2015 Galiano Literary Festival Authors
Shore to Shore Panel: More than 162 years ago the Coast Salish people accepted into their lives a young Portuguese whaler, “Portuguese Joe” Silvey, with whom they shared their powerful culture based on respect for the rich harvests yielded by the land and sea. “Portuguese Joe” Silvey and his first and second Coast Salish wives are honoured in a monumental bronze sculpture entitled Shore to Shore and carved by master carver Ts’uts’umutl Luke Marston, that has just been installed in Stanley Park and will be ceremonially unveiled in April. This panel celebrates the shared First Nations and Portuguese perspectives on that early collaboration between these two resource-based cultures on Galiano Island and the lower mainland. Shore to Shore: The Art of Ts’uts’umutl Luke Marston, by Galiano author Suzanne Fournier, tells the story of this remarkable journey in words, historical photos and the beautiful work of master carver Luke Marston. Speakers in this panel include carver Luke Marston, Silvey’s great-great-grandson; Suzanne Fournier, author of Shore to Shore: The Art of Ts’uts’umutl Luke Marston; Squamish hereditary Chief Ian Campbell, a strong speaker for environmental protection who has protested Kinder Morgan’s actions on Burnaby Mountain; Galiano playwright, historian and storyteller Rosemary Georgeson, herself a descendant of Portuguese Joe Silvey; and Portuguese consul Maria Joao Boavida.
Théodora Armstrong is a fiction writer, poet, and photographer.Her work has appeared in numerous literary magazines across the country such as Event, Prairie Fire, The Fiddlehead,Descant, The New Quarterly, and Contemporary Verse 2. In 2008, she won a Western Magazine Award for fiction, and her stories have been included in both the Journey Prize Stories 20and Coming Attractions 10. Her début short story collection, Clear Skies, No Wind, 100% Visibility (House of Anansi Press),is a depiction of families, friendship, and human frailty set against the landscape of British Columbia. Théodora lives in Vancouver, British Columbia, with her husband and daughter. She is at work on her first novel.
Marilyn Biderman. Before founding her own literary agency in September 2010, Marilyn Biderman worked at McClelland & Stewart Ltd. for twelve years, most recently as Vice President, Director, Rights and Contracts. At M&S, she handled the international rights of many renowned Canadian authors. She has guest-lectured at the publishing programs at Ryerson University, Simon Fraser University, Humber College, and taught a course during the fall of 2013 in the publishing program at Centennial College. She has also mentored many publishers under the auspices of the Association of Canadian Publishers and the Canada Council, and has acted as a juror in literary competitions. Marilyn is also a lawyer, the author of several papers on copyright law, a passionate balletomane, and a besotted dog owner.”
George Bowering, Canada’s first Poet Laureate, was born in the Okanagan Valley. He has taught literature at the University of Calgary, the University of Western Ontario and Simon Fraser University, and he continues to act as a Canadian literary ambassador at international conferences and readings. A distinguished novelist, poet, editor, professor, historian and tireless supporter of fellow writers, Bowering has authored more than eighty books including works of poetry, fiction, autobiography, biography and youth fiction. His writing has also been translated into French, Spanish, Italian, German, Chinese and Romanian. In 2002, Bowering was recognized by the Vancouver Sun as one of the most influential people in British Columbia. His newest book of poetry is “Teeth” from Mansfield Press, 2013.
Kate Braid has written poetry and non-fiction about subjects from Georgia O’Keeffe, Emily Carr and Glenn Gould, to mine workers and fishers. In addition to co-editing with Sandy Shreve, In Fine Form: The Canadian Book of Form Poems, she has published five books of poetry, most recently A Well-Mannered Storm: The Glenn Gould Poems (Caitlin, 2008) and Turning Left to the Ladies(Palimpsest, 2009). Her memoir of fifteen years as a carpenter, Journey Woman, was published in 2012. Her work has won and been short-listed for a number of awards and is widely anthologized.
