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Wine and words make up Nelson's Elephant Mountain festival beginning Thursday

By Contributor
May 8th, 2012

Support for the Elephant Mountain Literary Festival in Nelson continues to arrive as the clock ticks down to the four-day event July 12-15 beginning Thursday.

The weekend features local and nationally recognized authors and publishers, a B.C. wine-tasting evening, panels, a spoken word workshop and more.

The Festival in June received a $7,000 grant from the Vancouver Foundation, as well as a $3,000 grant from the Columbia-Kootenay Cultural Alliance through the Nelson and District Arts Council. 

Other financial backing for the event has come from a range of national, provincial and local funders, including the Canada Council for the Arts, Columbia Basin Trust, Nelson and District Credit Union, the City of Nelson Community Initiatives Program, the Osprey Community Foundation, Okanagan College and Selkirk College.

The Elephant Mountain Literary Festival begins with a gala wine-tasting evening, where six B.C. wines chosen by BC Wineguys will be matched to six local authors, who will give short readings. 

Friday night, a spoken word cabaret will present Calgary’s Sheri-D Wilson, founder of the Banff Centre’s Spoken Word program, along with local spoken word artists and musicians. 

Wilson will conduct a spoken word workshop at the Oxygen Art Centre on Saturday morning, July 14.

Panels on Saturday will showcase literary press editors from Toronto’s House of Anansi Press, Calgary’s Freehand Books, and B.C.’s Caitlin Press. 

Also speaking during Saturday will be Canada’s new poet laureate Fred Wah, Newfoundland novelist Lisa Moore, and Vancouver nonfiction author John Vaillant.

Saturday evening will feature a gala reading by Wah, Moore and Vaillant; Wah’s part of the festivities will be his first hometown reading since assuming his new post. 

More information, including Festival passes and tickets to the July 12 wine-tasting evening are available at, or by phoning 250-505-1114. 

The Festival will conclude with an open brunch with the authors on Sunday morning.

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