It was a great party and there's more to come
There'd been a shooting at 5 a.m. at Smithe and Granville, the morning of the Extract book launch party and the location of it as well.
Ceili's downtown manager called at noon to say the police had cordoned off the block around Ceili's for a police investigation. No one could get through and Ceili's staff hadn't been able to get in and clean the pub. They couldn't host the event.
Two hundred and fifty people RSVP'd and more expected to just show up. We had a whole floor of the pub reserved for the event. A completely private space.
Could you even find a location in Vancouver for a party for 250 people five hours before the event, on a Saturday afternoon?
Standing in front of the crowd that night, struggling to be heard above the loud din of partying football fans mixed with friends of the Vancouver Observer at the new location, Ceili's in Kitsilano. There was no private room. The din from our party mixed with the din from Ceili's regulars.
Carrie Saxifrage read from Extract. Tzeporah Berman talked about the oil sands and climate change. Chief Rueben George gave a blessing and a great plug for the book, while Ben West announced events coinciding with the hearings. Andrew S. Wright delivered a short, moving talk about his travels along the pipeline route to photograph rivers.
And Rob Cottingham made us all laugh.
Adbusters' executive editor Darren Fleet showed off Adbuster's new book Meme Wars (get it, it's awesome.) Public Outreach volunteers reminded me what it's like to be young, passionate and amazing. Bryan McKinnon and Karen Mahon, both of Public Outreach were amazingly generous in their support. I am so grateful for sponsorship of the event and their great gift bags and their caring for the environment. A lucky audience member won the free box of SPUD groceries. (I hope you're full of good food by now!)
Josh Tabish, who is now at OpenMedia, organized volunteers to check everyone in and manage book sales, and managed to get the word out. If it hadn't been for Josh and his incredibly efficient partner in crime, Alex Tse, we'd never have gotten the word out about the event change (Josh and Alex, you guys just rock.)
If we lost you because of the venue change, I wish you had been there. It was so great to come together that night. But we'll be getting together again soon.
In April, we'll be celebrating the release by Viking of celebrated author Ruth Ozeki's fantastic novel, A Tale for the Time Being with Ruth as our featured speaker.
Half the book takes place in Japan, the year before the March 11 earthquake and tsunami. Half takes place on Cortes Island in beautiful, mysterious British Columbia. Cyberbullies, an ninety-something Zen priest called Old Jiko, a teen named Nao and a reluctant kamakazi pilot populate this story which washes up on the shores of Cortes Island on a wave of tsunami debris.
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