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On Tour Blog

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!

Filed under: Peace Country Leg 2013, Northern Leg 2013, Interior Leg 2013, Vancouver Island Leg 2013 | 0 Comments | Permalink

May 10, 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

Filed under: | 1 Comments | Permalink

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.


Filed under: Kootenay Leg 2012 | 0 Comments | Permalink

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

Filed under: Okanagan Leg 2012 | 0 Comments | Permalink

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

Filed under: Southern Leg 2012 | 0 Comments | Permalink

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

Filed under: Northern Leg 2012 | 0 Comments | Permalink

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

Filed under: Northern Leg 2012 | 0 Comments | Permalink

April 20, 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

Filed under: Peace Country Leg 2012 | 2 Comments | Permalink

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