 0 Comments | Permalink

April 30, 2013

Port Alberni, home of BC’s next generation of great writers
Posted by Anne Fleming

Anne Fleming

What a spectacular day in Port Alberni! Mount Arrowsmith is there up the street like you could walk up the hill, step off the street and straight onto the mountain. Down on the quay I spotted a seal in the harbour next to a big freighter docked there while tugboats picturesquely pulled log booms up the inlet.

Mount Arrowsmith, Port Alberni

Three Grade Eight classes crowded the library at Ecole E.J. Dunn Middle School, where they asked smart, snappy questions for half an hour (“Have you ever been on The Ellen Show?”), laughed at all the right points in “Puke Diary” (phew!) and were good sports about reading “Thirty-One One Word Stories” out loud. They were an absolute treat. I have a feeling the next generation of BC writers is going to include a whack from Port Alberni.

Anne Fleming reading at EJ Dunn Middle School

At Alberni Elementary, about a hundred kindergarteners, grade ones, twos and threes trooped into the gym with their “petits tapis gris” (if you’re the parent of a French Immersion kid, you know I’m talking about carpets and also a song about carpets) to sit on to watch and listen to Alan work the magic of Maggie’s Chopsticks. They had this cool projector, so Alan could lay the book on the table in front of him, and it was projected onto a giant screen up on the stage so everyone could see the pictures. Best question of the morning? “I like your book!”

Anne Fleming and Alan Woo at the Harbourfront Quay in Port Alberni

View more Photos from the Vancouver Island Leg on Flickr

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April 28, 2013

Gearing Up to Go
Posted by Monica Miller

Monica Miller

I’m very excited to be leaving tomorrow and driving the Vancouver Island leg of the BC Book Prizes On Tour 2013. I worked in-office at the BC Book Prizes from 2008 to 2011 and know the planning side of the tour well. However, I haven’t been on the road before, so this is going to be a fantastic new experience for me. I met authors Anne Fleming and Alan Woo at the Soirée earlier this month and we were chatting about our upcoming adventure. Alan is happy to not be driving, and Anne may bring her knitting or ukelele.

So, seat belts buckled, sunglasses on, and away we go! We’ll be stopping at schools, libraries, and bookstores in the communities of Nanaimo, Port Alberni, Parksville, Campbell River, Courtenay, Comox, and Ladysmith. Anne and Alan will be doing four public events, so come on out and say hello if we’re in your neck of the woods!

Filed under: Vancouver Island Leg 2013 | 0 Comments | Permalink

April 27, 2013

Thanks for everything!
Posted by Victoria Miles

Victoria Miles

Welcome display at David Hoy Elementary in Fort St. James

Thank you Terrace, Kitimat, Prince Rupert, Smithers, Prince George, Fort St. James and Burns Lake for being so welcoming.

And if that guy who wrote The Book of Awesome is still adding to his list, I think he should put Bryan Pike and Jackson Davies on it. Right at the tippy top. They are a couple of “champeens” and never once asked when lugging my luggage how many pairs of shoes I packed (4).  I feel privileged to have swapped stories with these two fine and funny fellows (yup, finally got that advance!). ☺

Time to turn the page. A new leg of the tour, with all new author-bloggers, begins on Monday.

 

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April 27, 2013

Funny ha ha
Posted by Victoria Miles

Victoria Miles

April 27, 2013 (morning)

All great books come to an end and so do all great trips. I finished Bruno and the Beach yesterday and we head for the airport and home this evening. But not before a stop at Misty River Books in Terrace.

On the first day of the tour I called dibs on the back seat. It’s a short girl thing, and besides, I really liked the idea of being chauffered around. Very Diva-for-a-Week. Jackson is more than a foot taller than me and he is no diva. I say to Bryan I think I was picked for this tour because of my short legs. “Why yes”, said Bryan. “We keep all the authors’ leg measurements on file. Sure…” he says, sounding a bit like a Marx brother, “Sure that’s how it’s done.”

We have been a funny combination touring this stretch of the Province. Especially Jackson and Bryan, they are very funny ha ha—my favourite kind of funny. Jackson is recognized everywhere he goes. People come up to him and ask “How’s it goin’? How’s Jesse?” like they’ve known him forever. He’s nice to everyone and he wakes up the friendliness in other people.

I do a double-take seeing my name next to Jackson’s on the town marquee in Fort St. James. If you’d told me when I was a girl, sitting in my beanbag chair eating creamed tuna on toast with my family and watching The Beachcombers that I’d one day write for children and go on a book tour with Constable Constable, I never would have believed it. You can’t make this stuff up.

photo

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April 27, 2013

Dogs of Cow Bay
Posted by Victoria Miles

Victoria Miles

April 26, 2013

This is one of my favourite photos from the whole tour.

They look like readers.

IMG_0389

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April 26, 2013

Page 183
Posted by Victoria Miles

Victoria Miles

I’m coming to the end of Bruno and the Beach. I’m on page 183, reading about the episode when Umberto Menghi guest-starred as a used-Ferrari salesman. I only have a few pages to go, and I’m trying to make it last.

We really enjoyed this interview and meeting Zameer of Prince George’s CKPG. He had done his homework and had great questions for both of us!

TV interview with CKPG

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April 26, 2013

One More Day Up North
Posted by Bryan Pike

Bryan Pike

I’ve been having a blast with Jackson Davies and Victoria Miles on the Northern BC tour! Today we’re visiting Burns Lake and Smithers, and tomorrow we wrap up this tour leg at our public event at Misty River Books in Terrace. Here are some photos from the Northern tour:

Victoria Miles with a budding writer at Kildala Elementary in Kitimat

Victoria with a budding writer at Kildala Elementary in Kitimat

Jackson with students at Charles Hays Secondary in Prince Rupert

Jackson with students at Charles Hays Secondary in Prince Rupert

Victoria Miles and Jackson Davies at the Museum of Northern BC in Prince Rupert

Victoria and Jackson at the Museum of Northern BC in Prince Rupert

Victoria, Jackson & Sarah at Books & Company in Prince George

Dorothy Livesay Poetry Prize finalist and Prince George resident Sarah de Leeuw joined Jackson and Victoria at Books & Company for the public reading

TV interview with CKPG

CKPG interviewing Victoria and Jackson

The Interior BC tour leg with Stefan Czernecki and Evelyn Lau kicks off on Monday with school visits in Trail and Nelson, and a public event in Cranbrook. Stay tuned for blog posts and photos from this and our Vancouver Island tour!

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April 26, 2013

Sarah Leeuw at Books and Company
Posted by Victoria Miles

Victoria Miles

Sarah de Leeuw at Books & Company in Prince George

April 25, 2013

Poet Sarah Leeuw, a finalist for the Dorothy Livesay Poetry Prize and an assistant professor at the University of Northern BC, joined us last night to read at the very cozy Books and Company in Prince George. She added a new element to the road show; between the three of us we offered something for all ages!

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April 26, 2013

Son of Jack
Posted by Victoria Miles

Victoria Miles

April 25, 2013

I failed to negotiate that hefty advance for blogging (it helps if you actually bring it up). But that’s okay, when you sit in a car with Jackson and Bryan, there’s no shortage of material to work with. Really, I should be paying them.
A friend texted me with a couple of questions for Jackson.

Q: What does he miss most about Bruno?

Jackson: He was one of the few people I’ve ever known who had an unbridled passion. We would to a place called the Omega, a restaurant in Gibson’s and he’d get all fired up about something. I called it his “Italian aerobics.”

Q: Jackson Davies’ name is unique. What’s the story? Did he have a unique upbringing?

Jackson: I come from a small town in Alberta and my parents were very supportive when I wanted to become an actor. I didn’t have a theatrical upbringing, the first play I ever saw I was in. My dad worked for Northern Alberta Gas; Mum was a singer. She still sings. She’s part of a group. She told me over the phone not long ago: “We’re going to entertain the seniors at the home today.” She’s 86.

My real name is John Davies. My Dad’s name was John, and people sometimes called him Jack. So I was Jack’s son.

When I go home, I answer to both.

But my mum calls me Johnny.

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April 25, 2013

Tea with a twist
Posted by Victoria Miles

Victoria Miles

Tea is very important to me. Without tea I couldn’t write. Jackson and Bryan have discovered that I am also a much nicer person after I’ve had my tea. So after they dropped me off to read at Silverthorne Elementary in Houston, they went on a scouting mission.

“Good news!” says Bryan when they pick me up. “We found a place for tea!”

“We’re taking you to McDonald’s,” says Jackson.

They think they are very funny. Methinks not so much.

“You can get a McTea!” says Bryan.

Now they are really cracking up.

“Maybe there’ll even be a little McChicken floating on the top!” says Bryan, but instead of pulling in to the Golden Arches, he veers left to his newest roadside find. Like a mirage out of the desert, except it’s real and the proprietress is a charming woman from Sweden who stocks teas like Chocolate Iguana Chai and Blackforest cheesecake tea. For the less adventurous (me!) also has a fine variety of peach and apricot. So this explains Jackson’s twist and my well, we are not quite sure what I am doing. But its a kind of happy dance. 
photo

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April 24, 2013

Not waiting for the phone
Posted by Victoria Miles

Victoria Miles

Jackson Davies at Caledonia Secondary in Terrace
In the car after this talk, I asked Jackson what question stood out for him from his presentation. He said it went something like this:

Q: “You played a character for 17 years. Did it change over time?”
A: “At first I was just ‘Policeman #2’ on the script. I didn’t even have any lines. But every actor knows that your character needs a name. Policeman #2 looks bad on a resume. So we came up with Constable John Constable. John being my real name…I started as a stereotypical police officer in a uniform. Gradually the part changed over the years, I wasn’t so much in a uniform and I became more a part of the community.”

Television and film have changed a lot as an industry since The Beachcombers first aired. Jackson says now: “it’s about telling stories. I’m a big fan of people creating their own content. Everyone’s their own network. It’s not about waiting for the phone to ring. You create things. And you own them. It’s good for the people who create.”

In case you are wondering, Jackson is paying me to write this stuff. I am trying to negotiate a hefty advance on the next post. Actually, that is not true. It’s just kind of fun to be writing behind his back while he’s speaking to 300 students at a secondary school. My morning visit got rescheduled as it seems to be vaccination week in elementary schools, and I’m getting upstaged by a travelling nurse with needles. Sorry, kids! But the organizers and local school staff are very quick about finding another class nearby where the kids aren’t rolling up their sleeves, squeezing their eyes shut and taking big, deep breaths. Or trying to. So today instead of reading in Smithers I will read a little later in Houston, on the way to Prince George.

