On beautiful Salt Spring Island, I’m pleased to be teaching a workshop on Followers’ technique, including walking, contra-body, and adornos. March 18th, 2:45 pm. Leads are welcome to join us at 3:25, while we focus on creating opportunities for embellishments. All Saints by the Sea Church. Guest DJ, at Salt Spring’s very welcoming Milonga, 4 pm.
While The Chief Factor’s Daughter has been available at libraries across the continent (and in Zurich!) since its release, it has recently been acquired by the University of Victoria’s McPherson Library.
In the new year, I’m pleased to be speaking to a Public History seminar at the University of Victoria, about the process of writing historical “fiction”. This graduate course explores how people gain a sense of history outside of the classroom, including by reading novels.
My poem, “Garry Oak”, is being published in the Fall issue of Quilliad Press, to be launched October 22nd in Toronto. Inspired by the haunting beauty and fantastic shapes of these native oaks (named for a deputy governor of the Hudson’s Bay Company, and sometimes called Oregon Oak in the US), the poem celebrates this unique ecosystem of the Pacific Northwest.
The Chief Factor’s Daughter was October’s read for the book club at Goward House. A former home, this beautiful 1908 heritage site was converted to an activity centre and arts venue. I welcome invitations to attend book club meetings and discuss this historical novel with readers. Gazette newsletter, p. 2.
In keeping with the fall season, I’ll be sharing local stories of departing life and Victorian-era traditions, from widow’s weeds to Postmortem portraits. October 15th, at Ross Bay Villa — currently decorated in mourning for its own departed.
How were women impacted by the discoveries of gold in British Columbia? The Royal BC Museum’s Live@lunch talk, October 7th, will reveal some remarkable women of fur-trade families in Victoria, and their resilience in facing the dramatic changes of the Gold Rush.
In partnership with the Greater Victoria Public Library, the Royal BC Museum is hosting a Golden Reads Book Club to further explore their Gold Rush exhibit this summer. The Chief Factor’s Daughter is August’s Book of the Month. Readers from around the world are welcome to join in through GoodReads “RBCM Golden Reads” group. A live discussion will follow at Helmcken House, a heritage site featured in the novel.
This month the Victoria Newcomers’ Heritage Club meets at Point Ellice House, to discuss the connections of this National Heritage Site with characters of The Chief Factor’s Daughter. I look forward to meeting the club after they tour the house and gardens, a rare example of local Victorian history. This is an ongoing opportunity for book clubs and other groups to bring stories together with heritage. Queries welcome through my contact form, or Point Ellice House Museum.
It will be a pleasure to participate in this event at the unique TeaFarm in the Cowichan Valley on Saturday, April 25th. Celebrating the culture of Argentina with Yerba Mate tea and traditional sweets, this intimate evening includes the music and dance of tango, with Roland Grittani and myself. World-travelling tanguero and musician Roland will introduce the tango on the accordion.