Find us online this year to meet and listen to authors, illustrators, and performers from across Canada! Check out our 2021 line-up...
Charlene Bearhead (she/her/hers) is an educator and Indigenous education advocate living in Treaty 6 Territory in central Alberta. She was the first Education Lead for the National Centre for Truth and Reconciliation and the Education Coordinator for the National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls. Charlene was recently honoured with the Alumni Honours Award from the University of Alberta and currently serves as the Director of Reconciliation for Canadian Geographic. She is a mother and a grandmother who began writing stories to teach her own children as she raised them. Adaptations of these stories have now been published as the Siha Tooskin Knows series, which she co-wrote with her husband, Wilson.
Siha Tooskin Knows the Love of the Dance
Siha Tooskin Knows the Nature of Life
Siha Tooskin Knows the Strength of His Hair
Wilson Bearhead (he/him/his) is a Nakota Elder and Wabamun Lake First Nation member in Treaty 6 Territory (central Alberta). A recent recipient of the Canadian Teachers’ Federation Indigenous Elder Award, he co-wrote the Siha Tooskin Knows series with his wife, Charlene. Currently Wilson is a board member for the Roots of Resilience Education Foundation. Wilson’s grandmother, Annie, was a powerful, positive influence in his young life, teaching him all of the lessons that gave him the strength, knowledge, and skills to overcome difficult times and embrace the gifts of life.
Siha Tooskin Knows the Love of the Dance
Siha Tooskin Knows the Nature of Life
Siha Tooskin Knows the Strength of His Hair
Tanaz Bhathena writes books for young adults. Her latest book, Rising Like a Storm, is the sequel to her YA fantasy novel, Hunted by the Sky, which won the White Pine Award in 2021. Her novel, The Beauty of the Moment, won the Nautilus Gold Award for Young Adult Fiction and has also been nominated for the Ontario Library Association’s White Pine Award. Her acclaimed debut, A Girl Like That, was named a Best Book of the Year by numerous outlets including The Globe and Mail, Seventeen, and The Times of India.
Rising Like a Storm
Born in Sierra Leone, Bertrand Bickersteth grew up in Edmonton, Calgary, and Olds, Alberta. After an English degree at UBC, Bertrand continued studying in the U.K. and later taught in the U.S. A return to Alberta provided him with new insights on black identity and most of his writing has been committed to these perspectives ever since. Although he writes in several genres, anticlimactically, the topic is always the same: what does it mean to be black and from the prairies? He has also given many public talks including a TED Talk for BowValleyCollegeTEDx called The Weight of Words. His poetry has appeared in several publications, including most recently The Antigonish Review, Cosmonauts Avenue, and The Fieldstone Review. He has also been published in The Great Black North and the forthcoming anthology The Black Prairie Archives (2020). In 2018, he was longlisted for the CBC Poetry Prize. He lives in Calgary, teaches at Olds College, and writes everywhere.
The Response of Weeds: A Misplacement of Black Poetry on the Prairies
Marty Chan is an award-winning author of dozens of books for kids, including Kung Fu Master, Haunted Hospital and Kylie the Magnificent in the Orca Currents line and the award-winning Marty Chan Mystery series. He tours schools and libraries across Canada, using storytelling, stage magic and improv to ignite a passion for reading in kids. He lives in Edmonton.
Born in Québec City, Canada, in 1966, Guy Delisle now lives in the south of France with his wife and two children. Delisle spent ten years working in animation, which allowed him to learn about movement and drawing. He is best known for his travelogues about life in faraway countries, Burma Chronicles, Jerusalem: Chronicles from the Holy City, Pyongyang: A Journey in North Korea, and Shenzhen. In 2012, Guy Delisle was awarded the Prize for Best Album for the French edition of Jerusalem at the Angoulême International Comics Festival.
Aminder Dhaliwal grew up in Brampton, Ontario and received a Bachelors of Animation from Sheridan College. She now lives in Los Angeles where she has worked as the Director at Disney TV Animation, a Storyboard Director at Cartoon Network, and Storyboard Director on the Nickelodeon show Sanjay and Craig. Dhaliwal is a Variety Animator to Watch.
Her first graphic novel, Woman World, was serialized on Instagram where she garnered 250,000 followers, and it appeared on 25 best of the year lists as well as receiving nominations for numerous awards including the Eisner, Ignatz, Harvey, and the Stephen Leacock Medal. Cyclopedia Exotica, published in May 2021, is her second book and was featured in the New York Times, LA Times, and Globe & Mail.
Candas Jane Dorsey is the award-winning author of Black Wine, A Paradigm of Earth, Machine Sex and Other Stories, Vanilla and Other Stories, Ice and Other Stories, and The Adventures of Isabel (first in the Epitome Apartments Mystery Series). She is a writer, editor, former publisher, community advocate, and activist living in Edmonton, Alberta.
