Giller Prize winner Lynn Coady takes part in Point of Departure readings 

Author joined by novelist Bill Gaston and local writer Katherine Fawcett at Millennium Place on May 23

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Author Lynn Coady, winner of the 2013 Giller Prize for her short story collection Hellgoing, is taking part in the second Points of Departure Reading Series at Millennium Place on Friday, May 23.

Joining her onstage will be award-winning novelist Bill Gaston and Pemberton fiction writer Katherine Fawcett. Whistler writer and musician Stephen Vogler will moderate the evening.

The series is a collaboration between the Whistler Readers & Writers Festival and The Point Artist-Run Centre.

Tickets are $20 and available April 28 at www.whistlerreadersandwritersfestival.com.

Squamish Culture & Heritage Festival opens

Whether it's the logging, the pioneer life, First Nations, or histories of mountain biking and climbing, the upcoming Squamish Culture & Heritage Festival has it.

The festival takes place at Quest University on Friday, May 2 and Saturday, May 3.

The festival grew out of the creation of the Squamish Historical Society in 2006 following the closure of Woodfibre Pulp Mill on Howe Sound.

Organizer Bianca Peters said they aimed for a community feel, with youngsters from Brackendale Elementary, Garibaldi Highlands Elementary, and Grade 10s from Howe Sound Secondary involved in research projects that will be on show.

"We're finding more and more historical information as we go along and become more respected," Peters says. "People are donating more photos and information from people living outside our community because people pass away and their children are finding interesting things packed away in basements and attics.

"When we look at the photos given to us we think 'Wow, this is a treasure.'"

Speakers include Bill McLennan with Speaking to Memory: Images and Voices from St. Michael's Residential School, Cliff Miller with A History of Mountain Biking in Squamish: The Early Years, and Rod MacLeod with Whistler-Squamish Links.

Films In the Shadow of the Chief and The Diamondhead Chalet will also be shown.

There will be displays by Squamish Days Logger Sports and Trevor Mills' steam trains. Music is by Cam Salay, The Squamish Nation and The Sea to Sky Singers.

The event is free and was funded by grants from the Department of Canadian Heritage and Squamish Savings.

There are also workshops offered by Alice Guss (weaving and drum making) and Diana Billy (herbal medicine and basket weaving) of the Squamish Nation. Workshops are $25 including tools and materials; they take place on the third-floor library.

For more information visit www.squamishhistory.ca

New course to get writing projects going

Rebecca Wood-Barrett wants you to kick-start your writing.

The screenwriter and novelist, a member of Whistler's writers group The Vicious Circle, is offering a new course by that name.

The course is aimed at both emerging and experienced writers of fiction, screenwriting or non-fiction.

"If you have a project and want to feel it out, get a sense of what direction you should go with it... we will critique people's projects. That is definitely a focus," Wood-Barrett says.

"It is a course where people will need to write, do a little homework."

Another focus for the group will be craft.

"Story building blocks, characters, story architecture, point of view... and we will also talk a little about idea generation and writing practice and keeping going," Wood-Barrett says.

The course runs on Sundays from May 11 to June 29 and will take up to 12 students; the cost is $240 for eight sessions. The sessions will take place at the Whistler Public Library from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m.

People can sign up at www.theviciouscircle.ca.

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