Friday, July 19, 2013



Somewhere between 70 and 80 people (according to my less-than-accurate count) came out for the opening night gala for the 2nd Annual Elephant Mountain Literary Festival in Nelson last weekend. It was my first time in the Shanti Centre which proved to be a gorgeous space complete with high ceilings, huge windows, and a stage. A table groaned under the weight of all the food and there was much beer and wine and schmoozing. 

Calvin Wharton, Tom Wayman and Verna Relkoff 

Jenny Craig and Anne Champagne

Sean Arthur Joyce
Bessie Wapp, MC for the event, arrived on stage wearing a rather unusual outfit. 

Fortunately, she just happened to have a tasteful tux handy

I know, I know, I should have used the flash. But here's a look at the very supportive audience.
Peter McPhee and Lynn Krauss, enjoying one of the readings. HUGE kudos to Lynn who, with a great team of helpers, organized the festival. 

Another look at the book table, with Barbara Mulcahy and Agnes Toews

Jane Byers, with whom I'm lucky enough to be in a poetry group

Elena Banfield performed a gorgeous and moving poem 

The very entertaining Magpie Ulysses 

Performance poet and singer Brendan McLeod led a singalong and had the audience in stitches

Agnes Toews, Ann Alma, Andrea Wright, Anne DeGrace, Barbara Mulcahy, Art Joyce, Marcia Braundy and me. We all had books on the book table.

Friday night I went to hear MG Vassanji, Howard White and Terry Fallis, whose first book, The Best Laid Plans, I just finished reading. If you haven't yet (although surely I must be the last Canadian to get into it), and if you are a little, um, displeased with the way things are going on Parliament Hill these years, do yourself a favour and get it immediately. I haven't had such a good reading giggle in a long time.

I was sorry to have to miss the Saturday events (panels and readings), but got to attend a very fun wedding. Oh, to be able to clone oneself at such times!

I've been busy sewing books again. This time it's a journal for the silent auction at a fundraiser for Pat Henman and her daughter, Maia, who were in a nasty car accident. Kootenay people, it's on July 31st at the Capitol Theatre. Be there!



Agnes Toews-Andrews said...

A grande beginning of more Literary Festivals in the Kootenays yet to come. I'm certain. Delighted to be a part of the Thursday evening social for the first time in the Kootenays with a few of my books. In my opinion it was a successful event. There was much laughter, good spirits and new connections made all around. Agnes Toews-Andrews

Sean Arthur Joyce said...

Linda: thanks for blogging the EMLF so well. I volunteered to sit in the editor's chair for the Valley Voice July 24 edition so my plans to blog about the fine experience of the festival got derailed. Keep up the great work, both on and off-blog!