2019 Wild Words North Line Up and Schedule

Tickets can be purchased on this website or in person at the following outlets:

1. Dawson Creek Art Gallery
2. North Peace Cultural Centre Box Office, Fort St. John

$60 Full Festival Ticket: includes all 17 events and breakfast and lunch on Friday and Saturday

$10 Individual Event Ticket: each ticket admits you to any one event

Want to learn more about the writers featured at the 2019 Wild Words North? Click here.

Travelling from out of town? The Northern Grand Hotel, just a block away from the festival venue, is Wild Words North’s sponsor hotel, offering reduced rates to those attending Wild Words North. Just let them know you are a festival goer.


Thursday September 26
Opening Night
(opening event is free to all community members)

4 pm – 7 pm / Multi-Purpose Room at the North Peace Cultural Centre (NPCC)
Info booth for Wild Words North.

7 pm – 8 pm / NPCC Peace Gallery North
Wild Words North Opening and Welcome
Doig River Drummers
Welcome by May Apsassin
The official launch of the festival will begin with the opening of the art exhibit where visual artists Milka Meyer, mary mottishaw, Sara Norquay, Ilia Reschny, and Barbara Swail havecreated work inspired by the words of some of our feature writers. The art exhibit will also include the launch and display of the Ekphrastic Writing Contest Broadsides with readings by contest winners Marilyn Belak, Pamela den Ouden, Denise Gardiner, Melanie Mason, and Seanah Roper.

8 pm – 10 pm / NPCC Conference Room
Coffeehouse hosted by Naomi Shore and Ryan Domico Sebastiano

(Event is free / Cash Bar)
Naomi Shore and Ryan Domico Sebastiano will host this coffeehouse featuring the talents of regional singer/songwriters Naomi Shore, Ryan Domico Sebastiano, Adam Winn, Airik Clark, Joseph Tebulte, Lorissa Scriven, Dori Braun, Ben Waechter who will all be performing 100 per cent original material.

Friday September 27

10 am – 11 am / NPCC Conference Room
Shirlee Smith Matheson – Launch of This Was Our Valley

First released in 1989, Shirlee Smith Matheson’s This Was Our Valley won the Alberta Culture Nonfiction prize and a Silver medal for the Roderick-Haig Brown BC Books award. Chronicling the construction of the W.A.C. Bennett Dam, Matheson’s book brought to light the environmental and social changes wrought by the project. With the announcement of Site C, Matheson, in a new edition published in 2019, continues to register the voices that demand to be heard. In her presentation, Matheson will read from the book and answer questions from the audience.

11 am – 11:30 am / NPCC Conference Room
Brenda Neil – Thriving on Rejection

Come listen to regional writer Brenda Neil as she enlightens us on constructive vs. destructive criticism, how to find a beta reader, how to trust your gut, the benefit of online classes, the pitfalls of online help and most importantly how to not take criticism personally!

11:30 am – 12 pm / NPCC Conference Room
Jenna Morland – Building an Author Social Platform

Last year, Jenna Morland shared her expertise on marketing one’s writing with an informal group. People enjoyed it so much, she is back this year to share her knowledge of how to build an author social platform. As someone who grew their social media following from 0 to 17,000 in just one year, she should know!

1 pm – 2 pm / NPCC Conference Room
Where Happiness Dwells: A History of the Dane-zaa First Nations – Jillian and Robin Ridington with special guest Shirley Acko-Howatt

Published in 2013 by UBC Press, Where Happiness Dwells has become a seminal history of the Dane-zaa First Nations. At the request of the Doig River First Nations in the Peace River, celebrated anthropologists Robin and Jillian Ridington presented a history of the Dane-zaa people based on oral histories collected over a half century of fieldwork. Come hear Jillian and Robin, Professor Emeritus at UBC, talk about the book and their work with the Dane-zaa people. Jillian and Robin will be joined by Shirley Acko-Howatt, the youngest daughter of a Dane-Zaa family whose roots in the area go back for millennia.

2 pm – 3 pm / NPCC Conference Room
Kym Gouchie – Giving Back with Voice

In this presentation, Kym, through music and storytelling, will encourage audience members to use their voices for whatever it is that they are passionate about when it comes to standing up for justice and for Mother Earth. 

