- Laura Secord Homestead to host new literary speaker series, beginning on September 7th
- Series will highlight outstanding Canadian female authors and their contributions to Canadian literature
- Wine and cheese events will feature lectures, passage readings and open discussion
The Niagara Parks Commission is pleased to announce a new four-part literary speaker series, Coast to Coast: Canada’s Literary Women, in celebration of Canada’s 150th anniversary and the multitude of unique and extraordinarily talented, female literary voices found within this country.
The new series will take place on the first Thursday of each month from September to December, beginning on Thursday, September 7 from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m., at the Laura Secord Homestead. Each event will comprise a wine and cheese with a lecture and open discussion, highlighting a different Canadian female author and a feature novel they have written.
Thursday, September 7: Meredith Quartermain, U Girl
The first literary speaker will be Meredith Quartermain, a celebrated writer across Canada known for her thoughtful depictions of places and their historical hauntings. Her work Vancouver Walking (NeWest, 2005), a collection of descriptive poetry, was awarded the Dorothy Livesay Poetry Prize and Nightmarker (NeWest 2008) was a finalist for the City of Vancouver Book Award. Currently a poetry mentor in the Writer’s Studio Program at Simon Fraser University, Quartermain, alongside her husband, founded Nomados Literary Publishers in Vancouver, British Columbia.
Quartermain will share passages from her second novel and seventh published book, U Girl; a coming-of-age story set in Vancouver in 1972, centred around Frances Nelson, a young woman who escapes her small-town background to attend university in the big city.
Thursday, October 5: Dawn Dumont, Rose’s Run
Dawn Dumont is a Plains Cree comedian, actor and writer born and raised in Saskatchewan. She is currently a columnist for the Saskatoon StarPhoenix, the Regina Leader-Post and Eagle Feather News. Previously a comedy writer for CBC Radio and the Edmonton Journal, as well as a story editor for By the Rapids, an animated series on APTN, Dumont is known for writing and performing comedy across Canada. She was the winner of the 2015 Saskatchewan Book Award for Fiction and has been shortlisted for several other prestigious literary awards including SBA Book of the Year, First Nation Communities Read Award, the Robert Kroetsch City of Edmonton Award and the Alberta’s Readers’ Choice Award.
Dumont’s novel, Rose’s Run, winner of the 2015 Saskatchewan Book Award for Fiction, tells the story of Rose Okanese, a single mother of two, who decides to prove something to her doubtful
teenage daughter, community and herself by competing in her reserve’s annual marathon. Along the way, Rose encounters a demon spirit who feeds off the strength of women and wreaks havoc on people on the reserve and leaves the Rez in a hilarious state of uproar.
Thursday, November 2: Cathy Marie Buchanan, The Day the Falls Stood Still
A native of Niagara Falls, Ontario, Cathy Marie Buchanan is the author of The New York Times bestseller and Barnes & Noble Recommends selection, The Day the Falls Stood Still. Buchanan’s stories have appeared in some of Canada’s most respected literary journals and she has received awards from the Toronto Arts Council, the Ontario Arts Council and the Canada Council for the Arts.
The Day the Falls Stood Still is an epic love story set in 1915 and steeped in the intriguing history of Niagara Falls in the era of the dawn of hydroelectric power. The novel follows seventeen-year-old Bess Heath, the sheltered, youngest daughter of the director of the Niagara Power Company, who returns to her picturesque family home upon graduation from boarding school only to discover nothing is as she left it.
Thursday, December 7: Jessica Grant, Come Thou Tortoise
Jessica Grant, an award-winning writer from St. John’s, Newfoundland, holds a PhD in English with a specialization in Creative Writing from the University of Calgary. She has taught creative writing and served as writer-in-residence at Memorial University and was a faculty member for the Piper’s Frith Writers’ Retreat. Grant has won the Writers’ Trust of Canada/McClelland & Steward Journey Prize, the Western Magazine Award for Fiction, the Amazon.ca First Novel Awards and the Newfoundland and Labrador Downhome Fiction Award.
Grant’s novel, Come, Thou Tortoise, is a delightfully offbeat story that features an opinionated tortoise, Winnifred, and an IQ-challenged narrator, Audrey (a.k.a. Oddly) Flowers, who find themselves in the middle of a life-changing mystery.
Coast to Coast: Canada’s Literary Women is presented in collaboration with the Celebrate Ontario program administered by the Ontario Ministry of Tourism, Culture and Sport. Admission to each event will be by donation. Cash bar will be provided onsite as part of the wine and cheese. Seating is limited, for more information and to reserve your seat, please visit www.niagaraparks.com/coast or contact Laura Secord Homestead at: (905) 262-4851.