We’ve Got This

A grateful mind is a great mind which eventually attracts to itself great things.” Plato

Well I’m not sure I have a great mind, but I do have a grateful heart and as this is the Thanksgiving weekend, I thought this was the perfect time to thank folks for all they do to make the Whistler Writers Festival such a success. We would not be here without their dedication, good humour and unwavering commitment.

The 17th annual Whistler Writers Festival begins on Thursday, October 11th.  Yikes! So much still to do. I tell myself to breathe. And sometimes this actually works.

As many of you know the festival began modestly with a dream to provide educational opportunities for writers and thought provoking reading events for readers, right here in this community.

But steadily this thing we created has grown and taken shape. Folks bought and continue to buy tickets, others provide the necessary financial support and still others, the unsung heroes of all of this, continue to put up with me, coming up with ideas and initiatives I wouldn’t have begun to imagine. I’d like to take this opportunity to thank you here, today, on this Thanksgiving weekend and to say again, we’ve got this. No matter what happens, I know these folks are there for me and together we’ll solve whatever challenges come our way.

So here’s to those behind the scene folks: Rebecca Wood Barrett, our absolutely fabulous festival manager, Claire Piech, our PR person whiz kid, Ruth Burrows, our awesome collateral and website builder, Mary McDonald, our social media wing person, Mieke Prummel, our volunteer wrangler, and Natalie Griffiths, our administrative powerhouse. Thank you so much for all your hard work.

Rebecca Wood Barrett also took the lead with the Authors in the Schools program, with the help of Libby McKeever. The program would not have gotten off the ground without Rebecca’s lead, Libby’s support and the commitment of the teachers and principals in the corridor over the past 5 years. Schools from Squamish, Whistler, Pemberton, and Mount Currie are given class sets of our featured authors’ books. The students read the books and the authors give presentations to inspire students to write and tell their own stories. I am grateful for the funding support of The Whistler Blackcomb Foundation, The Province of British Columbia, the Rotary Club of Whistler Millennial, the Community Foundation of Whistler, Libby McKeever and our own Whistler Writing Society.

To our ever increasing and much appreciated volunteers, thank you. They include: Sidney Sponer, Eli.Cornell, students from Quest University, Sandy Fiteni, Mieke Prummel, Meredith Gardner, Gail Banning, Libby McKeever, Julia Montague, Cristiana Spooner, Al and Marion Ashby, Elyse Kishimoto, Rosemary Cook, Yulia Aleynikova, Bond Jennings Desiree Mou, Sara Leach, Katherine Fawcett, Susan Knoll, Danny Peart, Kirsten Leighton, Isa Robertson, Victoria Swayze, Jill Turnbridge, and Samantha Wilson.

I’d also like to thank all of our guest authors who continued to blog about their experience with this year’s festival theme: no one succeeds alone and who I know will perform and speak about their work so generously and eloquently. Our audiences keep coming back every year because of the authors, their incredible performances and their wonderful, wonderful books.

The Whistler Writing Society is a non-profit charitable organization. Our budget is completely allocated to covering the costs of the annual Whistler Writers Festival, the Writer in Residence Program, and other literary events throughout the year, including the Authors in the Schools program. We could not do what we do without the generous support and vision of a number of investors, sponsors and supporters including: The Resort Municipality of Whistler and the Province of British Columbia, The Writers Union of Canada, The Canada Council for the Arts, The BC Arts Council, Arts Whistler, the American Friends of Whistler, Access Copyright, The Whistler Blackcomb Foundation, The Community Foundation of Whistler, the Real Estate Association of Whistler, ReMax Sea to Sky Real Estate, Integrated Wealth Management, Marquis Printing, Vivalogue, the Brew Creek Center, Vision Pacific, Penguin Random House Canada, BurntStew, Pasta Lupino, the Whistler Public Library, Tourism Whistler, the Fairmont Hotel, Armchair Books, the Audain Museum, The Squamish Lil’Wat Cultural Center, the Association of English-language Publishers of Quebec (aelaq.org), Printorium Bookworks, BDO, the Grocery Store, Rotary Club of Whistler Millennium, Pure Bread, Whistler Wired, RideBooker, PSAV, Joern Rohde, Slope Side Supply Limited, the Pique Newsmagazine, Whistler FM, Libby McKeever, Goodwin Studios and Whistler Creative. Thank you.

Last but not least, I’d like to thank our audience. Each year you come back in increasing numbers, applaud our efforts and provide valuable feedback and support. We strive to do our very best for you. In fact, you are the reason we do what we do.

Even when my head spins with all the work that it takes to put on this festival, I realise I’m not alone in this dream. This buoys me again and again.

The Whistler Writers Festival runs October 11th to 14th. Check out our line up at: Whistler Writers Fest.

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