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On Tour Blog

April 07, 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.

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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

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.

Sylvia reads from Counting on Hope at the Oliver Public Library

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.

Filed under: Southern Leg 2010 | 0 Comments | Permalink

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 21, 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,

Filed under: Southern Leg 2010 | 0 Comments | Permalink

April 21, 2010

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

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 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

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