2015 Winners & Finalists

The West Coast Book Prize Society is thrilled to announce the finalists for the 2015 BC Book Prizes. Congratulations to the authors, illustrators, and publishers! The winner of the 2015 Lieutenant Governor’s Award for Literary Excellence was announced on March 24.

Winners were announced on Saturday, April 25, 2015 | Pinnacle Vancouver Harbourfront Hotel

» Ethel Wilson Fiction Prize
» Hubert Evans Non-Fiction Prize
» Dorothy Livesay Poetry Prize
» Roderick Haig-Brown Regional Prize
» Sheila A. Egoff Children’s Literature Prize
» Christie Harris Illustrated Children’s Literature Prize
» Bill Duthie Booksellers’ Choice Award
» Lieutenant Governor’s Award for Literary Excellence

Ethel Wilson Fiction Prize

Supported by Friesens and Webcom
Judges: Anne Giardini, Paul Headrick, Sirish Rao

The World Before Us
by Aislinn Hunter
Publisher: Doubleday Canada

Deep in the woods of northern England, fifteen-year-old Jane was babysitting a girl named Lily, and lost her. The little girl was never found, leaving Jane devastated. Twenty years later, Jane is an archivist at a London museum and surveys the archives for information related to a woman who disappeared over 125 years ago. As Jane pieces moments in history together, a portrait of a fascinating group of people unfurls, and Jane discovers tender details of their lives that are linked to her own world. The World Before Us explores the repercussions of small acts, the power of affection, and the notion that history is a closely connected part of us.

Aislinn Hunter is the author of a story collection, two poetry collections, and a novel. She lives in Vancouver, BC.

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The Beautiful West & The Beloved of God
by Michael Springate
Publisher: Guernica Editions

Elena and Mahfouz meet in Montreal in the spring of 2008. That summer, however, Mahfouz doesn’t return from a trip to Cairo, and his father is picked up and held indefinitely for unknown charges on undisclosed evidence. No longer in contact with each other, Elena and Mahfouz must separately come to terms with their historical situation, preparing for a future shaped by forces they struggle to understand. The Beautiful West & The Beloved of God maps currents of world history as they coursed through Montreal in the first decade of the 21st century.

Born in Montreal, Michael Springate currently resides in Vancouver, BC, where he is a dramaturg and Artistic Associate with Full Circle: First Nations Performance and a founding member of the film group Commercial Drive Productions.

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Ellen in Pieces
by Caroline Adderson
Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers Ltd.

Ellen McGinty: sexy, impulsive, loud-mouthed, chock full of regrets. In middle age she sells the house she raised her daughters in, slips off the shell of her old life, and steps out for a first, tentative foray into real contentment and finds a man twenty years her junior. Told through the eyes of her lover, ex-husband, two daughters, grandson, and a friend, Ellen in Pieces is a deeply affecting story that explores love in its varied forms, the nature of regret, and that greatest human test—mortality.

Caroline Adderson is the author of three novels, two short story collections, and a number of books for young readers. Her work has received numerous nominations for prizes, including the Governor General’s Award, and has been longlisted for the Scotiabank Giller Prize.

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Paradise & Elsewhere
by Kathy Page
Publisher: Biblioasis

A village in a valley from which no one comes or goes; a forest of mother-trees, whispering to each other through their roots; a lakeside lighthouse where a girl slips into human skin as lightly as an otter into water; or the town of Wantwick, ruled by a soothsayer, where tourists lose everything they have. These are the places where things begin. Paradise & Elsewhere is a collection of dark fables at once familiar and entirely strange: join the Orange Prize-nominated Kathy Page as she notches a new path through the wild, lush, half-fantastic, and half-real terrain of fairy tale and myth.

Kathy Page is the author of seven novels and many short stories, and has written for television and radio. She lives on Salt Spring Island.

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The Wind is Not a River
by Brian Payton
Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers Ltd.

The Wind is Not a River is a gripping tale of survival and an epic love story in which a husband and wife—separated by the only battle of World War II to take place on American soil—fight to reunite in Alaska’s starkly beautiful Aleutian Islands. A powerful and richly atmospheric story of life and death, commitment and sacrifice, The Wind is Not a River illuminates the fragility of life and the fierce strength of love.