What's the Matter with Mary Jane?: An Epitome Apartments Mystery
Eric Dyck is a cartoonist and art educator living in Lethbridge, AB. Eric has shared his love of cartoons and comic-storytelling with folks of all ages for more than twenty-five years. Eric has been documenting his experiences and adventures in Southern Alberta through his webcomic, Slaughterhouse Slough. Eric uses his comic strip to share about the people that he meets, the stories that he hears, and to celebrate the critters and flora of Southern Alberta. Eric’s work can also be found in Wider Horizons, The Sprawl, and YYScene. Find out more at http://www.ericdyck.com/
Terry Fan received his formal art training at Ontario College of Art and Design in Toronto, Canada. His work is a blend of traditional and contemporary techniques, using ink or graphite mixed with digital. He spends his days (and nights) creating magical paintings, portraits, and prints. Terry is the cocreator of The Night Gardener and It Fell from the Sky. Born in Illinois, he now lives in Toronto. Visit him online TheFanBrothers.com.
It Fell from the Sky
Eric Fan is an artist and writer who lives in Toronto, Canada. Born in Hawaii and raised in Toronto, he attended the Ontario College of Art and Design, where he studied illustration, sculpture, and film. He has a passion for vintage bikes, clockwork contraptions, and impossible dreams. Eric is the cocreator of The Night Gardener and It Fell from the Sky. Visit him online TheFanBrothers.com.
It Fell from the Sky
Gillian Goerz (pronounced Jillian Gertz) is a Canadian cartoonist, writer, and illustrator. Her first graphic novel Shirley & Jamila Save Their Summer (Dial, 2020) received starred reviews from Kirkus and Publishers Weekly, was included in the New York Public Library and CBC Books’ Best Books of 2020, and was praised in the New York Times Review of Books. The follow up, Shirley & Jamila’s Big Fall comes out in Fall 2021. Gillian loves drawing and talking about comics and creativity with kids and people of all ages. See more of her work, or book her to speak at gilliang.com. See art and behind the scenes photos on instagram @GillianGDotCom
(Save and print the activities below, courtesy of Gillian Goerz!)
Shirley and Jamila's Big Fall
Robyn Harding is the author of numerous books, including the international bestseller, The Party, and The Swap, which was an instant #1 Globe and Mail (Toronto) and #1 Toronto Star bestseller. She has also written and executive produced an independent film. She lives in Vancouver, BC, with her family. Visit her at RobynHarding.com or follow her on Twitter and Instagram @RHardingWriter or Facebook @AuthorRobynHarding.
The Perfect Family
Jill Heinerth is a cave diver, underwater explorer, writer, photographer and filmmaker. More people have walked on the moon than have been to some of the places Jill has explored on earth. She has made TV series for the CBC, the National Geographic channel, and the BBC, consulted on movies, including for director James Cameron, and produced documentaries, including We Are Water and Ben’s Vortex. Jill’s accolades include induction into The Explorers Club and the inaugural class of the Women Divers Hall of Fame. She is also the inaugural Explorer-in-Residence for The Royal Canadian Geographic Society, and the recipient of Canada’s prestigious Polar Medal and the diving world’s highest award from the Academy of Underwater Arts and Sciences. The Aquanaut is her first book for children.
Dallas Hunt is Cree and a member of Wapsewsipi (Swan River First Nation) in Treaty Eight territory in Northern Alberta. He has had creative work published in Contemporary Verse 2, Prairie Fire, PRISM international and Arc Poetry. His first children’s book, Awâsis and the World-famous Bannock, was published through Highwater Press in 2018, and was nominated for several awards. Hunt is an assistant professor of Indigenous literatures at the University of British Columbia.
June Hur was born in South Korea and raised in Canada, except for the time when she moved back to Korea and attended high school there. She studied History and Literature at the University of Toronto. She began writing her debut novel after obsessing over books about Joseon Korea. When she’s not writing, she can be found wandering through nature or journaling at a coffee shop. June is the author of The Silence of Bones, The Forest of Stolen Girls, and the forthcoming The Red Palace (January 2022). She currently lives in Toronto with her husband and daughter.
The Forest of Stolen Girls
Michael Hutchinson is a citizen of the Misipawistik Cree Nation in the Treaty 5 territory. As a teen, he pulled nets on Lake Winnipeg, fought forest fires in the Canadian Shield, and worked at the Whiteshell Nuclear Research Station’s Underground Research Lab. As a young adult, he worked as a bartender, a caterer for rock concerts and movie shoots, and, eventually, as a print reporter for publications such as The Calgary Straight and Aboriginal Times. After being headhunted by the Indian Claims Commission, Michael moved from journalism to the communications side of the desk and worked for the ICC in Ottawa as a writer, though he later returned to his home province to start a family.
