R.I.P Irene Howard (1922 – 2023)

“Irene Howard (left) wrote an important bio of  the first woman to be elected to Vancouver City Council. But she is probably best known for the memoir about her immigrant mining family.FULL STORY



BC books win Moonbeams

October 11th, 2023

The Moonbeam Children’s Book Awards recognize and reward books that support childhood literacy and life-long reading.

Three BC-authored books earned Moonbeam Awards this year including: Oolichan Moon (Harbour) by Samantha Beynon, illustrated by Lucy Trimble; The Science and Superpowers of Seaweed (Harbour) by Amanda Swinimer (pictured at right); and A Kid’s Guide to Plants of the Pacific Northwest (Harbour) by Philippa Joly.


Oolichan Moon, the recipient of the Moonbeam Prize Gold Medal in the Cultural Experience Category was also short-listed for the Indigenous Voices Award (2023) and long-listed for First Nations Communities Read (2023), is an illustrated children’s book about passing down traditional knowledge from Nisga’a Elders and the sacredness of traditional foods. It celebrates Nisga’a language, history and culture as well as including historical and cultural information about the oolichan fish and related Nisga’a vocabulary. The author, Samantha Beynon is a resident of Kxeen Island (Prince Rupert) and her diverse heritage includes Nisga’a, Ts’msyen, and European roots. Inspired by her great-grandfathers, William Beynon and Chief Clah, both writers and learners, Beynon is pursuing a Masters in Educational Leadership at Vancouver Island University. Illustrator Lucy Trimble hails from the Frog clan and has maternal roots in Gingolx, BC. Trimble works as an Indigenous Child and Youth Mental Health Clinician for coastal Ts’msyen communities and is a student at the Freda Diesing School of Northwest Coast Art.


The Science and Superpowers of Seaweed by Amanda Swinimer is the recipient of the 2023 Moonbeam Prize Gold Medal in the Activity Book: Educational, Science, History Category. This colourful, activity-packed book is a middle-grade and family-friendly introduction to the enchanting world of seaweed. Aimed at exploring the science and sustainable harvest of seaweed, this unique field guide features seaweeds from the Atlantic and Pacific oceans while showcasing the beautiful and vital ecosystems of the coast. “This book is a fascinating guide to one of the world’s most important groups of species,” says academic and environmental activist David Suzuki. Amanda Swinimer lives on the west coast of Vancouver Island. She operates a sustainable business, Dakini Tidal Wilds, hand-harvesting wild seaweed from the beaches and kelp forests surrounding her home. She holds a bachelor of science degree from Dalhousie University with an advanced major in Marine Biology.


A Kid’s Guide to Plants of the Pacific Northwest by Philippa Joly is the recipient of the 2023 Moonbeam Prize Silver Medal in the Activity Book: Educational, Science, History Category. This middle-grade-friendly introduction to Pacific Northwest flora, with outdoor activities, games and quizzes, encourages children to engage with the natural environment. Drawing on her years of experience as a herbalist and outdoor educator, author Philippa Joly features more than fifty illustrated plant profiles, including information on identification and ecology, uses in Coastal Indigenous cultures, and fun activities—all in a way that is accessible and interesting to readers of all ages.  Philippa Joly is a clinical and community herbalist, paramedic and outdoor educator based on Denman Island. She runs an outdoor school for kids and leads workshops on herbal medicine, plant identification, ethical wild-crafting, herbal first aid, local healing plants and anti-colonial approaches to wellness.

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