W2 Utopia Festival: Vancouver Women Read | Saturday March 5 2011

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On Saturday March 5th, in celebration of International Women’s Day, the W2 Storyeum space in downtown Vancouver will transform into a sprawling showcase of women in digital culture as the W2 Utopia Festival makes its debut.

The Utopia Festival will celebrate women in electronic arts, educate through workshops, and inspire with an evening showcase performance featuring the largest line-up of women in electronic music in Western Canada.

Net proceeds support W2 Inner-City Girls’ Summer Creative Tech Camp.

The evening program of W2 Utopia’s International Women’s Day event includes live readings by local Vancouver feminist writers including Hannah Calder, Hiromi Goto, Kim Fu, Antoinette Rea and Christie Lee Charles. The readings will center around I.W.D. themes and discussion, including identity, politics and negotiating the world as a woman in the creative arts.

The evening program will be punctuated by musical appearances by First Nations artists such as Tanya Tagaq, JB The First Lady and cello prodigy Cris Derkson.

The keynote address will be given by international electroclash sensation Peaches.

Buy tickets now! This is going to be an amazing event!

Vancouver Women Read — Curated by Nikki Reimer (www.nikkireimer.com) and Alex Leslie (alexleslie.wordpress.com) in association with W2 Real Vancouver Writers Series.

Hiromi Goto

Hiromi’s first novel, Chorus of Mushrooms (1994), received the Commonwealth Writers’ Prize for Best First Book in the Caribbean and Canada region and was co-winner of the Canada-Japan Book Award.

Her short stories and poetry have been widely published in literary journals and anthologies. Her second novel,The Kappa Child (2001), was a finalist for the Commonwealth Writers’ Prize for Best Regional Book, and was awarded the James Tiptree Jr. Memorial Award.

Her first children’s novel, The Water of Possibility, was also published that year. Hopeful Monsters, a collection of short stories, was released in 2004. Her latest novel, Half World, received the 2010 Sunburst Award and has been longlisted for the IMPAC Dublin Literary Award. Her long poem, co-written with David Bateman, came out in Fall 2009.

Wait Until Late Afternoon is her first book-length poetry publication.

Antonette Rea

Hi I’m Antonette.

I’m a local Vancouverite and have enjoyed healthy support for my performance poetry at various venues around town.

I share many of the struggles to overcome addiction, the sex trade, homelessness and life on the ‘downtown eastside’ as a trans woman.

My writing was like therapy, the pen became my friend, when I had no one.

It’s how I processed many of the challenges facing rejection and a life on the streets, such as depression, trama, sexuality, discrimination and oppression.

Hannah Calder

Hannah Calder was born in England and grew up there and in British Columbia.

Her novel ‘More House’ was published by Vancouver’s New Star Books in 2009. Of ‘More House,’ Dodie Bellamy wrote, “Calder’s prose simmers with hallucinatory heat.

She is the most generous and attentive of writers, and one whose experiments crackle and blaze like wildfire, sweeping the landscape of her dreams like panopticon pinlights.”

Kim Fu

Kim Fu’s work has appeared or is forthcoming in Prairie FireThe New QuarterlyVancouver ReviewVancouver Magazine, The TyeeRoom, and on CBC Radio, among others.

Her novel in progress has SSHRC funding. Her narrative memoir “How We Keep Our Dogs at Bay” won second place in the 2010 Prairie Fire contest.

She was the editorial assistant for the Hugh MacClennan Poetry Series at McGill-Queens University Press; she’s currently on the editorial board for PRISM International and hosts the Locution Reading Series at Pulp Fiction.

She lives among writers.

Christie Lee Charles

Good day everyone I am sxaxleya? I come from the Musqueam peoples, with ancestry from Tseilwahtuth (George) and Squamish (Harry) Nations.

My English name is Christie Lee Charles. My grandparents from Musqueam are Mary and the late Percy Charles. Percy was the eldest son of Andrew and Christine Charles.

We are the direct descendants of Capilano. My great, great, great grandfather was the first documented citizen of Vancouver, British Columbia, portrait, sketched by a Spanish explorer, which now hangs in Vancouver’s City Hall. I currently reside and was born in Musqueam but grew up in Tseilwahtuth and around the city with my mother Maggie Charles and two older siblings.

With great thanks to my Papa, the late Andrew C. Charles, I have been able to learn our cultural history and teachings. Not only did I learn this but I was also was able to pick up our Musqueam dialect. I still study to this day. I use these teachings in all aspects of my life.

On my free time I create conscious hip hop for our Aboriginal youth. This music is about the teachings and culture of my Peoples. I also spit raps in the ancient Musqueam dialect – but before creating this type of music I approached Elders and received permission to use our teachings in this modern way and follow the proper protocols. You can find samples of this music at www.myspace.com/sistercrunch

Currently I also work for the Knowledgeable Aboriginal Youth Association (KAYA) in Vancouver where we advocate for youth voice participation and representation in all areas of governance. Being a part of the Knowledgeable Aboriginal Youth Association has helped me assert my knowledge. KAYA offers many programs that is free to aboriginal youth to find more about KAYA and the programs that are offered check out www.kayaweb.com or email christielee.kayayouth@gmail.com.

Finally, I am a student at Langara College studying in the Aboriginal Studies Program. I am currently studying courses such as Canadian Policy, Canadian Aboriginal law, and community development as well as strategic planning. I have future aspirations of becoming a lawyer.

Sean Cranbury is the Executive Editor of Books on the Radio. He's also Founder and Creative Director of the Real Vancouver Writers' Series. Sean is General Manager at the legendary Storm Crow Tavern and consults with literary arts organizations on digital communications strategies.


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