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April 24, 2013

Writers: start early!
Posted by Victoria Miles

Victoria Miles

 class= Victoria Miles with a budding writer at Kildala Elementary in Kitimat">This was one of those moments that makes the whole tour for me. I had a few minutes at the end of the visit to a class at Kildala Elementary in Kitimat to sit down with this student and read her story about a dinosaur who has lost his glasses. She both wrote and illustrated it and has already shared it with the school’s Kindergarteners. It feels good to be someone she wanted to share her work with. That’s sensitive stuff for a writer!

Jackson says he was a bad speller all through school. He dodged stories and essays when he could, but he did write jokes when he was a kid. He remembers one of his first ones, something about an NADP (Northern Alberta Dairy Pool) member who was also the MP from Milk River. I think I am not getting it down quite right here. Doesn’t matter, that early start led him to a career with plenty of comedy in it.

Kids: start early!

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April 23, 2013

Topics of conversation
Posted by Victoria Miles

Victoria Miles

I meant to post this last night, but we got to talking to readers at the Kitimat Public Library, and it made for a late evening. So here is a belated post for yesterday.

At some point on the drive from Terrace to Kitimat, I started to notice how many interesting turns our conversation was taking. Hence this list, a random and select assortment of topics we covered on the road:

CBC Radio
Hawkin’s cheezies
Fries or salad
Colon cancer
Adrian Dix
Parents
Cormorants
Pelicans
Malcolm Gladwell’s 10,000 hours to excellence
Gene Simmons
Root Beer
The work ethic of children
Keanu Reeves
“The Sisters Brothers”
Italians in the family
Alzheimer’s
Skunk cabbage
Forrest Whittaker is a really nice guy
Hoarding vs. “just keeping things”

I know, talk about covering a lot of ground. And this wasn’t the half of it.

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April 22, 2013

Terrace time
Posted by Victoria Miles

Victoria Miles

April 21, 2013

“Who would have thought that a show about fighting over logs would last nineteen years?”
—Roy Luckow quoted in Bruno and the Beach

Feeling nostalgic tonight. Today was a travel day, which equals plenty of time for reading.  I’ve set Nancy Mitford’s classic Love in a Cold Climate aside temporarily, after surreptiously observing Jackson, several rows ahead of me on the plane, reading Mimi. I need to catch up.

So now I’m on page 81 of Bruno and the Beach (the Relic chapter!). It’s like pouring over a prized family scrapbook. The writing is funny and revealing, as the best behind-the-scenes books tend to be.

I was five and oblivious to the first season of The Beachcombers when it aired in 1971. But by the time I was eight or nine, our Sunday nights revolved around this show about “fighting over logs” followed by, if memory serves, The Irish Rovers.

Knowing, even before picking up a copy, that many of The Beachcombers have passed on makes for a bittersweet read. But then I remember The Rovers, and their parting words that sent me calmly off to bed every Sunday night of my young life: “May you be halfway to heaven before the Devil knows your dead!” And surely that’s a comforting thought for the beloved characters of “Nick”, “Molly”, and yes, even “Relic” and the real and talented actors who played them.

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April 20, 2013

Our Last Day
Posted by Yasuko Thanh

Yasuko Thanh

Our last day on tour was amazing.  I visited about eighty students at North Peace Secondary.  I spoke in the library, where I had a chance to wander the stacks before beginning my presentation.  I saw A Passion for Narrative by Jack Hodgins, 13 Ways of Looking at a Novel by Jane Smiley, a picture book on poetics with verse by e.e. cummings.  If the selection of reading material and the Grade Twelve art I saw on the walls are any indication, I’d say Fort St. John is a pretty cool place.  (Not to mention The Lido Theatre.)

To the owner of The Lido who took us on a tour, the kids at Chetwynd who told me what you do around here, the quiet kids and the girl at the front, the rowdy kids, the student from San Antonio, Texas, the teacher who spoke to me about Dressing Up for the Carnival, the boy with the bag of food who broke off pieces of mint Aero to share with his friends, the teacher who cried, the teacher who chose The Road for his class, the teacher who gave me the lanyard and the note, thank you all so much for inviting me into your communities.  A big thank you to Bryan Pike for being awesome and Caroline Adderson for being awesome, too. I’ll never forget you.

Enjoy some pictures below, taken over the last few days:

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My side project: collecting motel signs.

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This place was actually open for business.

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This old Mercury outboard is in one of my favourite colours.

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Hungry enough to kill.

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Bologna, okay.  But where’s my Spam?

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Waiting for our plane to Fort Nelson.  It’s early in the a.m. and Bryan and Caroline aren’t actually hungover—they just look that way.
 

 

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April 19, 2013

Day Four
Posted by Caroline Adderson

Caroline Adderson

A final visit to Alwin Holland Elementary School in Fort St. John!  Thank you to our intrepid driver/producer/handler/ entertainer Bryan Pike.  Thank you Yasuko Thanh for your wonderful company!  Thank you BC Book Prizes and all the sponsors! And a special thanks to all the schools and libraries of the Peace River District for hosting us!

Landing in Fort Nelson

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April 19, 2013

Day Three
Posted by Caroline Adderson

Caroline Adderson

Rustic accommodations on the BC Book Prize Tour.  Here’s Yasuko heading to the car.  (Kidding!)

FN joke
In the car for a beautiful drive to Hudson’s Hope.

driving to Hudson's hope


Stunning country!

in the Peace


On to Chetwynd.  I’ve never seen a woodpile this big…

Chetwyn

Then on to Dawson Creek.

dawson creek grain vancouver

Here was are at Mile 0 of the Alaska Highway.

Mile zero DC

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April 19, 2013

Day Two from the Peace River Leg
Posted by Caroline Adderson

Caroline Adderson

The airports in Northern BC have a very cool feature: free libraries!  Grab a book for your flight, leave a book.  Here’s Yasuko posing in front of the Dawson Creek Airport library.

Yasuko and airport

The flight up to Fort Nelson did not disappoint.

Caroline Adderson at G.W. Carlson Elementary in Fort Nelson

Breakfast at the 3-G

3G cafe

The session at G.W. Carlson Elementary in Fort Nelson.

Caroline Adderson at G.W. Carlson Elementary in Fort Nelson


And a little sightseeing before we head home!

trapper cabin

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April 19, 2013

Things I Received
Posted by Yasuko Thanh

Yasuko Thanh

Things I received yesterday:
A blue lanyard from Chetwynd Secondary School with my name handwritten on the envelope they gave it to me in.
A big hug at the Dawson Creek Municipal library reading, from Marilyn who worked at Oakalla Prison and Riverview Psychiatric Hospital, where two of my stories are set.
The knowledge that Hudson’s Hope Elementary-Secondary has a school rodeo, and Canada’s best cowboy lives in town.
The street parting for me when Caroline and I wanted to cross.  Four lanes on a brown street lined with black snow.  Eight cars stopping.  Drivers’ smiles.

Best pictures of the day:

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Hudson’s Hope

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Near Chetwynd

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Dawson Creek

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Tile Exterior, Bing’s Furniture, Dawson Creek

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April 19, 2013

Peace Country Tour Wraps Up
Posted by Bryan Pike

Bryan Pike

The Peace Country leg of our tour wraps up today, and what a fantastic time we have had! Yasuko, Caroline, and I have had a great time visiting schools and libraries in this region:

Caroline Adderson at G.W. Carlson Elementary in Fort Nelson
(Caroline at G.W. Carlson Elementary in Fort Nelson)

Yasuko with some students at Hudson's Hope Elementary-Secondary
(Yasuko with a few Hudson’s Hope Elementary-Secondary students)

Caroline signs books at the Dawson Creek Municipal Library
(Caroline signing books at the Dawson Creek Municipal Library)

Yasuko at the Dawson Creek Municipal Library
(Yasuko during her reading at the Dawson Creek Municipal Library)

Next week our Northern BC leg begins. I look forward to heading up to Terrace with Jackson Davies and Victoria Miles on Sunday!

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April 18, 2013

Packing for the Northern Leg
Posted by Victoria Miles

Victoria Miles

Bruno and the Beach: The Beachcombers at 40Just a few short days before the Northern BC tour begins, and I’m planning my packing carefully. Two pairs of shoes, or three? Never mind, a road trip is not about the footwear, it’s about the books you bring along to read on the ride. I have my little stack all set and ready—most being authored by fellow Book Prize nominees. Or course I’m bringing along my brand new copies of Marc Strange and Jackson Davies’ Bruno and the Beach: the Beachcombers at 40. You would, too, if you were an unabashed Beachcomber’s fan and about to spend six days in an SUV with Constable Constable.

Into the Abyss: How a Deadly Plane Crash Changed the Lives of a Pilot, a Politician, a Criminal and a CopAfter that I’ll open Carol Shaben’s Into the Abyss: How a Deadly Plane Crash Changed the Lives of a Pilot, a Politician, a Criminal and a Cop. A few months ago, I tuned in to CBC Radio partway through an interview with Shaban. I had missed all the context, but there was so much wonder in the way she was speaking that I was immediately drawn in, without fully knowing what the subject was about. The book has been acclaimed for its author’s meticulous research and described as equal to, even going beyond, Jon Krakauer’s signature style. That she knew so well of whom she spoke, and still possessed such awe in describing them, is fascinating to me.

If I can get my hands on a copies of Caroline Adderson’s Middle of Nowhere; John Lekich’s The Prisoner of Snowflake Falls; Susin Nielsen’s The Reluctant Journal of Henry K. Larsen or Seraphina by Rachel Hartman those will be coming with me as well. But they asked us to pack light, which may mean foregoing a pair of shoes. Or two.

