March 10
06:30PM - 07:30PM
White Room Studio

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Join the party at White Room Studio, with an introduction and reading by Nanaimo’s very own Al Cool, and live music by Vinya Zyakin

The Haida Gwaii Detour is the story of an eager, young hand logger surrounded by an unlikely community in the heart of West Coast wilderness. Detailing a wild ride through life in and around Haida Gwaii between 1979 and 1985, this travel memoir is based on real-life events and packed with a colourful cast of characters.

This story is told through the eyes of both a narrator and the protagonist named Ethan, who has escaped the concrete jungle of Vancouver in the hopes of earning enough money for Journalism school tuition.

It is tourist fare to wander among the remains of structures and totems after kayaking to ancient Haida settlements, but only a fortunate few ever get to go west to do something meaningful; to work, to earn, to harvest. To live. Ethan felt privileged, that he was one of the luckiest men alive on that day, because he was going to work with the land, rather than destroy it. – excerpt from the novel

Today, Haida Gwaii draws mainly global tourists to its rocky shores, serene forests, and Haida culture each year. Currently facing a decreasing availability of forestry jobs, and tensions between the BC Government (BC Timber Sales) and the Haida Nation, Haida Gwaii is still much the same now as it was back in 1985. Detour will take readers back through time, to show the promise of the land and the potential adventure it still holds.

“This story is told from the perspective of residing on the islands, not from the perspective of the tourist. The characters in the novel are real, or composites of real people. The scenes are real, the timing is real, the life is real.”

–Al Cool, author.


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