Brian Payton has written for The New York Times, The Los Angeles Times, and The Boston Globe. He is the author of two acclaimed works of narrative nonfiction and the novel, Hail Mary Corner. He lives in Vancouver, BC.

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Hubert Evans Non-Fiction Prize

Supported by the BC Teachers’ Federation
Judges: Stuart Derdeyn, Joan Givner, Jane Silcott

In the Slender Margin: The Intimate Strangeness of Death and Dying
by Eve Joseph
Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers Ltd.

Part memoir, part meditation on death itself, In the Slender Margin is an exploration of death from an “insider’s” point of view. Using the threads of her brother’s early death and her twenty years of work at a hospice, Joseph utilizes history, religion, philosophy, literature, personal anecdote, mythology, poetry, and pop culture to discern the unknowable and to illuminate her travels through the land of the dying. Replete with literary allusions and references ranging from Joan Didion and Susan Sontag to D.H. Lawrence and Voltaire, among many other literary voices, the result is an absorbing and inspired consideration of how we die and how we deal with death.

Eve Joseph’s work has been published in a number of Canadian and American journals and anthologies. Her poetry collections, The Startled Heart and The Secret Signature of Things, were both nominated for the Dorothy Livesay Poetry Prize. She lives in Victoria, BC.

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Ancient Pathways, Ancestral Knowledge: Ethnobotany and Ecological Wisdom of Indigenous Peoples of Northwestern North America
by Nancy J. Turner
Publisher: McGill-Queen’s University Press

Nancy Turner has studied Indigenous peoples’ knowledge of plants and environments in northwestern North America for over forty years. In Ancient Pathways, Ancestral Knowledge, she integrates her research into a two-volume ethnobotanical tour-de-force. Ancient Pathways, Ancestral Knowledge both challenges and contributes to existing knowledge of Indigenous peoples’ land stewardship while preserving information that might otherwise have been lost. Providing captivating insights into the anthropogenic systems of northwestern North America, it will stand as an authoritative reference work and contribute to a fuller understanding of the interactions between cultures and ecological systems.

Nancy Turner is Distinguished Professor and Hakai Professor in Ethnoecology in the School of Environmental Studies at the University of Victoria.

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The Elusive Mr. Pond: The Soldier, Fur Trader and Explorer Who Opened the Northwest
by Barry Gough
Publisher: Douglas & McIntyre

Soldier, fur trader, and explorer Peter Pond, the subject of this long overdue book, is a man whose life is shadowed in mystery and whose legend has been forgotten in favour of those who came after him. Historian Barry Gough uses Pond’s surviving memoirs, explorers’ journals, letters written by acquaintances of Pond, publications in London magazines, and many other sources to track and reconstruct the life of one of the last of the tough, old-style explorers who ventured into the wilderness with little more than a strong instinct for survival and helped shape the modern world.

Dr. Barry Gough is the author of many critically acclaimed books and has been writing for almost four decades. He lives in Victoria, BC.

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Northern Dancer: The Legendary Horse That Inspired a Nation
by Kevin Chong
Publisher: Viking

In every sport there are a select few competitors that come to define the excellence that all others must forever aspire to. In Northern Dancer, the story of a world-famous Canadian-bred racehorse comes to life. Using interviews and news clippings, this book offers novelistic detail on Northern Dancer’s remarkable races and the lives he touched; it revisits an era when Canada needed a national hero.

Kevin Chong is the author of five books, including the memoir, My Year of the Racehorse. As a journalist, his work has appeared in a range of publications including ChatelaineMaclean’sMaisonneuve, and The Walrus. Born in Hong Kong, Kevin Chong currently lives in Vancouver, BC, where he teaches writing at the University of British Columbia.

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Olive Odyssey: Searching for the Secrets of the Fruit That Seduced the World
by Julie Angus
Publisher: Greystone Books

Inspired by her Syrian forebears’ intimate relationship with the olive, Julie Angus embarks on a voyage around the Mediterranean to unlock the secrets of the fruit that meant so much to them. Accompanied by her husband and their ten-month-old son, Angus collects samples from ancient trees to determine where the first olive tree originated; feasts on inky black tapenades and many other delights; witnesses the harvesting of olives in Greece; and visits perhaps the oldest olive tree in the world. The result is a fascinating history and biography of this most influential and irresistible fruit.