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April 18, 2013

A Gift in Fort Nelson
Posted by Yasuko Thanh

Yasuko Thanh

A Grade Twelve student – an emerging writer – leads me to her classroom with a manuscript in her hand.  The ideas for this book have been bouncing around her head since the sixth grade, she tells me.  “I don’t know where this piece is going to fit, yet,” she says when I ask her if she’s holding the beginning or an excerpt. 
I’ll be speaking to the English and Communication classes at Fort Nelson Secondary in a moment.  Caroline Adderson, Bryan Pike, and I flew into Fort Nelson this morning from Fort St. John.  I’m excited to be here, but nervous, too.  I wonder how the exercise I’ve chosen to do with the students will go over. 
I give each student a photograph.  In groups of four, they’ll draft a relationship between the character sketches they’ve written.  Yesterday at Dawson Creek Secondary we had magic toasters and cross country chases.  A family saga beginning with a boy’s birth and ending with an old man’s death.  A tractor, a shooting. 
Today we have a guy who wants nothing more than to be a basketball player, who injures his leg, fulfilling his worst fear.  We have a 27 year-old man who’s goal is to get his high school diploma, before his son in tenth grade gets his.
I usually doubt this exercise before I start.  I don’t know why because the results are always impressive. 
Too soon, we have to head back to the airport.  Before leaving the class, though, the emerging writer hands me her manuscript, her email address scrawled in purple pen at the top. Reading for our flight back to Fort St. John

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April 17, 2013

Looking For a Library
Posted by Yasuko Thanh

Yasuko Thanh

Three of us in a car trying to find the Fort St. John Public Library.  We have driven from Dawson Creek, a town an hour away.  It’s 4 pm—the afternoon light still bright this far north—and we’re running late.  The library expects us in fifteen minutes and though we’re fairly confident of where we are, we keep looking at the clock on the dash.  Fifteen minutes. 
Caroline Adderson sits in the back seat: she wears a neatly tailored red wool coat; I notice the way her eyes shine when she looks out the window at the brown landscape mottled with snow because she’s one of my literary heroes.  It’s the first time I’ve met her as well as our driver, Bryan, who looks like an I-Can-Do-Anything-Guy, and he probably can.  We left South Peace Secondary School just under an hour ago where I gave a talk and reading to Grade 10 and 11 students. 
“I think I’ll turn here,” Bryan says at 99th Street.  He says it as if he’s not sure, looking up and down the street before he turns. 
He steers the wheel to the right.  The car bumps over gravel potholes.  “Mmm, I think maybe it’s a hundredth.” Bryan has the gift of hindsight. He’s driven other writers on other tours in other years in Fort Nelson before.  “I think I turned on 100th Street last time.”
We drive not knowing exactly where we’re going.  Not exactly. 
We have a destination in mind.  But the precise road to take is not entirely clear. 
No map.  Just maybe someone’s sense of having been here before. 
And all the while, a clock marks time, reminding us that we don’t have forever. 
Reminds me of my writing process.
 

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April 17, 2013

Day One from the Peace River Leg
Posted by Caroline Adderson

Caroline Adderson

Breathtaking flight up north.

Flying to the Peace

Followed immediately by lunch in the Runway Cafe in the Dawson Creek airport.  Co-passengers confirmed it was THE place to eat in Dawson Creek.  Bryan Pike and Yasuko Thanh agree!

Bryan Pike

Suko Thanh

The tour is perfectly timed.  Much of the snow is gone and the legendary mosquitoes have yet to hatch.  I keep straining to think of the exactly colour of this landscape.

Peace River Valley

Oh, and we did visit a couple of schools to read!

Caroline Adderson at Crescent Park Elementary in Dawson Creek

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April 15, 2013

2013 Tour Begins Tomorrow
Posted by Bryan Pike

Bryan Pike

It’s our 10th year going On Tour, and it all begins tomorrow in Peace Country! After visiting the Peace region for the first time last year, I am very excited to return to the communities of Chetwynd, Dawson Creek, Fort Nelson, Fort St. John, and Hudson’s Hope again this year. We will be in the Peace region from April 16-19 before continuing on to other regions of BC, including Northern BC (April 22-27), Interior BC (April 29 - May 3), and Vancouver Island (April 29 - May 3). Check out the full tour schedule for more details. Our touring authors and I will keep you up-to-date on all the latest news from the tour, so stay tuned to our On Tour blog!

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March 11, 2013

Tour Schedule 2013
Posted by Kristie Poole

From April 16–May 3, a selection of finalist authors will hit the road On Tour, with FREE readings at bookstores, libraries, and schools throughout BC. We will be visiting communities in Peace Country, Northern BC, the Interior (including the Kootenays), and Vancouver Island.

Stay tuned for more information on the confirmed communities. Once the tour is underway, we’ll be posting blog updates, photos and more as the Tour visits a town near you, so make sure to Follow the On Tour Blog.


Peace Country Leg

April 16-19, 2013
Caroline Adderson | Yasuko Thanh
View the full Peace Country tour schedule here

  • Chetwynd
  • Dawson Creek
  • Fort Nelson
  • Fort St. John
  • Hudson’s Hope

Northern BC Leg

April 22-26, 2013
Jackson Davies | Victoria Miles
View the full Northern BC tour schedule here

  • Burns Lake
  • Fort St. James
  • Kitimat
  • Prince George
  • Prince Rupert
  • Smithers
  • Terrace

BC Interior Leg

April 29-May 3, 2013
Stefan Czernecki | Evelyn Lau
View the full BC Interior tour schedule here

  • Castlegar
  • Creston
  • Elkford
  • Fernie
  • Hosmer
  • Nelson
  • Princeton
  • Sparwood
  • Trail

Vancouver Island Leg

April 29-May 3, 2013
Anne Fleming | Alan Woo
View the full Vancouver Island tour schedule here

  • Campbell River
  • Comox
  • Courtenay
  • Ladysmith
  • Nanaimo
  • Parksville
  • Port Alberni

*Schedules subject to change

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May 11, 2012

Welcome to The Southern Tour
Posted by Carey Erickson

Carey Erickson

What a long, arduous, exhilarating, inspiring first two days of the Southern Leg Tour of the BC Book Prizes!  I couldn’t blog last night due to “technical difficulties” so I will try and catch you up on what has been going on with us up here in Kamloops.

We left Vancouver Wednesday morning with bright blue sunny skies and the highway laid out in front of us beckoning us forward.  It was the perfect day for a road trip.  I was so excited to have Dan Bar-el and Susan McCaslin in my car, I had a million questions to ask of them about their novels and writing, but I thought I would wait, at least until we got beyond Hope…

Did I mention it was a bright and beautiful day?  We took our first pit stop in Merritt.  It was very windy… Dan and Susan in Merritt

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May 10, 2012

Only one school left
Posted by Gary Kent

Gary Kent

Six days on the road and 7 elementary schools. And everyone darn one of them as different as can be. An A/V presentation adds an additional level of complication as not every teacher is conversant with the technology and I’m a hopeless klutz. So most presentations come down to the wire. Is there a disaster about to happen and up pops a 9 yr old and takes over?. Whew. Back at the ranch my contact with 9 yr olds is rare and mostly distant but for the past week I have been the focus of attention of up to 60 at a time and everyone one of them touched just a wee bit by the ‘cult of celebrity.’ Once the stampede for autographs begins there is not stopping it and just about every one of them is insistent upon having at least one signature.
The Koonenays afford some spectacular scenery but more interesting to me is, for want of a better expression, the culture. The eastern Kootenays have several communities totally dependent on the coal industry and massive operations in the Elk Valley (Sparwood, Elkwood)) afford a close up view of an industry that many folks, including myself, would rather be somewhere else, say Kazakhstan or Patagonia. But there is a fairly large population of people in the valley who have lived and breathed the financial, and community, benefits of this somewhat unholy operation. The ‘operations’ as they call them are a sight to behold and Bryan has posted some amazing photos of two of the mine sites. An ugliness that very slowly shifts into a certain beauty perhaps. And fairly close to these open pit mines we witnessed an array of wildlife: large herds of elk and deer and a small group of mountain goats that were close enough to us that I was tempted to hop on one and go for a ride. In fact the valley is so abundant in wild life that I was almost yearning for a few more glimpses of domestic herds.
A library event this evening in Fernie, a school tomorrow in Creston and then home. Sure hope I can do this again next year.

Gary

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May 10, 2012

Okanagan and Kootenays - no dromedaries but close
Posted by JJ Lee

JJ Lee

Today, BC Book Prizes CEO and official driver Bryan Pike, children’s author Gary Kent, and I saw on the roadside deer, elk, and big horn sheep. A trifecta. As I bought a copy of The Travels of Marco Polo in Nelson’s Booksmyth, it would have been apropos to see a dromedary - but no such luck.

It made for a fine reward for a long trip road trip through the Okanagan and Kootenays.

Better yet, these last few days, I have met incredible students, teachers, librarians, booksellers and readers.

The work with students at schools such as LV Rogers Secondary in Nelson, Sparwood Secondary in Sparwood, and many more has been gratifying. I can’t thank the students and teachers enough for their hospitality and enthusiasm.

And I’ve found great road/car mates in Bryan and Gary. Gary’s stories of giving up a life as an ethnologist and becoming a fisherman have delighted. And his short graphic novel, Fishing with Gubby, is a beautiful graphic novel.

Plus, did I mention we saw the world’s largest truck. Monster. Note: the mileage is not so good.

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May 07, 2012

Gubby and JJ take wine country by storm
Posted by Gary Kent

Gary Kent

I had the great pleasure of being with Bryan on the northern leg last year and it was an experience I’m not likely to forget, thanks to my wonderful companions Gina McMurchy-Barber and Stephen Collis. The opportunity to travel with Bryan again, this time in the Okanagan was something I could not pass up and the brilliant, funny and indefatigable JJ Lee is my author companion. For goodness sakes I get to travel with someone who ties his own bow ties each morning and will no doubt alter forever my miserable take on things sartorial!  I plan to visit a tailor as soon as I get home.
The gigs, especially the elementary schools are always full of surprises. Cawston, tiny little farm community Cawston, was a wonderful surprise nestled in the stunning Similkameen Valley a stone’s throw from Keromeos. Morning class so had their full attention unlike the lovely little darlings at the Osoyoos Elementary in the afternoon who itched and yawned much of their way through my brilliant offering. A ‘nice’ little touch was the laptop falling from its perch on the desk and knocking over a large container of marbles that spewed forth in every direction. All quite normal and acceptable of course.
And on to Nelson tomorrow morning. Three hours or so through more lovely country and expectations of good music, laughs and fashion tips.
More later,
Gary Kent

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May 04, 2012

JJ Lee: Getting ready for Vernon
Posted by JJ Lee

JJ Lee

As a fashion writer, these things matter - I’ve decided to rely on stripe shirts for my road trip through the Okanagan and the Kootenays. Can’t wait.



