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On Tour Blog

April 15, 2010

Photos from the North
Posted by Bryan Pike

Bryan Pike

We’ve been taking tons of photos On Tour. If you’d like to see them all, please visit our Northern Tour set on Flickr. Here are some of my favourites.

Kari-Lynn at the Museum of Northern BC
Kari-Lynn at the Museum of Northern BC in Prince Rupert

New Friends
New Friends: Kari-Lynn, Cathleen and Michael in Port Edward

Thank you National Car Rental
Thank you National Car Rental

Go Misty River Books!!
Cheering for Misty River Books in Terrace (at the Terrace Public Library)

bc book tour 2010 The Learning Shop Hazelton BC
Lots of fun hats at The Learning Shop in Hazelton

Just grazing at Cowpuccino's
Being silly in Prince Rupert

The whole gang at the Kitimat Public Library
The gang at the Kitimat Public Library

For more photos, please visit our Northern Tour set on Flickr.

Filed under: Northern Leg 2010 | 1 Comments | Permalink

April 15, 2010

My Resounding, Endless Gratitude
Posted by Kari-Lynn Winters

Kari-Lynn Winters

Being nominated is the gift,
For which I share my gratitude.

Thanks to the BC Book Prizes—their staff and judges, to Mike and Carol and everyone at Tradewind Books, to the generous sponsors, and to Christina Leist…without you I would not have had the opportunity to:

Play with puppets in Hazelton…explore Ksan Heritage Park…share giggles and stories with cherished new friends—Kristin Butcher, Michael Turner, Cathleen With, and Bryan Pike…travel though brilliant and breathtaking landscapes…dine on fine food… be recognized by students as the “author who came before”…frolic and merry-make in Prince Rupert…acknowledge and answer well prepared and thoughtful questions from young people at Westview…tread the pier of the Prince Edward cannery…and delight with book lovers at the Museum of Northern BC.

For all these moments,  I thank you—with resounding and endless gratitude.

Filed under: Northern Leg 2010 | 1 Comments | Permalink

April 14, 2010

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

Cathleen With

It’s an amazing thing for this west coast girl who has been away to really be seeing this beautiful part of BC. I was impressed by the young people at Hazelton High School: their insightful questions, and how Erica and Jody made us feel right at home in their school. Then, against the beauty of the mountains, meeting Melanie and Anne at The Learning Shop and Storytellers Foundation: http://www.ccednet-rcdec.ca/files/ccednet/Storytellers_Final.pdf who welcomed us into their space (still thinking about that funky blue scarf, Gretel, and Erica still reigns as the best ice cream cone head ever:), and the work they are doing with Hazelton’s youth.

Then off to the spectacular drive to Prince Rupert this morning—really, was it really this morning? Every day seems like I have lived a lifetime, and Michael’s youth working in the cannery and Kari’s stories about her kids, and Kristen’s tales of her husband—I feel these people are long lost relatives and we are on a kind of family reunion (or family rebellion as Kristen would put it:). And yes, I am still salivating over Bryan’s iPad! He takes such arty photos too, he doesn’t know that I secretly go behind him and take the same picture.
Michael and I were welcomed into Charles Hays Secondary by grade 8, 10, 11 students, Dianne, Mr Russell (a fellow author, we found out!). The students again asked insightful and varied questions—and i am excited to see that many are artists involved in their own writing—-Tyler, email me that story, I can’t wait to read it:)
We had a reading tonight at the Museum of Northern BC and the sunset was stellar. A stunning view, warm people, and….Lindor chocolates! Way to a writer’s heart fast. Shout out to Stephan and Carla: who are helping the youth in Prince George, and Joel and Justin: the two directors of the Crystal Palace, a new and innovative gallery and creative space in the heart of Prince Rupert.

Filed under: Northern Leg 2010 | 7 Comments | Permalink

April 14, 2010

An extraordinary day in Terrace and Kitimat in 40 words or less.
Posted by Kari-Lynn Winters

Kari-Lynn Winters

Coast hotel:
This place is swell.

Cassie Hall:
Had a ball.

Majestic drive:
(In Kitimat) We arrive.

Kildala school:
What a jewel!

Fish spawn:
Right on.

Sammy’s lair:
Rustic flair.

Seaside eats:
Delish repeats.

Kitimat athenaeum:
A magical odeum.

Back to Terrace…zzz.