Julie Angus is the author of Rowboat in a Hurricane: My Amazing Journey Across a Changing Ocean and a recipient of the National Geographic Adventurer of the Year Award. She lives in Comox, BC.

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Dorothy Livesay Poetry Prize

Supported by Anonymous
Judges: Daniela Elza, Gillian Jerome, Renée Sarojini Saklikar

From the Poplars
by Cecily Nicholson
Publisher: Talonbooks

In the North Arm of British Columbia’s Fraser River lies an uninhabited island. In the midst of major industry and shipping, it is central to the waterfront of British Columbia’s original capital of New Westminster. Poplar Island is lush and unspoken, but storied. From the Poplars is the poetic outcome of archival research, and of listening to the land and the stories of a place. It is a meditation on an unmarked, twenty-seven and a half acres of land held as government property. From an emplaced poet and resident of New Westminster, this text contributes to present narratives on decolonization.

Cecily Nicholson is the administrator of Gallery Gachet and has worked with women of the Downtown Eastside neighbourhood of Vancouver, BC, since 2000.

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Dreamland Theatre
by Rob Budde
Publisher: Caitlin Press

The Dreamland Theatre exists in a photograph of a white building on sledges being pulled through the mud from one location to another by a team of horses in Prince George (then Fort George) circa 1912. These poems are about imagining place and, continuing the work of Finding Ft. George, Rob Budde’s process of trying—and failing—to find out where he is. Poetry is part of a place, and this book deals in the powerful homemaking that is language itself.

Rob Budde teaches writing at the University of Northern British Columbia in Prince George, BC. He has published seven books (poetry, novels, interviews, and short fiction) and appeared in numerous literary magazines.

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For Your Safety Please Hold On
by Kayla Czaga
Publisher: Nightwood Editions

The irrepressible energy of the poems in For Your Safety Please Hold On, paired with their complex balancing act between light and dark, humour and melancholy, innocence and danger, make this collection an extraordinary first offering. The poems in For Your Safety Please Hold On move in thematic focus from family, to girlhood, to adulthood, each permeated by Czaga’s lively voice and quick-witted, playful language.

Kayla Czaga lives in Vancouver, BC, where she recently earned her MFA in Creative Writing from the University of British Columbia. Her poetry, non-fiction, and fiction have been published in The WalrusRoom MagazineEvent, and The Antigonish Review, among others.

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by Jen Currin
Publisher: Coach House Books

At times a call to action and at others an intimate conversation between friends, Jen Currin’s sensual and surreal poems speak to the political upheavals and environmental catastrophes of our time. School is an instruction manual for igniting transformation through a collective effort of love and community.

Jen Currin has published three previous collections of poetry. She currently lives in Vancouver, BC, where she teaches creative writing at Kwantlen University and English at Vancouver Community College.

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by Patrick Lane
Publisher: Harbour Publishing

Honest and self-aware, Washita evokes some of the most inexpressible experiences a human being can undergo: the loss of a parent, the breakdown of a body, the perversion of nature, the acquiring of wisdom. As might be expected from a seventy-five-year-old poet, Washita is reflective in tone, exploring all facets of the poet’s own life as well as those others his has touched. Introducing a new style employing medium-length, end-stopped lines, terse diction, and concrete imagery, Washita has a solidity and mastery that marks it as a new highlight in Lane’s distinguished career.

Patrick Lane’s poetry and fiction have been widely anthologized and have been translated into many languages. He lives in Victoria, BC.

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Roderick Haig-Brown Regional Prize

Supported by Marquis, Victoria Bindery, and First Choice Books
Judges: Derek Hayes, Deb McVittie, Paul Whitney

The Sea Among Us: The Amazing Strait of Georgia
by Richard Beamish, Gordon McFarlane (editors)
Publisher: Harbour Publishing

The Sea Among Us is the first book to present a comprehensive study of the Strait of Georgia in all its aspects. Covering everything from tsunami modelling to First Nations history to barnacle reproduction, the book is a sweeping overview of the waterway. Informative, descriptive, cautionary, and entertaining, The Sea Among Us is illustrated with attractive colour photographs, figures, and drawings.

Richard Beamish has a PhD in Zoology from the University of Toronto, and was a member of the International Panel on Climate Change that received the Nobel Peace Prize in 2007. He lives on Vancouver Island. Gordon McFarlane spent thirty years as a researcher at the Pacific Biological Station in Nanaimo, and has authored more than 200 publications concerning the biology of marine resources. He lives on Vancouver Island.

