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On Tour Blog

April 20, 2010

And we’re off!
Posted by Fiona Bayrock

Fiona Bayrock

Two days into our tour and Ehor, Bryan, and I appear to be bloggers MIA.  But we’re not, really we aren’t. Factor in a travel day and a day of internet access issues and here we are at last!

While Ehor headed off to the high school on Monday, my first official BC Book Prizes tour day began with me visiting 100 K-3 students at Dorothea Walker Elementary School in Kelowna. What a welcome!  The classes arrived at the library with otters and frogs and whales and fish—-artwork from Bubble Homes and Fish Farts

Dorothea Walker Kelowna Apr19

Each class had made something different with illustrator Carolyn Conahan’s line drawings. The kids grinned from ear-to-ear as they showed off their masks, medallions, and two styles of animal hats. Too cool.  I grinned right back.

A quick trip along the highway—-and a few heart palpitations on Bryan’s part as we were delayed for 15 minutes at a dead stop due to construction—-found us at Penticton schools for the afternoon. A big shoutout to Wiltse Elementary! 

Since we had plenty of time before our public gig at Hooked on Books, a lovely little book store on Main Street, Penticton right next door to Fibonacci’s, home of the biggest latte cups I’d ever seen, we thought we’d stop en route for a


official visit to the Red Rooster Winery, one of the adopt-a-library sponsors. 

Red Rooster Winery Tasting Apr19


tasting five lovely wines a very serious photo-op, we were on our way Rieslings and Syrahs in hand

Kudos to Hooked on Books for hosting our evening event even though they’ve been open for only a few months.  A terrific first touring day.  Can’t wait to see what tomorrow brings.

(Thanks to Bryan for the photos!)

Filed under: Okanagan / Vancouver Island Leg 2010 | 2 Comments | Permalink

April 20, 2010

Nelson to Cranbrook
Posted by Fred Wah

Fred Wah

BC Book Prizes South Tour

Yesterday we did Nelson high school, Trail schools, and Rossland reading in the evening. I had a great time in the high schools as both Trail and Nelson are “home” cities for me. Lots of memories, meeting former students, touching down on familiar geography. Tim and I did a Collander spaghetti dinner in Trail and then we read to a small crowd in Rossland before driving back to Nelson. Today will be another long day since we have to drive back to Nelson after an evening reading in Cranbrook. But, once again, the Koots is a great place to be and the weather has been warm summer temperatures. Interesting how high school students have discovered the word “cool!”.

Filed under: Southern Leg 2010 | 0 Comments | Permalink

April 19, 2010

Nelson, BC
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 19, 2010

Goodbye Northern BC… until next year!
Posted by Bryan Pike

Bryan Pike

Saturday marked our final event for the Northern Leg of the 2010 Tour. Here are some photos from the past few days on the Northern tour:

with Margaret Olmstead of Bulkley Valley Credit Union
Adopt-A-Library cheque presentation with Margaret Olmstead of Bulkley Valley Credit Union. This year, Bulkley Valley Credit Union has adopted Lake Kathlyn Elementary School in Smithers.

Riverview Elementary
Kari-Lynn and Kristin at Riverview Elementary (Quesnel) with students Sheldon Cameron, Kyle Cheng, Alexis MacDonald, Keyanna Hawkridge, Corey Roberts and Shaylin Carifelle.

Tracy at the Quesnel Library
Kristin and Tracy from the Quesnel Public Library. Showing off a lovely in-flight magazine from Hawkair (a tour sponsor).

Filed under: Northern Leg 2010 | 0 Comments | Permalink

April 19, 2010

A Tour that Widens Worlds: Saying Goodbye.
Posted by Kari-Lynn Winters

Kari-Lynn Winters

The hardest part of any tour is when it’s time to say goodbye.
But then, change is inevitable, isn’t it?
The universe widens when you meet new people and travel to new places. 
Experiences such as these offer opportunities to observe and be a part of something bigger than yourself.
Here are some of the tour highlights that widened my world:

  • Chats with Cathleen With on the flight to Terrace: As some of you know, Cathleen and I went to school together in the creative writing department at UBC (in Alison Acheson’s class). It was wonderful to re-connect. And Hawk Air is the best airline—they still feed you lunch!
  • Being taken care of in Terrace and then later in Prince George: Special thanks to the Coast Hotels.
  • Returning to the Terrace Art Gallery: Cheers to the knowledgeable librarians (including Jess), to local zinester, Erika and to Anne from Misty River Books.  I wrote about this gallery space in my dissertation, Authorship as Assemblage (available online at http://kariwinters.com/academic) so it was intriguing to return.
  • An afternoon with Sammy Robinson: Hearing about his creative process and seeing his incredible and secret work space are memories that I hope I never forget.
  • Eating at Sea Masters while watching the sea lions play.
  • Van rides: Cathleen, Michael, Kristin, Bryan, you guys ARE a rowdy group.  I laughed until my stomach ached.  I loved our joyrides.  Thanks to National Car rental for making this possible. While traveling, we saw wildlife too (though we never stopped)—eagles, a coyote, and even a spirit bear!
  • The Skeena Bakery and Rob’s Restaurant in Hazelton. Yummy!
  • Discovering that many schools are being closed in BC—incredible, well run schools:  I had heard about these closures, but thought that they were old schools that needed a lot of work (e.g., new roofs, more modern interiors, etc.), boy was I wrong!  Modern and well-run chools like South Hazelton are being closed all over the province.
  • Chats with Melanie and the others at the Learning Shop: I love how you are working to better the community, working with the youth of Hazelton and helping them to make a difference.
  • Reading our books in special (and sometimes even magical spaces) like the Kitimat Library,  The Museum of Northern BC, Books and Company, and in many of the northern schools and libraries.
  • Meeting Susan Juby’s mom in Smithers: Susan Juby was one of my writing teachers.  It was great to meet her mom.
  • Walking around Quesnel:  What a quaint and incredible community you have!
  • Discovering that people all over the province just want to have fun: Thanks to all of you who wore a hat and joined the performance.
  • Meeting life-long pals: It is wonderful to know that,  all the mountains and rivers in the world cannot separate my new friends—whose hearts, for a moment in time, beat together as one.