Since then, he has worked as the Director of Communications for the Assembly of Manitoba Chiefs, a project manager for the Treaty Relations Commission of Manitoba, where he helped create the “We are all treaty people” campaign, and as a communications officer for the Assembly of First Nations. Over seven years ago, he jumped at the chance to make mini-documentaries for the first season of APTN Investigates. Michael then became host of APTN National News and produced APTN’s sit-down interview show, Face to Face, and APTN’s version of Politically Incorrect, The Laughing Drum. After leaving APTN, Michael worked for advocacy organizations like the Assembly of First Nations and the Manitoba Keewatinowi Okimakanak. He is currently a co-host on CTV Morning Live Winnipeg. Michael’s greatest accomplishments are his two lovely daughters.
The Case of the Burgled Bundle
Adan Jerreat-Poole lives with chronic pain, depression, anxiety, and feminism. When they aren’t reading or writing, Adan likes to crochet, play video games, and do jigsaw puzzles. They have a PhD in cultural studies and work at the intersection of disability and digital media. Adan lives in Kingston, ON, with their forever partner, Rida.
The Boi of Feather and Steel
Sabina Khan writes about Muslim teens who straddle cultures. She was born in Germany, spent her teens in Bangladesh, and lived in Macao, Illinois, and Texas before settling down in British Columbia with her husband, two daughters, and the best puppy in the world. She is also an educational consultant and a karaoke enthusiast! Visit her online at sabina-khan.com.
Zara Hossain Is Here
Mary Lawson was born and brought up in a small farming community in Ontario. She is the author of Crow Lake, and The Other Side of the Bridge, both international bestsellers. Crow Lake was a New York Times bestseller and was chosen as a Book of the Year by The New York Times and The Washington Post, among others. The Other Side of the Bridge was longlisted for the Man Booker Prize. Her latest novel, Road Ends, was a national bestseller and finalist for the Folio Prize. Her new novel, the Canadian bestseller, A Town Called Solace was just longlisted for the Booker Prize! Lawson lives in England but returns to Canada frequently.
A Town Called Solace
Trevor has made a life and career surrounded by the sights and sounds of food. For the past twenty years, he has produced thousands of event experiences and has co-created and developed some of Toronto’s foremost food brands, including Kanpai Snack Bar, Yatai Japanese Street Food, Shook Noodle, La Brea Food, Joybird Fried Chicken, and Makan Noodle Bar. His culinary agency Highbell Group organizes uniquely immersive culinary events that push the boundaries of innovation. Trevor is also the co-founder of the agency Quell which highlights the leadership and talents of notable BIPOC leaders in hospitality. He is a frequent consultant, speaker, and editorial contributor to media outlets such as CityLine and business forums. He also directs and hosts a video series called “Soulful Food Stories.” This is his first book.
The Double Happiness Cookbook: 88 Feel-Good Recipes and Food Stories
Tash McAdam is a Welsh Canadian author of several books for young people, including Blood Sport and Sink or Swim in the Orca Soundings line and The Psionics series (Nine Star Press). Tash identifies as trans and queer and uses the neutral pronoun they. They teach high school English and computer science and have a couple of black belts in karate. They live in Vancouver.
Louisa Onomé is an organizer for the Festival of Literary Diversity (FOLD), which works to bring attention to diverse authors and stories, and has previously participated in the London Writers’ Fair. Onomé, a Nigerian Canadian, holds a bachelor’s degree in professional writing from York University. She lives in the Toronto area and when not writing, she works in counselling.
Nisha Patel is a queer spoken word poet and artist. She is the City of Edmonton’s 8th Poet Laureate and the 2019 Canadian Individual Slam Champion. She is a prominent organizer and community builder, having worked with festivals across Canada, participating in both the Canadian Festival of Spoken Word and the Canadian Individual Slam Championship. Her chapbooks, Limited Success, Water, Edmonton Girl, and I See You have reached audiences around the world with their discussions of family and grief, racism, and feminism. Over the years, Nisha has led many workshops and performed from small town Moose Jaw to metropolitan Seoul, South Korea over the course of four national and international tours. With nearly 200 performances to date, Nisha is committed to furthering her goals of reaching audiences that need it and the pursuit of excellence in spoken word. To that end, she has self-started community-focused residencies and mentored poets from multiple disciplines, curated showcases, taught performance and writing, and worked within new genres. In 2019, she co-founded a national queer femme South Asian artist collective, Maza Arts, and co-founded Moon Jelly House, a publishing house centring the work of marginalized poets. Her debut collection, Coconut, is a part of the Crow Said Poetry series.
