WVML set to host 11th annual Booktopia Children’s Literature Festival

For the 11th year in a row, Booktopia: The West Vancouver Children’s Literature Festival will be hosted by West Vancouver Memorial Library, featuring an internationally renowned line-up, an illustrator’s workshop, a student art exhibit and so much more. 

We’re proud to announce the following headlining guests: 

  • Jacqueline Woodson: this National Book Award winner will discuss how she became a writer and the process behind some of her popular titles like Brown Girl Dreaming, Peace Locomotion, Show Way, Feathers, and Locomotion.
  • Ashley Spires: best-selling author-illustrator Ashley Spires is the creator of the Binky the Space Cat series and many other illustrated stories that combine humour with important life lessons. 

“This year’s festival brings talented literary and visual artists that are sure to encourage West Vancouver youth to develop their own creations, as well as a joy of reading,” says Director of Library Services, Jenny Benedict.

“Each year seems to get bigger and better for Booktopia,” says Head of Youth Services, Shannon Ozirny. “Having Jacqueline Woodson in West Vancouver, the current National Book Award winner and four-time Newbery Honor winner, is a unique opportunity. Booktopia is all about giving West Vancouver kids and teens the chance to be inspired by books and their creators.”

Booktopia offers a series of 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. 

“This ongoing partnership between West Vancouver Memorial Library and the West Vancouver School District is an amazing opportunity for our students to meet and learn from high profile authors and illustrators through presentations and a hands-on workshop,” says West Vancouver School District Superintendent, Chris Kennedy. “This celebration of literature and the arts has become an educational opportunity that is totally unique to the West Vancouver community.” 

Booktopia is offered in partnership with the West Vancouver School District and is sponsored by the West Vancouver Memorial Library Foundation, the North Shore News and the West Vancouver Community Foundation.

A complete list of Booktopia 2015 events can be found at booktopia.ca 

Booktopia 2015 Photo Opportunities

Booktopia Opening Reception
Friday, May 8, 4 p.m., WVML Youth Department (second level)

In attendance: MP John Weston, West Vancouver Mayor and District Councillors, West Vancouver School Board trustees, young winners of the 2015 Member of Parliament Award for Writing, West Vancouver Memorial Library Director, board members and library staff.

Author Presentations at the Kay Meek Centre Main Stage

  • Ashley Spires: Tuesday, May 5, 10:30 – 11:30 a.m. and 1:30 – 2:30 p.m. In total, Ashley will present to approximately 500 Grade 2 students
  • Jacqueline Woodson: Thursday, May 7, 8:50 – 9:50 a.m., 10:30 – 11:30 a.m. 1:30 – 2:30 p.m. Jacqueline will present to approximately 350 secondary school students and 650 Grade 5 students 

Illustrator’s Workshop with Ashley Spires

Tuesday, May 5, 4 – 5 p.m., WVML Storyhouse (second level)

8 – 12 year-olds will work with Ashley to create their own comics, complete with panels and dialogue.

 Booktopia Puppet Show: The Fisherman and His Wife
Saturday, May 9, 11:30 a.m. – 12 p.m., WVML Welsh Hall

Approximately 60 young children and their families will attend.

About Booktopia

Booktopia, a partnership between the West Vancouver Memorial Library and the West Vancouver School District, features authors, illustrators, workshops and other literary events for young people ages three and older. The Festival is presented with the generous support of the West Vancouver Memorial Library Foundation, the North Shore News and the West Vancouver Community Foundation. 

Booktopia began with the vision of Fanny Patterson, a 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 West Vancouver Memorial 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 11th 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
David Carson, Communications and Event Coordinator

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