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Writers Reading

2015 WR poster

3 October 2015

1pm-5:30pm  –  Westport United Church

Adults $15  –  Seniors/Student $12


Join us for the 8th Annual Writers Reading and delve into the engaging literary world of Frances Itani, Eric McCormack, Ken McGoogan and Alison Pick. Tickets available at Murphy’s Barber Shop, The Cove Country Inn and at the door.

If you would like more information about this event please contact 

Norman Peterson at (613) 273-7781 or 


The Westport Arts Council’s 8th annual Writers Reading at the Westport United Church, 1:00 – 5:30 p.m., Saturday, October 3, 2015, features award-winning authors Frances Itani, Eric McCormack, Ken McGoogan, and Alison Pick.

Frances Itani - Photo by Norman TakeuchiFrances Itani’s 2003 novel, Deafening, was an early success in a much-honoured international career that has produced 16 books, including novels, poetry, short stories and children’s books. Deafening received a Commonwealth Writer’s Prize for Best Book, and was shortlisted for the International IMPAC Dublin Literary Award and the William Saroyan International Award. It subsequently won the Kingston Reads Award, and in 2006 was selected for CBC’s ‘Canada Reads’, both English and French. It has been optioned for film and translated into some 17 languages.

Remembering the Bones, her second novel, was also an international bestseller, shortlisted for a Commonwealth Writer’s Prize. Her novel Requiem was published in Canada, U.S.A., Bulgaria, Germany and in 2012 was chosen by the Washington Post as one of the top fiction titles in the U.S. She is a double winner of the Ottawa Book Awards, and three-time winner of the CBC Literary Award. Her collection Poached Egg on Toast won the 2005 CAA Jubilee Award for best book of stories published in Canada. Her reviews, stories and essays have appeared in a wide variety of publications across North America.

Frances has been Writer-in-Residence at several universities, taught at the Banff Centre, and conducts workshops in Canada and Europe. She has lived in England, USA, Switzerland, Italy, Croatia, Germany, and has travelled extensively. She has a bachelor’s degree from the University of Alberta and a master’s from the University of New Brunswick. She studied Nursing at the Montreal General Hospital, did graduate work at McGill University and Duke University, and practised and taught Nursing for 8 years while beginning to write. She studied with both W.O. Mitchell and Rudy Wiebe.

Her latest novel Tell is set in 1919 and is a follow-up to Deafening. Tell was shortlisted for the Scotiabank Giller Prize, and was published in New York in January 2015. Frances is presently working on a new novel, continuing the storyline of Tell. She lives in Ottawa with her husband, Tetsuo (Ted) Itani, a Canadian Red Cross international consultant and volunteer.

Historian, novelist and journalist Ken McGoogan is the author of a dozen books, Ken McGooganthe latest of which, Celtic Lightening, is due out in late September. His four groundbreaking volumes about Arctic exploration: Fatal Passage, Ancient Mariner, Lady Franklin’s Revenge, and Race to the Polar Sea, individually and collectively, received the Writers’ Trust of Canada Biography Prize, the Canadian Authors’ Association History Award, the UBC Medal for Canadian Biography, the Pierre Berton Award for Popular History, the Drainie-Taylor biography prize, and an American Christopher Award for “a work of artistic excellence that affirms the highest values of the human spirit.” He has also written three novels, and the celebrated bestsellers How the Scots Invented Canada and 50 Canadians Who Changed the World.

A university teacher and popular lecturer, Ken gives presentations across the length and breadth of Canada, including recently in the high arctic as a lecturer on board Adventure Canada sailing the Northwest Passage and northern coastal waters.

Ken holds a bachelor of journalism from Ryerson University in Toronto and a master’s degree in creative writing from the University of British Columbia. Before turning to writing books full time, Ken worked as a journalist for two decades. He teaches in the Continuing Studies program of the University of Toronto and the MFA program at King’s College, Dalhousie University, Halifax.

He lives in the Toronto Beaches with his artist-wife, Sheena Fraser McGoogan, with whom he has two adult children.

Eric McCormack (2)-1Widely celebrated for his unique imagination, novelist Eric McCormack has been described as “a master stylist” by The New York Times Book Review, and “a spellbinder, an ancient mariner with a glittering eye” by The Globe and Mail. International best-selling author (and Writers Reading participant in 2013) Andrew Pyper has described Eric’s writing as “mysterious and beguiling.”

Last year’s release of Cloud, his first novel in ten years, was anxiously awaited by an audience of international fans of his often macabre and quirky novels, including previously The Dutch Wife, First Blast of the Trumpet Against the Monstrous Regiment of Women, The Mysterium, Paradise Motel, and Inspecting the Vaults.

A finalist for the Governor General’s Award for English-language Fiction, the Commonwealth Writers’ Prize, and the People’s Prize for Fiction, Eric turned to full-time writing after retiring from a thirty-year teaching career at the University of Waterloo. Born on the outskirts of Glasgow, Scotland, Eric taught high school there before immigrating to Canada where he received a PhD from the University of Manitoba. From a boyhood in the dark days of WWII, and early exposure to the works of Robert Louis Stevenson, Sir Walter Scott, H. Rider Haggard, and other pioneers of imaginative literature, Eric naturally leans to the enigmatic, the macabre, and the unsettling, in his choice of language and themes.

Eric and his wife, Nancy McCormack, a Queen’s University law librarian, have lived in Kingston for ten years.

