2019 presenters


Marilyn Bowering is an award-winning novelist and poet. Her novels include To All Appearances A Lady (a New York Times Notable Book), Visible Worlds (shortlisted for the Orange Prize and the Dublin IMPAC Prize, and awarded the Ethel Wilson Fiction Prize), Visible Worlds, and What it Takes to Be Human. She has received the Gwendolyn MacEwen Poetry prize, the Pat Lowther Prize, and the Dorothy Livesay Prize for poetry, in addition to several National Magazine Awards, two nominations for the Governor General’s award, and shortlistings for the Prix Italia and the Sony Award. She was a Fulbright scholar at NYU and taught creative writing there; she has also taught at the University of Victoria and Vancouver Island University, and has held positions as writer-in-residence across Canada, among many other literary appointments. She makes her home in Victoria, B.C. Read more here >>

Stephen Fearing. Photo by Jen Squires.


Stephen Fearing is considered one of Canada’s finest singer-songwriters, cultivating both a national and international audience through countless performances from intimate venues to major festivals. In 1996 he co-founded Blackie and The Rodeo Kings with Colin Linden and Tom Wilson; 22 years later, the band is one of the most respected names in North American roots-rock. Stephen also released two albums as one half of the duo Fearing & White with fellow Irish son Andy White. He has received multiple JUNO and Canadian Folk Music nominations and awards; his ninth solo album, Every Soul’s a Sailor, won the 2017 Worldwide Album of the Year by Blues & Roots Radio and earned him Contemporary Singer of the Year at the Canadian Folk Music Awards. His most recent release is The Secret of Climbing. Read more here >>

Ian Weir


Ian Weir is a screenwriter, showrunner, playwright and novelist. His TV credits include the drama Arctic Air, which made its debut to an audience of 1.2 million on CBC, the critically acclaimed gangland miniseries Dragon Boys, and the long-running teen drama series Edgemont. Ian has written nearly 150 episodes for two dozen series in Canada and the U.S. Awards include two Geminis, four Leos, a WGC Award and a Jessie for his playwriting. Ian’s debut novel, Daniel O’Thunder, was shortlisted for the 2009 Commonwealth Writers’ Prize for Best First Book. His second novel, Will Starling, was longlisted for the 2016 International Dublin Literary Award. His 2018 novel The Death and Life of Strother Purcell was described by Publisher’s Weekly as “a remarkable, sprawling epic about myth, memory, and what may or may not be the truth in the making of legends.” Read more here >>



JG Toews is a health professional turned crime writer whose science background got her hooked on forensics. Her Stella Mosconi mysteries are set right here in beautiful Nelson, BC. First in the series, Give Out Creek (Mosaic Press) was a finalist for the 2016 Arthur Ellis Award for Best Unpublished Crime Novel and the 2019 Lefty Award for Best Debut Mystery. Said Margaret Cannon in The Globe and Mail, “The plot is good and the setting is great. Toews has a nice eye for the details that give charm to the BC outback.” She is now at work on the second in the series, Lucky Jack Road. Read more here >>

Iona Whishaw