Some of the Sono Nis authors at our 30th Anniversary Celebration in November, 1998
From left to right: Bob Turner, Rona Murray, John Adams, Gwladys Downes, Peter Corley-Smith, Terry Reksten (f), Darren and Beth Laur, Kathryn Bridge, Kelly Parsons, Barbara Colebrook Peace (f), Suzanne Steele (b), Dorothy Field, Walter Dexter, Valerie Green, Richard Mackie, Linda Rogers, Barbara Pedrick
An avid outdoors person, Ann Alma lives on a hobby farm in the Kootenay mountains of British Columbia, with her dog, a border collie named Shira. Her books have received many awards, including the Canadian Children's Book Centre's "Our Choice" Award, a Red Maple, and two Silver Birch Award nominations.
Jane Austen (1775-1817), author of Sense and Sensibility, Pride and Prejudice, Mansfield Park, Emma, and other great novels, spent most of her life in rural Hampshire, and her usual principle was to write about "three or four families in a country village."
When Karen asked her Finnish-Canadian grandparents to record their life stories, she was given a glimpse of her grandmother's brave yet mysterious battle against tuberculosis as a young mother. The idea for Saara's Passage took tangible shape after Karen read letters written by her grandmother to her infant daughter, Karen's mother, letters that were discovered after her grandmother's death.
Mary Bentley was born in British Columbia and has lived on Bowen Island since 1991. Mary holds a BA in Education and a Textile Certificate from Capilano College. She currently teaches weaving at the University-College of the Fraser Valley.
Ted Bentley was born in British Columbia and has lived on Bowen Island since 1991. Ted holds a Ph.D in Statistics and teaches mathematics at Capilano College. He shares with Mary a love of nature and interest in native cultures which he expresses through photography.
Victoria native Kathryn Bridge juggles a young family, a job as an archivist, and a burgeoning writing career. She is currently writing an historically based juvenile book.
Denise Cammiade lived in Victoria, British Columbia, and worked at Munro's Books for thirty years. For much of that time she was in charge of the children's book department. Her wide-ranging interests encompassed science, history, gardening, and art and artists of all descriptions. Her poetry appeared in the Vintage anthology and The Malahat Review.
Penny Chamberlain loves old houses, especially ones with ghosts. She lives in a ninety-year-old house on the outskirts of Victoria, B.C., and she is a member of the Friends of Point Ellice House. The Friends are currently working on restoring the dining room of Point Ellice House to its former grandeur at the turn of the century.
Born in Yorkshire, England, Barbara Colebrook Peace grew up in Northumberland, not far from the border of Scotland. She loved classical literature from an early age, and especially classical poetry, taking her first degree in Honours Classics at the University of Manchester. On being awarded a fellowship at the University of Victoria, B.C., she enjoyed the adventure of coming to Canada and studying for a master’s degree, writing her master’s thesis on Aeschylean drama.
Born in India and educated in England, Canada and the USA, Peter Corley-Smith served as an RAF pilot with the Special Operations Executive in the Second World War. After the war he became in turn a miner, surveyor, cartographer, commercial helicopter pilot and college instructor before becoming a history curator. Now retired, he is serving as a Research associate at the Royal British Columbia Museum. In 1990, he was recipient of the Helicopter Association Internationals' Excellence in Communication award. Peter died in November 2002.
Jan de Groot was born in 1932 in The Hague, Holland. He lived through the German occupation of Holland in the Second World War, and later, at the age of eighteen, he became a merchant mariner and roamed the world by sea. In 1957 he emigrated to Canada and in 1960 married a young Dutch woman who had also emigrated to Canada. They had two children, and Jan pursued a landlubbing career for thirteen years in the corporate world. In 1970, he returned to a seagoing life and operated a charter yacht in the Caribbean until 1980, divorcing and remarrying along the way.
Eileen Delehanty Pearkes explores the connection between landscape and the human imagination in her work. Now in its second printing, The Geography of Memory continues to inform and inspire readers across Canada and in the northwestern United States. She has published three books, the most recent of which is The Glass Seed (www.timeless.org) and she writes a regular column for The North Columbia Monthly. Eileen lives in Nelson, B.C.
Dorothy Field is a visual artist as well as a writer. Besides several books of poetry, she is the author of a children's book, In the Street of the Temple Cloth Printers, and Paper and Threshold, both of which have grown out of her frequent travels in Asia. She lives in Victoria beside a seedling Garry oak.