Aaron Chapman is a writer, historian, and musician. Born and raised in Vancouver, he has been a contributor to the Vancouver Courier, the Georgia Straight, The Tyee and to CBC Radio, and has quickly emerged as one of the new writers involved in Vancouver’s historical narrative, particularly on the history of the city after-dark. In 2013, his first book “Liquor, Lust, and The Law: The Story of Vancouver’s Legendary Penthouse Nightclub” was shortlisted for a BC Book Prize. In 2014, he added two more bestsellers, as of the as one of the co-authors of “Vancouver Confidential” with his contribution outlining some of the lesser known history of the city during World War II, and most recently “Live at the Commodore: The Story of Vancouver’s Historic Commodore Ballroom”. As a speaker, he as presented at such varied varied forums as Pecha Kucha Night at the Vogue Theatre, at the Museum of Vancouver, and the Vancouver Police Museum. And as a touring musician for the last two decades, Chapman has performed throughout Canada, the United States and Europe. A graduate of the University of British Columbia, he is a also a member of Heritage Vancouver and the Point Roberts Historical Society.
Michael Christie‘s debut collection of short stories, The Beggar’s Garden, was longlisted for the Scotiabank Giller Prize, a finalist for the Writers’ Trust Prize for Fiction, and won the Vancouver Book Award. He holds an MFA from the University of British Columbia. Prior to his MFA, he was a sponsored skateboarder and travelled throughout the world skateboarding and writing for skateboard magazines. Born in Thunder Bay, Ontario, he now lives on Galiano Island with his wife and two sons. If I Fall, If I Die is his first novel.
Chris Czajkowski is an accomplished writer and spokesperson for wilderness living. She is the author of ten booksincluding Lonesome: Memoirs of a Wilderness Dog (Heritage House Publishing), Snowshoes and Spotted Dick: Letters from a Wilderness Dweller (Harbour Publishing), A Mountain Year: Nature Diary of a Wilderness Dweller (Harbour Publishing), A Wilderness Dweller’s Cookbook: The Best Bread in the World and Other Recipes (Harbour Publishing), and Ginty’s Ghost: A Wilderness Dweller’s Dream (Harbour Publishing). Her new book, And the River Still Sings, was published in 2014 from Caitlin Press.
Sandra Djwa is a biographer, cultural critic and editor who taught Canadian writing at Simon Fraser University. Journey with No Maps: A Life of P.K. Page (2012) won the Governor General’s Award for Non-Fiction in 2013 and the Canada Prize for the Humanities in 2014. Past biographies include The Politics of the Imagination: A Life of F.R. Scott (1987), shortlisted for a B.C. Book Prize in 1987 andProfessing English: A Life of Roy Daniells (2002), awarded the Royal Society Lorne Pierce Medal for Literature in Canada.
Bill Gaston is a Canadian novelist, short-story writer, and playwright. His short-story collection Gargoyles was shortlisted for the Governor General’s Literary Award and the Ethel Wilson Fiction Prize, and won the ReLit Award and the City of Victoria Butler Prize. In 2002, Gaston was a finalist for the Giller Prize with Mount Appetite, and the inaugural recipient of the Timothy Findley Prize, awarded by the Writers’ Trust of Canada. He teaches at the University of Victoria.
Lee Henderson is the award-winning author of The Broken Record Technique and The Man Game. His writing appears in the PEN Canada anthology Finding the Words and the speculative fiction anthology Darwin’s Bastards. For a decade he has written about contemporary Canadian artists for Border Crossings magazine. He has exhibited artwork in Vancouver, Toronto, and elsewhere, and curated shows of contemporary art and experimental music, including the inaugural selection for Hamish Hamilton Canada’s online gallery, The Looking Glass. He has led workshops for UBC and the Summer Literary Seminar and mentored at the Banff Centre for the Arts, and he currently teaches creative writing at the University of Victoria. His new novel, The Road Narrows As You Go, will be published by Hamish Hamilton in September 2014.
C.C. (Chris) Humphreys is an actor, playwright and novelist. He has written 9 adult historical novels including his most recent Plague and four fantasy horror novels for teens. He has written four plays, the latest being Shakespeare’s Rebel adapted from his novel of the same title and premiering at Bard on the Beach in 2015.
Arno Kopecky is a Squamish-based environmental journalist and travel writer whose dispatches have appeared in The Walrus, Foreign Policy, Reader’s Digest, the Globe and Mail, The Tyee, and other publications. His reportage has covered five continents, ranging from Iceland’s attempt at becoming the first oil-free country in the world to the exploits of Canadian mining companies in the Amazon basin. In recent years he has focused closer to home, writing extensively on Alberta’s oil sands, climate change, and First Nations. He is the author of two books: The Devil’s Curve, and The Oil Man And The Sea.