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Born Out of This
by Christine Lowther
Publisher: Caitlin Press

Born Out of This follows Christine Lowther’s journey from the unutterable loss of her mother to the discovery of her own poetic voice through deep reflection and her intimate connection to the coastal rainforest. She looks back on her mother’s poetry and activism. She recalls the day the police arrested her father. Tumbling through the years that follow, Lowther searches for her own identity. Ultimately, she is drawn back to the forests and coast of her home. With remarkable poetic vision, Lowther weaves her words and her mother’s poetry into the landscape, until language and land are inseparable.

Christine Lowther has been a lifelong activist and resident of Clayoquot Sound. She is the co-editor of two collections of essays and the author of three books of poetry.

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Great Bear Wild: Dispatches from a Northern Rainforest
by Ian McAllister
Publisher: Greystone Books

Ian McAllister, conservationist, photographer, and longtime Great Bear Rainforest resident, takes us on a personal journey from the headwaters of the region’s unexplored river valleys down to the hidden depths of the offshore world. Renowned for its astonishing biodiversity, the Great Bear Rainforest is also one of the most endangered landscapes on the planet, where First Nations people fight for their way of life as massive energy projects threaten entire ecosystems. This stunning collection of photographs and personal narrative is the product of twenty-five years of McAllister’s research, exploration, and campaigning for this spectacular area.

Ian McAllister is a co-founder of the wildlife conservation organization Pacific Wild and the author of five previous books. He lives with his family on an island in the heart of the Great Bear Rainforest.

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Surveying Southern British Columbia: A Photojournal of Frank Swannell, 1901-07
by Jay Sherwood
Publisher: Caitlin Press

Surveying Southern British Columbia, Jay Sherwood’s fourth and final book about prominent BC surveyor Frank Swannell, covers the years from 1901 to 1907, before Swannell began surveying for the BC government. Sherwood’s meticulous research portrays the life and career of a young Swannell as he perfects his skills and profits from his mistakes, while helping to shape BC as we know it today. Surveying Southern British Columbia contains 150 stunning photographs that portray human settlement and untamed wilderness in what were the most remote areas of our young province. Surveying Southern British Columbia makes a significant contribution to the history of our province and is a well-crafted conclusion to this important series.

Jay Sherwood lives in Vancouver, BC, where he works as a teacher-librarian.

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Tofino and Clayoquot Sound: A History
by Margaret Horsfield, Ian Kennedy
Publisher: Harbour Publishing

Clayoquot Sound, on the West Coast of Vancouver Island, is not only a place of extraordinary raw beauty, but also a region with a rich and fascinating past. Tofino and Clayoquot Sound delves into the region’s history, bringing to life the chronicle that started with the dramatic upheavals of geological formation and continues to the present day. Extensively researched and illustrated with historic photos and maps, it evokes the spirit and culture of the area and illuminates how the past has shaped the present.

Margaret Horsfield is the author of several books and has worked in radio and print journalism. She lives in Nanaimo, BC. Ian Kennedy is the author of several books about BC history and has written for numerous magazines around the world. He lives in Comox, BC.

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Sheila A. Egoff Children’s Literature Prize

Supported by Friends of Sheila Egoff
Judges: Ashley Little, Robin Stevenson, Beryl Young

Rabbit Ears
by Maggie de Vries
Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers Ltd.

Kaya is adopted, multiracial, grieving the death of her father—and carrying a painful secret. Feeling ill at ease with her family and in her own skin, she runs away repeatedly, gradually disappearing into a life of addiction and sex work. Meanwhile, her sister, Beth, escapes her troubles with food and a talent for magic tricks. Though both girls struggle through darkness and pain, they eventually find their way to a moment of illumination and healing. This powerful young adult novel is rooted in the tragic life of the author’s sister, Sarah, a victim of Robert Pickton and the subject of Maggie de Vries’ memoir for adults, Missing Sarah.

Maggie de Vries teaches writing at the University of British Columbia and has written eight other works for young readers.

