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On Tour Blog

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.

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

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!

Filed under: Okanagan Leg 2011 | 1 Comments | Permalink

April 16, 2011

Day Three in the Lower Mainland
Posted by Kristie Cropley

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!

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

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.

Filed under: Okanagan Leg 2011 | 0 Comments | Permalink

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.

Filed under: Okanagan Leg 2011 | 0 Comments | Permalink

April 14, 2011

New Westminster and Richmond
Posted by Kristie Cropley

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.

Filed under: Northern Leg 2011 | 3 Comments | Permalink

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 13, 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.

Filed under: Northern Leg 2011 | 1 Comments | Permalink

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