Filed under: Northern Leg 2010 | 1 Comments | Permalink

April 14, 2010

The Old West
Posted by Kristin Butcher

Kristin Butcher

Up Close and Personal ” />

Back on the road shortly after 8 am—destination Hazelton, BC. Who knew writers could be such a rowdy group?!! That van rocked with laughter the whole trip. We arrived with time to spare, so Bryan took us on a little driving tour through Hazelton proper (there’s Old, New, North, and South). It’s so quaint—set up like an old western town. There’s even a restaurant in the guise of a paddle wheel boat. Then it was off to New Hazelton, where—after stopping in at a great little bakery for some sustenance—Kari and I were dropped at New Hazelton Elementary School to visit with the students there. Then Bryan whisked Cathleen and Michael to the secondary school. For some reason time seems to get away on us, and Kari and I don’t finish our presentations until 12:15. There’s no time for lunch, so we head to our next stop at South Hazelton Elementary. What a gorgeous school! It’s all sunlight and brightness—the building and the people. I met with the intermediate students, and they were such a treat. What a nice bunch of kids!

We were done by 2:30, which meant we had 4 1/2 hours until our evening presentation. So we went to Ksan Heritage Park to stroll through a recreation of an early native village. Unfortunately we couldn’t get into the buildings, but they were still pretty impressive from the outside with their many totem poles. It was such a gorgeous day, we were happy just to laze in the the sunshine. Then it was dinner at Rob’s Restaurant. I highly recommend it. I had a caesar salad and the lasagna. Both were excellent.

And then we headed over to the Learning Shop, a wonderful community-centred facility, bent on improving the connection between the community and the people in it. We had a fabulous time. The crowd may not have been huge, but it was certainly enthusiastic.

Thanks, Hazelton. It was great to meet you.

Filed under: Northern Leg 2010 | 0 Comments | Permalink

April 13, 2010

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

Cathleen With

Shout out to the kids at Kitimaat City High who are getting it done—you guys are the best and it felt like a family welcoming us into your home (and your cookies rock!) Kitimaat Village: walking up to Sammy Robinson’s totem pole and then running into my brothers from Last Door, taking care of business in Kitimat—turns out Rob is Sammy’s nephew, he tells us to go see the man himself, and Sammy shows us where he carves. And his beautiful work. The chief. Haisla Hummingbirds. Totem faced tears.
Then…who’s doing all that laughing? Ebullient effivivacious (ok I made that one up) effervescent Eden Robinson (yes Sammy’s her uncle)—-oh to meet Eden—- no lie: Monkey Beach changed me.
And Virginia and the Mayor of Kitimaat and all the librarians, teachers, Kitimaat residents like Edward from Bombay who make up this warm welcoming city (oh and the guys doing taekwondo while Kristen’s reading a murder mystery!~~did she set this up?) Bryan and his awesome playlist, the halibut at Seamaster’s and the seals who serenaded us (ok they were really after the oolichans but a girl can dream), stellar day…I can still hear the giggle echoes of Eden.

Filed under: Northern Leg 2010 | 1 Comments | Permalink

April 13, 2010

First Day on the Road
Posted by Kristin Butcher

Kristin Butcher

Okay, this is me bravely going where I have never gone before—blogging WITH photos on the BC Book Prize website. I’m also bravely geographically-going where I’ve never gone before—on a week-long tour through northern BC with three other nominees for the BC Book Prizes (Kari-Lynn Winters, Cathleen With, and Michael Turner). So far, so good—though I’m already exhausted. To quote Michael, yesterday was three days long. It was great fun—we each talked to students in two different schools (in Terrace and Kitimat) and then spoke to a wonderfully enthusiastic audience at the Kitimat Public Library in the evening. Between events, we took a tour of the Kitimat area and drove out to Haisla Village. After checking out the pier (I love piers), the others in the group—along with our leader and driver, aka the executive director of the BC Book Prizes, Bryan Pike—went for a walk along a woodland trail. My school presenter footwear (ie—high heels) aren’t great for hiking, so I stayed behind and guarded the fort (van). While on their excursion, the others discovered that we were parked directly across the road from the home and workshop of renowned carver, Sammy Robinson. He graciously provided us with a tour of his shop. He had stories to go along with all the beautiful pieces, and even showed us his loft studio. I was so jealous. It looked out over the water and was filled with sunlight. We stayed talking with Sammy for so long that we were pressed for time. Supper at the Sea Masters Restaurant wasn’t as leisurely as we would have liked, but it was certainly delicious, and our trusty driver, Mario Pike got us to the library in time for our evening event. By the time we got back to our hotel, it was ten o’clock, and knowing we were in for another busy day today, it was straight to bed for everyone.

Filed under: Northern Leg 2010 | 3 Comments | Permalink

April 11, 2010

A Second Chance in Terrace, BC
Posted by Kari-Lynn Winters

Kari-Lynn Winters

Terrace, do you know how much I’ve missed you?
I look at you and see your gorgeous mountains—snow covered mountains in every direction and my heart aches for you.

