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News, Events, and Announcements

news | Thursday June 8, 2023

Collaboration Between Leanne Dunic and Ken Liu in Orion Magazine

Leanne Dunic

If you’re looking for a good read, check out this essay “The Magic in the Machine” in Orion Magazine. This piece is a collaboration between mutlidisciplinary artist Leanne Dunic, whose photography appears in this essay, and novelist Ken Liu, who explores what sort of stories AI is able to tell.

The essay offers readers a GPT-3-generated fairytale fed by Liu’s prompts (and supplemented by Liu in turn imitating the AI) that works in brilliant tandem with Dunic’s photography, which juxtaposes lush forest imagery with digital effects.

From the essay:

“There is no single author of ‘The Princess and the Robot.’ I wrote it, and so did the machine, and so did all the authors who wrote before me and who contributed to the training corpus of the machine…

(I haven’t told you exactly how much of the tale was from me and how much from the machine, but does it matter? Every word I wrote was influenced by the machine. Even if I deleted all the words written by the machine and rewrote the missing lines in “my own words”—whatever that means—that still wouldn’t change the analysis.)”

Fascinating and philosophical, the complete work can be found here.

news | Thursday June 8, 2023

Production of "Little Red Warrior and His Lawyer" Nominated for Theatre Awards

A touring production of the satirical play Little Red Warrior and His Lawyer by Kevin Loring has been nominated for several Betty Mitchell Awards. Presented by Theatre Calgary and Making Treaty 7, this production has been nominated for Outstanding Supporting Performance in a Comedy as well as Outstanding Production of a Play.

Founded in 1998, the Betty Mitchell Awards celebrate the work coming out of Calgary’s professional theatre community. Check out the complete list of nominees here. Congratulations to all involved!

news | Tuesday June 6, 2023

Bev Sellars Honoured by Thompson Rivers University

At this year’s spring convocation, Thompson Rivers University is recognizing four exceptional people with honorary degrees. One of those remarkable people is former Chief and Councillor of the Xat’sull (Soda Creek) First Nation, activist, lawyer, and author Bev Sellars who wrote They Called Me Number One and Price Paid: The Fight for First Nations Survival. Other recipients of honorary degrees from Thompson Rivers University this spring include Dr. Verna Billy-Minnabarriet, Jorge Campos, and Christopher Weddell.

Honorary degrees are the highest form of recognition bestowed upon individuals who have made a tremendous impact in their field and we could not be more delighted to see the outstanding Bev Sellars being celebrated in this manner. Read more about this year’s fantastic honourees here.

news | Wednesday May 31, 2023

"Witness Back at Me" on Read Local BC

We’re delighted to see Witness Back at Me by Weyman Chan on Read Local BC’s list of suggested reads for Asian Heritage Month! Personal, compelling, and heartful, Witness Back at Me is a must-read collection.

Check out the full list of amazing recommendations here.

news | Thursday May 25, 2023

Daniel Brooks, 1958–2023

We are terribly saddened to learn of the passing of writer, actor, director, producer, and performing artist, Daniel Brooks. Brooks worked in the realm of theatre for four decades, receiving recognition and acclaim for his outstanding contributions to the field. He studied multiple creative disciplines, including theatre, clown, dance, and puppetry.

Brooks was the winner of the inaugural Siminovitch Prize in Theatre, and was a finalist for the Governor General’s Literary Award in Theatre for The Noam Chomsky Lectures, the play he co-wrote with Guillermo Verdecchia.

Brooks will be remembered as a rare and exceptional creative force. We extend our deepest condolences to his loved ones during this sad time.

news | Tuesday May 23, 2023

Rahat Kurd and Phinder Dulai in Rungh Magazine

Looking to do some reading? There are reviews and reflections by both Rahat Kurd and Phinder Dulai Volume 10 No. 1 of Rungh Magazine! Check it out this great edition here!

news | Thursday May 18, 2023

Asian Heritage Month

May is Asian Heritage Month! We would like to mark the occasion by highlighting the work of some of the incredible authors with Asian heritage we’ve had the pleasure of working with in recent years.

The first book we’d like to shout out is Witness Back at Me by Weyman Chan. Suffused with a collage-like immersion of stream-of-conscious voices, Witness Back at Me parallels Chan’s childhood loss of his mother to breast cancer with the loss of his Two-Spirit Métis friend and mentor, writer Sharron Proulx-Turner. Drawing on biology, myth, ecology, and the anthropocalypse, Weyman Chan’s poetry interrogates fear’s flight from embodiment and one soul’s struggle to stake everything on what makes us human. This collection marries a dreamy quality with a relatable groundedness and a specificity of voice that inspires revisiting.