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May 03, 2012

Spirit Bears & Tree Climbing
Posted by Caitlyn Vernon

Caitlyn Vernon

On May 2nd I began a tour of schools in the Lower Mainland.  We started at Chief Maquinna Elementary in East Vancouver.  I grew up in East Van and it felt like I was coming home, entering a school not far from my old neighbourhood.  I was pleased to be there, to share stories and photos and talk about my book Nowhere Else on Earth: Standing Tall for the Great Bear Rainforest.  The highlight of school visits, for me, is always the questions from students.  To witness the imagination, the unexpected tangents, the creativity, the interest in this planet that we all call home.  I hope with my book to inspire and spark curiosity in the Great Bear Rainforest and in our own backyards, to encourage readers to pay attention to what is happening around them and to get involved, to know that they can make a difference.  I love to see the looks on students faces when I tell them that barnacles are stuck to the rock with their heads and eat with their feet, or when I tell the story of how a 12 year old mobilized his entire community to protect a forest, or when I ask them to imagine being able to jump 5 times their own height like some microscopic soil creatures are able to do.  Truly this coast is full of wonder, and there are so many things to be amazed by when we stop to look around.  At this particular school, we talked a lot about spirit bears and climbing trees.

In the afternoon I was scheduled to talk with students at Westview Elementary in North Vancouver.  Unfortunately, just as I had set up my presentation in the library, the fire alarm went off!  This was no fire drill, there was actually a fire.  All the children filed out to the gravel playing field and sat down in rows, thankful that the rain had temporarily stopped.  We spent an hour waiting outside, surrounded by no less than 4 firetrucks, 2 ambulances, and 4 police cars.  Fortunately, no one was hurt.  The fire was put out and all the kids safe.  While I was disappointed to not speak with the students, I was left with a sense of huge respect for all the teachers around this province who look after our children with such responsibility and caring.  They do more than just teach curriculum, they are mentors and caregivers and so much more.  Looking back, I can still name the teachers who most touched my life and I am so grateful for all that they offered me. 

We left a copy of my book at the school, and let them know that a curriculum-linked resource guide has been developed, with activities that teachers can use to bring my book into the classroom.  The resource guide can be downloaded for free from the book’s website at http://www.GreatBearRainforest.ca

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May 03, 2012

Northern Tour Comes to a Close
Posted by Bryan Pike

Bryan Pike

Charlotte, Pamela, and I head home today after another amazing tour in Northern BC. We had a wonderful time, as always, and really enjoyed visiting a few new communities including Burns Lake, Fort St. James, Fort Fraser, and Fraser Lake. Thank you to all the communities for welcoming us so warmly! Here are some pictures from our adventure:




On the Way to Prince Rupert
On the Way to Prince Rupert


Pamela with Conrad Elementary Students in Prince Rupert
Pamela with Conrad Elementary Students in Prince Rupert


Charlotte and Pamela at Books & Company in Prince George
Charlotte and Pamela at Books & Company


Integris Credit Union Adopt-a-Library Presentation at Voyageur Elementary in Quesnel
Integris Credit Union Adopt-a-Library Presentation at Voyageur Elementary

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April 26, 2012

Northern Leg Has Begun
Posted by Bryan Pike

Bryan Pike

It’s currently day 2 of the Northern Leg of the tour. Yesterday we enjoyed a wonderful flight up with long-time sponsor Hawkair, and the folks at the Terrace Public Library were excellent hosts for our evening event. Here is Charlotte Gill and Pamela Porter at the event:

Charlotte Gill at the Terrace Public Library

Pamela Porter at the Terrace Public Library

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April 21, 2012

Things I didn’t know about BC
Posted by Frances Greenslade

Frances Greenslade

- that Fort Nelson is the only place among much bigger northern places that appears on globes a few years old (I checked—it’s true)
- that natural gas and dinosaurs go together (ask Bryan Pike; he has a theory)
- that the Cree people live this far west
- that there’s such a thing as an albino moose
- that a cafe in Dawson Creek called Faking Sanity has the best buttermillk biscuits in the world (I tried them and I defy you to find better!)
- that Dawson Creek is mile zero of the Alaska Highway
- that two boys discovered dinosaur footprints in 2000 when they were out hiking near Hudson’s Hope. (I wish I was one of them)
- that the Alaska Highway was built by Americans in response to the bombing of Pearl Harbour
- that the Tumbler Ridge area was once home to over 21 kinds of dinosaurs
- the difference between black spruce and white spruce

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April 20, 2012

Last Day: Peace Country
Posted by Bryan Pike

Bryan Pike

We’re wrapping up the Peace Country Leg today with school readings in Fort St. John.  Here is Frances with some students at North Peace Secondary:

Frances with North Peace Secondary Students

Thank you to all the communities for welcoming us so warmly and to our new Peace Region sponsors for making this trip possible!

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April 19, 2012

Day three in Peace River country
Posted by Frances Greenslade

Frances Greenslade

We’ve been amazed by the landscape on this roadtrip. The drive from Fort St. John to Fort Nelson yesterday (4 hours on the northwest Alaska Highway) took us past huge ridges, snow-topped mountains and spruce forests. Bryan, our driver and executive director of the BC Book Prizes, acted also as deejay. Our Peace soundtrack includes songs from the Magnetic Fields, Pink Martini, Jamie Cullum and k.d. lang’s Hymns from the 49th Parallel, fitting for a northern road trip. In Fort Nelson, we wandered around outside the museum, when two men drove in and invited us in to see the car shed. Our guide was Marl Brown, who turned out to be the founder of the museum. And what a guide. He showed us his collection of antique cars, most of which he’d restored himself. Then he opened up the museum for us and gave us a tour of the collection. It’s the kind of place you could spend hours; it’s crammed with interesting objects and stories, so many stories. I was struck by the collection of local animals: an owl found dead on the highway with the female watching over her dead mate. Marl said he went back a month later and she was still there. And there was an albino moose that a local First Nations man shot; he regretted it instantly, according to Marl, and brought it in to the museum. Today we’re doing the Hudson’s Hope- Chetwynd-Dawson Creek circle tour—an unbelievably beautiful valley. Glad I got to see it.

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April 19, 2012

Back to Dawson Creek
Posted by Bryan Pike

Bryan Pike

Rae and Frances enjoyed meeting the staff and students in the communities of Hudson’s Hope and Chetwynd today. Here is Frances with some of the students at Chetwynd Secondary:

Frances with Chetwynd Secondary Students

We have now visited two of today’s three communities and are on the way back to Dawson Creek where we will visit the nice folks at the Dawson Creek Municipal Library tonight.

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April 18, 2012

On the road to Fort Nelson
Posted by Frances Greenslade

Frances Greenslade

  Because Shelter is set in the Chilcotin-Cariboo, far, but not a world away from Dawson Creek, or any other rural Canadian place for that matter, I asked the students at Dawson Creek High School to write the opening line for a novel set in their community. Some of them said, “Nothing ever happens here. It’s so boring.”
But no place is ever as boring as it might first seem on the surface. The real interest, for writers, is what goes on beneath the surface, the human relationships, what we long for, hate for, cry over; the promises we make and break; or in the things we dream in the miles we cover, passing rolling golden hills and coulees, patches of snow caught in dun-coloured grass and poplars fuzzed with new buds. As soon as someone says “Nothing ever happens here,” I think of novels like Catcher in the Rye, A Complicated Kindness and Monkey Beach where the narrators say the same thing, and then go on to tell complex stories, as rich as anything set in places where everything happens.
And living in a rural place, you tend to forget what it’s like to see it for the first time, like an outsider. Driving just out of town, we crested a hill and a sprawling vista took our breath away. Out came our cameras, madly clicking away. Some students obviously do feel the breadth of the place they live. One starts her novel on a warm summer night, one at the edge of the bush, with the crack of a rifle shot. One boys turns to another and says, “There would have to be zombies.” They both nod.

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April 18, 2012

Off to a Great Start!
Posted by Bryan Pike

Bryan Pike

BC Book Prizes On Tour 2012 is now well under way! The flight up to Dawson Creek with new tour sponsor Central Mountain Air was awesome.

After arriving, we enjoyed visiting schools in Dawson Creek in the afternoon:

Then we headed to the Fort St. John Public Library for an evening event where we met Jay Morrison of Spectra Energy. Thank you to Spectra Energy for making this Peace Country Leg possible!

We’re in Fort Nelson today, with school visits this afternoon and a public event hosted by the Fort Nelson Public Library. If you’re in the Fort Nelson area, stop by and say hi!

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April 16, 2012

2012 Tour Begins Tomorrow!
Posted by Bryan Pike

Bryan Pike

The 9th annual BC Book Prizes On Tour kicks of tomorrow in Peace Country!  This will be our first time visiting Peace Country, and I couldn’t be more excited about visiting a number of communities up there, including Fort St. John, Fort Nelson, and Dawson Creek.  After Peace Country, we will visit our friends, both old and new, in Northern BC, Southern BC, the Okanagan, and Kootenays.  With a total of 35 communities and 11 authors this year, we’re in for a fantastic tour!  Check out this year’s schedule for a public event near you.

Filed under: Peace Country Leg 2012, Northern Leg 2012, Southern Leg 2012, Okanagan Leg 2012, Kootenay Leg 2012 | 0 Comments | Permalink

April 04, 2012

Tour Schedule 2012
Posted by Kristie Poole

From April 17–May 11, a selection of finalist authors will hit the road On Tour, with FREE readings at bookstores, libraries, and schools throughout BC. We will be visiting communities in Peace Country, Northern BC, Okanagan, Kootenays and the Lower Mainland.

Stay tuned for more information on the confirmed communities. Once the tour is underway, we’ll be posting blog updates, photos and more as the Tour visits a town near you, so make sure to Follow the On Tour Blog.


Peace Country Leg

April 17–20, 2012
Frances Greenslade | Rae Maté
View the full Peace Country tour schedule here

  • Chetwynd
  • Dawson Creek
  • Fort Nelson
  • Fort St. John
  • Hudson’s Hope

Northern BC Leg

April 25–May 2, 2012
Charlotte Gill | Pamela Porter
View the full Northern BC tour schedule here

  • Burns Lake
  • Fort Fraser
  • Fort St. James
  • Fraser Lake
  • Kitimat
  • Prince George
  • Prince Rupert
  • Quesnel
  • Smithers
  • Terrace

Southern BC Leg

May 2–11, 2012
Dan Bar-el | Robert Heidbreder | JJ Lee | Susan McCaslin | Caitlyn Vernon
View the full Southern BC tour schedule here

  • Abbotsford
  • Canoe
  • Kamloops
  • New Westminster
  • North Vancouver
  • Salmon Arm
  • Vancouver

Okanagan Leg

May 5–7, 2012
Gary Kent | JJ Lee
View the full Okanagan tour schedule here

  • Cawston
  • Keremeos
  • Oliver
  • Osoyoos
  • Penticton
  • Vernon

Kootenays Leg

May 8–11, 2012
Gary Kent | JJ Lee
View the full Kootenays tour schedule here

  • Canyon
  • Cranbrook
  • Creston
  • Elkford
  • Fernie
  • Nelson
  • Sparwood

 

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April 22, 2011

Lower Mainland Tour
Posted by Sylvia Olsen

Sylvia Olsen

Sorry I haven’t been able to post along the way. I’m having trouble getting onto the blog. I visited many parts for the lower mainland as if for the first time because of the interesting people I met and the wonderful eating places we visited. Kristie was a great driver, host, planner, introducer (didn’t need notes after the first time), and booster for the book prizes.

