Denman Island hosts annual literary festival

Readers and Writers Festival runs July 18-21

By Stewart Goodings

Special to The Record

It’s that time of year again. Denman Festival time. For the 17th year in a row, Denman Island will welcome the Readers and Writers Festival, July 18-21.

As usual, there’s a dazzling array of talent to enjoy: from Beverley McLachlin, Canada’s former Chief Justice, with her debut novel, Full Disclosure, to Lindsay Wong, also a first time published author, with her tell-all best-selling memoir The Woo Woo.

From Simon Fraser University teacher and novelist David Chariandy, whose Brother was a finalist in the CBC Canada Reads contest this year, to Darrel McLeod, whose searing memoir, Mamaskatch, relates the hardships and epiphanies of growing up Cree in Alberta. This festival promises literary excitement for everybody.

In addition to McLachlin, Wong, Chariandy, and McLeod, there are six other outstanding writing talents at this year’s festival.

The accomplished novelist Heather O’Neill comes from Montreal, the venue for most of her fictional plots and memorable characters such as in The Lonely Hearts Hotel.

Paula Wild hails from Courtenay and her work is focused on nature and the environment, with her latest book The Return of the Wolf.

Billeh Nickerson is a Vancouver poet, also a writing teacher at Kwantlen Polytechnic, and his most recent book is Artificial Cherry. Andrew MacLeod is a journalist with The Tyee and writes about contemporary issues such as inequality and health (his latest is All Together Healthy: A Canadian Wellness Revolution). Kathy Page is from Salt Spring Island and won the most recent Rogers Trust Fiction Prize for her novel, Dear Evelyn. Rounding out the list is the prolific columnist with the Victoria Times-Colonist, Jack Knox, renowned for his unique brand of humour and whimsy, with titles such as Hard Knox: Musings From The Edge of Canada.

The festival always ends with a Main Stage featuring Des Kennedy as the gentle and probing questioner of one of the invited authors, and this year “In Conversation with…” will feature an interview with Beverley McLachlin, who for 17 years was Chief Justice of Canada’s Supreme Court, a lawyer, jurist, and distinguished Canadian who has become a novelist in her retirement from the bench. What a life she has led, and who better than Des to explore the drama and challenges of her storied career?

To see the full schedule, buy tickets or register for a workshop go to

Just Posted

Lots to do and see at 145th annual Comox Valley Exhibition

The 145th annual Comox Valley Exhibition offered plenty Friday through Monday, with… Continue reading

VIDEO: Courtenay woman meets biological mother, 38 years later

Mother never gave up hope of finding daughter, despite all the obstacles

Fundraisers in place long-time Comox Valley chef

Peter Bradley recovering from emergency brain surgery

Last Simms Park concert of the season to double as a food bank fundraiser

Bring a donation for the food bank to the My Generation concert, Sunday, Aug. 25

City of Courtenay adds pickleball courts Martin Park lacrosse box

Lacrosse, pickleball, and recreational ball hockey players in the Comox Valley can… Continue reading

VIDEO: Ride to Conquer Cancer rolls into Hope

Thousands of cyclist descend on small town for annual cancer fundraiser

VIDEO: Ride to Conquer Cancer rolls into Hope

Thousands of cyclist descend on small town for annual cancer fundraiser

Island murder victim’s mom expresses outrage over mental fitness decision of the accused

Smith vows to keep fighting until justice served for Descoteau

B.C. VIEWS: Pipelines set to roll as federal politicians posture

Projects to drive B.C., Canadian economy in years ahead

B.C. Lions fall to 1-9 after 13-10 loss to Ticats

Lowly Leos have dropped six straight CFL contests

B.C. man who died after rescuing swimmer was known for helping others

Shaun Nugent described as a dad, a coach, a hero and ‘stand-up guy’ at celebration of life

B.C. RCMP plane chases fleeing helicopter as part of major cross-border drug bust

The helicopter eventually landed at a rural property near Chilliwack

Vancouver Island man dead after reported hit-and-run incident

Oceanside RCMP seek public’s help gathering information

Thousands cycle to conquer cancer

The 11th annual Ride to Conquer Cancer took place Saturday morning, Aug. 24 in Surrey, B.C.

Most Read