Elizabeth May is the leader of the Green Party of Canada and Member of Parliament representing the southern Vancouver Island riding of Saanich-Gulf Islands. She is one of Canada’s most respected environmentalists. As well, she practiced law and is also the author of eight books. Elizabeth became active in the environmental movement in the 1970s. She is a graduate of Dalhousie Law School and was admitted to the Bar in both Nova Scotia and Ontario. She held the position of Associate General Council for the Public Interest Advocacy Centre prior to becoming Senior Policy Advisor to the federal minister of the Environment from 1986 until 1988. Elizabeth became Executive Director of the Sierra Club of Canada in 1989, a position she held until March 2006, when she stepped down to run for leadership of the Green Party of Canada. Elizabeth is the author of eight books, including her upcoming Who we are: Reflections on my life and on Canada. She has served on the boards of numerous organizations, including the International Institute for Sustainable Development and as Vice-Chair of the National Round Table on Environment and Economy and is currently a Commissioner of the Earth Charter International Council. Elizabeth became an Officer of the Order of Canada in 2005. In November, 2010,Newsweek magazine named her “one of the world’s most influential women.” In the 2011 Federal Election, Elizabeth made history by being the first Green Party candidate to be elected to the House of Commons. She was chosen (by a vote of all MPs) as Maclean’s magazine’s 2012 Parliamentarian of the Year, 2013 Hardest Working MP and by the Hill Times in 2013 and 2014 as Hardest Working MP, Best Constituency MP and Best Public Speaker.
Ian McAllister is a co-founder of the wildlife conservation organization Pacific Wild. He is an award-winning photographer and author of The Last Wild Wolves and The Great Bear Rainforest, and his images have appeared in publications around the world. He has been honoured by the Globe & Mail as one of 133 highly accomplished Canadians, and he and his wife, Karen McAllister, were named by Time magazine one of the “”Leaders of the 21st Century”” for their efforts to protect British Columbia’s endangered rainforest. He is a member of the International League of Conservation Photographers and has won the North America Nature Photography Association’s Vision Award and the Rainforest Action Network’s Rainforest Hero award. He lives with his family on an island in the heart of the Great Bear Rainforest.
Andrew Nikiforuk is an award-winning Canadian journalist who has been writing about the oil and gas industry for more than two decades. He was one of the first journalists in North America to document the impacts of hydraulic fracturing on rural communities. His books include Saboteurs, which won the 2002 Governor General’s Literary Award for Non-Fiction and was released in an updated edition in 2014; Empire of the Beetle, which was nominated for the Governor General’s Literary Award for Non-Fiction; Tar Sands, which won the Rachel Carson Environment Book Award and became a national bestseller; and The Energy of Slaves. In 2013, he received The Writers’ Trust of Canada Matt Cohen Award: In Celebration of a Writing Life.
Arleen Pare is a poet and novelist, author of two previous books. Originally from Montreal, she lived for many years in Vancouver, where she worked as a social worker and administrator to provide community housing for people with mental illnesses. She now lives in Victoria with her partner, Chris Fox.
Cea Sunrise Person Born into an eccentric hippie family, Cea spent the first decade of her life living in and out of tipis in the Canadian wilderness. From the age of thirteen, she worked successfully as a model in New York, Los Angeles, Paris, Munich, Hamburg, Zurich and Milan. She now lives in Vancouver with her husband and three young children. She is the author of the bestselling memoir North of Normal: a Memoir of My Wilderness Childhood, my Counterculture Family, and How I Survived Both.
Spider Robinson has won 3 Hugos, a Nebula, and numerous other international awards. His 35 books are available in 10 languages. His short work has appeared in countless magazines and anthologies. His most recent novel is VERY HARD CHOICES. In 2006 he was chosen by the estate of Robert A. Heinlein to write the novel VARIABLE STAR based on an outline by Mr. Heinlein. That year he was invited to the National Book Festival in Washington, where he dined with the President and First Lady and read from VARIABLE STAR on the National Mall. In 2008 he received the Robert A. Heinlein Award for Outstanding Body Of Literary Work. Spider was born in the Bronx in 1948 and has lived in Canada since 1974, currently in British Columbia. His op-ed column “The Crazy Years” appeared in The Globe and Mail from 1996-2001. He has also written and/or recorded original music with David Crosby, Todd Butler and Amos Garrett. Spider was married for 35 years to Jeanne Robinson, a Boston-born Buddhist priest, choreographer, dancer, writer, and co-producer of a film about zero-G dance based on her and Spider’s award-winning collaborative novella “Stardance,” for which she was separately invited to the National Book Festival the same year as Spider. She died of cancer in 2010. This year Spider and Jeanne were inducted into the Canadian Science Fiction and Fantasy Hall Of Fame.
