Stella Leventoyannis Harvey

Thanks Again for Another Incredible Festival

Silent gratitude isn’t very much to anyone.” Gertrude Stein

This morning after the closing brunch event at the 2015 Whistler Writers Festival, everyone will pack up and head home. Only the memories will remain. Well, that and a whole bunch of final reports. Yes, they still have to be written. But this is not the time to think about reports. This is the time to raise my voice and express my gratitude to all those who make this festival along with the Writer in Residence and the Authors in Schools programs possible. Without their support, there is nothing.

Whistler is a very special community. When the festival was in its infancy so many of you came out to see what we were up to. You liked what you saw, and told your friends. And you kept coming back. Your support helped expand our base. And we have grown ever since. Thank you for sticking with us.

The festival could not get off the ground without the single-minded focus of our small, but mighty organizational team.

I would like to acknowledge, Rebecca Wood Barrett who is my right and left hand and who has never wavered despite the incredible workload of organizing our four-day event. Yes, this year we added an extra day and a new event, entitled, Comedy Quickies. For that, I’d like to thank Ira Pettle and Brandon Barrett. Stephen Vogler handled all the music for the various events and also moderated our opening night cabaret, which enjoyed record setting attendance. Nancy Routley led a team of volunteer captains including: Julia Aleynikova, Nicola Bentley, Katherine Fawcett, Sara Leach, Libby McKeever, Karen McLeod, and Sue Oakey. The captains were assisted by some of the most incredible volunteers any event organizer could ask for including: Jonathan Baun, Karen Barnes, Pina Belperio, Hayle Byrne, Lynda Chyzyk, Patricia Dagg, Alison Hunter, Karen Laughland, Suzanne Malone, Karen Melin, Kristen Reinhols, Helga Ruiterman, Victoria Swayze, Emma Taylor, Mieke Prummel and Laurie vanLeevwen.

Pat Mackenzie was our go to person for the Authors In Schools program and also helped with driving our authors to the school presentation. All our volunteers do double duty because they are passionate about what we do. I’d like to thank Mary MacDonald and Libby McKeever for keeping our social media buzzing, Nicole Fitzgerald for juggling our blog, Claire Piech for managing our communications efforts, and Ruth Barrow from Whistler Creative for handling our website and making our festival program and all our collateral sing!

I’d like to thank the actors and musicians who took the written word and added their different perspectives to make our reading events extraordinarily special.

There is nothing these folks I’ve mentioned above won’t do in support of our writers festival and for this I am forever grateful.

The Whistler Writers Group is a non-profit group. 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 Schools program. We could not do what we do without the generous support of a number of sponsors 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, The BC Gaming Commission, The Whistler Public Library, The Whistler Arts Council, Tourism Whistler, the Fairmont Hotel, Armchair Books (the best bookstore in the world bar none), Goodwin Studios, Whistler Creative, Access Copyright, The Whistler Real Estate Company, the Scotiabank, the Grocery Store, West Coast Float, Olive’s, Gibbons Life, Whistler Bungee, Scandinave Spa, 21Steps, Sutton Real Estate (Jennifer Walczyk), Fathom Stone and Prestige Hotels. Thank you.

Last but not least, I’d like to thank Mountain FM (media sponsors of Comedy Quickies and the Literary Cabaret), The Pique and the Question for their wonderful coverage leading up to our festival. Thanks guys. I appreciate the support. 

And now we begin planning for next year. Yikes, did I actually say those words? Mark your calendars, October 13-16, 2016.

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