Karen Pheasant-Neganigwane is an Anishinaabe dancer, educator, writer, artist and orator from Wiikwemkoong on Manitoulin Island, Ontario. Her grandparents, maternal and paternal, come from Wiikwemkoong. Her parents are residential school survivors. Karen is a PhD candidate in Educational Policy Studies/Indigenous Peoples Education at the University of Alberta and is an Assistant Professor at Mount Royal University in the Treaty Seven region. She is cross-appointed to the Department of General Education, Ofﬁce of Teaching and Learning, and the Department of Humanities–Indigenous Studies. Karen lives in Little Current, Ontario.
Powwow: A Celebration through Song and Dance
Ben Philippe is a New York–based writer and screenwriter, born in Haiti and raised in Montreal, Canada. He has a Bachelor of Arts from Columbia University and an MFA in fiction and screenwriting from the Michener Center for Writers in Austin, Texas. He also teaches screenwriting at Columbia University. He is the author of Field Guide to the North American Teenager. He can be found online at www.benphilippe.com.
Charming as a Verb
David A. Robertson is the winner of the Beatrice Mosionier Aboriginal Writer of the Year Award, the John Hirsch Award for Most Promising Manitoba Writer and the TWUC Freedom to Read Award. His books include The Barren Grounds: The Misewa Saga; When We Were Alone (winner of the Governor General’s Award, a finalist for the TD Canadian Children’s Literature Award and a McNally Robinson Best Book for Young People); Will I See? (winner of the Manuela Dias Book Design and Illustration Award, graphic novel category); and the YA novel Strangers (recipient of the Michael Van Rooy Award for Genre Fiction). He is the creator and host of the podcast Kiwew. Through his writings about Canada’s Indigenous peoples, Robertson educates as well as entertains, reflecting Indigenous cultures, histories and communities while illuminating many contemporary issues. David A. Robertson is a member of Norway House Cree Nation. He lives in Winnipeg.
Black Water: Family, Legacy, and Blood Memory
Anna Marie Sewell is an award-winning multi-genre writer/performer, whose career has centred around collaborative multidisciplinary work, including Ancestors & Elders, Reconciling Edmonton (which featured the first ever Round Dance at Edmonton’s City Hall), Braidings, Honour Songs and Heart of the Flower. As Edmonton’s 4th Poet Laureate, Anna Marie created and curated The PoemCatcher public art installation. She founded and ran Big Sky Theatre, a three year training and performance project producing original Aboriginal (it was the 90s) theatre with urban youth. She is also a founding member of the Stroll of Poets, which has provided an entrée into Edmonton’s public poetry community since 1991.
Heather Smith is originally from Newfoundland, and now lives in Waterloo, Ontario, with her husband and three children. Her east coast roots inspire much of her writing. Her novel, The Agony of Bun O’Keefe, won the Ontario Library Association’s White Pine Award and the Ruth & Sylvia Schwartz Award, and was shortlisted for the Amy Mathers Teen Book Award and the Geoffrey Bilson Award for Historical Fiction. It also received starred reviews from Kirkus and Quill & Quire and was named a best book of 2017 by Kirkus, Bank Street College of Education, Globe and Mail and Quill & Quire (honorable mention), as well as selected as an Outstanding International Book by USBBY.
Barry Squires, Full Tilt
Kathy has loved reading all her life but was almost thirty before she discovered she loves writing too. She has become the author of over 30 books for young people including the classic Red Is Best and the award-winning The Man with the Violin based on the imagined experience of a child hearing Joshua Bell play in a Washington metro station.
Mother, stepmother, and grandmother, Kathy is still an avid reader. When not reading or writing, she enjoys photography, jigsaw puzzles, crossword puzzles, and walking her dog in the woods and fields near her home in Rockwood, Ontario.
The Girl Who Loved Giraffes: And Became the World's First Giraffologist
Basil Sylvester is a non-binary writer and bookseller. They live in Toronto.
The Fabulous Zed Watson!
Kevin Sylvester is the author/illustrator of more than thirty books including MiNRS, The Almost Epic Squad: Mucus Mayhem, the Neil Flambé Capers and The Hockey Super Six. He’s also a broadcaster and a documentary producer. Kevin Sylvester has won awards all over Canada, including the Silver Birch Award, the Hackmatack Children’s Choice Book Award and the Canadian Children’s Book Centre Award. Visit him at www.kevinsylvesterbooks.com.
The Fabulous Zed Watson!
J. Torres won the Shuster Award for Outstanding Writer for his work on Batman: Legends of the Dark Knight, Love as a Foreign Language and Teen Titans Go. He is also the writer of the Eisner Award nominated Alison Dare and the YALSA listed Days Like This and Lola: A Ghost Story. Other comic book credits include Avatar: The Last Airbender, Batman: The Brave and the Bold, Legion of Super-Heroes in the 31st Century, Ninja Scroll, Wonder Girl, Wonder Woman, and WALL-E: Recharge.