Sidney & Peninsula Literary Society

2019 Festival at a Glance
More information at

Please note that there are two venues: the Mary Winspear Centre and the SHOAL Centre.

Thursday, April 11

7 pm: Esi Edugyan in Conversation with Carla Funk – Tickets $25, including one glass of wine or other beverage. (SHOAL Centre)

Friday, April 12

7 pm: Wine, Words and Music: The Art and Reality of Being a Writer – A panel discussion moderated by Susan Reece with Kate Harris, CC Humphreys, Susan Juby, and Kathy Page – Tickets $25, including one glass of wine or other beverage. (Mary Winspear Centre)

Saturday, April 13

9:30 am – 10:45 am: Reading with Carmen Aguirre, Lorna Crozier, and Kate Harris – Tickets $15. (Mary Winspear Centre)

11:15 am – 12:15 noon: Reading with Steven Heighton and Wayne Johnston – Tickets $15. (Mary Winspear Centre)

1:30 pm – 2:45 pm: A Panel Discussion: Resilience, Refuge, and Renewal: how have you used these themes to tell your story? moderated by Susan Simosko with Kathy Page, Monique Gray Smith and Timothy Taylor – Tickets $15. (Mary Winspear Centre)

3:15 pm – 4:15 pm: Reading with CC Humphreys and Fred Stenson – Tickets $15. (Mary Winspear Centre)

7 pm: Authors Ashore on a Saturday Night: Finding the power to discover and live my own life – A Panel Discussion moderated by Jack Knox with David Chariandy, Lorna Crozier, Steven Heighton, Wayne Johnston, and Darrel J. McLeod – Tickets $25, including one glass of wine or other beverage. (Mary Winspear Centre)

Saturday Writing Workshops

9:30 am – 11:30 am: Writing Workshop: Writing Fiction for the Reading Brain with Fred Stenson (limited to 15 participants). Tickets $75. (SHOAL Centre)

Fred Stenson, for 15 years faculty member and director of the Wired Writing Studio at the Banff Centre, brings his immense experience and skills to bear in a new workshop designed specifically for Sidney LitFest 2019. Based on innovative new science that relates reading fiction to improving brain connectivity, language and movement, Stenson, one of Canada’s pre-eminent novelists and writers, will teach workshop participants techniques to transport their readers into the bodies of their fictional characters, creating a more intense and enriched reading and writing experience.

1:30 pm – 3:30 pm: Writing Workshop: The Poem’s Good Bones with Carla Funk (limited to 20 participants). Tickets $60. (SHOAL Centre)

In a series of guided readings, pen-to-paper writing exercises, and discussion of poetic tools and techniques, this workshop explores how a poem can provide a unique structure for personal essays, lyric prose, and other kinds of creative nonfiction. We’ll work with the essential elements of a well-crafted poem, such as metaphor, image, pattern, and sound, all with the aim of building good bones for a body of text that keeps moving and growing. Though poem-craft will be the primary focus on this workshop, no previous experience in poetry is necessary. All genres and writing levels are welcome to attend.

1:30 pm – 3:30 pm: Writing Workshop: Write Yourself into Being with Susan Juby (limited to 30 participants). Tickets $50. (Mary Winspear Centre)

To write memoir, we need to understand ourselves as characters. That forces us to take a good look at who we are, who we wish we were, and who we might become. In this workshop, Susan Juby will lead writers through the tall grass and hidden tiger traps the memoirist must negotiate. Learn how to decide what parts of your life are memoir-worthy and how to tackle the inevitable anxieties that arise when we write about true events and real people. We will examine the emotional stages and moral quandaries of memoir writing, and do exercises to help with tone and scene building. You will come away with a new understanding of the power of claiming your space in the world through your personal story.

Sunday, April 14

9:30 am: Breakfast with the Authors – readings by Carmen Aguirre, David Chariandy, Jack Knox, Darrel J. McLeod, and Monique Gray Smith – Tickets $35. (Mary Winspear Centre)

Arts and Culture Directory

People often wonder why so many artists, musicians, and highly skilled crafts people live in Sidney and on the Saanich Peninsula. Is it the beautiful environment, the laid-back lifestyle, or other factors that make the area such a haven for creative people? No one will ever know for sure, but the richness of the visual and performing arts is truly remarkable. For a copy of our walking tour map, click here!

Sidney Street Market

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Mary Winspear Centre

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Odette Laroche Gallery

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Peninsula Celebrations Society

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Mountain Dream Productions

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ArtSea Community Arts Council

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McTavish Academy of Art

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Peninsula Gallery

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Sidney Sister Cities Association

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The Village Gallery

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