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Blue Gold
by Elizabeth Stewart
Publisher: Annick Press

Coltan, or “blue gold,” is a rare mineral used in making cell phones and computers. Across continents, three teen girls are affected by the “blue gold” trade: Sylvie’s family had to flee the Democratic Republic of the Congo after her father was killed by a rogue militia gang; Laiping labours in a Chinese factory, soldering components for cell phones; and Fiona is a North American girl who takes a picture on her cell phone that she comes to regret. All three teens are unexpectedly linked by these events and their struggle to create better lives for themselves in the face of the world’s increasing appetite for coltan.

Elizabeth Stewart writes for television and film and is active in the screenwriting community as a mentor and instructor. She lives in Vancouver, BC.

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by Gabrielle Prendergast
Publisher: Orca Book Publishers

Ella’s grade-eleven year was a disaster (Audacious), but as summer approaches, things are looking up. She’s back together with her brooding boyfriend, Samir, although they both want to keep that a secret. She’s also best buddies with David and still not entirely sure about making him boyfriend number two. Though part of her wants to conform to high school norms, the temptation to be radical is just too great. Managing two secret boyfriends proves harder than Ella expected, especially when Samir and David face separate family crises, and Ella finds herself at the center of an emotional maelstrom.

Gabrielle Prendergast is a UK-born Canadian/Australian who lives in Vancouver, BC. A part-time teacher and mentor, she holds an MFA in Creative Writing from the University of British Columbia.

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Finding Grace
by Becky Citra
Publisher: Second Story Press

Ten-year-old Hope is a bit of a loner with a wonderful imagination. Growing up in the 1950s with a single mother and a mysteriously absent father, the letters she writes to her imaginary friend, Grace, help her cope with the difficult times in her life: her mother’s depression, their money worries, struggles to make friends at school, and her grandmother’s death. On her eleventh birthday, Hope is shocked to learn that Grace is a real person—her twin sister, who contracted polio and was adopted when they were toddlers. Hope believes that finding Grace is the only way she can help her mother deal with her guilt.

Becky Citra is a former teacher and the author of more than a dozen books for children. She lives in Bridge Lake, BC.

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Sophie, in Shadow
by Eileen Kernaghan
Publisher: Thistledown Press

It’s 1914. Sixteen-year-old Sophie Pritchard, orphaned two years earlier by a famous sea disaster, is about to begin a new life in the unfamiliar world of British India. For Sophie, India proves a dangerously unsettling environment. Are her terrifying experiences in Kali’s temple and the Park Street cemetery hallucinations, or has she somehow been drawn back through the centuries as a witness to dark places in Calcutta’s past? Sophie has become an unwilling traveler in a timeless zone where past, present, and future co-exist. Soon Sophie’s powers of precognition will be called upon to help thwart a conspiracy that could incite a bloodbath in Calcutta and deliver India into enemy hands.

Eileen Kernaghan lives in New Westminster, BC. Sophie, in Shadow is her ninth book in the fantasy genre.

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Christie Harris Illustrated Children’s Literature Prize

Supported by Kate Walker and Kidsbooks
Judges: Kim La Fave, Julie Morstad, Shannon Ozirny

Dolphin SOS
by Roy Miki, Slavia Miki
Illustrated by Julie Flett
Publisher: Tradewind Books

Based on true events, Dolphin SOS recounts the story of three dolphins trapped in an ice-covered cove on the coast of Newfoundland. After the government fails to provide assistance, some young boys take matters into their own hands in order to save the distressed dolphins.

Roy Miki is a Vancouver-based writer, poet, and editor who previously taught at Simon Fraser University. Slavia Miki is a life coach and studied feng shui under the late Henry Dorst. She lives in Vancouver, BC. Julie Flett is a Vancouver-based artist and illustrator, and a recipient of the Christie Harris Illustrated Children’s Literature Prize.

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Hana Hashimoto, Sixth Violin
by Chieri Uegaki
Illustrated by Qin Leng
Publisher: Kids Can Press

In this beautifully written picture book, Hana Hashimoto has signed up to play her violin at her school’s talent show. The trouble is, she’s only a beginner, and she’s had only three lessons. Hana remembers how wonderfully her talented grandfather, or Ojiichan, played his violin when she was visiting him in Japan. So, just like Ojiichan, Hana practices every day. She is determined to play her best. Although Hana’s confidence wavers on the night of the show, she surprises everyone once it’s her turn to perform—even herself!

