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2014 Mountain Guides Ball of ACC

Louise Olinger, the Silent Auction Co-ordinator for the 2014 Mountain Guides Ball of the Alpine Club of Canada and the Association of Canadian Mountain Guides, sent us this very kind note to let us know how the donation of our books from the Mountain Cairns Series contributed to the success of this yearly event. Thank you, Louise!

On behalf of the Alpine Club of Canada and the Association of Canadian Mountain Guides, I am writing to thank you for your very generous support of the 2014 Mountain Guides Ball. The event was an enormous success with a crowd of just under 300 outdoor enthusiasts. Your donation resulted in a significant contribution towards our fundraising efforts. What a fantastic array of titles! Three of them went for well above retail.

The funds from the silent auction will go toward constructing the Richard & Louise Guy Hut (at Mont des Poilus on the world-class Bow-Yoho ski traverse) which is scheduled to be built during the summer of 2015. The hut will be a demonstration site for green technologies and an extension of our commitment to long term sustainability in off-grid alpine locations, offering visitors the ability to leave a smaller footprint.

We greatly appreciate your donation to this project through your silent auction donation. Find out more about the project at alpineclubofcanada.ca.

We are looking forward to celebrating the completion of the Richard and Louise Guy Hut in 2015.  I hope you will support us again!

This has been a very active year for us and the Mountain Cairns Series. We published two wonderful new books in the series: Climber’s Paradise by PearlAnn Reichwein, and Conrad Kain, edited by Zac Robinson. Both garnered great interest at the 2014 Banff Mountain Film and Book Festival.


Climber’s Paradise Launches with Great Success

The book launch for Climber’s Paradise: Making Canada’s Mountain Parks, 1906-1974 on October 8 brought over 70 people out to the U of A’s Education building to celebrate over 10 years of research by Dr. PearlAnn Reichwein.

PearlAnn’s reading and presentation with slides started off the evening. The two panelists, Dr. Julie Rak (English & Film Studies) and Dr. Naomi Krogman (Resource Economics & Environmental Sociology) gave superb responses to PearlAnn’s work. It was so interesting to see where the speakers led us as they discussed citizenship, sustainability, and public space. The Q&A was informed and lively; people were engaged and eager to converse about the ideas that emerged.

Dr. Lynette Shultz, Co-Director of the Centre for Global Citizenship Education and Research, was our MC. She commented that it is powerful “to come together across disciplines and sectors to discuss the issues that matter to us.”

Our thanks to the team that put this event together, especially the Centre for Global Citizenship Education and Research. Our particular thanks to Julie and Naomi for their comments on the “book as artifact.” The whole UAP team worked hard to make a contribution to the remarkable manuscript that PearlAnn brought to us.


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Will not forget both laughter and tears: Book launch

We enjoyed a wonderful, well-attended event on April 3 to celebrate the publication of Will not forget both laughter and tears, Yukari Meldrum’s translation of Tomoko Mitani’s Wasurenai, warai mo namida mo. Things went beautifully, due to contributions from many people.

East Asian Studies helped with the venue, publicity, and organization. The Prince Takamado Japan Centre supplied both financial and technical aid: it was due to their contributions that we had such fabulous catering. Yukari really appreciated all of Barbara’s support with our inaugural Skype connection, allowing Tomoko to join the conversation with the large crowd. Peter Midgley and Colleen Skidmore from the U of A Press sold books with flair.

The person who did the most, of course, was Yukari herself. She developed the program, ensured that the technical aspects were well covered, delivered a terrific presentation, and acted as Tomoko’s translator. Multi-talented!

The evening was particularly special to the U of A Press staff in attendance, as it was our first opportunity to interact with Tomoko Mitani, author of Will not forget both laughter and tears. As much as we have enjoyed publishing and promoting her book in translation, there is nothing like that personal connection.

Thank you, one and all, for your efforts and support.