We braved Vancouver Canucks territory during the playoffs and had some good turnouts. It was wonderful to meet Cowichan knitting enthusiasts carrying their old treasured sweaters and to hear their stories.

Thanks to Meredith and Grant for their readings—what could be better? I got to spend four evenings listening to the best story tellers in the province.

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April 21, 2011

Deep Cove, North Vancouver, and White Rock
Posted by Kristie Poole

The Lower Mainland tour has now come to an end.

Our last two days were spent in Deep Cove, North Van, and White Rock.  We had wonderful receptions in all of these communities, and our public events were very well-attended.  The audiences certainly enjoyed both author presentations and chatting with Sylvia and Grant about their books.

Sylvia at The Edge Bistro in North Vancouver

Grant at White Rock Library

Thanks everyone for coming out!

Sylvia and Grant had a great time visiting the schools in these communities as well.  The kids at Dorothy Lynas Elementary were certainly excited when Sylvia handed out a piece of wool to everyone:

Sylvia demonstrating wool spinning at Dorothy Lynas Elementary in North Vancouver

Meanwhile, the secondary students were captivated by Grant’s hilarious anecdotes:

Grant at Earl Marriott Secondary in South Surrey

You can read about Grant’s experience here.

This tour has been amazing.  In addition to meeting a number of wonderful people, we also explored some new places that some of us had never been to.  We definitely discovered some great places to eat, including Uli’s Restaurant in White Rock.  Here’s Sylvia enjoying the Uli’s experience:

Sylvia at Uli's Restaurant in White Rock

Alas, all good things must come to an end, and so our tour has.  You can check out all our tour photos on our Flickr Photostream.

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April 21, 2011

Last Post
Posted by Derek Lundy

Derek Lundy

And it’s over. We had School and public library events yesterday in Oliver, south of Penticton, and all had good turnouts. It has been an excellent tour. And what could be better than making three new and good friends? The day’s highlight was a stop at Ticklebury’s ice cream joint near Oliver where a “Double” ice cream cone consists of four big scoops stacked up like myocardial-infarction bombs. (Then there’s the “Large.”) George was unusually restrained and ordered a “Children’s,” which has only two such scoops. We haven’t been able to help but notice his proclivity for prodigious food consumption - pretty much anything will do if it isn’t actually moving. George is from Oliver, of course, and, as we walked around, it was truly heartwarming to see so many people come up to him and ask him to repay the loans. Bryan the Boss fell asleep at the wheel only a couple of times, which was a huge improvement. We all feel that Bryan has real potential if he applies himself. Julie’s evening meal included both spaghetti and mashed potatoes, a combination this writer, wise in the ways of the world, has never seen before. And in a final bizarre development, Bryan dropped me off at the Oliver library, where a suspicious librarian wouldn’t hand over the washroom key, and implied that I was a vagrant. I spent two hours there in some discomfort from urinary urgency working on my next book. In the meantime, the Boss and Julie drove down to Osoyoos, visited famous Spotted Lake and other tourist sights and had a helluva good time. Today, as I said before, but it bears repeating, we head back to Vancouver to pick up our winning prizes. So long.

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April 19, 2011

Day ... whatever
Posted by Derek Lundy

Derek Lundy

Dear Blog,

A sign that we’re nearing the end of the tour: can’t remember where we were when I blogged last, or where we were the day before yesterday for that matter.

Yesterday we were in Vernon at the Vernon Secondary School where no kids got thrown out—a first—and then at Gallery Vertigo for, once again, a small but enthusiastic crowd.

Today, we’re paying for our relaxed weekend with schools in Kelowna and Penticton (the name of which George insists on mispronouncing) as well as an evening event at Hooked On Books.

George continues to amaze me (we appear together) with his jazzy improvisations and funny-as-hell riffs. I’m his warm-up act. Bryan the Boss must be tour-drunk because his mental state appears to be deteriorating quite badly to the point where we’ve noticed people on the street staring at him in alarm. Julie continues to be the stable and sensible centre—holding for now.

Tomorrow we go to Oliver (the “wine capital of BC” which George insists is actually an official part of the town’s name). No doubt, he will make hay of this accidental connection in his irresponsible attempts to claim to rooms full of impressionable young people that poets make lots of money. Then, dear Blog, it’s back to Vancouver so we can collect our winning prizes.

Filed under: Okanagan Leg 2011 | 2 Comments | Permalink

April 18, 2011

Fraser Valley
Posted by Meredith Quartermain

Meredith Quartermain

Two great days driving through picturesque Fraser Valley, seeing a little of Steveston and Fort Langley.

Always on top of the day’s plans, Kristie steered us expertly to our destinations. Sylvia and Kristie were awesome travel buddies. We discussed everything from religion to when to have babies.

Best of all I had a wonderful time talking to the students at New Westminster Secondary (the earliest reading I’d ever done at 8:45 am), Robert A McMath Secondary, and R.E. Mountain Secondary.

We visited two libraries as well – Richmond Brighouse Library, where I discovered that independent bookstores like Black Bond are alive and well outside Vancouver – and FVRL, Clearbrook Library which has a thriving poets’ group. Thank you to everyone at BC Book Prizes.

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April 17, 2011

April 17th in Kelowna, BC
Posted by Derek Lundy

Derek Lundy

The Okanagan tour group is now in Kelowna lounging around the hotel or strolling through the city. We have only one gig today at Mosaic Books, but will make up for it Monday and Tuesday with multiple school and evening events.

I’d like to praise BC Book Prizes and its organization which has been flawless and friendly. Bryan the boss is unfailingly helpful, drives extremely well, and maintains his composure in the face of writerly eccentricities, unreasonable demands and invariably faulty, unsolicited driving directions. (Note to self and George: the GPS is always right.) 

Yesterday, we had a good reading / talk at the Salmon Arm library with a modest but lively crowd. I’ve just looked out my window to discover that it is snowing!

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April 16, 2011

Day Three in the Lower Mainland
Posted by Kristie Poole

We are at the end of day three here in the Lower Mainland.  Yesterday was an amazing day, and we met a lot of wonderful people.  Visiting Lord Kelvin Elementary in New Westminster was certainly a highlight, as Sylvia mentioned.

Today Sylvia took part in Lit Fest New West alongside Morris Bates and Steven Galloway.  All three gave fabulous presentations to a wonderful audience.  Thank you to the Arts Council of New Westminster for inviting us to participate!

Sylvia and I have the next two days off from touring, but will be back on the road on Tuesday with Grant Lawrence.  I’m looking forward to it!

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April 16, 2011

First Day
Posted by Derek Lundy

Derek Lundy

It’s a crapshoot when four total strangers pile into a van one early morning for a 4 hour drive over the mountains with five more close-quarters days to go. Who knows what bores, whiners or crazies you might end up with. But of course, my tour partners (George and Julie, and Bryan the boss) turn out to be charming, kind, interesting, splendid people.

A good day at South Kamloops Secondary School where the kids asked good questions and only one got marched off to the vice-principal’s office for undisclosed crimes, and the library with an excellent turnout and discussion.

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April 16, 2011

Sylvia checking in
Posted by Sylvia Olsen

Sylvia Olsen

I’ve had two great days on tour with Kristie and Meredith. Thank you BC Book Prizes, the sponsors and the hosts.

We were at a school in New Westminster that has no funds or opportunities to have author visits. The kids’ attention and participation and the staff’s appreciation was wonderful to experience. The Prizes tour gave those children an important gift.

The people in Abbotsford had to make a choice Friday evening—an exciting BC Book Prize reading or the Canucks’ game. Tough decision. 

Kristie, Meredith and I were always in the right place at the right time thanks to Kristie’s remarkable planning skills and to the help of the trusty little Englishman who resides mysteriously in her GPS. It was like flying—I had to suspend my muddled effort to understand and give way to the magic of what, to me, is incomprehensible. Amazing!

Filed under: Lower Mainland Leg 2011 | 1 Comments | Permalink

April 15, 2011

Great turnout in Kamloops
Posted by Bryan Pike

Bryan Pike

We finished the first day of the Okanagan Leg of the tour.

We read at two schools and the Library. It was great to see such a large and interested group turn out. One lady even skipped work to come.

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April 15, 2011

New Westminster and Richmond
Posted by Kristie Poole

Sylvia, Meredith, and I had a lovely first day with readings in New Westminster and Richmond.  The rainy weather did not dampen our spirits, as we were warmly received in these two communities.  We even had the opportunity to enjoy charming Steveston Village between presentations.  Tomorrow we will continue our adventure by heading east to Langley and Abbotsford.  I can’t wait!

Filed under: Lower Mainland Leg 2011 | 0 Comments | Permalink

April 14, 2011

Northern Tour drawing to a close
Posted by Gary Kent

Gary Kent

A terrific week on the northern tour with Gina, Stephan and our intrepid driver and guide Bryan. The elementary schools were gracious and generous and special kudos to Uplands in Terrrace and Roy Wilcox in Kitimat. The Kitimat Public Library supplied us with a large and very receptive staff and audience. A wonderful ending to our tour.

This was an unforgettable experience for a guy that would never have predicted that there would be a published book based on my fishing career. Life includes many wonderful shifts and changes and it seems that saying “yes” is very much part of the equation. So many many thanks to Bryan and Rebus Creative for this opportunity to spend a week with some wonderful people.

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April 14, 2011

So long, and thanks for the fish
Posted by Stephen Collis

Stephen Collis

I’d just like to echo Gina’s enthusiasm for our day in Kitimat.

Thanks to Sam Robinson (64 years carving—what an example of dedication to one’s art), to Dave Durrant, English teacher at Mount Elizabeth (we went to elementary school together in Victoria), to Al Fleishman at Caledonia (in Terrace—I taught his son Al at SFU), to everyone at the Kitimat Public Library, the Haisla Nation, and all the kids in the high schools.

This has been a great week.

Last of all, thanks to Bryan Pike for making it all possible—driver, handler, roadie, raconteur and bon vivant. I’m going to go home and sleep now. So long.

Filed under: Northern Leg 2011 | 1 Comments | Permalink

April 14, 2011

A New All Time High
Posted by Gina McMurchy-Barber

Gina McMurchy-Barber

I couldn’t wait until the morning to write this…it has been the best day ever! Everything was just perfect—thanks Bryan.

