WVML to host 13th annual Booktopia Literary Arts Festival for Young People

West Vancouver, B.C. – For the 13th year in a row, the West Vancouver Memorial Library will host Booktopia: the West Vancouver Literary Arts Festival for Young People, featuring an internationally renowned line-up of presenters.

We are proud to announce the following headlining guests:

  • Steve Sheinkin: Three-time National Book Award finalist and Newbery Honor winner, Sheinkin is known for his fast-paced, cinematic historical non-fiction for teens and adults. The Globe and Mail says“Steve Sheinkin is the master of coaxing thrills, suspense and ‘That actually happened!?!’ moments out of seemingly any historical event.”
  • Faith Erin Hicks: A writer and artist specializing in comics, Hicks won an Eisner award (comics’ highest honour) for her graphic novel, The Adventure of Superhero Girl.
  • Cale Atkinson: An author, illustrator and animator, Atkinson’s work can be found in animated shorts, television, games and award-winning picture books.

Booktopia offers a series of public and school events for preschool, elementary and secondary school students at two venues: the Kay Meek Centre and West Vancouver Memorial Library. In total, more than 1,500 youth and families will attend Booktopia events.

“We know that students are most engaged in learning when they’re excited and passionate about the topic. Hearing from a picture book creator, a comics artist or a dynamic historical nonfiction author at the Booktopia Festival is a valuable and exciting educational opportunity for our West Vancouver Schools students,” says Chris Kennedy, West Vancouver superintendent of schools. “Booktopia is totally unique to our community and one we’re proud to partner on with the Library.”

While all of the Booktopia events are for kids and families, Steven Sheinkin will be presenting at a special event for adults and teens on Wednesday, May 10 at 7 p.m. to discuss his latest book, Undefeated: Jim and the Carlisle Indian School Football Team. The book tells the story of the near-miraculous accomplishments of the Carlisle Indian Industrial School football team and how, starting in 1907, they beat all the odds to eventually dominate the Big Four teams in the college football circuit.

“Each year seems to get bigger and better for Booktopia,” says Shannon Ozirny, Head of Youth Services at West Vancouver Memorial Library. “Having Steve Sheinkin in West Vancouver is so exciting. We wanted to make sure that everyone – including adults – got the chance to hear from this dynamic speaker.”

Booktopia is offered in partnership with the West Vancouver Memorial Library Foundation and West Vancouver Schools. The 2017 Festival is sponsored by North Shore News and the West Vancouver Community Foundation.

A complete list of Booktopia 2017 events can be found at booktopia.ca

Booktopia 2017 Photo Opportunities

Author Presentations at the Kay Meek Centre Main Stage

  • Cale Atkinson: Tuesday, May 9, 10:30 – 11:30 a.m. (453 students) and 1:30 – 2:30 p.m. (150 students)
  • Steve Sheinkin: Wednesday, May 10, 10:10 – 11:10 a.m. (300 students)
  • Faith Erin Hicks: Thursday, May 11, 10:30 – 11:30 a.m. (370 students) and 1:30 – 2:30 p.m. (150 students)

Author Presentations at West Vancouver Memorial Library

  • Illustrator’s Workshop for 9 – 12-year-olds with Cale Atkinson: Tuesday, May 9, 4 – 5:15 p.m.
  • Public Author Event with Steve Sheinkin: Wednesday, May 10, 7 – 8 p.m.
  • Comics Workshop for 9 – 12-year-olds with Faith Erin Hicks: Thursday, May 11, 4 – 5:15 p.m.

About Booktopia

Booktopia, a partnership between the West Vancouver Memorial Library Foundation and West Vancouver Schools, features authors, illustrators, workshops and other literary events for young people of all ages.

Booktopia began with the vision of Fanny Patterson, a former Library board member and West Vancouver mother of three. Inspired by the Vancouver International Writers Festival events for young people and the addition of the Kay Meek Centre to the community, she came to the Library with her idea of a children’s literature festival. In the spring of 2005, Booktopia: the West Vancouver Children’s Literature Festival was launched.

Now in its 13th year, Booktopia continues to promote literacy, celebrate language arts and cultivate creative thought amongst young West Vancouverites and their families. All events are offered free of charge.

About the WVML Youth Department

The Youth Services Department is committed to ensuring that all youth in our community have an equal opportunity to build literacy skills, to progress successfully through the school years, and to transition into the work force equipped for lifelong learning. In addition to large annual events like Booktopia, the Summer Reading Club and the Reading Link Challenge, the Department offers a dozen weekly programs for children and teens. The Library attracts nearly 43,000 people to our facility and 27,000 to our website each month and circulates over 1 million items annually.                                                                     


Media Contact

Celina O’Connor, Communications Coordinator

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