Photos from the 6th Annual Poetry Gabriola Festival

With the title of Malcolm Lowry’s posthumously published novel October Ferry To Gabriola in my head (even though it’s November) I boarded the ferry in Nanaimo to head over an check out the 6th Annual Poetry Gabriola Festival at the Surf Lodge. I had a great time, saw a few familiar faces and met a lot of new people. Artistic Director Hilary Peach and her crew are doing a great job with this island festival. I saw a great group performance, learned a little about haiku, heard an imromptu ukele and voice duet, was read to and listened to an amazing panel discussion.  The only downside was having to leave before Saturday’s evening events including an show featuring Christian Bök, Alexis O’Hara and Paul Dutton which would have been amazing I’m sure.


Artwork  featured on the festival poster and program is by Sheila Norgate


Festival Artistic Director (and performer) Hilary Peach


Hilary Peach and Production Deputy/Publicist Kathy McIntyre contemplate the day ahead


Members of the Easy Writers group practice the finale of their One Sweet Ride show


The lighting director checks out the stage action


Lunch in the Surf pub


Antony Holland in the Surf pub, he was performing Sunday


Christian Bök grabs a few moments of internet time in the Surf pub


Books and Cd’s on sale


Checking out the merchandise


Introducing Winona Baker and Naomi Beth Waken for a presentation on Haiku and Tanka


Hilary with volunteers


An impromtu ukele and voice duet


Festival photographer Victor Anthony shoots a portrait of poet Naomi Beth Wakan


Poet and psychotherapist Drek Daa arrives at the Surf Lodge


(L-R) Alexis o’Hara, Evalyn Parry, Sheila Norgate and Hilary Peach at the Self-Scripted Women event


Poet K. Louise Vincent reads


Vancouver Island poet and novelist Marilyn Bowering reads


Montreal’s Alexis O’Hara sets up for her evening show with Christian Bök and Paul Dutton


Writers Flock to Surrey For 17th Annual International Conference

Hundreds of writers turned out for the 17th Annual Surrey International Writers’ Conference this past weekend to listen to and be taught by writers, editors, publishers and agents from around North America. The conference differs from many other festivals happening at this time of year in that it is geared to educating writers rather than presenting the latest work from authors. Participants could take in a series of short workshops throughout the day as well as sign up to pitch their work to an agent or publisher or have a sample of their work edited by an editor or writer.They could also enjoy a silent auction, trade show, book fair as well as  a production of War Of The Worlds with the parts voiced by well known writers at the conference.


Participants sign up to pitch work or work with an editor.



Presenters Jack Whyte and Anne Perry chat between events


Writer Annabel Lyon chats with a participant about her work at the Blue Pencil Cafe


Publisher Howard White, from Harbour Publishing, listens to a proposal from a participant.


Agent Carolyn Swayze listens to a book pitch from participant Patrick Blennerhassett


Participants wait for a workshop to begin


Poets Gary Geddes and Bernice Lever wait to start their poetry workshop


Volunteer Kimberly Plumley directs participants to a workshop with Michael Slade and Robert Dugoni


Checking out the books at the Chapters stand in the traide fair


Waiting for the official opening of the Conference Saturday morning


Writer Diana Gabaldon chats at the Saturday lunch.


Surrey International Writers Conference – October 23-25 2009

The 17th annual Surrey International Writers Conference kicks off this weekend with a series of keynote speakers, workshops,  editor & agent interviews and book signings. Speakers include Diana Gabaldon, Gary Geddes, Annabel Lyon and C.C. Humphries. Check back here next week for photos and more from the festival.


Poetry Gabriola Festival – November 12 – 15


The 6th annual Poetry Gabriola Festival comes up in a few weeks starting on November 12 and running through to November 15 on beautiful Gabriola Island  near Nanaimo on Vancouver Island. Poets appearing include Christian Bök, Marilyn Bowering and Paul Dutton and many many more. All events at the Surf Lodge.

Festival Reading

Pacific Festival of the Book

Due to travel/work I missed the 3rd annual Pacific Festival of the Book that ran May 4-15. Well, I did manage to run  in to (for maybe 10 minutes) one panel discussion and here, finally, are a couple of photos from the event. I didn’t want the Festival to pass  without a mention even if it’s late because every festival/event is important.


Banner for festival along Quadra Street


A panel discussion on the writer and responsibility, moderated by Trevor Carolan (centre, in vest) and with (L-R) Walter Hildebrandt, Rhona McAdam, Janet Marie Rogers, Stephen Henighan and Gary Geddes


Stephen Henighan and Gary Geddes


Audience listens to Gary Geddes (L)

Canadian Festival

Canadian Writers’ Festivals

Fall is the season for the big Canadian Writers’ Festivals so here’s a list of what’s coming up. Today’s the last day for the Winnipeg Festival so you’ll have to start making plans for next year but there’s a lot more upcoming in October. Vancouver hosts the Writers & Readers event October 21-26 at the lovely Granville Island site. Calgary and Banff, as always, co-host Wordfest from October 14 – 19. Take a quick trip north from Calgary to Edmonton and take in the International Literary Festival there October 16-19.  In Ottawa from October 18-27 you can take in literary events at their International Writers Festival. Toronto puts on their event at Harbourfront where you can attend the International Festival of Authors October 22 – November 1. Lesser known events are the Surrey International Writers Conference October 23-26. Surrey is located just outside Vancouver so you can take in two festivals in the same area at the same time. For all you adventure types, armchair and otherwise, don’t forget the Banff Mountain Book Festival November 1-9, held in conjunction with a film festival. If that’s not enough start marking your calendar for next spring and the Blue Metropolis Montreal International Literary Festival April 22-26, 2009.