At our first school, Uplands Elementary in Terrace, the staff were so appreciative and the kids attentive and respectful. I could tell when we walked through the front door that things were going to go well when two students graciously introduced themselves and led us to our presentation rooms.

After a wonderful morning we drove down to Kitimat, a town with the most amazing views of forests and inlet. We presented to another very appreciative group of teachers and students at Roy Wilcox Elementary. I even got a hug from the librarian, Lucy, on my way out. On top of that, the school presented Gary and me with lovely travel mugs with First Nations motifs.

But that wasn’t all. We then had time to check out the town. Over at Kitimaat Village I had no idea we were going to meet Sam Robinson, a highly respected and accomplished artist and Chief of Chiefs. He generously took time out of his work to invite us into his workroom where we saw some silver and gold jewelery he’s in the midst of creating. As beautiful as they were, it was the amazing wood carvings that blew me away. The pieces on his wall were mostly yellow cedar and these dramatic images were inlaid with colourful shell (might have been mother of pearl, mussels or some other kind of shell)—whatever it was, it was beautiful set into the eyes and mouths of the stunning creatures.

We finished the day at the Kitimat Library. We were so warmly welcomed by the staff, who provided an amazing spread of goodies for us and the attendees. It was also a great turn out from members of the public. There was even one young girl who had sat through my presentation at the school earlier, who came to listen again and buy my book. Thank you Terrace and Kitimat for a completely enjoyable and memorable final day of our tour of the North.

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April 13, 2011

Lower Mainland Tour About to Begin!
Posted by Kristie Poole

Tomorrow marks the first day of the Lower Mainland Leg of the BC Book Prizes On Tour 2011.  As the Tour Driver for this leg, I am really excited! 

I have been reading about the adventures of the authors up North and can’t wait to get on the road with Meredith Quartermain and Sylvia Olsen tomorrow.  We will be visiting the communities of New Westminster, Richmond, Langley, and Abbotsford over the next two days.  On Saturday, Sylvia will be joined by Morris Bates and Steven Galloway at Lit Fest New West.

Next week Grant Lawrence will join Sylvia and me to wrap up the tour with readings in Deep Cove, North Vancouver, South Surrey, and White Rock. Come out and meet our authors at one of the five public events!

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April 13, 2011

Our Last Kick at the Can
Posted by Gina McMurchy-Barber

Gina McMurchy-Barber

We drive by night and present by day…such is the life of the author. Okay, maybe a little dramatic, but we have been very busy.

For all the work this tour has been it was made completely delightful by the three gentlemen I’ve been traveling with. They’re all great story tellers, passionate about music, very considerate (me being the only female on the trip) and they all have great humour and we’re laughing almost all the time.

We’re here in Terrace and it’s our last day for presentations. We have schools here to do this morning and then down to Kitimat for afternoon school presentations and the library. This is my first efforts and being a blogger and I don’t know if I’m hooked on it, but I’m glad I’ve now tried it and know how! Here’s to one last good day.

Filed under: Northern Leg 2011 | 1 Comments | Permalink

April 12, 2011

The Kids are Alright
Posted by Stephen Collis

Stephen Collis

Yesterday was the marathon: readings at schools in Prince George in the morning, then in Quesnel in the afternoon, followed by the Quesnel Library in the evening. I think we held up pretty good—certainly Gina and Gary had their audience enthralled at the library—THEY don’t seem to be tiring!

I’m enjoying the schools most of all. The kids have been amazing, listening to all the noise and chaos I’m offering, the cranky poems about the death-grip we have on this planet, and asking great questions. Two at least have identified themselves as poets (they wore fedoras, like me—was there a memo? Is this the uniform now?), and I read one of their poems—Nick, at Quesnel Secondary—aloud to the class. It cooked. I hope they stay in touch.

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April 11, 2011

Having a great time
Posted by Gina McMurchy-Barber

Gina McMurchy-Barber

It’s the end of day four of our tour and even the rain hasn’t put a damper on this wonderful experience. It’s so beautiful up here in the north and we’ve met so many people who are both warm and enthusiastic.

Some of the highlights for me so far include our presentation at the museum in Prince Rupert Friday evening, stopping at ‘Ksan village on Saturday, and getting a great turn out of teachers and students at the Books & Company reading last night.

The museum is styled like a longhouse and the first thing I noticed upon entering was the scent of cedar. It was serene and beautiful inside. But the best part was the room where we held our reading. It overlooked the bay and had an unusual three piece totem. As for ‘Ksan, I’ve wanted to visit this place ever since I first read about it nearly twenty years ago. Unfortunately it was closed, but we were still able to walk around the outside and admire all the buildings and totems.

Today was a nice slow day here in Prince George and I even got to sleep in…or rather I thought I was sleeping in. After what felt like a really long and self-indulgent sleep I got up to discover it was only 8:00 a.m. Tomorrow we’ve got two schools and an evening presentation in Quesnel.

Filed under: Northern Leg 2011 | 1 Comments | Permalink

April 10, 2011

Exquisite Flogging
Posted by Gary Kent

Gary Kent

As Schroeder would say, “you are about to be flogged through the fleet” when I informed him that I was about to head north.

Three days later I haven’t been flogged yet but after a 6 hour drive from Terrace a mix of exhaustion and anxiety set in before our presentation at Books and Company. However as always the anxiety was a poignant signal that all would be well and that Stephen, Gina and I would sparkle away in front of about 30 folks of all ages who were there to accept anything we gave them.

Stephan was a touch worried that his ‘weird’ poetry might send the children into an altered state and Gina was a wee bit concerned that Ruby’s plight at Woodlands Elementary might be excessively heartrending. I was in a perfect spot to watch the children and they and everyone else were totally immersed in the proceedings. Ruby’s story (I have only heard part of the first chapter or so) is evocative on many levels and Gina’s reading is terrific. I can’t get enough of Stephan’s poetry and superb reading.

There is a groupie or two wherever we go and yes Gub and Puss have a nice little following as well. When I asked whether I should have left Gubby’s pants off during the basking shark incident one little risk averse fellow said a resounding ‘no’. I suspect that he is a spy for the BC Ferries nudity patrol.

Filed under: Northern Leg 2011 | 0 Comments | Permalink

April 10, 2011

Eagle Returns
Posted by Stephen Collis

Stephen Collis

Arrived in Prince George full of sound and fury (but really just getting tired now).

What sticks in my mind at this point is something that happened in Prince Rupert. I read a poem called “The End of Flight,” which tells the (true!) story of a strange incident: while building a playhouse in my back yard (with fellow poet Jordan Scott), an eagle fell from the sky and landed dead at our feet (omen, anyone?). In Rupert, at the Museum of the North, I was reading this poem with my back to large windows overlooking the harbour. I’m told that as I did so, an eagle flew into view behind me, circled, and then, catching a thermal, spiralled up out of sight. So I guess that eagle is back. Thanks Prince Rupert.

I’m blogging for the first time on this trip. Not sure about this! My wife, however, is the real blogger: check her out (shameless plug, I know, but how else to make up for being away for a week!).

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April 10, 2011

If it’s Saturday We Must Be In Prince George
Posted by Bryan Pike

Bryan Pike

We had an excellent reading at Books and Company last night here in Prince George. There was a big group out to see the authors including lots of kids. The book store sold out of books and I had to give them some of the books we had with us to keep up the demand. We have a day off today and will start again tomorrow visiting school here in Prince George before heading off to Quesnel in the afternoon.

Filed under: Northern Leg 2011 | 1 Comments | Permalink

April 08, 2011

Too Much Hot Chocolate
Posted by Gina McMurchy-Barber

Gina McMurchy-Barber

I’m having a wonderful time here in Prince Rupert….even if it’s cold, raining and I’m on my third mug of hot chocolate. I’ve just come from a presentation at a great school called Lax Kxeen and the 100 or so students were a wonderful audience. One boy even said I was “cool”. You gotta feel good with that kind of compliment. 

Tonight we’re doing a reading at the museum here. It’s a beautiful building and looks like a traditional First Nations longhouse. The two authors I’m with, Gary Kent and Stephen Collis are great travelling partners. I’m learning lots about fishing from Gary (he wrote a picture book called Fishing with Gubby) and getting really ticked off about the tar sands, oil companies and our over consuming society from Stephen (his book of poetry is called On the Material).

Filed under: Northern Leg 2011 | 2 Comments | Permalink

April 08, 2011

Roaring into Rupert
Posted by Stephen Collis

Stephen Collis

Loving Prince Rupert: it’s like Tofino, minus the rich people. Read at Charles Hays Secondary School—great audience (thanks guys). Best question of the day: ever write a break-up poem? You bet I have! (But it’s been a while, that’s for sure.) I even tried to read it, from memory. I’m sorry about that. Back to railing against oil and mining companies for me!

Filed under: Northern Leg 2011 | 2 Comments | Permalink

April 08, 2011

Elementary fun
Posted by Gary Kent

Gary Kent

Three gigs so far from Terrace to Prince Rupert. Buckets of clean and crisp Rupert rain. I was up first at Lax Kxeen Elementary with a fine bunch of 8 year-olds of potential gubsters. Gina’s crowd of 80 totally devoted students were a real pleasure to behold and Stephen over at the secondary school wrapped willing teenagers in his beautifully crafted poems. Next up the Museum of Northern BC.

Filed under: Northern Leg 2011 | 1 Comments | Permalink

April 08, 2011

First reading in Terrace
Posted by Bryan Pike

Bryan Pike

We had a great flight up from Vancover. Our first reading of the tour was tonight here in Terrace for a nice group. We are all looking forward to the drive to Prince Rupert in the morning.

Filed under: Northern Leg 2011 | 0 Comments | Permalink

March 29, 2011

One Week Away from 2011 Tour
Posted by Bryan Pike

Bryan Pike

I can’t believe that I leave in just over a week for the 8th annual BC Book Prizes On Tour. I have had the pleasure of being the Tour Driver/Director every year and I thoroughly enjoy it. Getting to know new authors every year, exploring the province, and sharing reading, writing and literacy with communities and schools; nothing beats it.

This year we’re excited to return to Salmon Arm in the Sushwap. We visited schools there several years ago, but will be having an afternoon event at the public library on Saturday, April 16. I’m looking forward to meeting the people of Salmon Arm and exploring the town after the event. Let us know the best spot to have dinner!

bc book tour 2010 126

I also have some favourite things to do each year, especially when the authors haven’t travelled within BC extensively. The event at the Museum of Northern BC in Prince Rupert is stunning. The museum staff make us feel so welcome and we present in this gorgeous room with tall totems and floor-to-ceiling windows. The view and the sunset from that room is breathtaking.

