Check out the North Shore Writers Festival

Celebrating its 20th year the North Shore Writers Festival comes to Lynn Valley April 5th and 6th.


Bringing writers together


The annual North Shore Writers Festival has both writers and libraries uniting for two days this April. Together North Vancouver District, North Vancouver City and West Vancouver Memorial Public Libraries are presenting the 20th anniversary edition of the festival.  All the events are FREE thanks to the generous support of the Friends of the North Shore Libraries and there is even three hours FREE parking at Lynn Valley Village.

This year favourite events return like the 7th Annual Literary Trivia Quiz hosted by CBC’s Grant Lawrence on Friday night. From panel discussions to practical workshops Saturday is packed with something for all writers and readers.


2019 Schedule


7th Annual Literary Trivia Quiz Night hosted by CBC’s Grant Lawrence

Friday, April 5 | 7:30pm–9:30pm

Test your mental mettle and compete for prizes and glory! Register teams of 3-6 at nswftrivia@gmail.com. Doors at 7pm. Cash bar. 19+. COMMUNITY ROOM

First Nations Welcoming Ceremony

Saturday, April 6 | 9:55am

Come early to get a seat, enjoy coffee, and attend the official festival opening. Doors open at 9:30am. COMMUNITY ROOM

Finding Your Audience: a North Shore Writers’ Association Workshop

Saturday, April 6 | 10:05am–11:30am

You’ve spent years honing your skills, months drafting, and weeks editing…all you need now is an audience! How do authors find their readers and how do readers find new authors? There are many paths to publication. Join Mahtab Narsimhan, Rod Baker and Wiley Ho as they share their successes and challenges getting their works out into the world. COMMUNITY ROOM

A Storyteller’s Journey with Monique Gray Smith

Saturday, April 6 | 11:45am–12:45pm

Award-winning Cree, Lakota and Scottish author Monique Gray Smith will share her personal journey as a celebrated YA and children’s storyteller. Monique will read from her latest release, Tilly and the Crazy Eights, an epic road trip with Indigenous Elders from Vancouver to Albuquerque for a Pow Wow.

COMMUNITY ROOM

Local Author Book Fair: A Showcase of Local Writers

Saturday, April 6 | 12:30pm–4:30pm

Explore local creativity and talent at the book fair! LYNN VALLEY VILLAGE HALL, outside the Community Room

Lunch Break Lounge & Writers Café

Saturday, April 6 | 12:45pm–1:45pm

Enjoy a free light lunch! Aspiring writers are invited to chat with Mahtab Narsimhan, Rod Baker and Wiley Ho to get the inside scoop on all things related to the writing life. Bring your questions and comments. LEARNING LAB

The Art of Narration with Erin Moon

Saturday, April 6 | 2:00pm–3:00pm

Award-winning Audiobook Narrator, Erin Moon, will discuss the art of becoming a narrator and the process involved in developing an audiobook. Erin will also explore the diverse ways that narrators capture the reader’s imagination and bring stories to life. Sponsored by Recorded Books. COMMUNITY ROOM

Writing the Personal: Lindsay Wong with JJ Lee

Saturday, April 6 | 3:15pm–4:15pm

In conversation with fellow memoirist JJ Lee, Vancouver-based Lindsay Wong chats about her darkly comedic memoir and Canada Reads finalist The Woo-Woo: How I Survived Ice Hockey, Drug Raids, Demons, and My Crazy Chinese Family. Lindsay outlines how she wrote this deeply personal, smart and funny book, while exploring themes of youth, parenting and mental illness. COMMUNITY ROOM

Strength and Resilience through Storytelling: Darrel McLeod with Alexander Dirksen

Saturday, April 6 | 4:30pm–5:30pm

Join Cree author Darrel McLeod in conversation with Program Director for Community Knowledge Exchange, Alexander Dirksen. Darrel discusses the powerful themes of love, family, resilience and identity within his 2018 Governor General award-winning memoir Mamaskatch: A Cree Coming of Age, as well as the impact his book has had on its readers to date.

