WVML hosts 14th annual Booktopia: Literary Arts Festival for Young People

West Vancouver Memorial Library hosts 14th annual Booktopia: Literary Arts Festival for Young People
Presenters include acclaimed Canada Reads finalist Cherie Dimaline

West Vancouver, B.C. – In May 2018, 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.

Booktopia offers a series of free 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 are expected to attend Booktopia events.

We are proud to announce the following headlining guests:

  • Cherie Dimaline: A Métis author and editor. Her debut YA novel, The Marrow Thieves, won the 2017 Governor-General’s Award, Kirkus Literary Prize and was a 2018 Canada Reads Finalist.
  • Monique Gray Smith: Smith is of Cree, Lakota and Scottish ancestry. An accomplished consultant, writer and international speaker, she is the author of one of the only non-fiction books on Reconciliation for 9 – 12-year-olds: Speaking Our Truth: A Journey of Reconciliation.
  • Ashlyn Anstee: A former Vancouverite, Anstee now lives in LA and is a writer/storyboard artist for Nickelodeon. She’s also the author of three picture books.

Chris Kennedy, West Vancouver superintendent of schools says, “Partnering with the Library on Booktopia gives hundreds of West Vancouver school students the chance to hear new stories and consider new perspectives. West Vancouver Schools and the Library share a commitment of working towards reconciliation in our community, and this year’s line-up presents a valuable learning and listening opportunity for our students and teachers.”

“Booktopia brings reading rock stars to the North Shore,” says Shannon Ozirny, Head of Youth Services at West Vancouver Memorial Library. “We pack the Kay Meek Centre with hundreds of students who chant and cheer in excitement before a presentation; it’s the kids’ enthusiasm and energy that makes Booktopia such a unique, fun learning experience.”

Cherie Dimaline will be presenting at a special event for adults and teens on Thursday, May 10 at 7 p.m. to discuss her critically acclaimed book, The Marrow Thieves. The Globe and Mail named it one of 2017’s best books, calling it “wrenching and gutsy…a legitimate gamechanger.”

Booktopia is offered in partnership with the West Vancouver Memorial Library Foundation and West Vancouver Schools. A complete list of Booktopia 2018 events can be found at booktopia.ca

Booktopia 2018: Literary Arts Festival for Young People

  • Dates: Thursday, May 3 – Saturday, May 12
  • Locations: Kay Meek Centre — 1700 Mathers Avenue, West Vancouver
                            West Vancouver Memorial Library — 1950 Marine Drive, West Vancouver


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 spring2005, Booktopia: the West Vancouver Children’s Literature Festival was launched.

Now in its 14th 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 over 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.

 Booktopia 2018 Photo Opportunities

 Author Presentations at the Kay Meek Centre Main Stage

  • Ashlyn Anstee: Tuesday, May 8, 10:30 – 11:30 a.m. (400 students) and 1:30 – 2:30 p.m. (200 students)
  • Monique Gray Smith: Wednesday, May 9, 10:30 – 11:30 a.m. (475 students students) and 1:30 – 2:30 p.m. (300 students)
  • Cherie Dimaline: Thursday, May 10, 10:10 – 11:10 a.m. (300 students)

 Select Events at West Vancouver Memorial Library (Welsh Hall)

  • Growing Up is Optional: Poetry for All (student poets from Westcot Elementary School and adult Vancouver poets): Thursday, May 3, 7 – 8 p.m.
  • Little Red Riding Hood Puppet Show: Friday, May 4, 10:30 – 11am and 4 – 4:30 p.m.
  • Illustrator’s Workshop for 9 – 12-year-olds with Ashlyn Anstee: Tuesday, May 8, 4 – 5:15 p.m.
  • Public Author Event with Canada Reads Finalist Cherie Dimaline: Thursday, May 10, 7 – 8 p.m.


Media Contact

Celina O’Connor, Communications Coordinator


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