Lawrence Hill, the best-selling author of The Book of Negroes is speaking in Whistler on Saturday, May 8 at the Squamish Lil'wat Cultural Centre.
Hill will read from and discuss the book, a historical saga that chronicles a heroine's fight to win her freedom after being sold into slavery as a young child.
The real Book of Negroes is a 150-page ledger created by the Royal British Navy, documenting biographical information on the 3,000 African Americans who fled slavery to serve the British during the American Revolution. After the British lost the war in 1783, they sent those Black Loyalists to Nova Scotia.
Hill's Book of Negroes has sold more than 300,000 copies in Canada and was named one of the top 10 Canadian books of the decade by Maclean's, Quill and Quire and NOW magazine. It has been optioned for a movie and has won the Commonwealth Writers Prize for Best Book, the Rogers Writers Trust Award in 2008 and CBC's annual Canada Reads debate in 2009.
The 54-year-old Hill became a writer at the age of six when, in a bid to convince his father to let him have a kitten, he wrote a letter arguing his case.
"I wanted that cat. Had to have it. So I poured my heart and soul onto that page. He let me have the cat. And from that point on, every time I wanted something else from my father, he made me write another letter for it. And this is how I became a writer."
Hill is the latest in a line of leading Canadian authors brought to Whistler by the Whistler Writers Group, a.k.a. the Vicious Circle. The list includes Joseph Boyden, Annabel Lyon and Stephen Galloway.
Tickets to the event are $20 and are available at www.theviciouscircle.ca.
Canadian Tire Money may fund arts
The Whistler Arts Council has found a creative way to work around some of the recent budget cuts they've been experiencing; they're collecting Canadian Tire Money to help pay for art supplies for the Whistler Children's Festival.
WAC is asking people to donate their Canadian Tire Money to help purchase essential supplies and make the 27th annual festival a success. The arts council and festival are facing substantial funding cuts from the provincial and federal government.
The arts council is also looking for volunteers to help with every aspect of the event: workshop assistants, registration, greenroom hospitality, set up/tear down, pre-event administration and operations crew.
For more information on how to donate or volunteer, email email@example.com or call 604-935-8232.
A music-filled festival for 2010
The Howe Sound Music Festival is coming back to Squamish and Whistler for another year.
Sponsored by the Howe Sound Performing Arts Association, the festival runs from April 13 to 18, with piano, vocal and choral students coming together to perform during four busy days of performance and learning experience. Aline Banno (piano) and Joanne Hounsell (voice/choral) lend their expertise and experience during the four days, with all performance classes open to the public. There will also be a Highlights Gala held on Sunday, April 18 at 3 p.m., featuring all of the gold medal performers from the week.
For more information, visit www.musicfestivalweb.com.
Whistler dads, it's time to get dapper. And daughters, don your best dress! The community's 17th annual Father Daughter Dance takes place on Saturday, May 8 at the Fairmont Chateau Whistler Resort. All of the funds raised go towards the Whistler Children's Centre Society and the Myrtle Philip and Spring Creek Community Schools.
Tickets to the fundraiser are $40 for fathers and $20 for daughters. They are available at http://www.eplyevents.com/whistlerfatherdaughterdance until April 16. The dance starts at 5 p.m. and goes until 8:30 p.m.
Spring into the arts
With the winter sport season finally winding down, anyone looking to flex their artistic muscles should check out the Resort Municipality of Whistler's spring art classes, which started last week.
They're offering pottery for beginners on Wednesday nights, macramé classes on Thursday nights and a bead-making workshop on Thursday nights, as well. The classes range from $32 to $200, and are held at Whistler Secondary School. For more information, call 604-935-PLAY.
The organizers of the Banff Mountain Photography Competition are looking for the best mountain shots for the 15th annual event.
There is over $4,000 in cash and gifts up for grabs. Winning photographers will also have a chance to exhibit their photographs at The Banff Centre, online at their website and have the images included in a whirlwind, worldwide tour. Entry deadline is Friday, April 30. For more information on how to submit photos, contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Closer to home, the RMOW is looking for Olympic photos to include in a new rotating exhibition which will be installed outside of Whistler Medals Plaza in mid-May.
The exhibit will include 20 images selected by representatives from the RMOW, the Whistler Museum and Archives Society, Whistler Arts Council and Public Art Committee. They will be on display for three months before being replaced by 20 new images. Photo credits will be provided for all selected images. All images submitted to the exhibition will be posted on whistler2010.com to become part of the RMOW's Games-time photo database, which has no commercial use. Any time the photo is used, the photographer will be acknowledged.
People are asked to submit up to five images with the name of the photographer, a 10-word description for each photo and the date each image was taken to email@example.com. Submissions must be received by Friday, April 16.
Going, going, gone!
The Pro Photographer Showdown and 72 Hour Filmmaker Showdown are always the hottest tickets in town during the Telus World Ski and Snowboard Festival, but the 15th annual festival is shaping up to be even busier than ever, with the two main artistic events already sold out as of Monday morning.
While organizers always sell-out the two shows, this year's sales were the fastest in the history of the festival, and organizers are urging people to get tickets to the other events ASAP as many other events are also moving quickly. There are a small number of VIP Pro Photo tickets being traded on the "black market" (aka twitter.com/wssf) - check it out.
Online purchasing is no longer available, so anyone interested in getting tickets should swing by Whsitler Conference Centre's ticket window at the Activity Centre between 10 a.m. and 6 p.m., or call 604-938-2769. Previously ordered tickets can be collected at Will Call.