3 pm – 5 pm / NPCC Multi-Purpose Room
Social Meet and Greet

(Event is free. Refreshments / Cash Bar)
This is your chance to come out and chat with the writers featured at Wild Words North, to get to know others attending the festival, and to be entertained by guitar and fiddle playing duo Adley and Shannon..

7 pm – 10 pm / NPCC Conference Room
Evening of Words
Refreshments / Cash Bar
The evening will begin with readings by regional writers Tamara Dannecker Sunchild, Wayne Ezeard, Ovian Castrillo Hill, Christy Jordon-Fenton, Margaret Olemaun Pokiak-Fenton and Brenda Neil followed by feature writers Billy-Ray Belcourt, Jillian Ridington and special guest Shirlee Smith Matheson.

Saturday September 28

9:30 am – 10 am / NPCC Conference Room
Theresa Gladue – Tell me a Story

With her trademark warmth and great sense of humor, Theresa will engage participants in telling their stories through images. Come prepared to use your imagination and to be entertained. “This is such a powerful way of getting your story to others in a safe environment – for both the story teller and the listener.” – Theresa

10 am – 11 am / NPCC Conference Room
Panel Discussion: Histories, Presences, Places: How Can Regional History Best Be Transmitted to Future Generations, in our Communities and Elsewhere?

Panelists: Shirley Acko Howatt, Lillian Apsassin, Billy-Ray Belcourt, Kym Gouchie, Erin Moure, Jillian and Robin Ridington, Richard Van Camp and Shirlee Smith Matheson

First Nations history has been transmitted over centuries by elders, supported by traditional protocols around the telling of stories that ensure respect for ceremony, authenticity, and audience. More recently, some stories appear on First Nations internet sites, and in print, accessible to all. Family history books, for their part, have long played a popular role in settlers’ and tourists’ understanding of history along the Alaska Highway. These “pioneer” books very rarely accounted for any First Nations’ view (or for the views of women or minorities), although more recently, some, such as Century in the North Peace, have invited a different approach. All these forms try to expand knowledge, celebrate community identity, and instill pride. The visiting writers —a poet, a storyteller, a poet-translator, and an anthropologist —will speak about how the tasks of history inform their own work in memoir, poetry, fiction, non-fiction. They’ll share their ideas: How can we speak of histories, presences, and places in better ways in the future? What questions do we need to ask of history? What does history ask of us?

11 am – 12 pm / NPCC Conference Room
Billy-Ray Belcourt – Notes on Poetry in the Canadian Context

In this presentation, Billy-Ray Belcourt will offer a series of meditations on “poetry” and “Canada” as hotly contested categories, drawing from anecdotage, theory, and the poetry of racialized writers. He suggests we need a poetry that is against unfreedom and for a world-to-come imbued with Indigenous/queer possibility.

1 pm – 2 pm / NPCC Conference Room

Have you ever wanted to try writing a poem? Or ever wanted to loosen up your old poetry writing habits by doing a strange exercise? Come and spend a fun hour working with Erin Moure to make poems from a very strange language and share the experience … but you have to bring a word to contribute! And bring loose paper and pen.

2 pm – 3 pm / NPCC Conference Room
Viewing of Richard Van Camp’s
Three Feathers
Come see Richard Van Camp’s film, Three Feathers, followed by a Q&A with Richard.

3 pm – 5 pm / NPCC Multi-Purpose Room
Social Meet and Greet
(Event is free. Refreshments / Cash Bar)
This is your chance to come out and chat with the writers featured at Wild Words North, to get to know others attending the festival, and to be entertained by singer/songwriter Dori Braun.

7 pm – 10 pm / NPCC Theatre
Evening of Words
Refreshments / Cash Bar

The evening will begin with readings by regional writers Theresa Gladue, Karl Mattson, and Rebekah Rempel followed by readings by feature writers Erin Moure, Richard Van Camp and a performance by Kym Gouchie.

Sunday September 29th (this event is free to all community members)

10 am – 12 pm / NPCC Multi-Purpose Room
Student Reading
emceed by Erin Moure featuring Kalyn Johnston, Ly Le, Milli Patel, and the Dance Group Explosion.

12 pm – 1 pm / NPCC Multi-Purpose Room
Lunch and Wrap-Up of Festival

The PLRAC sincerely thanks all of the sponsors of the 2019 Wild Words North.