Leona Gom was born and raised on an isolated farm in northern Alberta, where her parents were homesteaders. She received a B.Ed. and M.A. from the University of Alberta and taught in the English Dept. for two years. In the 1980’s she taught at Kwantlen College in B.C. and was editor and poetry editor for ten years of the award-winning literary magazine Event; she then taught graduate and undergraduate creative writing courses at U.B.C. for two years.
A globe-trotting half-French, half-English expatriate Kiwi and a former contracts lawyer and First Peoples' land claims negotiator, she now lives on Gabriola Island, British Columbia, where she continues to write about B.C.'s historical, environmental, political and cultural issues and to work with First Peoples on intergovernmental relationships and strategy development. She is also on the Board of Directors of the First Peoples' Cultural Foundation, an NGO working to ensure that B.C.'s indigenous languages remain a vibrant, living part of Canada's future.
Lyn Hancock has been a distinguished author, photographer, photojournalist, lecturer and film maker for over 40 years, publishing 20 books and thousands of articles in newspapers and magazines around the world. Born in Australia, she has hitchhiked from Cape Town to Cairo and from Alaska to Baffin Island (Winging it in the North), and for 25 years has lived and travelled in the Yukon, Northwest Territories and Nunavut.
John Koerner's powers of observation, his oneness with the natural world around him, his insights into people and the innate understanding of various cultures are very much the tools he uses in creating his works. They are also the gifts he gives to viewers: his ability in so many languages and in the international language of visual art. His work connects in a truly meaningful way across a significant breadth of cultures, and enriches us all.
PATRICIA E. BOVEY
Director of the Art Gallery of Greater Victoria
H. Dude Lavington was born in Alberta in 1907. He has lived the life of a pioneer: breaking trail, breaking horses, breaking bones. He eased into the cowboy life aboard a bronco named Calamity. His colloquial, down-home style and stories are major additions to the Canadian cowboy mythos.
Andrea Lebowitz is a charter member of the faculty at Simon Fraser University and a founder of the Women's Studies Department in which she teaches. She is the editor of an anthology of women's nature writing in Canada, Living in Harmony, which includes a selection from Gilean Douglas's writing.
Charles Lillard was known as a poet and as an historian specializing in the Northwest Coast. His last volume of poetry, Circling North, won the 1988 B.C. Poetry Book Prize.
Born in Edmonton in 1957, Richard Mackie moved to Vancouver Island when he was 11 and soon started digging up Victorian-era bottle dumps on the margins of mud flats on Tsehum Harbour, North Saanich, starting beneath his parents’ home and moving out from there. He probed the muddy shorelines with a metal rod and learned to distinguish between buried glass and rock. Soon he had a bedroom full of old bottles and pottery pieces. This was worthwhile salvage work because the tidal estuaries tended to get filled in for parking lots or dredged for marinas.
Chief Earl Maquinna George, hereditary chief of the Ahousaht First Nation of Clayoquot Sound on the west coast of Vancouver Island, here tells his compelling life story in his own words. Born in 1926 in the village of Maaqtusiis, on Flores Island, Chief Maquinna lost his mother when he was very young and spent his childhood years, until Grade 8, at the Ahousat Indian Residential School. He received traditional training from the elders at Maaqtusiis, as well as learning the skills of fishing and a sea-going life from his father, McPherson George. He also worked as a logger and with the Canadian Coast Guard, eventually earning his skipper's papers.
Olive Spencer Loggins 1900-1989
Olive Spencer Loggins shared many adventures and much happiness with her husband, Arthur, during their forty years of marriage. After his death in 1965, she travelled in Ontario visiting their two sons and other relatives.
In 1970 she met and married Clinton Loggins, a Texan with a fine hand for gardening. They had six years together before his death. Olive spent her final years in Victoria, British Columbia, where she enjoyed an active life until she passed away in 1989.
Ron Martin is the eighth child of Robert Martin Sr. and Cecelia Martin (née Lucas) of Opitsaht. Opitsaht has been the ancestral home of the Martin family for many generations. It is situated on Meares Island, across from Tofino on the west coast of Vancouver Island, British Columbia. Ron's father, Robert, was a hereditary chief (Ha'withl) of the Tla-o-qui-aht (formerly known as Clayoquot), one of the Nuu-chah-nulth First Nations.
Sylvie McClean was born in Algeria, educated in France, Germany and Canada and has lived in Canada since 1960. She holds MA degrees from both the Sorbonne and UBC and works as a professional translator. She is married and lives in Vancouver.
Jill Milton, a longtime resident of Cortes Island, knew Gilean Douglas for the last 20 years of Douglas's life. Although 50 years separated them, they were good friends, and Douglas named Milton her literary executor. Douglas requested in her will that her Literary Executor work to bring her writing back into print, and Milton feels honoured to help carry out that task.
