Stella Leventoyannis Harvey

“The charity that is a trifle to us can be precious to others.” Homer

There are many, many worthy charitable organizations and at this time of year, it is particularly difficult to choose where to share your good fortune and support. I’m about to make your decision that much harder. I’m sorry.

We started a fundraising campaign at the end of November to help support the Whistler Writers Festival, our Authors in the Schools program, our Writer in Residence Program and our Spring Reading Series. 

I’ve written about the festival a great deal in the past, how it started, how it’s grown and flourished. So how about I tell you about one of our other programs this time. 

We have run our Authors in the Schools program since 2013. This year we featured Cherie Dimaline, Deborah Ellis, Kit Pearson and Richard Van Camp who all gave riveting presentations to students from 17 schools in Squamish, Whistler, Pemberton and Mount Currie. 

The festival purchased 419 copies of the authors’ books and has done so since the program began. The books are then given to schools in the Sea to Sky corridor for students to read, study, and keep as a legacy for future classes. 

This is my favourite program of all the literary events we run because it helps foster interest in theliterary arts, storytelling, and Canadian and Indigenous culture in the Sea to Sky Corridor schools. The program builds readers and future writers. Teachers and librarians like it too. Here are some of the comments we have received this year about our Authors in the Schools program:

The senior students were very engaged with Richard and Cherie both. Thank you for getting us advance copies so that we can pre-read the selections. Brenda Norrie, Librarian, Whistler Secondary School

It was so nice having the class sets. This allows the students the opportunity to dig into the book before the author arrives. [The presentation] exceeded my expectations.  Kit was engaging and clearly was used to working with students. She talked about the tough topics in her book easily.  I think the highlight was Kit speaking about the book that was delivered, because most of them had read it and were interested to talk more about it. Raelene Antonios, Teacher Librarian, Ecole Squamish Elementary

The K/1s loved the interactive nature of the presentation. I enjoyed the question and answer with the older kids. Sara Leach, teacher-librarian, Spring Creek Community School

You guys consistently make great choices, keep up the good work! Nicole Benes, Teacher Librarian, Signal Hill

The success of this program is a result of the efforts of many, many volunteers along with some grant funding and the support of the schools in our region. And I very much would like to see it continue.

This is where you come in. I’d like to ask you for your help with our fundraising campaign for this program and all the other literary programs we operate. 

Any amount helps. And donations over $25 will receive an electronic tax receipt in the name of the donor. You can donate on our website here:

I wish I could find better words than, thank you, to express how much your generosity and kind words have meant to me. For a writer and a person who naturally likes to talk (stop laughing) I’m uncharacteristically bereft of any other words, so thank you. 

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