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BC Book Prizes On Tour

April 16, 2011

Sylvia checking in

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!

Posted by Sylvia Olsen | Filed under: Lower Mainland Leg 2011 | 1 Comments | Permalink

April 15, 2011

Great turnout in Kamloops

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.

Posted by Bryan Pike | Filed under: Okanagan Leg 2011 | 0 Comments | Permalink

April 14, 2011

New Westminster and Richmond

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!

Posted by Kristie Cropley | Filed under: Lower Mainland Leg 2011 | 0 Comments | Permalink

April 14, 2011

Northern Tour drawing to a close

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.

Posted by Gary Kent | Filed under: Northern Leg 2011 | 3 Comments | Permalink

April 14, 2011

So long, and thanks for the fish

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.

Posted by Stephen Collis | Filed under: Northern Leg 2011 | 1 Comments | Permalink

April 13, 2011

A New All Time High

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.

Posted by Gina McMurchy-Barber | Filed under: Northern Leg 2011 | 1 Comments | Permalink

April 13, 2011

Lower Mainland Tour About to Begin!

Tomorrow marks the first day of the Lower Mainland Leg of the BC Book Prizes On Tour 2011.  As the Tour Driver for this leg, I am really excited! 

I have been reading about the adventures of the authors up North and can’t wait to get on the road with Meredith Quartermain and Sylvia Olsen tomorrow.  We will be visiting the communities of New Westminster, Richmond, Langley, and Abbotsford over the next two days.  On Saturday, Sylvia will be joined by Morris Bates and Steven Galloway at Lit Fest New West.

Next week Grant Lawrence will join Sylvia and me to wrap up the tour with readings in Deep Cove, North Vancouver, South Surrey, and White Rock. Come out and meet our authors at one of the five public events!

Posted by Kristie Cropley | Filed under: Lower Mainland Leg 2011 | 0 Comments | Permalink

April 13, 2011

Our Last Kick at the Can

We drive by night and present by day…such is the life of the author. Okay, maybe a little dramatic, but we have been very busy.

For all the work this tour has been it was made completely delightful by the three gentlemen I’ve been traveling with. They’re all great story tellers, passionate about music, very considerate (me being the only female on the trip) and they all have great humour and we’re laughing almost all the time.

We’re here in Terrace and it’s our last day for presentations. We have schools here to do this morning and then down to Kitimat for afternoon school presentations and the library. This is my first efforts and being a blogger and I don’t know if I’m hooked on it, but I’m glad I’ve now tried it and know how! Here’s to one last good day.

Posted by Gina McMurchy-Barber | Filed under: Northern Leg 2011 | 1 Comments | Permalink

April 12, 2011

The Kids are Alright

Yesterday was the marathon: readings at schools in Prince George in the morning, then in Quesnel in the afternoon, followed by the Quesnel Library in the evening. I think we held up pretty good—certainly Gina and Gary had their audience enthralled at the library—THEY don’t seem to be tiring!

I’m enjoying the schools most of all. The kids have been amazing, listening to all the noise and chaos I’m offering, the cranky poems about the death-grip we have on this planet, and asking great questions. Two at least have identified themselves as poets (they wore fedoras, like me—was there a memo? Is this the uniform now?), and I read one of their poems—Nick, at Quesnel Secondary—aloud to the class. It cooked. I hope they stay in touch.

Posted by Stephen Collis | Filed under: Northern Leg 2011 | 0 Comments | Permalink

April 10, 2011

Having a great time

It’s the end of day four of our tour and even the rain hasn’t put a damper on this wonderful experience. It’s so beautiful up here in the north and we’ve met so many people who are both warm and enthusiastic.

Some of the highlights for me so far include our presentation at the museum in Prince Rupert Friday evening, stopping at ‘Ksan village on Saturday, and getting a great turn out of teachers and students at the Books & Company reading last night.

The museum is styled like a longhouse and the first thing I noticed upon entering was the scent of cedar. It was serene and beautiful inside. But the best part was the room where we held our reading. It overlooked the bay and had an unusual three piece totem. As for ‘Ksan, I’ve wanted to visit this place ever since I first read about it nearly twenty years ago. Unfortunately it was closed, but we were still able to walk around the outside and admire all the buildings and totems.

Today was a nice slow day here in Prince George and I even got to sleep in…or rather I thought I was sleeping in. After what felt like a really long and self-indulgent sleep I got up to discover it was only 8:00 a.m. Tomorrow we’ve got two schools and an evening presentation in Quesnel.

Posted by Gina McMurchy-Barber | Filed under: Northern Leg 2011 | 1 Comments | Permalink

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