Thanks to everyone involved, who helped make this tour happen.  My world is newly widened.

Filed under: | 2 Comments | Permalink

April 18, 2010

Sunday Vancouver to Nelson
Posted by Fred Wah

Fred Wah

Tim, Sylvia, and I had a pleasant and conversational 8-hour drive to Nelson. Great weather and nice to in the Okanagan/Kootenays. Got in just before the reading on the 2nd floor of the Canadian Legion, the site of an alternative high school. The library across the street is being renovated so the switch to the Legion (where I remember playing a dance with the Kampus Kings in the 50’s). A fair crowd for a Sunday evening; a lot of friends and familiar faces for me. We returned to the Prestige hotel for a late meal and to get ready for some long days ahead in Trail, Rossland, Creston, Cranbrook, Grand Forks, and on.

BC Book Prizes South tour

Filed under: Southern Leg 2010 | 2 Comments | Permalink

April 17, 2010

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

Cathleen With

We have met so many amazing kids from Kitimaat all the way to Quesnel. Everyone has interesting questions and thoughts to share. Shout outs to Roberta Morris and Arzinelly Cometa at Smithers Secondary who are studying hard for their provincials. And what a pleasure it was to meet Savannah Taylor who lived in Inuvik the same time I did and who remembered the dogs from the dog-sledding team. Duchess Park in Prince George was beautiful: all pine tree-hued blue wood, lovely library, theatre, gym. The walls reminded me of the Richmond Oval and I wondered if y’all thought the same if you watched speed-skating. Go BC and blue-hued pine! The students were intense:) Extremely intelligent questions: I felt like I was in university—did I hear the word “discourse?” Michael and i could have spent a good three hours chatting with many of the students. Shout out to Nicole Jerick who has published with The Claremont Review, can’t wait to get the copy. Then onward to Quesnel Junior High, a grade 8/9 school. We knew right away when we walked into the arty painted locker-ed halls that this was a school with creativity a-buzz. The students were friendly and gathered in a circle of chairs or on the floor in front of us. What a warmth was in the room: sun beaming through the library solarium and students eager to tell us about their work. And what an incredible amount of ideas and writing and art and poems. I can’t wait to see the collaborative zine. And the Theatre Riot…shhhh….I know you can do it:)

Filed under: Northern Leg 2010 | 1 Comments | Permalink

April 17, 2010

A Cut Above
Posted by Kari-Lynn Winters

Kari-Lynn Winters

If you were a knife,
And I were the plate,
I’d say you were a cut above,
You were first rate!

I adored the energy of the audiences in Quesnel and the enthusiasm that you have for stories and books!
Thank you.

Filed under: Northern Leg 2010 | 0 Comments | Permalink

April 17, 2010

If It’s Friday, It Must Be Quesnel
Posted by Kristin Butcher

Kristin Butcher

Friday began with super classroom visits in Prince George, and then we were off to Quesnel. We lunched at this funky little restaurant called Granville’s and then we headed into the schools again. Comparing notes afterwards, we all think we had the best groups of kids. That says a lot for the young people in the northern part of the province. To find a place for supper, we ended up stopping people on the street, and were directed to a wonderful Italian restaurant (I can see the sign, but I can’t remember the name.) It was fantastic. All of us (except Michael—he’s a free spirit) had the Antipasto Salad. The woman who suggested the restaurant said it was to die for, and she was right. Then it was off to the library for our last evening presentation. Despite the beautiful evening, every chair was taken. Another great audience, and a good time was had by all.

Cathleen Treasures her Writing Instruments

Kari Riding Shotgun

Granville's -- A Funky Restaurant in Quesnel

World's Largest Fishing Rod

Filed under: Northern Leg 2010 | 0 Comments | Permalink

April 16, 2010

Smithers and Prince George, you are both gorgeous and so welcoming!
Posted by Kari-Lynn Winters

Kari-Lynn Winters

Smithers and Prince George

You are gorgeous and so welcoming.
I hear your children playing at Lake Kathlyn and Harwin.
I see how you connect with the nature around you.
You make me want to be a Northerner.
You are gorgeous and so welcoming.

I wish that my current city had a bookstore as great as Books & Company.
I feel so at home there.
I touch the pages of these gorgeous picture books and
I worry that I won’t see you again for some time.
You make me smile—you and your supporters (e.g., Mary, Barb, Michelle).
I grin from ear to ear.
You are gorgeous and so welcoming.

I heard that Java’s is the yummiest place to eat in the Northwest.
I say, “yum” as I think of my avocado salad with pine nuts and feta.
I try to save room for dessert—for some homemade pie, but
you fill me up.
I feel I am the luckiest person in the world.  I love this tour!

Smithers and Prince George, you are both gorgeous and so welcoming.  Thank-you.


Filed under: Northern Leg 2010 | 2 Comments | Permalink

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