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You Haven’t Changed a Bit Launch at Audreys

The You Haven’t Changed a Bit launch last night at Audreys Bookstore attracted more than 50 enthusiastic short story lovers. Friends, family, and colleagues came out in support of Astrid Blodgett, who read her award-winning story, “Ice Break,” that was chosen for the Journey Prize Stories in 2012.

As ever, the wonderful owners and staff at Audreys were gracious hosts, providing a space full of books, chairs, and even a microphone for Astrid to make sure that everybody would hear her softer voice. The fun continued after the reading, with people enjoying wine and cheese and chocolate while Astrid signed book after book after book.

Richard Van Camp wasn’t able to make it to the launch last night, but he has finished reading the book and sent some enthusiastic words our way:

“Astrid Blodgett explores lives in flashpoint and innocence meeting regret forever in “You Haven’t Changed a Bit” (University of Alberta Press).  My favourite stories are ‘New Summer Dresses’ and ‘Ice Break.’ What a read. Congratulations, Astrid, on a collection I’ll be thinking of for a very long time. :)”

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Game Plan Launch at City Hall

The launch of Karen Wall’s Game Plan: A Social History of Sport in Alberta during LitFest on October 22 in the grand foyer of Edmonton’s City Hall was a great success. The event, titled “From Hoop Skirts to Hoops,” attracted more than 70 curious participants eager to learn about the evolution of women’s sport in Alberta. Three members of the U of A’s Pandas—Anneka Bakker, Megan Wickstrom, and Kelly Lyons—were there to MC the event.

In addition to Karen Wall’s talk about women’s sport in Alberta, M. Ann Hall gave a presentation about the famous Edmonton Grads and their impact on the City of Champions. Her book, The Grads Are Playing Tonight! was also available for sale. Athlete Doreen Ryan—a track and field champion, basketball player, and speed skater—was on hand to share her experiences of how it was to compete back in the 1940s.

Both books are filled with interesting and important bits of information—we highly recommend them!

Thank you to all who made this event such a great success:

  • To Ann and Karen for saying “yes” to this event and bringing their knowledge and passion to the program.
  • To David Chereos for bringing his vision to LitFest and setting the groundwork for a very successful event.
  • To Pam Brierley, Cheryl Mahaffy and Theresa Agnew and all of the other wonderful LitFest volunteers for all their hard work.
  • To the Pandas and their coach, who brought elite athleticism and energy to the evening.
  • To Doreen Ryan, for attending and allowing us to salute her excellence and achievements.
  • To Donna Hateley and her colleagues from the Alberta Sports Hall of Fame and Museum for bringing a special display and adding so much to the discussion.
  • To the Provincial Archives of Alberta for supporting LitFest in general and this event in particular.
  • To the City of Edmonton for providing the glorious foyer as a backdrop as well as the expert staff and matériel.
  • To La Persaud Bistro for the beautiful and delicious trays of food.
  • To Audreys Books for organizing all of the books for LitFest and supporting Edmonton’s cultural life in so many ways.

And of course to the wonderful people who came to celebrate sport and our authors.

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Sad News from Gail Greenwood

We are saddened to lose one of our most cherished independent booksellers, Greenwoods’ Bookshoppe. Here, owner Gail Greenwood says goodbye and thank you.


Hello Booklovers,

Today I’m deeply saddened to announce that our last day of business will be Saturday, October 6th, 10 AM – 4 PM. (I wanted to extend professional courtesy and respect to David Suzuki and Jeff Rubin while selling tickets for their event on Wednesday, October 3rd – now sold out!).

My decision to close was precipitated by the recent death of my brother and business partner, Brad. He skillfully managed all store affairs and guided me on so many occasions. He was my rock.

So many thanks:

  • To all the authors we hosted for so many varied events and signings – You helped put us on the map and kept us there.
  • To all my sales reps – You were our lifeline to publishers and your hard work gave us so many opportunities.
  • To all my booksellers past and present (Scott, Karen, Tania, Kirt, and Renee) – You have been the wind beneath my wings, especially through this difficult time for all of us.
  • MOST OF ALL, to Edmonton booklovers – It has been my pleasure and privilege to have built so many relationships and to have been your bookstore of choice.