Rita Moir received the help of archivists across Canada, but it’s her long-time involvement in the Slocan Valley that opened doors for her as she sought these rare and previously unpublished photos deep within the albums and shoeboxes of local families.
Rona Murray was born in London, England, and spent her early childhood in India, before coming to Canada. She was educated at the University of British Columbia and at the University of Kent. She has taught at a number of Colleges and Universities and is the author of four collections of poetry. Her play, Blue Duck's Feather and Eagledown was performed in the 1958 Centennial celebrations of British Columbia, and her poems and stories have appeared in many magazines and anthologies in North America.
Rosemary Neering has been writing about the Canadian west for some 30 years. Her award-winning books include Down the Road: Journeys through Small-Town British Columbia and Wild West Women: Travellers, Adventurers and Rebels, as well as a variety of guides to and histories of B.C. She lives in Victoria.
Sylvia Olsen was born and brought up in Victoria, BC. At seventeen she married and moved to Tsartlip First Nation. For more than thirty years she lived and worked and raised her four children in the Tsartlip community. Sylvia is a historian specializing in Native/white relations in Canada. As a writer, she often finds herself exploring the in-between places where Native and non-Native people meet.
David N. Parker is a curator at the Royal BC Museum, a position he has held since 1973. He has produced over 20 exhibits during his tenure at the museum and has published books and articles on both emergency services and aviation. Presently, he is preparing a history of the BC Ambulance Service.
Kelly Parsons was born in Victoria, BC, on May 8, 1958, and died at Victoria Hospice on December 24, 2008, with her son, John, at her side. Kelly attended school on southern Vancouver Island, and all through her teenage years her horse, April, was an important part of her life (she later said, "...animals bring so much joy and acceptance into our lives").
Sallie Phillips was a freelance broadcaster in Vancouver in the years following WWII. She broadcast her varied and detailed programs over many Vancouver radio stations, but most of her work was for the CBC and was enjoyed by listeners locally, nationally, and internationally. With a smooth and expressive voice that "could really take it off the paper," and infinite curiosity, Sallie was a natural for radio. But she was also a natural for public relations, and her highly successful career in that field eventually overtook her work as a freelance broadcaster. After retiring in the late 1960s, Sallie and her husband Dick travelled extensively and moved to Vancouver Island in 1972. They have lived in Victoria since 1986.
Terry Reksten was born in England in 1942 and came to British Columbia in 1947. She studied English and History at the University of British Columbia, graduating in 1963. Terry maintained an active interest in British Columbia history and heritage preservation and was a founding member of the Hallmark Society and the Crystal Gardens Preservation Society. In 1985, she was named an Honorary Citizen of the City of Victoria in recognition of her writing and her work in heritage preservation.
Schofield is what he calls a "Coast Dog," having flown as a commercial seaplane pilot along the full stretch of coastal British Columbia and throughout much of North America and the Canadian Arctic. Following his flying career he founded Aviator Magazine, a Canadian national trade publication that he recently sold after 13 years as its editor and publisher.
Susan Stenson has been published in many literary magazines including Geist, subTerrain, Fiddlehead, and CV2. She has received numerous awards for her work including The ARC Poem of the Year Contest, subTerrain's Lush Triumphant contest, The Rona Murray Prize for Literature, the Great Canadian Literary Hunt, This Magazine's poetry contest, the League of Canadian Poets National Contest, the Best Book of Poetry (people's choice prize, Monday Magazine), and the Hawthorne Poetry Chapbook Award.
Margo Talbot is an ice climber who leads expeditions in some of the world's most remote locations. Her memoir of addiction, recovery, and climbing is a testament to the strength of the human spirit and the healing power of nature.
Born in England, award-winning author Nikki Tate travelled the world before settling down on a tiny farm on Vancouver Island. Horses, goats, ducks, cats, dogs, and koi keep her busy when she isn't dreaming up ideas for new books or working out in her garden. The author of more than twenty books, Tate also works as a freelance broadcaster with CBC radio and is a professional storyteller, retelling the stories of King Arthur's court. Her writing workshops are popular with aspiring writers of all ages.
Nancy Turner is internationally known for her work in Ethnobotany, the study of plants and cultures. She is a Distinguished Professor in the School of Environmental Studies at the University of Victoria and has published many books, scholarly papers and popular articles. Her studies have taken her all over British Columbia and to other parts of the world.