Avi Sirlin grew up in Toronto, Canada. After graduating university with a degree in Biology, he worked in a variety of occupations, including pastry baker, forklift operator and landscaper. He’d already enjoyed fulfilling stints as house painter, taxi driver, hot dog vendor, laboratory technician, grain handler, parking lot attendant and telephone solicitor (for which he deeply apologizes, no matter how desperately he needed his tuition money). Each was interesting work, in its own way, but nonetheless he elected to seek a new career path. When Avi next graduated, he had a law degree. As a new lawyer, he first worked with a large Toronto law firm where, from his 35th floor office window, he could see the silos of Victory Soya Mills and reflect fondly on those days when he’d slugged ninety-pound bags of soybean meal all day. After a couple of years practicing labour and employment law, Avi left the firm and founded his own law practice in downtown Toronto, eventually focusing upon immigration and criminal law. Fifteen years went by in a blur. Then Avi decided it was time for a change. Avi now lives in Victoria, British Columbia. Although he still does some legal consulting work, for the past several years he has focused on writing. He has written two screenplays and his novel The Evolutionist is scheduled for publication in September 2014. He is currently at work on his next novel.
Christine Smart is from Salt Spring Island, BC. The White Crow is her latest collection of poetry published in 2013 by Hedgerow Press. Her first book, Decked and Dancing, won the Acorn-Plantos People’s Poet Award in 2007. See website http://christinesmart.ca/
Audrey Thomas has published 17 previous novels and short story collections. Her novels Intertidal Life and Coming Down from Wa were nominated for Governor General’s Literary Awards and won B.C.’s Ethel Wilson Fiction Prize. In 2003 she won the George Woodcock Lifetime Achievement Award. Audrey lives on Galiano Island, British Columbia.
Graeme Truelove, who grew up in Delta, B.C., has worked for the House of Commons and the Library of Parliament in a variety of professional capacities since 2001, and was an intern in Svend Robinson’s Ottawa office from 2002 to 2004. Truelove has also worked for Frontier College as a literacy teacher, and volunteered for the Ontario Public Interest Research Group, among other activist groups. Svend Robinson: A Life in Politics is his first book. He lives in Ottawa.
John Vaillant‘s first book, The Golden Spruce, was a #1 national bestseller, winner of the Governor General’s Literary Award for Non-Fiction, the Pearson Writer’s Trust Non-Fiction Award and the Roderick Haig Brown Regional Prize. The Tiger was a #1 national bestseller, a Canada Reads selection, a Globe and Mail Best Book, and won the BC National Award for Canadian Non-Fiction, the Prix Bouvier, the Sigurd Olson Nature Writing Award, the Hubert Evans Non-Fiction Prize, the CBA Libris Award for Non-Fiction Book of the Year and the CBC Bookie Award for Best Overall Book. It has been translated into 15 languages. Vaillant has written for The New Yorker, The Atlantic,Outside, National Geographic and The Walrus, among other publications. He lives in Vancouver, British Columbia, with his wife and children.
Gillian Wigmore is the author of two books of poems: soft geography (Caitlin Press, 2007), winner of the 2008 ReLit Award, and Dirt of Ages (Nightwood, 2012), and a novella, Grayling (MotherTongue Publishing, 2014). Her work has been published in magazines, short listed for prizes, and anthologized. A book of poems with Brick Books is forthcoming in 2014. She lives in Prince George, BC.
Jane Woods is a graduate of the National Theatre School of Canada and spent a decade working in Canadian regional theatre. She also earned a BFA in Integrative Music Studies from Concordia University. Subsequently she built a career as a voice actor based in Montreal. Later, she began translating and adapting French-language films and television series to be dubbed into English, most notable among them the highly acclaimed series Blanche and Omertà. She now lives in Toronto where she wrote the recently published The Walking Tanteek.