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BC Book Prizes On Tour

May 04, 2012

JJ Lee: Getting ready for Vernon

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.

Posted by JJ Lee | Filed under: | 0 Comments | Permalink

May 03, 2012

Spirit Bears & Tree Climbing

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

Posted by Caitlyn Vernon | Filed under: Southern Leg 2012 | 0 Comments | Permalink

May 03, 2012

Northern Tour Comes to a Close

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

Posted by Bryan Pike | Filed under: Northern Leg 2012 | 0 Comments | Permalink

April 26, 2012

Northern Leg Has Begun

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

Posted by Bryan Pike | Filed under: Northern Leg 2012 | 0 Comments | Permalink

April 20, 2012

Things I didn’t know about BC

- 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

Posted by Frances Greenslade | Filed under: Peace Country Leg 2012 | 2 Comments | Permalink

April 20, 2012

Last Day: Peace Country

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!

Posted by Bryan Pike | Filed under: Peace Country Leg 2012 | 0 Comments | Permalink

April 19, 2012

Day three in Peace River country

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.

Posted by Frances Greenslade | Filed under: Peace Country Leg 2012 | 1 Comments | Permalink

April 19, 2012

Back to Dawson Creek

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.

Posted by Bryan Pike | Filed under: Peace Country Leg 2012 | 0 Comments | Permalink

April 18, 2012

On the road to Fort Nelson

  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.

Posted by Frances Greenslade | Filed under: Peace Country Leg 2012 | 0 Comments | Permalink

April 18, 2012

Off to a Great Start!

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!

Posted by Bryan Pike | Filed under: Peace Country Leg 2012 | 0 Comments | Permalink

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