Word on the Lake, May 15-17
April 17th, 2015
It only takes five hours to drive to Salmon Arm from Vancouver. So the twelfth annual Word on the Lake Writers’ Festival from May 15th-17th, at the Prestige Harbourfront Resort and Okanagan College in Salmon Arm, is not just for people in the Okanagan.
As usual, they’ve tried to offer a diverse selection of literary and musical entertainment–including some sessions with publishers and editors. It’s opportunity for networking for some, for relaxing for others.
This year’s presenter lineup includes publisher Kelsey Attard, Gail Bowen, Brian Brett, Norma Charles, Margaret Curelas, Anne DeGrace, Charles de Lint, Grant Lawrence (top right), Kathryn Para, Jodie Renner, Harold Rhenisch, and Louise Wallace.
Friday night offers a Coffee House session with author readings and the music of Juno Award winner and Hall of Fame songwriter Gary Fjellgaard. He’ll also appear at the Saturday Night Banquet, along with entertainment provided by Charles de Lint and his editor/partner MaryAnn Harris. The omnipresent CBC host and author Grant Lawrence will keep things lively.
Info can be found at wordonthelakewritersfestival.com
Among the featured authors will be Anne DeGrace of Nelson. Her first novel, Treading Water (McArthur & Co., 2005), traces a fictional community in the B.C. interior from its first settler to the last to leave in the face of hydroelectric dam development in the 1960s. It’s based on the fate of Renata, B.C., a community submerged under 35 feet of water by the erection of the Hugh Keenleyside Dam.
Her follow-up novels are Wind Tails (2007) and Sounding Line (2009). The latter is derived for a reported UFO sighting in Shag Harbour, Nova Scotia, that produced a media frenzy and the arrival of both American and Canadian military ships in the harbour. That incident has been dubbed ‘Canada’s Roswell.’ DeGrace has fictionalized the story, concentrating on how the hoopla impacts one particular family.
Her first collection of Trans-Canada short stories is Flying with Amelia (McArthur 2011) with a variety of settings between 1901 and 1999: “A St. John’s boy learns the finer points of communication while his employer Marconi receives the first transatlantic wireless signal. A British Home Child finds sorrow and solace on an Ontario farmstead. In 1920s Montreal, a one-armed WWI veteran gambles everything for a future with a beautiful, intelligent, political young woman. In northern Manitoba, German prisoners of war find creative ways to quell boredom. RCMP officers snatch Doukhobor children in British Columbia, while a decade later U.S. draft dodgers find refuge in Canada. In the Maritimes, a young man answers a personal ad written by a Saskatchewan schoolteacher, resulting in recipes and romance set against a backdrop of unrest during the Great Depression.”
Treading Water (McArthur & Company 2005)
Wind Tails (McArthur 2007) / republished as Far From Home (Avon 2009) in the U.S.
Sounding Line (McArthur 2009)
Flying with Amelia (McArthur 2011)