A Writers Literary Landmark and Writers-in-Residence Centre for Vancouver
The following is a message from Anton Wagner, of the Save the Kogawa Homestead Committee:
Thank you for the great article “How important is saving Kogawa House?
What other literary landmarks are in Vancouver?” on the
I totally agree with Alan Twigg's suggestion to Ann-Marie that we also
focus our campaign to save Joy's former home on Margaret Atwood's
recognition of Vancouver's cultural desert of literary landmarks. As
Alan writes in his entry on Pauline Johnson in the BC Bookworld Author
Bank, “The Pauline
Johnson memorial in Stanley Park, above Third Beach, is the only
literary monument erected in Vancouver for a Canadian writer during the
Johnson died in 1913.
Other provinces and much smaller towns have established and supported
such literary landmarks and a few writers-in-residence programs:
The Manitoba Department of Culture, Heritage and Tourism maintains the
Margaret Laurence House in Neepawa as the Manitoba Provincial Heritage
Site No. 25
In St. Boniface the non-profit corporation La Maison Gabrielle Roy Inc.
operates the Gabrielle Roy House as a museum for the Franco-Manitoban
writer with project grants from the federal, provincial and municipal
governments and corporate, foundation and individual donor support. To
date 105 women and 37 men have donated $1,000 each to the House.
In Eastend, Saskatchewan, the Eastend Arts Council owns and operates
the Wallace Stegner House as a writer/artist's residence. Rent is $250
a month, including all utilities. The furnished house, built in 1916,
contains a kitchen, dining, living room, study, two bedrooms and a bath
and can accommodate two adults and one child. The house is funded in
part by the Saskatchewan Heritage Foundation, the Writers' Development
Trust, provincial, federal and civic government grants, and individual
In Dawson City, the Yukon Arts Council and the Klondike Visitor's
Association and the Dawson City Libraries Association operate the
Berton House Writer's Residence Retreat. Initiated by Pierre Burton in
his former boyhood home, the Writer's Residence Retreat enables
professional Canadian writers to
write in the remote Northern community free of charge.
One item of great interest in your
http://users.yknet.yk.ca/dcpages/bertonhouse/story.html link is the
last April 2001 item on that page, “Canada Council to support Berton
House writers.” It reports a grant of $100,000 from the Canada Council
over a three-year period to the Berton House Writer's Retreat Society
to enable four Canadian or
international writers to be in residence in the house for three months
each, with a monthly fellowship of $2,000 and travel cost assistance.
This would be a great precendent for us in seeking financial operating
assistance from the Canada Council.
But again, no such writing centre and literary landmark exists in
Vancouver.The Federation of BC Writers operates a small writing cabin,
gifted by George Fetherling, the Horsefly Manor Writers Retreat on
Quesnel Lake in the Cariboo.
Lorna Crozier has informed us that the Haig-Brown House in Campbell
River, operated by the non-profit conservation organization, the
Haig-Brown Institute, has just opened its doors to writers, with Don
McKay being the first writer-in-residence.
Vancouver, one of Canada's most dynamic cities and our gateway to the
East, needs a writers-in-residence centre as has been proposed for the
Joy Kogawa House so that Canadian and international writers can observe
and write about the unique evolving multi and intercultural society
that is developing