Terrace, how can you be so exquisitely perfect?
I listen to you and hear your people—imaginative people who enjoy the BC culture, including its nominated books.

Terrace, do you steal everyone’s breath away in the ways that you’ve taken mine?
I feel your majesty—awe-filled majesty, including your traditions, painted spirit bears, and gorgeous walking paths.

Terrace, would it be fair to say that you are second to none?
I’ve received a second chance—an extraordinary second chance to be with you again!

Filed under: Northern Leg 2010 | 3 Comments | Permalink

April 11, 2010

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

Cathleen With

Gorgeous mountains out window of Hawk Air flight, a bit of a bumpy ride, but a lovely fruit plate, first glimpse of the Skeena which Michael told us is definitely a lovely ‘she’, and here we are in the heart of Terrace at the Coast Hotel.
What a city girl I am: the quiet here! And the SUN, beaming and warm SUN, whoohooo, you can’t please this Vancouver girl more:)
First reading at the Library at 3pm: wonderful to hear why 8x10 is called 8x10 (will you sign your 8x10 glossy out to me, Michael Turner? I am not worthy:), and wear a frog hat along with my fellow horse and fish and raindrop and !!ice cream!! with Kari’s “On My Walk” reading…and ooo the magic of Kristin’s dreams and the mystery in Return to Bone Tree Hill, excited, am I excited?
And what a pleasure to meet Terrace’s own zinester, Erika (who ok, I thought was a first yr Uni student, only to find out Erika’s in grade 9….yes nine!), and Josh who is writing about tree-planting: neatsters in Terrace abound!
And to think I was only excited about Bryan’s new iPad this morning in Vancouver…life was so dull before we got on the plane:)~~onward.
Shout outs to Dream Team English back home, Anne at Misty River books

Filed under: Northern Leg 2010 | 1 Comments | Permalink

April 25, 2009

Prince Rupert Readings and Farewells
Posted by Elise Partridge

Elise Partridge

I’d wanted to post this nearly a week ago, but was stymied first by waiting for information and then by computer difficulties.  Tonight (April 25), I’m looking forward to meeting many other people in the BC literary community and seeing my tour-mates again.

On Saturday, April 18, the northern tour traveled to Prince Rupert from Terrace, narrow waterfalls plunging down the sheer rock-face to our right and mountains looming over the water to our left.  Bryan started us rolling to Glenn Gould and moved on once again to such gems as “My Baby Loves a Bunch of Authors” (just one good line: “spilled some dressing/on Doris Lessing”).  Fortunately, we spilled no dressing – everything was too delicious – at lunch at the Cow Bay Café on the Prince Rupert waterfront.  It was a privilege to give our readings at the Museum of the North there, in a room full of First Nations artifacts, with floor-to-ceiling windows through which we could glimpse eagles circling.  One of the highlights of this whole trip, for me, was watching Katarina read her story, The King Has Goat Ears, to an eager audience of both children and adults.  One young girl was so excited she stood up nearly the whole time, trying to peer at the pages while Katarina imitated the voices of King Boyan and his apprentice barber, Igor. 

Afterwards, we had a chance to chat with audience members and the museum director and designer, then tour the exhibits.  This museum, the director told me, has been identified as one of the best in BC, along with UBC’s Museum of Anthropology and the Royal British Columbian Museum in Victoria.  If anyone is anywhere near Prince Rupert, I hope they’ll visit.

At our final convivial dinner in Terrace that night we were joined by a local author, Brenda Silsbe.  I thought how lucky I had been to tour with a group of writers I liked so much and whose work I admired too – at various times on the road, we were all studying each other’s books in the van, discussing characters in Robin’s, the theme and humor in Katarina’s, learning more about the cast and setting in Margaret’s.  We were so lucky as well to have such a collected yet mellow chaperone in Bryan, who attended to every responsibility so cheerfully.  Thank you again to my fellow authors; to our valiant guide; to the teachers and librarians I met at the secondary schools where Margaret and I read (including Geoff Parr, Al Lehmann, Robin MacLeod, Andrew Williams, Dave Durrant, Jack Law, Teresa Monkman, and Valerie Kilbey); to several writers who introduced themselves to me along the way (Howard Smith, a Haisla poet from Kitimaat, and Gillian Wigmore, Barbara Coupé, and Darcy Ingraham, poets from Prince George); to the students (among them, Adrien Hills in Smithers); to bookstore owners and staff (we all enjoyed meeting Linda and Ken Pitzel at Book Masters in Kitimat); and to all the readers who welcomed us so generously.   


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