Halifax, Nova Scotia

Saturday, September 14, 2019

Halifax Central Library | 10am - 3pm

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Featured Authors, Poets, Story Tellers and Special Guests

Word On The Street Halifax is one of many festivals that contribute significantly to the economic wealth of Nova Scotia.  We do more than place writers on stage. We proudly host some of the finest talent in Canadian literature, with a strong focus on Atlantic Canada. This year we celebrate our 25th anniversary.  Save the date and join in the celebrations!

Joann Hamilton-Barry – North Atlantic Right Whales: Past, Present, and Future

The North Atlantic right whale, also called the “urban” whale for its proximity to industrialized regions of North America’s east coast, is one of the largest whales in the world. Averaging 14 metres, and weighing about 40,000 kilograms, it is known for its graceful tail, callosities, lack of dorsal fins, and strong bond with its young. But historically, it was known as the “right” whale to kill, and has been commercially hunted for its abundant blubber and oil since the tenth century.

Considered nearly extinct by the 1950s, the population slowly began to recover due to conservation efforts in the late twentieth-century. But commercial fishing-related deaths in recent years, including the loss of at least seventeen right whales (2% of the population) in the summer of 2017, put the species at a level of critical endangerment. The next few decades will determine whether it survives.

Offering background on the whale’s history, unique biology and behaviour, information on what is killing them and how readers can help, The North Atlantic Right Whale is an important, accessible book that will spark action and increased awareness of the plight of this majestic creature.

Joann Hamilton-Barry is a librarian in Saint John, New Brunswick and the author of the Hackmatack Award-shortlisted Oak Island the Search for Buried Treasure, published in 2015. There be Pirates: Swashbucklers & Rogues of the Atlantic was published in 2018 and Resource Links gave it an ‘E’ indicating that it is ‘excellent’ and ‘enduring’, with the recommendation that ‘everyone should see it’. CM: Canadian Review of Materials said ‘This five star book is a must for public library shelves, teachers covering the topic in their classroom or school library, and for any child or child at heart with an interest in swashbucklers and rogues’. Her first book Boldly Canadian: the Story of the RCMP was published by Kids Can Press in 1999.
Her next book, North Atlantic Right Whale: Past, Present and Future will be released by Nimbus in May 2019.
Joann is a former teacher and was a children’s librarian for nearly twenty years. She has had a lifelong fascination with all things related to islands, beaches, boats, the ocean, and the creatures who live there. Joann gets very excited when she finds a little known and neat fact to share with readers young and old. She enjoys visiting schools to tell students about her books and to get them excited about reading, research, and libraries. In the last few years she has given more than 50 talks about her books to over 1800 kids.
Joann has lived in seven provinces and one territory and enjoys exploring all parts of Canada. She is the proud mother of two grown children, Alex and Hope. Her favourite activities include reading, cooking and walking her dog with her best friend and husband, Nick Barry.