Chieri Uegaki is a second-generation Japanese-Canadian who was born in Quesnel, BC. She lives on the Sunshine Coast. Qin Leng lives and works as a designer and illustrator in Toronto. She has received many awards for her animated short films and artwork.

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The Most Magnificent Thing
by Ashley Spires
Illustrated by Ashley Spires
Publisher: Kids Can Press

A charming picture book about an unnamed girl and her best friend, who happens to be a dog. The girl has a wonderful idea: she is going to make the most magnificent thing! But making her magnificent thing is not easy. The girl tries and fails, gets really, really mad, and quits. But after her dog convinces her to take a walk, she comes back to her project with renewed enthusiasm and manages to get it just right.

Ashley Spires was the recipient of the 2011 Silver Birch Express Award and the 2011 Hackmatack Award for Binky the Space Cat and was shortlisted for a Joe Shuster Comics for Kids Award and an Eisner Award for Binky Under Pressure. She lives in Delta, BC.

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Norman, Speak!
by Caroline Adderson
Illustrated by Qin Leng
Publisher: Groundwood Books

Norman, Speak! tells the comical yet thought-provoking story of a boy and his family who adopt a dog that just can’t seem to learn the things other dogs do. During a chance encounter with another dog owner, the family is surprised to learn the reason for Norman’s confusion: he “speaks” Chinese instead of English! Determined to understand their uniquely loveable pet, the family enrolls in a language class.

Caroline Adderson is the author of many books for kids and grown ups, including the popular Jasper John Dooley series. She lives in Vancouver, BC. Qin Leng lives and works as a designer and illustrator in Toronto. She has received many awards for her animated short films and artwork.

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Stop, Thief!
by Heather Tekavec
Illustrated by Pierre Pratt
Publisher: Kids Can Press

“Max,” said the farmer to his dog one day, “can you catch a thief?” Of course! He can catch anything! And Max eagerly sets off on a quest to find the culprit who has been stealing the farmer’s fruits and vegetables. Within moments, the dog is confident he has spotted the thief—a tiny blue bug. What Max totally misunderstands in his enthusiasm is that the tiny blue bug isn’t the thief; the real thieves are hiding in plain sight, right under his nose!

Heather Tekavec first fell in love with children’s literature while working as a preschool teacher. Stop, Thief! is her ninth book. She lives in Cloverdale, BC. Pierre Pratt is an award-winning illustrator of over 50 books for children. He lives in Montreal and Lisbon, Portugal.

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Bill Duthie Booksellers’ Choice Award

Supported by the BC Booksellers’ Association
Judged by members of the BC Booksellers’ Association

Live at the Commodore: The Story of Vancouver’s Historic Commodore Ballroom
by Aaron Chapman
Publisher: Arsenal Pulp Press

In Live at the Commodore, Aaron Chapman delves into the Commodore’s archives to reveal stories about the constellation of characters surrounding the club over the last eighty-plus years, as well as startling, funny, and outrageous anecdotes about the legendary acts that have graced its stage. Filled with never-before-published photographs, posters, and paraphernalia, Live at the Commodore is a visceral, energetic portrait of one of the world’s great rock venues.

Aaron Chapman is a writer, historian, and musician with a special interest in Vancouver’s entertainment history. He is also the author of Liquor, Lust, and the Law: The Story of Vancouver’s Legendary Penthouse Nightclub. Born and raised in Vancouver, he has been a contributor to the Vancouver Courier, the Georgia Straight, and CBC Radio.

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by Roy Henry Vickers, Robert Budd
Publisher: Harbour Publishing

Cloudwalker, describing the creation of the rivers, is the second in a series of Northwest Coast legends by Roy Henry Vickers and Robert Budd. Their previous collaboration, Raven Brings the Light (2013), is a national bestseller. On BC’s northwest coast lies the Sacred Headwaters—the source of three of BC’s largest salmon-bearing rivers. These rivers are the source of life for all creatures in the area. But what gave life to the rivers themselves?

Roy Henry Vickers is a renowned carver, painter, and printmaker whose Eagle Aerie Gallery in Tofino, BC, has become a provincial landmark. He lives in Hazelton, BC. Robert “Lucky” Budd holds an MA in history and is the author of Voices of British Columbia, and its sequel, Echoes of British Columbia. He lives in Victoria, BC.

