Sea to Sky Discovery: A Storytelling Celebration of Canada's 150th Anniversary
Sea to Sky Discovery: A Storytelling Celebration of Canada’s 150th Anniversary took place on June 30th at the Squamish Lil’wat Cultural Centre. This performance event featured established Canadian and Indigenous authors, and local Sea to Sky Corridor writers gathering together to celebrate Canada’s sesquicentennial with the Sea to Sky community.
The Whistler Writing Society invited award-winning Canadian authors Susan Juby, Paul Watson, Joan Haggerty and First Nations author Bev Sellars to read from their work at the event. The Society held a writing contest for local authors, giving the winners a chance to share the stage with the authors.
There were 33 entries to the writing competition. The Writing Society reached out to Sea to Sky schools to encourage students to enter the competition.
The Open category winner was Victoria Crompton from Whistler, the Youth winner was Harmandeep Cheema from Squamish, and the Indigenous winner was Tressa Peters from Lil’wat Nation. The contest winners read from their work at the beginning of the reading event.
Organizer Rebecca Wood Barret decided not to shy away from the idea that the 150th Anniversary could be a painful reminder to indigenous peoples. The event acknowledged that the history of Canada is much older than 150 years and welcomed the stories of first peoples from the past and ideas about how we could work towards a better future.
An incredible range of stories was gathered for the contest and entrants had the chance to have others read their stories during the event.
Sue Oakey-Baker and Sara Leach, Judges, had this to say about the entries: “In all categories, the writers eloquently crafted images and words to share their feelings of the Sea To Sky. Although there were certain themes, each piece was unique and full of affection for this wonderfully diverse place we call home.”
The event was made possible by the Community Fund for Canada's 150th, a collaboration between the Community Foundation of Whistler, the Government of Canada, and extraordinary leaders from coast to coast to coast.