2017 Presenters

  • 32 years of BookFest

2017 Presenters

Celestine Aleck

Would you like to hear about the rich Snuneymuxw culture and stories? All of our history has been handed down from generation to generation through storytelling. You will learn about Snuneymuxw territory through many stories.

Celestine Aleck, Sahiltiniye descends from Snuneymuxw First Nations. She has been an artist most of her life which has taught her to learn facts and then mix imagination when writing stories. The beauty that surrounds her inspires her to write.

Website (Strong Nations Publishing)

Scott Chantler

Learn about the process of creating comics with cartoonist Scott Chantler as he reads and projects artwork from “The Iron Hand”, the seventh and final book in his critically-acclaimed Three Thieves series of fantasy adventure graphic novels.

Scott Chantler is the acclaimed creator of the graphic novel TWO GENERALS, which was nominated for two Eisner Awards, named one of Chapters-Indigo’s Best Books of 2010, selected for BEST AMERICAN COMICS 2012, and named by the CBC as one of the 40 best Canadian non-fiction books of all time. His other work includes NORTHWEST PASSAGE (nominated for Eisner and Harvey Awards) and the THREE THIEVES series (winner of the Joe Shuster Award for Best Comic for Kids and listed by YALSA as a Great Graphic Novel for Teens).


Eugenie Fernandes

I will DRAW a story and READ a story and TELL a NEW story and SING a story (maybe). I will draw with my eyes open and I will draw with my eyes CLOSED. I’ll draw standing on my head and …oH nO ….just kidding. I can’t stand on my head…can you? I’ll bring my bakers clay CREATURES , and theN… I’ll show you how to make creatures of your OWN. See you soon !

Eugenie graduated from the School of Visual Arts in New York City in 1965. Her paintings from Earth Magic and One Hen: How One Small Loan Made a Big Difference are at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of African Art.

Lee Edward Födi

What does it mean to live a creative life? When Lee Edward Födi thinks of writing, he doesn’t picture sitting at a computer typing words—he thinks of traveling the world, filling his notebook with sketches, and building dragon eggs. Join this author and illustrator as he shares the joys of finding inspiration in unlikely places. Featured books: The Chronicles of Kendra Kandlestar. Ages 7+

Lee Edward Födi is a children’s author, illustrator, and educator—or, as he likes to think of himself, a daydreaming expert. He is the creator of the award-winning Kendra Kandlestar series and was the official illustrator for the 2016 Summer Reading Club at your local library. He has taught creativity workshops in Canada, the US, England, Korea, and Thailand. He loves love to visit exotic places where he can find tombs, mazes, castles, and crypts—not to mention tiny places tucked between the cracks of Here and There. He lives in Vancouver with his wife and unhelpful cat.


Suzanne de Montigny

Get ready for a toe-tapping experience when Suzanne de Montigny performs French-Canadian and Cape Breton tunes on her fiddle, recounting her journey from elementary music teacher to children’s author. Presenting her ever-popular “Shadow of the Unicorn” series, she relates interesting facts about what happened when the Chixulub Asteroid struck the earth millions of years ago, and why rhinos and elephants are now considered endangered species. But best of all, she tells the story of what happened to the town of Hope when a mysterious fiddler with no past bewitches its people with her mysterious Celtic music.

Suzanne wrote her first unicorn story at the age of twelve. Several years later, she discovered it in an old box in the basement, thus reigniting her love affair with unicorns. Suzanne taught music in Vancouver for many years where she learned she could spin a good tale that kept kids and teachers begging for more. She took up writing in earnest ten years ago and has never looked back. She lives in Burnaby, B.C. with the loves of her life – her husband, two boys, and Buddy the dog.


Ruth Ohi

Using samples from her recent books, Ruth shows where ideas can come from, why ‘mistakes’ may make it better, and why scribbles can be your best friend. A hands-on segment follows an interactive drawing demo that shows anything can happen with just pencil, paper and your imagination!

Ruth lives with her family in Toronto, Canada and is a graduate of the Ontario College of Art and Design. Ruth’s books have been shortlisted for awards such as the Marilyn Baillie Picture Book, Mr. Christie, Shining Willow, Rainforest of Reading and Blue Spruce. 


Chieri Uegaki

Using Powerpoint and props, Chieri will briefly talk about her early years in school as an ESL student and how the challenges of being a second-generation Japanese-Canadian enriched her writing. She will also share insider “secrets” about the facts and people that inspired her fiction, discuss the picture book process and a bit about the illustrator’s craft, and will also read from at least one of her picture books.

Chieri Uegaki is a second-generation Japanese-Canadian who was born in Quesnel, British Columbia. By the age of one, she and her parents had moved to East Vancouver, where she and her two sisters grew up. Suki’s Kimono, illustrated by Stéphane Jorisch, was released in 2003. Chieri enjoyed working on the picture book so much that she decided to continue writing for children. Chieri has also written stories for Chirp and chickaDEE magazines as well as for Pearson Education. Hana Hashimoto, Sixth Violin is Chieri’s third picture book. Chieri lives on the Sunshine Coast with her husband and two dogs, Nika and Rosie.

Website (Kids Can Press)

Richard Van Camp

Richard Van Camp is an internationally renowned storyteller with 20 books to his name in all genres. He shares hilarious and empowering stories from the Northwest Territories. He writes comics, graphic novels, children’s books, novels, short stories– you name it.

Richard Van Camp is a proud member of the Dogrib (Tlicho) Nation from Fort Smith, NWT, Canada from Fort Smith, NWT. He is a graduate of the En’owkin International School of Writing, the University of Victoria’s Creative Writing BFA Program, and the Master’s Degree in Creative Writing at the University of British Columbia.


Cybèle Young

I lead the audience through a chronological development of my artistic practice, where book-making cross-pollinates with fine art, including sculpture and film.I share my non-linear approach of investigating visual cues that allow my subconscious to play with character, dialogue and scenarios. I emphasize the significance of experimenting with different mediums along the way, such as sculpture, photography and illustration. Thus a book emerges.

Cybèle Young is a renowned artist and author, whose work is exhibited and collected internationally. She spends her days creating miniature worlds from fine Japanese papers. Since graduating from sculpture and printmaking at the Ontario College of Art and Design in 1995, Cybèle has been showing her work in galleries around the world, such as New York, LA, Miami, London, Stockholm, Japan, Singapore, Korea and across Canada.