A Dawson Creek community institution received a helping hand from StarkLight Press and other businesses during the holiday season.
In in the midst of a crowded Christmas dinner a brigade of helpers unloaded two pickup truck loads of food, toys, clothes and household items. Dinner guests clapped and cheered as the donations filled the administration office to bursting.
The Nawican Friendship Centre is a small building nestled just west of Dawson Creek’s downtown core. Started in 1967 by local activist Anne House and lawyer Peter Gibb, the Nawican was a nurturing environment for the community. Here local drop ins were welcome, aid was given to those individuals and families in crisis, and friendships between the native and European communities were kindled. Local youth were provided an activity centre to provide a constructive alternative to the sometimes desolate culture of the urban north.
This history was provided to me by Alex House, son of the late Anne House, while we waited for a magician to finish entertaining the crowd gathered for the celebration. The name Nawican, Mr. House told me, stood for Native White Canadian- symbolizing the founders’ wish for inter-community solidarity.
Mayor Dale Bumstead, MLA Mike Bernier and Councilman Mark Rogers helped in the unloading and then prepared to serve the multi-course feast to the many friends of the Nawican.
While the evening began with the large donation, the festivities continued with fellowship, reminiscences and a cornucopia of excellent Yuletide food made by Rhonda, dedicated chef.
A local magician who runs a dog sanctuary entertained the guests as the Mayor and local politicians mingled amongst the tables and decorations.
VCON, like any convention, is all about the costumes, the collectibles, and the fellowship. All three are in evidence on the floor over the weekend, where garage sale collectibles, handmade gems and original art mingle for the science fiction-minded peruser.
For those lucky enough to be scooped from the convention floor by Virginia, (and who had the time), a suite full of comestibles, fine wine and first rate literature and merchandise awaited at the StarkLight Literary Oasis. Many, many thanks to our loyal VCON customers, who cleaned out our stock before Saturday was finished! Thank you so much!
What a wonderful, magical, personal way to connect with the authors of some of Canada’s most innovative and imaginative fiction!
Before a live audience, Canadian authors sit in an accessible, comfortable chair and share a passage from their new releases.
Steampunk-inspired Harry Houdini fiction to dystopian futures to magical forest fables to cthonic sagas were just a few of the many varied
tales orated at the Book Launch.
The much beloved Esser of the Gendler Race got some airtime as Virginia Carraway Stark read from her short story, “His Own Ticket”. This story is one of many GAF stories in Tales from Space Volume 1- one of four books published this year by StarkLight Press.
Here are some pictures of the Book Launch readers:
Here is Marty Chan, author of the Erich Weisz Chronicles, at the read, performing a Houdini-esque escape from a straightjacket:
An excellent evening of the best in this year’s Canadian speculative fiction- and some magic, to boot!
Virginia had a multitude of difficulties with poor organization that included, but were not limited to-
a) the complete lack of registration forms or passes, despite the very real presence of their fees on our StarkLight Press Accounts
b)the organizers’ refusal to provide a table for our wares, despite more receipts of purchase, and the plethora of empty tables at the Convention Floor
c) the lack of ticket to the Aurora Awards Tea
the list goes on- but I Digress with merely a prayer that VCON 40, a major milestone in any Con’s lifespan, will be better organized and make room for the truly awesome publishing houses and creative dynamos in Canada- mainly us :0)
To combat these avaricious and political snaggles, Virginia was advised to turn our King Suite into a StarkLight Press receiving Lounge, complete with
resplendent noshems, wines and all of our merchandise and videos on display. We were more than happy to share our island of composed, luxurious literary delight
with VCON attendees who might need a break from all the hustle and the bustle.
Though in the end, StarkLight Press received the coveted drink-worthy bracelet allowing one access to adult-type beverages, we also brought some fine selections
from our own wine cellar to stimulate the palettes of our guests.
Now that our Literary Oasis was established, it was time for Virginia to venture into the midst of VCON 39…
October 3 dawned bright and clear, and Virginia Carraway Stark started her journey to Surrey, B.C. to attend VCON 39. It’s theme was Military Might,
a fitting one for the Galactic Armed Forces universe, StarkLight Press’s flagship franchise. Armed with copies of all three of our new books, ebook links and
more merchandise than one little redhead could cart around on her own, our intrepid author and on scene reporter made her way through terrain right out of
Middle Earth and to the pseudo-futuristic world of the Lower Mainland.
Here is the innocuous sign marking the summit of the dangerous Pine Pass, whose beautiful mountains and imposing vistas are worthy of the Hithaeglir (Misty Mountains). The Pine Pass is one of the most formidable mountain journeys north of the 54.
Here is the Adams River near Kamloops, all decked out in autumn colors.
Here’s Hope, B.C. and our illustrious roving reporter Virginia
Here’s Tadder, the StarkLight Press-mobile, in his cozy parking spot at the Sandman Inn and Suites:
This is the view from the hotel, wherein one can see the Sheraton Guildford Hotel, home of VCON 39 (StarkLight Press decided to retire to minimum safe distance from the Con, lest its off the hook energies overwhelm).
Part one- arrival at VCON 39, complete! Stay tuned for part Two…