Thank you. Thank you for 33 years of wonderful support. It was a great ride and I will cherish it always.


Alberta Book Awards, 2012 Edition

The 2012 Alberta Book Awards were better than ever, with over 200 people in attendance. What a tremendous showing from the literary community! Jackie Flanagan’s keynote speech was the perfect start to the evening, delivered with emphasis, empathy, and emotion. Her talk about F.M. Salter, father of Alberta letters, and her well-expressed views on the importance of culture and literacy received a warm reception.

It went on to be a particularly stellar night for Alberta’s university presses. The University of Alberta Press had a hand in four of the award-winning projects:

  • Alice Major won the Wilfrid Eggleston Award for her remarkable book, Intersecting Sets. It was doubly sweet, coming on the heels of a phone call telling her that one of her essays from the book had won a Gold award in the National Magazine Awards. “Ultraviolet Catastrophes” was published in a special joint issue of The New Quarterly and Arc Poetry Magazine.
  • Susan McCaslin came all the way from Victoria, BC to win the inaugural Robert Kroetsch Award for Poetry for her book, Demeter Goes Skydiving. And surely Robert was sitting beside Susan and Kath MacLean, who recently won WordFest’s Anne Green Award, cheering them on.
  • Ann Hall’s marvelous book, The Grads Are Playing Tonight!, won the Trade Non-Fiction Book of the Year Award. This was a tough award for us, as two other UAP titles were in the running. Our hearts were in our mouths and our hearts were on our sleeves, thrilled for the one author and bleeding for the other two.
  • It was heart-warming to hear the whoops and congratulatory susurration as Peter Midgley’s name was called. He took home the Lois Hole Award for Editorial Excellence for his work with Jalal Barzanji, on The Man in Blue Pyjamas. Jalal, his wife Sabah and daughter Niga were in the audience.

Sarah Carter and Patricia McCormack won the Scholarly and Academic Book Award for Recollecting: Lives of Aboriginal Women of the Canadian Northwest and Borderlands, published by Athabasca University Press. This is another remarkable book from topnotch scholars. (UAP and AUP co-published Sarah Carter’s award-winning book The Importance of Being Monogamous in 2008).

The University of Calgary Press was named Publisher of the Year. Our director, Linda Cameron, as President of the Book Publishers Association of Alberta (BPAA) and winner of the award last year, had the honour of handing the trophy to Donna Livingstone and her gifted team. NeWest Press, another crowd favourite, was runner-up for its consistently excellant work.

A highlight of the evening was seeing Wayne Arthurson take home $10,000 for the Alberta Readers’ Choice Award, sponsored by the Edmonton Public Library, for his book, Fall From Grace.

Alan Brownoff was pleased to see two talented peers take home design awards: Natalie Olsen of Kisscut Design for House of Spells by Robert Pepper-Smith and our colleague Marvin Harder for Three-Persons and the Chokitapix by Allen Ronaghan.

As Jannie Edwards said in her moving acceptance speech for the James H. Gray Award for Short Nonfiction, “It takes a tribe to create a writer.” And the tribe was in full evidence to celebrate Fred Stenson for his work as he accepted the WGA’s Golden Pen Award, and founding board member of NeWest Press, Diane Bessai, who was presented a Lifetime Achievement Award by the book publishing industry. That tribe will be out in force as its members ponder the sudden and deep cuts to the Literary Press Group (LPG), a not-for-profit association of Canadian literary book publishers, whose mandate is to foster the survival, growth and maintenance of Canadian owned and operated publishing houses through advocacy and group initiatives.

It takes several tribes to bring off such a fabulous event. Our thanks to:

We can’t begin to describe all the wonderful moments; if you weren’t able to come this year, be sure to plan on being part of the gathering in Edmonton next spring, when we come together once again to celebrate writers, creators, designers, and publishers.


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