COMMUNITY ROOM

Writers + Readers Reception with JJ Lee

Saturday, April 6 | 5:15pm–7:00pm

Join us for music and refreshments while mingling with fellow festival-goers as we close out the 20th festival! Hear the winners of the North Shore Writers’ Association writing contest and a very special announcement from the North Shore libraries. LIBRARY LOBBY

More than 100 years of Lynn Valley Days

Lynn Valley is a neighbourhood rich with history; the tales of our long-age neighbours are interwoven through our very forests, steams and streets. For a primer on our past, visit the LynnValleyLife History page … or, even better, pop into the Community History Centre, located in the former Lynn Valley elementary school heritage building at 3203 Institute Rd. 

This is a great post from our archives by Bob Rasmus.


Lynn Valley Days gone by


In 1912 the residents of Lynn Valley worked hard. There were trees to fall, buck up and transport to the mills. And once they reached the mills, there was still a lot of hard work remaining in order to turn the raw logs into lumber for transport to market or to build local houses.

By today’s standards, every task that was carried out was accomplished through hard physical labour. It only made sense that a few community-minded individuals took it upon themselves to create an event that gave the local residents an opportunity to play.

The first Lynn Valley Day was held 100 years ago, in September 1912. Featured events include Pin the Tail on the Donkey, a Tug-of-War, a ‘Fat Men’s’ race and a Men’s Handicap Competition for Merchants Trust and Trading Co. Cup. For a look at the actual 1912 program of events, click here!

Lynn Valley Day 1915

Lynn Valley Day 1915

Also included in the day’s activities was the official opening of Lynn Canyon Park by Reeve William May, with assistance from the Mayor and Council. (For a story about the park’s early history, click here.) Following the opening of the park was the inaugural opening of the Suspension Bridge. Later in the evening, there was a dance that was led off by the Reeve and distinguished guests. The president of the organizing committee was John M. Duval, and the Vice-President was J.M. Fromme.

Lynn Valley Day continued to be celebrated over the following decades. (For a newspaper account of the 1946 community fair, click here.) By 1949 the event had moved to June 25th and had grown in importance with the advent of hundreds of new residents. From 9 a.m. until midnight there were activities for young and old alike.

Track and Field events for all ages got underway at 9 a.m. with one of the features being a community tug-of-war, in which winners were awarded with a special trophy. The afternoon featured the crowning of May Queen Norma Damgaard, in addition to folk dancing, Maypole dancing, a children’s fancy dress parade, a band concert by the North Vancouver School’s Band, boxing matches and whist drives and concert.

These were all topped off with the annual Lynn Valley Day Dance. Officials in 1949 included M.E. Sowden, James Sinclair, Johnny Cates and MLA W.M. Draycott – the latter, of course, still well-known to us as the community builder who is commemorated with a bronze statue sitting on a bench in Pioneer Park.

In 1962, the 50th Anniversary was a special event held on Saturday, June 2. The day began with field sports, including races, jumping competitions for children of all ages, some pole vaulting and some discus throwing for older children.

The afternoon was reserved for adult races which culminated in a “married couple’s pie-eating contest” with a $2.00 prize. While the afternoon races were going on, there was also a full slate of concessions to take part in and a parade to watch, as well as the coronation ceremonies for the Lynn Valley Day Queen of the year.

The evening began with a ladies softball game at 6 p.m., followed by a square dance at 7:30 and a dance at the community hall at 9:00. It was a full day of activities – just check out this schedule of events!


Historical photographs


Lynn Valley Day historical images courtesy of North Vancouver Museum and Archives.


Lynn Valley Day 2018


More than 100 years later, this annual community event is still very much alive and entertains up to 10,000 people. In latter years, it has grew to the point that now both the Lynn Valley Lions Club and the Lynn Valley Community Association were required to manage it.

This year’s event kicks off with a gala dinner and dance under a huge tent on Friday night. Saturday morning begins the community parade.  There will be the fantastic Lions’ Cook Shack, balloon artists, face painters, music, along with rides, public displays and a collector car show, will be entertaining crowds all day long.

The residents of Lynn Valley still work hard, and deserve a chance to relax and enjoy time with their family and friends. Lynn Valley Days still provides that opportunity.