BC Book Prizes annual soirée: I love it… lots of literary connections and prizes!

BC Book Prizes annual soirée: I love it…
– lots of literary connections and prizes!

On Saturday, April 21, 2007, I attended the annual BC Book Prize Soirée at Vancouver
Harbour Centre.  It is one of my favorite literary events of the
year.  Now I can hardly wait for the actual BC Book Prizes Awards
Gala later this year…. check PHOTOS
taken by Deb Martin and myself that are featured on the BC Book Prize Soiré  website. 

I love meeting up with my good friends in the BC literary community… and making new friends!  

BC Book
Prize board member George McWhirter, recently named Vancouver's inaugural
poet laureate, was crowned with a laurel wreath and read a poem for
an appreciative crowd. (photo: Deb Martin)

introduced myself to George McWhirter who last year became Vancouver's
inaugural poet laureate.  I also invited George to be a special
guest for next year's Gung Haggis Fat Choy dinner – he was
thrilled.  George told me that while he is “technically” born in
Ireland – his family has a generations long history crossing back and
forth between Ireland and Scotland.  He even shared with me that
his daughter-in-law is Chinese from Singapore…. I think.  I will
have to reconfer with George on that.  When I joked about creating
a “McWong” tartan, George suggested that I could even use the term “Ma
Wong” which in Gaelic means “son of Wong” – but he also knew that “Ma”
was a chinese name meaning “horse.”  “That's my mother's maiden
name!” I exclaimed… I think it will be a great 2008 Gung Haggis Fat
Choy dinner with Vancouver's first poet laureate.

Literary men about town, Todd Wong and Ian Chunn posed with BC Book
Prizes board member Ann-Marie Metten. (photo: Deb Martin)

Metten is a favorite liteary friend of mine. She is an editor for many
publishing houses and magazines in BC… and she is also the Secretary
for BC Book Prizes.  And most important of all… we are two of
the coordinators for the Joy Kogawa House committee, working hard
throughout 2005 and 2006 to find ways to raise the profile of the Save
Kogawa House campaign and fundraise with The Land Conservancy of BC,
who were so impressed with the campaign, that they ultimately stepped
in to lead fundraising and eventually purchase Joy Kogawa House.

The silent
auction featured great stuff, including a gorgeous dragon puppet donated
by the BC Library Association, books, weekend getaways and much more.  (photo: T. Wong)

Silent Auction prizes are always great at the BC Book Prizes Soiree. This beautiful red dragon donated by the BC Library Association was later picked up by Todd Wong to become a new member of the
Gung Haggis Fat Choy dragon boat team… Red is definitely one of our
team colours.

BC Book
Prizes Executive Director Bryan Pike and Melanie Reid, successful
bidder of a signed Vancouver Canucks jersey. (photo: Deb Martin)

I put my $140 bid on the Canucks jersey, Melanie Reid warned me that
she would outbid me.  It was a thrill to reconnect with my former
English Drama instructor from Capilano College.  Last year, I met
up with Stan Perskey, my former Political Science instructor from
Capilano College who was also a Book Prize nominee.

At the
end of the evening, Todd Wong showed off his successful bid sheets
with Executive Director Liesl Jauk and BC Book Prizes board president,
Michael Hayward. (photo: Deb Martin)

Other events for BC Book Prizes:

Monday, April 23, 2007
Vancouver reading event at Chapters on
Robson | 7 pm

April 23-27, 2007
BC Book Prizes On Tour: Southern
Kamloops | Salmon Arm | Vernon | Kelowna | Princeton
| Osoyoos | Oliver | Victoria

Thursday, April 26, 2007
Vancouver reading event at Wonder of Words
| 7 pm

Saturday, April 28, 2007
End of
BC Book and Magazine Week

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