2018 presenters

Last year, our presenters (listed here in alphabetical order) appeared in our evening events and took part in the Saturday panel discussions. Watch this space for our 2019 lineup!


Antonia Banyard writes for children and adults. Her book-length publications include an adult novel, three non-fiction books for 9-12 year olds and two board books. She has worked in book publishing and graphic design for over twenty years. Originally from Zambia, she now lives in Nelson with her family.


Dave Butler is an East Kootenay writer, photographer, forester and biologist. He’s the author of the Jenny Willson mystery series, published by Dundurn Press. Full Curl, the first in the series, appeared in September 2017. It was a finalist for the Unhanged Arthur in 2015. No Place for Wolverines, the next in the series, will be out this fall. Dave is also a Fellow of the Royal Canadian Geographical Society.



Slava Doval is the founder and director DanceFusion, a Nelson based dance
school with seven instructors and over 250 students. She is a passionate dance performer, choreographer and instructor who infuses her globally minded movements with grace and presence while exploring the common
thread in dances from around the world. Her experience with Ballet, Urban Styles,
Bollywood, Balkan, Afro-Colombian, West African, Bellydance, Flamenco, and Contemporary
all inform her choreography and her unique approach to mixing styles.
Doval is an adventurous lifelong dancer who continues to study and perform dance
internationally and locally.
Slava is the 2018 Cultural Ambassador for the City of Nelson, as well as the
Dance Sector Representative for the Cultural Development Committee for the
City of Nelson.



R.M. Greenaway has been a waitress and a darkroom technician, and also worked in probation. She travelled B.C. as a court reporter, which offered some of the insight and inspiration that has informed her page-turning crime series. Cold Girl, the first in her BC Blues crime series, won the 2014 Arthur Ellis Unhanged (Best Unpublished) and went on to be released by Dundurn Press in March 2016. Undertow followed in 2017, Creep in 2018, and Flights & Falls is up next. The series, a character-driven police procedural set in North Vancouver, is ongoing. Rachel Greenaway lives in Nelson, BC. and appears on the Saturday Panel “Murder at the Fest.”



Sean Arthur Joyce is long known to Kootenay audiences as a poet, historian, and journalist. He is the author of three titles of Canadian history and a novel, Mountain Blues (NeWest Press 2018). His nonfiction book Laying the Children’s Ghosts to Rest, about Home Children in Canada, toured 25 communities across the country. Joyce’s poems and essays on poetics have been published in Canada, the US and the UK. He has three collections of poetry published by New Orphic Publishers of Nelson, BC.



Brian Kalbfleisch is a Nelson based musician, songwriter, visual artist, and independent arts administrator. He is the front man (singer, ukulele) of The Devils You Don’t and plays keys in Dirt Floor. Kalbfleisch’s primary vector in the visual arts are wood tile mosaics crafted from reclaimed lumber. In recent years, Kalbfleisch has busied himself as an arts administrator. He has been the Blue Night Arts & Culture Crawl coordinator since 2013, curated the art gallery at Shambala Music Festival (2016), created and curated the art gallery at Kaslo Jazz Fest Etc. (2017), created a culture hubs brochure in collaboration with Nelson & Kootenay Lake Tourism (2017), director of the Stanley St live art stage and gallery at Nelson Marketfest (2017), and member of the Oxygen Art Market curatorial team.


Marsha Lederman is the Western Arts Correspondent for The Globe and Mail, where she writes about books and publishing, as well as film, TV, visual art, theatre, dance and other cultural matters. Born and raised in Toronto, Marsha moved to Vancouver in 2007, when she joined The Globe. Before that, Marsha worked for CBC Radio, where she held a variety of positions, including National Arts Reporter. Prior to joining CBC, she worked as a private radio talk show host, reporter and news anchor. She has degrees from Ryerson and York University. She says one of the best things about her job is getting paid to read and write about books. Marsha will interview our Saturday Night Live! authors on stage.



Emma Leslie is a writer from Fruitvale, BC. She has always had a passion for poetry and literature, and loves to share her work with others. When she isn’t writing poetry and short stories, Emma can be found camping, collecting rocks, and spending quality time with her family and her dog.


Rayya Liebich is a bilingual poet, writer, and teacher. After twelve years teaching French at Nelson’s Waldorf School, she recommitted to her writing practice and now works as a professional artist. Rayya’s work has appeared in literary journals internationally. Her essay Radical Choices won the Geneva Literary Award in 2015, and her 2015 poetry collection Tell Me Everything won the Golden Grassroots Chapbook Award. Her play Three Minutes took first place in the 2005 Kootenay Literary Competition. Teaching includes Liminal Life Writing at Oxygen Art Centre and Writing Through the Grief at Kalein Hospice, among others. Youth engagement includes creative writing for teens at the Nelson Public Library and Artstarts in the Classroom in several West Kootenay schools. Rayya brings her inspired words to the 100-Mile Opening Gala.


Jordan Mounteer’s work has appeared in numerous Canadian and American publications, and his poems have won or been shortlisted for the CBC Poetry Prize, PRISM international’s Poetry Prize and Pacific Spirit Poetry Prize, Montreal Poetry Prize, Malahat Review’s Open Season Award, subTerrain’s Lush Triumphant Poetry Award, and CV2’s Young Buck Poetry Prize. His first book liminal (Sono Nis 2017) came out last spring.