Alison Pick’s 2014 memoir, Between Gods, recounts her discovery of her family’sAlison Pick-1 Jewish roots in pre-WWII Czechoslovakia, and her complicated search for self-identity and love as she struggles with her wish to convert to Judaism. The CBC and the Globe and Mail included Between Gods on their Top Book of the Year list, and it was shortlisted for the BC National Award for Canadian Non-Fiction. The Toronto Star said “Pick’s writing ability and keen intellect ensure she’s able to navigate such delicate, complex subject matter with compassion and clarity.” U.S. and U.K. editions of Between Gods will be released this fall.

Her 2005 novel, The Sweet Edge, was a Globe and Mail Top 100 Book, and was optioned for film. Her second novel, Far to Go, was nominated for the prestigious Man Booker Prize; won the Canadian Jewish Book Award; named to both the Globe and Mail and NOW Magazine Top 100 book list for 2010; and also optioned for film.

Alison received the 2002 Bronwen Wallace Memorial Award for Poetry, and the 2003 National Magazine Poetry Award. She holds a BA in Psychology from the University of Guelph and an MPhil from Memorial University in St. John’s. She is currently on the Faculty of the Humber School for Writers, the Banff Centre for the Arts, and the Iceland Writers Retreat.

Alison is a judge for the 2015 Scotiabank Giller Prize. She lives in Toronto with her husband, Degan Davis, and their daughter.


Books will be available for purchase (cash and credit card), courtesy of Kingston’s Novel Idea Bookstore, and signing by authors.

Tickets are $15 for adults and $12 for seniors and students, including refreshments. For sale at Murphy’s Barber Shop, 5 Church St., Westport (613-273-2145), at The Cove, 2 Bedford St., Westport (613-273-3636 or 1-888-COVE-INN), and at the door, if available.

If you would like more information about this event please contact 

Norman Peterson at (613) 273-7781 or 

The Stories & The Songs

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Over the past four weeks Stories & Songs has become a Sunday tradition at the Westport Spring. The complimentary coupling of music and the often-forgotten art of oral storytelling brought together impressive local talent that included 2014 Voice of the Rideau winner Stephanie Doornekamp and storyteller John Willson. The beautiful outdoor yet intimate setting of the Spring on the water’s edge in downtown Westport proved to the perfect venue that reflected the relaxed, natural and fresh spirit of the performances. Mother Nature did get the best of us one weekend with some rain but the cosy shelter of the United Church not more 100m away just seemed to add more local flavour. Attracting both residents and visitors, the success of Stories & Songs was shared with over 200 people and seemed to be the perfect way to spend a summer Sunday evening.



Stories & Songs

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Sunday Evening at the Westport Spring

7-8pm FREE!

WAC is proud to present a new summer series: Stories & Songs. Featuring local musical talent and storytellers, join us at the Westport Spring on select Sunday evenings throughout the summer. Bring your chair, a coffee (or an ice cream!) and enjoy the beautiful outdoor venue while we entertain, enchant and enliven.

There is limited seating so get there or be square. In case mother nature isn’t in a good mood, the event will be moved one block away to the United Church (corner of Spring Street and Church Street).

21 June: Chris Murphy + Ken Rose

12 July: Ross + Joanne Lambert

26 July: Stephanie Doornekamp + Jeff Friesen

2 August: Westport Storytellers + Special Guest

July 3rd & 4th: Art by the Lake

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Sand Lake Beach   ▪  4 July 2015   ▪   10am-4pm

You are invited to participate in a new invitational juried art show, Art by the Lake. The show will take place at the Lions Club beach house by Sand Lake.  The show will feature artists from the Westport and the surrounding areas.

The festivities will begin Friday evening with an indoor Gallery and Meet the Artist show in the beach house by invitation only. Wine and hors d’oeuvres will be served while enjoying entertainment by local musicians. We will also be featuring a silent art auction with the proceeds going to art in our local schools and Art by the Lake.

Our beautiful venue, Sand Lake.

Our beautiful venue, Sand Lake.

The event will continue on Saturday with each artist setting up their individual white tents and exhibiting a larger selection of their work on the beach grounds of Sand Lake.  Music will also be performed throughout the day by Westport area performing artists. Visitors will have an opportunity to meet and purchase art directly from the artists on Friday evening as well as throughout the day Saturday.

This show will truly be an event that highlights and accentuates the ARTS in WESTPORT and AREA.  The backdrop of Sand Lake will serve as a reminder of the splendour of nature found in our area. 

For more information, please visit

Thanks to our sponsors:



Magic in the Air! Recap of Christmas Magic

WAC xmas slider2The WAC Christmas Magic day was truly a festive day. With carolers, the arts and crafts show, the local business window decorating competition, the annual Lions Santa Claus Parade and, of course, the lighting of the WAC Christmas tree and the Christmas tree on the mountain, there was definately magic in the air!


Congrats Debra!


Congratulations to Pinecone, winner of the 2014 Westport Arts Council Best Decorated Christmas Windows. Thanks to the amazing judges, Delvalle and Tamara, and to Cynthia Pringle for her assistance is coordinating the competition.

WAC put together a float for the Lions Christmas Parade showcasing the theme “Christmas Wishes for Santa” and won Best in Theme. Thanks to all members who helped decorate the float, walk in the parade and hand out over 100 santa hats!

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