Robert D. Turner is a multi-award-winning author of fifteen books, with several more in the works, and over 350 articles on railway and steamship history. He has had several thousand photographs published in books, magazines and journals as well as presented in exhibits. He is Curator Emeritus at the Royal British Columbia Museum, where he was Chief of Historical Collections for many years. Bob has travelled around the world photographing and documenting surviving early railways, the lives of workers and communities, and industrial history in South American, Africa, many parts of Asia and Europe.
Sarah Turner grew up in Victoria, B.C., where she developed a curiosity about and respect for wild creatures and places, and a love of stories and photography. Sarah first visited the Awaji Island Monkey Centre in Japan as an undergraduate student in 1999, and has returned many times since to conduct behavioural field research on the Japanese macaque monkeys who live in the surrounding forests. After completing her BA in women’s studies at Simon Fraser University, she went on to do an interdisciplinary MSc in primatology at the University of Victoria. Currently, Sarah combines writing, research and motherhood, while working towards her PhD in primatology at the University of Calgary.
Dick Wells speaks from personal experience – and from love of the seafaring life. He describes a way of life that has very largely vanished, and which is not to be characterized by "good riddance," but rather to be regarded with a feeling of deep loss. We have here, though, a small segment of that way of life as it took place in our coastal waters not too many years ago. For this we are profoundly grateful.
Julie lives on a horse farm in Armstrong with her husband, Robert, a former jockey, where they raise thoroughbreds for racing and jumping. She rides every day and competes in jumping classes at horse shows, often against her two grown daughters. She's a Pony Club examiner, riding instructor and course designer. Julie White's first book, The Secret Pony, received an Our Choice Award and was nominated for a Chocolate Lily Award.
Dave Wilkie's railroad photography is internationally acclaimed, from publication in many widely circulated books and magazines. A well-known authority on western railroad history, he has co-authored three books, The Cordwood Limited (with the late George Hearn), Shays on the Switchbacks (with Elwood White), and The Skyline Limited (with Robert Turner). His interests have long focussed on the Great Northern in British Columbia. He is retired and living in Victoria, B.C.
Helga Williams (The Word Lady) was born in Halle, Germany October 10, 1939 and passed away on September 6th, 2006 at the Saanich Peninsula Hospital after a lengthy illness. A love of travel took Helga around the world and back, always seeking new adventures. She and her family lived in England, Australia, and the United States and, after immigrating to Canada in 1969, Banff, Calgary, Fort McMurray, Vancouver, Salt Spring Island, and Victoria.
Patricia Young has published nine collections of poetry and one of short fiction. She has won numerous awards for her poetry, including the Pat Lowther Memorial Award, the Dorothy Livesay Award, the Bliss Carmen Award, the National Magazine Award, the League of Canadian Poets’ National Poetry Competition and Arc’s Poem of the Year Competition. Two of her collections have been shortlisted for the Governor General’s Award for Poetry.
Monique Gray Smith is a mixed-heritage woman of Cree, Lakota and Scottish ancestry and a proud mom of young twins. Under the umbrella of her own business, Little Drum Consulting, Monique is an accomplished consultant, writer and international speaker. She is well known for her warmth, spirit of generosity and focus on resilience. Monique has been sober and involved in her healing journey for over 20 years. She and her family are blessed to live on Coast Salish territory in Victoria, B.C.
A transplanted American, Kristie Hammond has lived in British Columbia for 33 years, raising and home-schooling five children. She now occupies her time with writing, travelling, knitting and walking Fergus, her mischievous West Highland terrier. Ting Ting is her first book.
Titles by the Author
Ting is a happy 8-year-old in China when Tiananmen Square forces her family to a new life in faraway Vancouver, Canada. Suddenly everything is strange and difficult. What will it take for Ting to belong?
Watch this video to learn more about Kristie and Ting Ting.
JUVENILE FICTION • Ages 8+ • 208 pp • 5.25 x 7.75
ISBN 978-1-55039-210-4 • paper • $9.95
Jenny Watson grew up in small-town New Zealand, dreaming of big adventures in faraway places. When she was 18, she spent a year as an exchange student in Thailand, where she learned to speak a little Thai (nit noi) and to eat curry and sticky rice with her fingers. After returning to New Zealand to earn a Master’s degree in psychology, she moved to San Diego and trained to be a technical writer. Jenny, her husband and their small but feisty parrot now make their home in Victoria, B.C.
Titles by the Author
Josh is 11, dyslexic, and suffering at his new school on Vancouver Island. Sailing is his escape, until he’s goaded into a bet: lose a sailing race and he reads aloud on Literacy Day!
ISBN 978-1-55039-211-1 • paper • $9.95
August 2013 release
Watch a video of Jenny Watson speaking about the long process of seeing her first novel through to publication.