Tuesday, October 09, 2007
Monday, October 01, 2007
One of the coolest things about wearing multiple hats in the publishing world is that I get to be involved with such a range of events and activities. This launch promises to be amazing! Reviews of Sylvia's and Ron's WOTS performance this past weekend in Vancouver were great. Hope to see you there! Read on for more details...
Sylvia Olsen Celebrates Stories With Deep Cultural Roots and Universal Appeal
When Sylvia Olsen launches Which Way Should I Go? at the Mary Winspear Centre on Sunday, October 21st don't be surprised to find her dancing, and not just because she's happy to have another book out. The dance, and the story it tells (which Sylvia has captured in her picture book), have a deeper message to share. Inspired by a family story told to traditional First Nations teacher, Ron Martin, Olsen's picture book is based on a favourite tale from his childhood.
Martin remembers loving the song originally shared by his grandparents. "This song reminds us that everything in life is a choice," Martin says. "In every waking moment of our lives we should be aware that everything that we are doing in the moment is a choice. That is why we sing and dance and then pause. That is when we ask ourselves, 'Which way should I go?' We can stay in bed, or we can get up. We can listen or not listen. We can be angry or not angry. Everything is a choice." Olsen and Martin will perform the song and dance together at the Mary Winspear Centre where Which Way Should I Go? will be at the heart of this celebration of story-sharing. Olsen and Martin will talk about how they transformed song and memory into the written word before signing copies of the book illustrated by Kasia Charko. Children will have a number of activities to try and older attendees can learn more about Ron's background by watching the film, Salt Water People. Some of Kasia Charko's original artwork will be on display and master wool-worker, May Sam (whose likeness and knitting was featured in Olsen's earlier picture book, Yetsa's Sweater) will be on hand to demonstrate spinning techniques while she weaves stories and chats with visitors. Snacks, contests, and displays will round out the afternoon's activities. Families may find themselves inspired to create and honour shared stories of their own.
Both Sylvia Olsen and Ron Martin are all about stories. "I love storytelling," Olsen says. "I tell stories about the things I know, the people I meet, and the faces I see every day." As a traditional teacher, Ron Martin has been telling stories in his community (Tla-o-qui-aht people of Opitsaht near Tofino) for many years. What a stroke of genius to pair up these two powerful tale-tellers to create a unique picture book which speaks to readers of all ages. Publisher, Diane Morriss of Sono Nis Press was drawn to the simple but profound message in this story about a boy who loses his grandmother and must then find a way to cope and move forward. "Through traditional storytelling and a song his grandmother taught him, the Nuu-chah-nulth boy learns that everything in life is a choice. It's a very special story," Morriss says.
The big launch on October 21st will be the final event in a weeklong series of presentations in Vancouver Island schools and community venues.