From “Defunding My Feely Map”:

“science is missing its calluses & my mother can’t hear me,
quizmaster to my own Jeopardy! episode

what is (wordless) tumours you (she) can’t

cue the daily double’s

neural disclaimer it begs to differ

looking back is weak but I want to stay”

Another amazing recent work is The City That Is Leaving Forever by Rahat Kurd and Sumayya Syed, a gorgeous, rich, and poetic correspondence between two Kashmiri Muslim poets. Over five years, the two women share their experiences living in Vancouver and Kashmir respectively, bonding over hardships, poetry, and the details of their lives. The correspondence becomes a rigorously feminist record of two poets thinking through trauma together and creating new work in solidarity with emerging freedom struggles across the globe, “a book like a cluster of thorns with some few fragrant petals caught in them.”

From The City That Is Leaving Forever:

“That’s it. We must exist for our own sake – it is so
generative to claim this right. It’s not selfish at all: It
really is only possible to give to others in the abundance
that comes from holding on to your own fearless self.”

The third book we would love highlight is The Diary of Dukesang Wong. This important book is a rare firsthand account of the construction of the deadly British Columbia section of the Canadian Pacific Railway from the perspective of a Chinese worker. The Diary of Dukesang Wong reveals the unthinkable and exploitative conditions he and his fellow workers experienced during this chapter of history. Dukesang Wong’s journals span nearly his entire lifetime, detailing his early life in China, his decision to immigrate to BC, his time as a tailor in New Westminster, and his experience of having a family. This book is translated by Dukesang Wong’s granddaughter, Wanda Joy Hoe, and is edited by David McIlwraith.

From The Diary of Dukesang Wong:

Spring 1880

I have decided to venture to that country they call “the Land of the Golden Mountains.” The next ship that departs for those shores is the one which I shall be on. Because I cannot build upon my own land in this country, it is right that I should attempt to seek land over the ocean. Several men with whom I have talked tell me of the opportunities of establishing a home over in those western lands. While Lin is still yet growing, I can afford the time now to build a real home to call mine. Perhaps it will prove to be too strange and foreign a land to which to adapt myself and bring Lin, but I must try it and have experience of it in the event that it is a better land that will allow me to once again establish a real home.”

It is our greatest joy to have had the chance to work with such amazing writers and translators on outstanding and one-of-a-kind projects. We hope you enjoy their words this month and every month.

news | Tuesday May 16, 2023

“Kamloopa” Reviewed in The British Columbia Review

Thank you to Amanda Wandler for writing this review of Kamloopa, the Governor General’s Award winning play by Kim Senklip Harvey. Kamloopa is a high-energy Indigenous matriarchal story that follows two urban Indigenous sisters and a lawless Trickster as they come to terms with what it means to honour who they are and where they come from.

From the review:

“Although Kim Senklip Harvey’s Kamloopa portrays a journey (a spiritual journey, a journey of reclamation, and a road trip) of three First Nations womxn from the Syilx Nation, which is just one of many distinct Indigenous nations throughout Canada, its themes resonate with individuals from all nations, on the way creating a sense of connection and shared experience. Each time I picked up Kamloopa, I found myself laughing and crying.”

Read the complete piece in the British Columbia Review here.

news | Wednesday May 10, 2023

Jerry Wasserman Wins the 2023 Max Wyman Award

We are thrilled to announce that Jerry Wasserman has won the 2023 Max Wyman Award in Critical Writing!

The Max Wyman Award honours outstanding commentary on the arts in British Columbia. From the announcement: “The jury citation reads: ‘Jerry Wasserman’s remarkable career in many ways embodies the aims of this award. His decades as a teacher and as a performer give his writing about the theatre a sympathetic and thoughtful understanding that is expressed in language that is lively, direct and deeply informed. The jury was unanimous in its appreciation of the way he has encouraged and enhanced a wider appreciation of the richness of the Vancouver arts scene and the talents of those who make that richness possible—both through his print and media reviews and through his website, which is a consistent source of information and critical context on all things theatre in Vancouver.’”

Read the complete announcement here.

Congratulations on this well-earned win, Jerry!

news | Tuesday May 9, 2023

Joséphine Bacon Wins Molson Prize

Amazing news! Joséphine Bacon is this year’s winner of the Canada Council for the Arts Molson Prize! View the full announcement here.

Our heartfelt congratulations to Joséphine on this well-deserved win. Keep your eyes peeled for her forthcoming poetry collection, Uiesh / Somewhere, which is comprised of short poems based on Bacon’s experience as an Innu woman, whose life has taken her from the nomadic ways of her Ancestors in the northern wilderness of Nitassinan, or Innu Territory, to the clamour and bustle of the city.

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