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Port Moody in-person writing classes resume Sept. 27

Want to join a supportive group of committed writers in a class that focuses on content feedback? Still spaces left in my Mon. night program at Kyle Centre, Port Moody. Sept. 27-Dec. 6, 5:30 to 8 pm. Many students have published books and/or contribute regularly to publications. All genres and levels welcome. Participants find in-class…

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Picture book launch Dec. 7: Six Stinky Feet and a Sasquatch

It was fun presenting my new picture book, Six Stinky Feet and a Sasquatch, to an audience of young and old Dec. 7 at Sechelt Public Library. Andy Johnson, storyteller for the shishalh Nation, shared a sasquatch song he composed and told a sasquatch story. I’m honoured to know that he plans to read my…

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Métis, Indigenous, and Inuit lives profiled

Did you know that some residents of Churchill, Manitoba consider Thanadelthur, an early 1700s Chipewyan guide and peace negotiator, the founder of their town? That is one of the many fascinating historical facts I learned while writing profiles of accomplished Métis, Indigenous, and Inuit people for Canadian Encyclopedia. I discovered the many achievements of politicians…

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Heather Conn profile: hospice volunteer

Some people could never imagine offering comfort as a bedside companion to a stranger who is dying. Or sitting in an all-night vigil for someone’s final hours. In hospice training, we learn that compassion, deep listening, acceptance, and non-judgment are core traits needed to remain truly present with those who are dying or grieving a…

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Three literary nonfiction authors, including Heather Conn, to read March 30

Want to hear compelling personal stories and learn more about what literary nonfiction is? Come out to Sechelt Public Library on Thursday, March 30 and hear three Sunshine Coast, BC authors, including Heather Conn, read from their book manuscripts. Heather, Sheila Cameron, and Claire Finlayson will each present excerpts from their respective works-in-progress. Sheila will present heartwarming…

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Heather to teach screenwriting Feb/March in Powell River

I’ll be teaching “Writing Short Documentaries” and helping students brainstorm a group documentary project from Feb. 27 to March 2 in Powell River. This is an annual appearance I make as an instructor at Powell River Digital Film School. Every year, the content varies, depending on the wishes of school founder and director Tony Papa….

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Job placement students gain insights with SoulCollage®

I enjoyed introducing SoulCollage® Jan. 27 to a group of job placement students at M. Magas and Associates, an employment agency in Sechelt, BC. We did a guided visualization, identified their respective dream job, and discussed accountability, victimhood and what archetypal influences might resonate with them. I appreciated their openness and willingness to share what…

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Mentors in Violence Training held Dec. 6 in Sechelt, BC

I was delighted to receive one-day training in Mentors in Violence Prevention (MVP) on Dec. 6, 2016 in Sechelt, BC. Roughly a dozen of us attended, including local teachers and providers of an after-school teen drop-in program. The event’s co-facilitators were Wayne Spychka, my boss as an SCCSS gender violence prevention worker, and Keely Halward, Wayne’s boss. Both are experienced MVP mentors and…

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A Gucci dress dyed with lichens?

Italians and other Europeans have used plants and lichens for centuries to die fabric and fibres. More recently, they have begun to use mushrooms as natural dyes. In the fall of 2016, I attended the 17th International Fungi & Fibre Symposium on British Columbia’s Sunshine Coast. It was fascinating to meet spinners, knitters, and weavers…

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An honour to host and organize Canada’s first Mentors in Violence Prevention program

I was honoured to organize and host Canada’s first Mentors in Violence Prevention program in Sechelt, BC on May 5. Here’s a story that I wrote for the local media:   A former B.C. Lions player, open discussions and hands-on scenarios recently helped about 40 local high school students learn what words and actions can…

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Screening of “Salam Neighbor” prompts $887 in donations

I was honoured to organize and host an April 15 screening of the documentary Salam Neighbor in Sechelt, BC. This by-donation event, held at St. Hilda’s Church, raised $887, which will go to the Syrian Refugee Sponsorship Committee and two other groups on the Lower Sunshine Coast working to bring Syrian refugee families to this…

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Author to host Banff workshop April 23: The Power and Pitfalls of Creative Nonfiction Onscreen

What can happen to a nonfiction story when you add a fictional narrator? Discover the pitfalls and benefits of this approach while viewing the 20-minute documentary A New Way: An Organic Garden Changes Lives. I’ll be hosting a 1.5-hour seminar April 23 at the Banff Centre in Banff, Alta. It’s part of the 2016 conference…

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RESIDENTIAL SCHOOLS: A new book rewrites Sir John A. Macdonald’s role in Canada’s history

Most Canadians consider Sir John A. Macdonald, the nation’s first prime minister, as “the Father of Confederation.” But this crusty politician, an ancestor of mine on my mother’s side, might well be called “father of residential schools.”   Want to learn how his policies launched aboriginal children into decades of forced assimilation and abuse? Read my opinion piece “Macdonald’s legacy not…