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A Rock Fell on the Moon: Dad and the Great Yukon Silver Ore Heist
by Alicia Priest
Publisher: Harbour Publishing

In A Rock Fell on the Moon, Alicia Priest consulted letters, news stories, archived RCMP files, court documents, and interviews with former mine employees, litigators, and police investigators to uncover her father’s story and reconcile two different versions of him: the fun-loving, bush-savvy adventurer who raised her, and the man accused and convicted of the Great Yukon Silver Ore Heist. The result is a lively, heartrending account of a mysterious crime that came extraordinarily close to succeeding; a fascinating look into the small mining communities that once thrived in the Yukon; and the personal story of the Priest family.

Alicia Priest (1953-2015) was a journalist with more than twenty-five years of newspaper, radio, and magazine writing experience. She lived in Victoria, BC, with her daughter and husband.

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The Sea Among Us: The Amazing Strait of Georgia
by Richard Beamish, Gordon McFarlane (editors)
Publisher: Harbour Publishing

The Sea Among Us is the first book to present a comprehensive study of the Strait of Georgia in all its aspects. Covering everything from tsunami modelling to First Nations history to barnacle reproduction, the book is a sweeping overview of the waterway. Informative, descriptive, cautionary, and entertaining, The Sea Among Us is illustrated with attractive colour photographs, figures, and drawings.

Richard Beamish has a PhD in Zoology from the University of Toronto, and was a member of the International Panel on Climate Change that received the Nobel Peace Prize in 2007. He lives on Vancouver Island. Gordon McFarlane spent thirty years as a researcher at the Pacific Biological Station in Nanaimo, and has authored more than 200 publications concerning the biology of marine resources. He lives on Vancouver Island.

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The Sobo Cookbook: Recipes from the Tofino Restaurant at the End of the Canadian Road
by Lisa Ahier, with Andrew Morrison
Publisher: Appetite by Random House

Sobo (Sophisticated Bohemian) started out in 2003 as a purple food truck in the parking lot behind a surf shop. Despite its remoteness, it attracted rave reviews from food media across North America. Sobo has since become a destination restaurant with visitors making the pilgrimage to Tofino, BC, just to taste chef Lisa Ahier’s cooking. The restaurant’s menu is shaped by Ahier’s Tex Mex and Southwestern culinary roots, and focuses on locally sourced and seasonally inspired ingredients from family owned producers. The Sobo Cookbook includes over 100 of the restaurant’s all-time favourite recipes—recipes that have fed surfers, hungry locals, curious visitors, and die-hard foodies alike.

Lisa Ahier was born in Texas and studied at the Culinary Institute of America in New York. She lives in Tofino, BC.

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Lieutenant Governor’s Award for Literary Excellence

Supported by The Honourable Lieutenant Governor of BC
2015 Jury: Kit Pearson, author of literature for young adults, children’s librarian, and 2014 recipient of the Lieutenant Governor’s Award for Literary Excellence; Michael Kluckner, Canadian writer and artist; and, Sandra Singh, Chief Librarian, Vancouver Public Library

Betty Keller

Betty Keller was born in Vancouver, BC, and moved to the Sunshine Coast in 1980. She says, “I am proud to be a third-generation BC person as my great grandfather and grandfather arrived in Vancouver in the spring of 1886, a month before Vancouver was incorporated as a city.”

She is a teacher, mentor, editor, and writer, and has authored or co-authored many books, including biographies, histories, plays, and novels. She is a founder of the Sunshine Coast Festival of the Written Arts and the Writers in Residence Program. Betty has won numerous awards for her literary work. She is an avid potter, gardener, and fisherperson.

“As a writer, editor, teacher, mentor, arts activist and organizer, Betty Keller has long been a passionate and versatile contributor to the BC writing community. Her fiction, biographies, drama, non-fiction, and articles provide unique perspectives on the province she has lived in all her life. Hundreds of writers have been nourished and encouraged by her dedicated teaching and mentoring. Her greatest legacy is as the indefatigable founder and innovative producer of the Sunshine Coast Festival of the Written Arts, one of the great literary gatherings in Canada. Betty Keller is a long-respected matriarch of the literary arts in this province. We are delighted to recognize her remarkable literary career and her outstanding community contributions.”
— Lieutenant Governor’s Award for Literary Excellence jury