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Eleanor Wachtel, Angie Abdou among presenters at Elephant Mountain Literary Festival

By Contributor
May 11th, 2014

CBC national book show host Eleanor Wachtel, 2011 Canada Reads finalist Angie Abdou, long-time McClelland & Stewart publisher Douglas Gibson, and nonfiction author and singer/songwriter Sid Marty, winner of the Grand Prize at the Banff Festival of Mountain Books and of Alberta’s Grant MacEwan Literary Arts lifetime achievement award, are among the presenters at Nelson’s third annual Elephant Mountain Literary Festival, July 10-13.

The 2014 Elephant Mountain Literary Festival lineup was announced Wednesday, May 7, by Festival director Lynn Krauss. 

First Nations authors and a publisher, crime fiction novelists, a famed Nova Scotia novelist and children’s author, Edmonton’s poet laureate, local writers, a youth storytelling workshop and a Vancouver Island printer specializing in self-published books round out this year’s event.

“Our aim each year is to bring a diverse group of authors and publishers to Nelson, as well as to showcase area talent, in order to demonstrate the continuing vitality of Canadian writing,” said Krauss.

“That’s why we’re naming our theme this year ‘Intersections’: a chance to appreciate what happens when different literary geographies and perspectives meet.  Festival-goers are in for a wonderful time when they take in such a broad spectrum of achievement.”

Most festival events take place this year at Hart Hall (the former Anglican Church hall), except for a session featuring Wachtel and mystery writer Gail Bowen, winner of the Arthur Ellis Award for best crime novel and named by Reader’s Digest Canada’s best mystery novelist, which will be held at the Capitol Theatre. 

As well, Gibson’s one-man show about his adventures publishing such authors as Nobel laureate Alice Munro, Peter Gzowski, W.O. Mitchell and Mavis Gallant will take place in the refurbished Civic Theatre.

Also part of the 2014 festival will be Secwepemc First Nation author Garry Gottfriedson, author and publisher Kateri-Akiwenzie-Damm of the Nawash First Nation, Nelson’s own mystery writer Deryn Collier, Commonwealth Writers’ Prize nominee Donna Morrissey of Halifax, and Edmonton spoken word artist and poet laureate Mary Pinkoski, winner of the national CBC Poetry Face-off. 

Other presenters include book printer Craig Shemilt of Victoria’s Printorium Bookworks.

Besides readings and talks by invited guests, the festival includes an opening gala July 10 featuring offerings from the Nelson Brewing Company and BC Wine Guys. 

A festival Gold Pass — admission to all festival sessions, including those at the Capitol and Civic theatres — is $100.  Prices for individual sessions, information on how to register for the youth storytelling workshop, as well as other details including how to purchase tickets, are available on the festival website,

This year’s festival sponsors to date include the Canada Council for the Arts, the B.C. Arts Council, Columbia Basin Trust, City of Nelson through the Community Initiatives program of the Columbia Basin Trust, Nelson and District Credit Union, the Kootenay Co-op, Hume Hotel, Oxygen Art Centre, Selkirk College and Canada Safeway.

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