Museum of Northern BC

Another highlight is the drive between Smithers and Prince Rupert on the Yellowhead Highway. The Skeena River, Coast Mountains, and northwest Native culture are all incredible sights on this journey. It may seem like a long drive to be stuck in the car with relative strangers, but it is actually these long drives that strengthen our new friendships.

bc book tour 2010 135

So, to close, I hope to see you all at the Soirée on April 5th, and I’ll be headed out on the Northern Leg bright and early on Thursday morning (April 7).

Filed under: Northern Leg 2011, Okanagan Leg 2011, Lower Mainland Leg 2011 | 0 Comments | Permalink

March 10, 2011

Tour Schedule 2011
Posted by Monica Miller

Monica Miller

From April 7–20, 2011 a selection of finalist authors will hit the road On Tour, with FREE readings at bookstores, libraries and schools throughout BC.

Although the tour is over, we posting blog updates, photos and more as the authors visited the province. Make sure to Check out the On Tour Author Blog


Northern Leg

April 7-13, 2011
Stephen Collis | Gary Kent | Gina McMurchy-Barber
View the full schedule for the Northern Leg

  • Kitimat
  • Prince George
  • Prince Rupert
  • Quesnel
  • Smithers
  • Terrace


Okanagan Leg

April 15-20, 2011
George Bowering | Julie Flett | Derek Lundy
View the full schedule for the Okanagan Leg

  • Kamloops
  • Kelowna
  • Oliver
  • Penticton
  • Salmon Arm
  • Vernon


Lower Mainland Leg

April 16-20, 2011
Grant Lawrence | Sylvia Olsen | Meredith Quartermain
View the full schedule for the Lower Mainland Leg

  • Abbotsford
  • New Westminster
  • North Vancouver
  • Richmond
  • White Rock


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April 27, 2010

Final Photos from the Southern Tour
Posted by Tim Carlson

Tim Carlson

We had a great last few days in Southern BC and here are some lovely photos. To view all our photos, visit the BC Book Prizes Flickr Photostream. It’s been organized into albums and we’ll soon be posting Gala photos.

Oliver
Sylvia reads from Counting on Hope at the Oliver Public Library

Osoyoos
Myself (Tim), Fred and Sylvia enjoy the Osoyoos view after an excellent dinner at Passa Tempo restaurant, Nk’mip Winery.

BC Book Prizes South Tour
Fred signs a copy of is a door for a fan at Cafe West Books in Rossland.

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April 24, 2010

Final tour days & Gala tonight
Posted by Fred Wah

Fred Wah

So I’m in Victoria today, Saturday, after finishing off schools and readings in Osoyoos, Oliver, and Sidney.
I have found a new enthusiasm for talking with 14-yr olds. How out of touch I’ve become from those teen years that, finally, spurred my own poetic investigations and diatribes.
My book, is a door, leans much on my interest in hybridity and senses of “betweeness.” Talking about difference, identity, marginalization with the students has been surprising and interesting. Of course many of them are at that crucial turn in life when identity first offers its confusions.
The teachers, those brave educators who work in the trenches (not towers), have been likewise open and caring about the social, and more aware than I about issues of difference and confidence.
Traveling with Sylvia Olsen, whose life on a reserve informs all of her books on the interface between aboriginality and whiteness, has been an incredible pleasure. Tim Carlson and I have listened throughout the long trip to some amazing and informative stories about her life as a “white Indian.” In fact, our conversations have been so central to our trip that Tim didn’t dip into his box of cd’s he so thoughtfully put together.
So, again, the great thing about the BC Book Prizes has been the school visits. Since BC doesn’t have a “writers in the schools” program, this tour has been, I think, the most useful and productive aspect of the Prizes. I hope it grows (without the bed bugs).

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April 23, 2010

Final Leg
Posted by Fiona Bayrock

Fiona Bayrock

The week has flown by. We leave shortly on the final leg of our tour. We’re bound for Sydney where we’ll meet up with Sylvia Olsen and Fred Wah (and Tim!) of the Southern Leg.  Fred and Ehor will give presentations at the high school while Sylvia and I visit Sidney Elementary to talk with the younger set. I’m hoping we arrive in time for me to catch some of Sylvia’s presentation, as I particularly enjoyed her book Counting on Hope and would love to hear more about her approach to writing it and how she made her interesting format choices.  It looks like another gorgeous Island weather day today.

Filed under: Okanagan / Vancouver Island Leg 2010 | 0 Comments | Permalink

April 22, 2010

What does it mean?
Posted by Fiona Bayrock

Fiona Bayrock

As I sit in the hotel lobby for a few minutes before heading off to our public readings at the Vancouver Island University Book Store, my mind turns to the whirlwind that makes up the last few days. For me that has included eight presentations to more than 650 students, plus two public book store/library readings, and some lovely downtime along the way—-leisurely meals at funky eateries, ammonite shopping in Courtenay, and feet-up on a piece of driftwood on the Comox spit, soaking up the sunshine and salt air in the company of a happy seagull or two. Man, we live in a beautiful province!

Wherever we go, the teachers, librarians, and book store owners all tell us the same thing, and with a genuineness and intensity that is palpable: they are so very grateful that the BC Book Prizes tour has brought an author to their community to visit with students and patrons. Time and again we’ve heard stories about how valuable an experience it is to have personal contact with a “real live author”,  how meaningful and inspiring it is to hear the stories of our writing processes and writing life, the successes, the challenges, effort and perseverance it takes to create the works we do. As Mari at the Courtenay Library said, “The impact is huge.” And yet, I was the first author many of the kids I talked to had ever seen. Hearing our hosts talk about the importance of these personal connections, I am extremely humbled and grateful to be part of the BC Book Prizes tour this year.

Filed under: Okanagan / Vancouver Island Leg 2010 | 1 Comments | Permalink

April 22, 2010

Jelly Doughnut
Posted by Fred Wah

Fred Wah

120 Grade 8’s in Creston and we’re talking about hybridity and betweeness (the “theme” for both Sylvia Olsen and I on this southern tour) and I ponder about the opposite of “apple” (red on the outside and white on the inside) and a few minutes later a young girl jumps up an yells out “Jelly Doughnut.”
Beautiful warm day driving to Cranbrook. In fact, the whole week has been summer weather. A good high school group of Comm. and English 10, but it was last class in the day and they were tired. The reading at the library in the evening was poorly attended which is disappointing considering the 3-hour drive back to Nelson after the reading. But the half-dozen who came were good listeners.
Another early morning today with a 1 1/2 hr drive to Grand Forks. I had quite a good class of 8’s and 11’s and they were fairly responsive to issues around race and identity.
On to Osoyoos and a bit of a break and a warm afternoon. Tim, Sylvia, and I had a wonderful meal and some BC wine at Nk’mip and then drove a few minutes north to Oliver for a well-attended event at the library. An engaged crowd of several book groups and a solid library support group.
We checked into the Canucks-Kings 3rd period in a local bar (yahoo!) before driving back down the lake to the Coast Osoyoos Beach Hotel.
Tomorrow some schools in Osoyoos and Oliver and then on to Sidney,

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April 21, 2010

Tuesday
Posted by Sylvia Olsen

Sylvia Olsen

Olsen fans in Creston

Fifteen hours is a long time to spend on the road even if you are with wonderful men like Tim and Fred. Great conversation. The girls at A.R.E.S. (above) were disappointed that Tim was too old and too taken but they thought he looked “very Vancouver” and that was exciting for Creston. The schools have filled the house with two or three classes of grades 5-7. I am having a good time telling stories and talking about books. The kids and teachers at Adam Robertson Elementary in Creston and Steeples Elementary in Cranbrook want to say “thanks” to the Book Prizes for sending an author to the Kootenays. On Monday I was able to visit Sono Nis’, my publisher, awesome location in Winlaw (just out of Nelson) for the first time—no wonder Diane loves the Slocan Valley.

Filed under: Southern Leg 2010 | 2 Comments | Permalink

April 21, 2010

Monday
Posted by Sylvia Olsen

Sylvia Olsen

Started early, ended late and had a great day—the Kootenays are beautiful. Thanks to Tim, the driver, and Fred, the navigator, I got from Nelson to Trail to Rossland and back to Nelson with no effort on my part—it was wonderful. Today was a special day for me because I got to visit my publisher, Sono Nis. Thanks to Diane Morris who picked me up and brought me to her beautiful location in Winlaw. Thanks BC Book Prizes, this tour is a privilege.
Sylvia Olsen

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April 21, 2010

The odyssey begins
Posted by Ehor Boyanowsky

Ehor Boyanowsky

After a weekend staining logs of the cabin Cristina Martini and I are building at Nighthawk, our little ranch property at Basque on the Thompson River, C drove me to Kelowna and then, poor thing, had to drive the home leg to Horseshoe Bay herself (well, actually accompanied by our English Setter, Thompson S Hunter). I hooked up with Bryan and Fiona the next morning and had one of the busiest days of my recent life: four presentations beginning with criminal psychology, followed by two presentations on the book during which I tried to explain how a psychologist ended up writing a book about a poet, fishing, the philosophy of creativity, conservation and the wilderness. For me, the highlight was the poem at Pentiction SS I got 15 year old Amayla Black to read on spousal abuse. It was amazingly poignant. She demurely informed me she had already published three.

Fiona and Bryan are such great company that it made the whole first day’s itinerary flow seamlessly. The epicurean highlight was a delicious early meal of perogies with wild boar proscuitto and Nichols pinot gris at the Heritage House in Naramata where a very forthcoming host by name of Quentin Cane regaled us with stories of the halcyon days of the grand old manor in the Edwardian era of garden parties and regattas. Highly recommended if you are in the area.

Today was a challenge as I was presenting to grade eights and nines in Princeton but kept them listening by drawing parallels between Ted Hughes’s cold blooded raptors who “in sleep, rehearse perfect kills and eat” (I pointed out how that poem fragment in seven words can be a complete bio or characterization) and human predators who through sensitive disposition and early trauma and most of all isolation from positive paternal influences become obsessed with killing humans. The little ghouls loved it, many, to my surprise having seen Psycho and the Texas Chain Saw Massacre, etc, inspired by the most horrendous cases. I emphasized how important it was to reach out if someone seemed especially isolated or if they themselves, were. Then we cruised downhill and ferried to Nanaimo with no duties but to track down a pub, The Old Station, and watch Steve Nash and the Suns pummel the Blazers, and to bed to sleep, perchance to dream - not of axe murderers or even hawks who begin to eat their prey without bothering to kill them, but of idyllic rivers teeming with steelhead.   

