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On Tour Blog

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!

Filed under: Peace Country Leg 2012 | 0 Comments | Permalink

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.

Filed under: Peace Country Leg 2012 | 1 Comments | Permalink

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.

Filed under: Peace Country Leg 2012 | 0 Comments | Permalink

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!

Filed under: Peace Country Leg 2012 | 0 Comments | Permalink

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 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 Cropley

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

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