Susan Musgrave has excelled in poetry, fiction, non-fiction, children’s literature and more. She has published 19 collections of poems, four novels, several collections of her essays, and books for children, and edited the anthology Force Field: 77 Women Poets of B.C. (2013). Her most recent book, A Taste of Haida Gwaii (2015), combines recipes and stories from her life on the remote island chain. Musgrave was a panelist on the 2006 Canada Reads CBC program, and teaches in the University of B.C. creative writing department’s optional residency Master of Fine Arts program. In 2012 she won the Spirit Bear Award for her contribution to the poetry of the Pacific Northwest. “Her artistic presence over the past 40 years has helped create who we are,” wrote Patrick Lane. “She is as important to us as Emily Carr.” In 2014 she was awarded the $20,000 Matt Cohen Award, given in recognition of “a lifetime of distinguished work by a Canadian writer.”



Roz Nay grew up in England and studied at Oxford University. She has been published in The Antigonish Review and the anthology Refuge. Roz has worked as an underwater fish counter in Africa, a snowboard videographer in Vermont, and a high school teacher in both the UK and Australia. She now lives in Nelson with her husband and two children. Her debut novel Our Little Secret won the Douglas Kennedy Prize for Best Foreign Thriller 2017 in France, was a Globe and Mail and Toronto Star bestseller, and made it onto CBC’s Top 10 Thrillers of 2017. Her second book is slated to be out in fall 2018.



Callum David Pengelly is a visual artist and poet whose work has twice appeared in the Kootenay’s own “Black Bear Review”. Often unable to settle on a medium, his work always returns to the poetic and printed word. He is fascinated by the uncommon sources of wonder encountered every day in strange alleyways and wild groves alike. His poetry and artwork are an attempt to interpret the unique blend of magic and cynicism such wonders evoke


Steven Price lives in Victoria, B.C. and is the author of two award-winning poetry books, Anatomy of Keys (2006), winner of the Gerald Lampert Award, and Omens in the Year of the Ox (2012), winner of the ReLit Award. Price saw his first book of poetry, Anatomy of Keys, win the Gerald Lampert Award and be shortlisted for the Dorothy Livesay Prize, as well as being named a Globe & Mail Best Book of the Year for 2006. His first novel, Into That Darkness, was published by Thomas Allen to acclaim in 2011. His poetry has appeared in numerous journals and anthologies, including Breathing Fire 2: Canada’s New Poets, Long Journey: Contemporary Northwest Poets, and Jailbreaks: 99 Canadian Sonnets. His novel By Gaslight (a 2016 buzz book) was dubbed by one reviewer: “hardboiled historical noir with a heart.”



Stephen Reid is Canada’s best-known bank robber. His heists include the largest Canadian gold robbery ever recorded and the biggest bank robbery in California history. While serving a 20-year prison sentence he showed the manuscript of his novel, Jackrabbit Parole, to then-University of Waterloo writer-in-residence Susan Musgrave. They married three years later, and the novel was released the same year. In 1999, Reid was arrested for a bank robbery in Victoria, which involved a shootout. He was sentenced to 18 years, released on parole in 2008, and re-incarcerated in 2010 for parole violations.  He was released in 2015. His second book, a collection of essays entitled A Crowbar in the Buddhist Garden: Writing from Prison, won the 2013 City of Victoria Butler Book Prize.



Genevieve Robertson is a visual artist with a background in environmental studies and a love for being in the backcountry. Her drawing practice explores the material around the body and under the feet: water, oil, wind, silt, flora, fauna and mineral. She holds an MFA from Emily Carr University and a BFA from NSCAD University, and has participated in numerous residencies and exhibitions regionally, nationally and internationally. Genevieve recently came to Nelson to pursue work with River Relations: A Beholder’s Share of the Columbia River Dams, an interdisciplinary artistic research project that considers the presence and impact of hydroelectric power production on the Columbia River. She didn’t make it back home, and is now living in Nelson where she serves as Executive Director for Oxygen Centre.


Whitney Rothwell has studied Creative Writing at Selkirk College under the tutelage of Kootenay writers, Almeda Glenn Miller and Leesa Dean. She has stories published in, and was involved in the editorial process for, both print editions of the Blackbear Review. Recently, she has become the editor of the Selkirk Sentinel online newspaper for the Selkirk College Students’ Union, and also writes freelance for THIS magazine and other online publications.


Clinton Swanson has been a professional musician for 29 years. As a saxophonist he has performed nationally and internationally in a variety of styles and ensembles(blues,funk, jazz, R’n B) in a variety of venues(concert theatres, festivals, night clubs, show lounges).  Performance highlights include performing with Lloyd Jones, Sonny Rhodes, Frasey Ford, Ricky Martin, Pee Wee Ellis, and opening for Tower of Power, Charles Bradley, Five Alarm Funk. Since 2000 Clinton has also worked as a producer and co-producer. To date he has help produce seven albums for independent artists. His latest completed project is a solo album released on Big Fir Records. http://www.bigfirrecords.com With his wife Antonia Banyard and two daughters Clinton currently resides in Nelson B.C. where he continues his music career as a performing/recording artist, composer, producer, band leader, and private instructor.

Photo Credit: Michael Mayrhofer


Judy Toews has always loved to write. As a kid, she published her neighbourhood news at twenty-five cents a pop. As a career nutritionist, she wrote a column for local papers, produced technical reports and workbooks, and along with co-author Nicole Parton Fisher penned three non-fiction books about healthy living (Key Porter Books). Hooked on crime fiction, Judy attributes her fascination with forensics to her training in science. Who knew all those classes in biochem and physiology would come in handy after all?  Her first novel, Give Out Creek (Mosaic Press, 2018) is the first in a series of Stella Mosconi mysteries. It was shortlisted for the 2016 Arthur Ellis Award for best unpublished crime novel by the Crime Writers of Canada. Judy lives with her husband near Nelson, BC., where she writes under the pen name J.G. Toews.