Filed under: Okanagan / Vancouver Island Leg 2010 | 0 Comments | Permalink

April 21, 2010

And we’re off!
Posted by Fiona Bayrock

Fiona Bayrock

Two days into our tour and Ehor, Bryan, and I appear to be bloggers MIA.  But we’re not, really we aren’t. Factor in a travel day and a day of internet access issues and here we are at last!

While Ehor headed off to the high school on Monday, my first official BC Book Prizes tour day began with me visiting 100 K-3 students at Dorothea Walker Elementary School in Kelowna. What a welcome!  The classes arrived at the library with otters and frogs and whales and fish—-artwork from Bubble Homes and Fish Farts

Dorothea Walker Kelowna Apr19

Each class had made something different with illustrator Carolyn Conahan’s line drawings. The kids grinned from ear-to-ear as they showed off their masks, medallions, and two styles of animal hats. Too cool.  I grinned right back.

A quick trip along the highway—-and a few heart palpitations on Bryan’s part as we were delayed for 15 minutes at a dead stop due to construction—-found us at Penticton schools for the afternoon. A big shoutout to Wiltse Elementary! 

Since we had plenty of time before our public gig at Hooked on Books, a lovely little book store on Main Street, Penticton right next door to Fibonacci’s, home of the biggest latte cups I’d ever seen, we thought we’d stop en route for a

wine-tasting

official visit to the Red Rooster Winery, one of the adopt-a-library sponsors. 

Red Rooster Winery Tasting Apr19

After

tasting five lovely wines a very serious photo-op, we were on our way Rieslings and Syrahs in hand

.
Kudos to Hooked on Books for hosting our evening event even though they’ve been open for only a few months.  A terrific first touring day.  Can’t wait to see what tomorrow brings.

(Thanks to Bryan for the photos!)

Filed under: Okanagan / Vancouver Island Leg 2010 | 2 Comments | Permalink

April 20, 2010

Nelson to Cranbrook
Posted by Fred Wah

Fred Wah

BC Book Prizes South Tour

Yesterday we did Nelson high school, Trail schools, and Rossland reading in the evening. I had a great time in the high schools as both Trail and Nelson are “home” cities for me. Lots of memories, meeting former students, touching down on familiar geography. Tim and I did a Collander spaghetti dinner in Trail and then we read to a small crowd in Rossland before driving back to Nelson. Today will be another long day since we have to drive back to Nelson after an evening reading in Cranbrook. But, once again, the Koots is a great place to be and the weather has been warm summer temperatures. Interesting how high school students have discovered the word “cool!”.

Filed under: Southern Leg 2010 | 0 Comments | Permalink

April 20, 2010

Nelson, BC
Posted by Sylvia Olsen

Sylvia Olsen

Started early, ended late and had a great day—the Kootenays are beautiful. Thanks to Tim, the driver, and Fred, the navigator, I got from Nelson to Trail to Rossland and back to Nelson with no effort on my part—it was wonderful. Today was a special day for me because I got to visit my publisher, Sono Nis. Thanks to Diane Morris who picked me up and brought me to her beautiful location in Winlaw. Thanks BC Book Prizes, this tour is a privilege.
Sylvia Olsen

Filed under: Southern Leg 2010 | 0 Comments | Permalink

April 19, 2010

Goodbye Northern BC… until next year!
Posted by Bryan Pike

Bryan Pike

Saturday marked our final event for the Northern Leg of the 2010 Tour. Here are some photos from the past few days on the Northern tour:

with Margaret Olmstead of Bulkley Valley Credit Union
Adopt-A-Library cheque presentation with Margaret Olmstead of Bulkley Valley Credit Union. This year, Bulkley Valley Credit Union has adopted Lake Kathlyn Elementary School in Smithers.

Riverview Elementary
Kari-Lynn and Kristin at Riverview Elementary (Quesnel) with students Sheldon Cameron, Kyle Cheng, Alexis MacDonald, Keyanna Hawkridge, Corey Roberts and Shaylin Carifelle.

Tracy at the Quesnel Library
Kristin and Tracy from the Quesnel Public Library. Showing off a lovely in-flight magazine from Hawkair (a tour sponsor).

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April 19, 2010

A Tour that Widens Worlds: Saying Goodbye.
Posted by Kari-Lynn Winters

Kari-Lynn Winters

The hardest part of any tour is when it’s time to say goodbye.
But then, change is inevitable, isn’t it?
The universe widens when you meet new people and travel to new places. 
Experiences such as these offer opportunities to observe and be a part of something bigger than yourself.
Here are some of the tour highlights that widened my world:

  • Chats with Cathleen With on the flight to Terrace: As some of you know, Cathleen and I went to school together in the creative writing department at UBC (in Alison Acheson’s class). It was wonderful to re-connect. And Hawk Air is the best airline—they still feed you lunch!
  • Being taken care of in Terrace and then later in Prince George: Special thanks to the Coast Hotels.
  • Returning to the Terrace Art Gallery: Cheers to the knowledgeable librarians (including Jess), to local zinester, Erika and to Anne from Misty River Books.  I wrote about this gallery space in my dissertation, Authorship as Assemblage (available online at http://kariwinters.com/academic) so it was intriguing to return.
  • An afternoon with Sammy Robinson: Hearing about his creative process and seeing his incredible and secret work space are memories that I hope I never forget.
  • Eating at Sea Masters while watching the sea lions play.
  • Van rides: Cathleen, Michael, Kristin, Bryan, you guys ARE a rowdy group.  I laughed until my stomach ached.  I loved our joyrides.  Thanks to National Car rental for making this possible. While traveling, we saw wildlife too (though we never stopped)—eagles, a coyote, and even a spirit bear!
  • The Skeena Bakery and Rob’s Restaurant in Hazelton. Yummy!
  • Discovering that many schools are being closed in BC—incredible, well run schools:  I had heard about these closures, but thought that they were old schools that needed a lot of work (e.g., new roofs, more modern interiors, etc.), boy was I wrong!  Modern and well-run chools like South Hazelton are being closed all over the province.
  • Chats with Melanie and the others at the Learning Shop: I love how you are working to better the community, working with the youth of Hazelton and helping them to make a difference.
  • Reading our books in special (and sometimes even magical spaces) like the Kitimat Library,  The Museum of Northern BC, Books and Company, and in many of the northern schools and libraries.
  • Meeting Susan Juby’s mom in Smithers: Susan Juby was one of my writing teachers.  It was great to meet her mom.
  • Walking around Quesnel:  What a quaint and incredible community you have!
  • Discovering that people all over the province just want to have fun: Thanks to all of you who wore a hat and joined the performance.
  • Meeting life-long pals: It is wonderful to know that,  all the mountains and rivers in the world cannot separate my new friends—whose hearts, for a moment in time, beat together as one.

Thanks to everyone involved, who helped make this tour happen.  My world is newly widened.

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April 19, 2010

Sunday Vancouver to Nelson
Posted by Fred Wah

Fred Wah

Tim, Sylvia, and I had a pleasant and conversational 8-hour drive to Nelson. Great weather and nice to in the Okanagan/Kootenays. Got in just before the reading on the 2nd floor of the Canadian Legion, the site of an alternative high school. The library across the street is being renovated so the switch to the Legion (where I remember playing a dance with the Kampus Kings in the 50’s). A fair crowd for a Sunday evening; a lot of friends and familiar faces for me. We returned to the Prestige hotel for a late meal and to get ready for some long days ahead in Trail, Rossland, Creston, Cranbrook, Grand Forks, and on.

BC Book Prizes South tour

Filed under: Southern Leg 2010 | 2 Comments | Permalink

April 17, 2010

ON TOUR: BC Book Prizes Northern Leg
Posted by Cathleen With

Cathleen With

We have met so many amazing kids from Kitimaat all the way to Quesnel. Everyone has interesting questions and thoughts to share. Shout outs to Roberta Morris and Arzinelly Cometa at Smithers Secondary who are studying hard for their provincials. And what a pleasure it was to meet Savannah Taylor who lived in Inuvik the same time I did and who remembered the dogs from the dog-sledding team. Duchess Park in Prince George was beautiful: all pine tree-hued blue wood, lovely library, theatre, gym. The walls reminded me of the Richmond Oval and I wondered if y’all thought the same if you watched speed-skating. Go BC and blue-hued pine! The students were intense:) Extremely intelligent questions: I felt like I was in university—did I hear the word “discourse?” Michael and i could have spent a good three hours chatting with many of the students. Shout out to Nicole Jerick who has published with The Claremont Review, can’t wait to get the copy. Then onward to Quesnel Junior High, a grade 8/9 school. We knew right away when we walked into the arty painted locker-ed halls that this was a school with creativity a-buzz. The students were friendly and gathered in a circle of chairs or on the floor in front of us. What a warmth was in the room: sun beaming through the library solarium and students eager to tell us about their work. And what an incredible amount of ideas and writing and art and poems. I can’t wait to see the collaborative zine. And the Theatre Riot…shhhh….I know you can do it:)

Filed under: Northern Leg 2010 | 1 Comments | Permalink

April 17, 2010

A Cut Above
Posted by Kari-Lynn Winters

Kari-Lynn Winters

If you were a knife,
And I were the plate,
I’d say you were a cut above,
You were first rate!

I adored the energy of the audiences in Quesnel and the enthusiasm that you have for stories and books!
Thank you.

Filed under: Northern Leg 2010 | 0 Comments | Permalink

April 17, 2010

If It’s Friday, It Must Be Quesnel
Posted by Kristin Butcher

Kristin Butcher

Friday began with super classroom visits in Prince George, and then we were off to Quesnel. We lunched at this funky little restaurant called Granville’s and then we headed into the schools again. Comparing notes afterwards, we all think we had the best groups of kids. That says a lot for the young people in the northern part of the province. To find a place for supper, we ended up stopping people on the street, and were directed to a wonderful Italian restaurant (I can see the sign, but I can’t remember the name.) It was fantastic. All of us (except Michael—he’s a free spirit) had the Antipasto Salad. The woman who suggested the restaurant said it was to die for, and she was right. Then it was off to the library for our last evening presentation. Despite the beautiful evening, every chair was taken. Another great audience, and a good time was had by all.

Cathleen Treasures her Writing Instruments

Kari Riding Shotgun

Granville's -- A Funky Restaurant in Quesnel

World's Largest Fishing Rod

Filed under: Northern Leg 2010 | 0 Comments | Permalink

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