Sonny Assu: A Selective History

(This is third of #LitFest2019 features on writers attending the Galiano Literary Festival February 22-24 on Galiano Island. Tickets on sale now (250) 539-3340 or

Sonny Assu is a Ligwilda’xw Kwakwaka’wakw contemporary artist and subject of the new art book Sonny Assu: A Selective History. Through large-scale installation, sculpture, photography, printmaking, and painting, Sonny Assu merges the aesthetics of Indigenous iconography with a pop-art sensibility.

The book published by Heritage House is “A stunning retrospective highlighting the playfulness, power, and subversive spirit of Northwest Coast Indigenous artist Sonny Assu.”

Through analytical essays and personal narratives, Candice Hopkins, Marianne Nicolson, Richard Van Camp, and Ellyn Walker provide brilliant commentary on Assu’s practice, its meaning in the context of contemporary art, and its wider significance in the struggle for Indigenous cultural and political autonomy.

Continue reading

Tickets Now Available!!! click “Tickets” tab for more information


The 2018 Literary Festival is now just a fond memory but never fear, we’re already starting to line up a stellar roster of authors for 2019.

Next year, the Galiano Literary Festival will be on February 22-24.  We’ll be celebrating our 10th anniversary and hope all of you can join us.


Visit this site often for updates as things start falling into place!

Or, just send your e-mail address us at, put “FESTIVAL” in the subject line and we’ll send you regular e-mail updates as things develop!


2018 Galiano Island Literary Festival Brochure

It’s been nine years since we first had the idea of having a literary festival on Galiano Island for those who wanted to escape the throes of Olympic Fever in Vancouver, and what wonderful years they’ve been.


This year we are delighted to welcome back many authors who have been with us in years past including George Bowering, Charlie Demers, Theresa Kishkan, Tim Taylor and Audrey Thomas to name a few.We are also delighted to welcome many rising stars in the B.C. writing community including David Chariandy, Gurjinder Basran, Michael Harris, Ashley Little, and Leesa Dean, and to welcome many well established Canadian writers including Wayne Johnston, Michael Redhill, Kyo Maclear, and Jennifer Robson. Continue reading

Heather O’Neill, The Lonely Hearts Hotel: A Novel

(This is third of Galiano Island Books features on authors and artists attending the 2017 Galiano Literary Festival February 17-19th on Galiano Island. Tix still available (250) 539-3340 or

Just because we’re a little festival on a little island doesn’t mean we don’t bring some serious heavyweights to the party. In fact, it’s a great opportunity to share time and space in an intimate setting with some of Canada’s literary royalty. To that effect it’s our honor at the Galiano Island Bookstore to welcome BACK novelist, poet, short-story writer, screenwriter and essayist Heather O’Neill to the Galiano Literary Festival in 2017.

Heather O'Neill. Photograph by Roger Lemoyne

One of the reasons that I wanted to study literature was because it exposed everything. Writers looked for secrets that had never been mined. Every writer has to invent their own magical language, in order to describe the indescribable. They might seem to be writing in French, English, or Spanish, but really they were writing in the language of butterflies, crows, and hanged men. – Heather O’Neill

Heather published her debut novel, Lullabies for Little Criminals, in 2006. From Quill & Quire review, “O’Neill’s debut novel is narrated by Baby, the 13-year-old daughter of single father and heroin addict Jules. Throughout her young life, Baby is shuttled between various run-down Montreal apartments and foster homes, and spends a month in juvie for hanging out with a pimp in the park. Baby’s story, episodic in form, unfurls in the arbitrary, unscripted manner of “real life,” with none of the archetypal, cut-and-dried bad guys you might expect from an account so steeped in street-kid tragedy. Jules can be a neglectful creep, and Alphonse, Baby’s abusive boyfriend, has his genuinely sympathetic (and pathetic) moments as a character.”

The novel was subsequently selected for the 2007 edition of Canada Reads, where it was championed by singer-songwriterJohn K. Samson. Lullabies won the competition. The book also won the Hugh MacLennan Prize for Fiction and was shortlisted for eight other major awards, including the Orange Prize for Fiction and the Governor General’s Award and was longlisted for IMPAC Dublin Literary AwardLullabies for Little Criminals was a publishing sensation in Canada and went on to become an international bestseller. She was named by Chatelaine as one of the most influential women in Canada.


She’s followed up the epic success of her debut novel with other critically acclaimed works The Girl Who Was Saturday Night novel (2014) (shortlisted for the Scotiabank Giller Prize) and Daydreams of Angels stories (2015) (shortlisted for the Scotiabank Giller Prize and we couldn’t me more thrilled she’s coming to the Literary Festival with her newly published work The Lonely Hearts Hotel: A Novel.

For a taste of what you might hear from Heather O’Neill at the upcoming Galiano Literary Festival check out this conversation between Zsuzsi Gartner and Heather at the North Shore Writers Festival last year…

Also check out this hilarious and provocative audio excerpt by Heather from one of our favorite podcasts This American Life

It has begun!


Feb 19, 20 & 21st

The festival is in full swing as of this afternoon with our 3 intimate and informative workshops kicking off what is to be an exciting 7th year!

There are tickets still available to the author readings and only select few available for the always entertaining Authors Dinner on Saturday evening.

We are all set up at the Galiano Oceanfront Inn with all of our authors books for sale and are ready for an awesome weekend!!

Happy Litfest!


Only 1 more day!



Only one more day until the 7th Annual Galiano Literary Festival kicks off!

Have you purchased your tickets yet?

Contact Galiano Island Books at 250-539-3340!

Tickets are selling fast and this year is shaping up to be yet another exciting and successful festival filled with fabulous authors, informative workshops and a great way to spend a weekend away on beautiful Galiano Island!!



So many authors, so much time!

Still deciding on which authors you’d like to hear from and see at this year’s festival?

Let the organizers of the Literary Festival help guide you in the right direction!

Here are some useful references and fantastic reviews of some of our authors latest work…

Aislinn Hunter – “The World Before Us”  (2014) – The Guardian Review

New York Times Book Review

Billie Livingston – “The Crooked Heart of Mercy” (2015) – The Globe and Mail Review

Kim Trainor – “Karyotype” (2015)Open Book Recommends

Maggie de Vries – “Rabbit Ears” (2014) – Quill and Quire Review

Christine Lowther – “Born Out of This” (2014) – The Malahat Review

Charles Demers – “The Horrors: An A to Z of Funny Thoughts on Awful Things” (2015) – The Globe and Mail Review

Congratulations to John Pass!

Congratulations are in order for our 2016 festival author, John Pass!


John has received the prestigious 2016 Open Season Award in Poetry!

Read the full release on The Malahat Review’s website here

John will be participating in a poetry reading at this year’s festival on Sunday Feb 21st at 10:45am and will be joined by his partner Theresa Kishkan.

Tickets to his reading are $25.00 and will be sure to sell quickly after this wonderful announcement!

Contact Galiano Island Books at 250-539-3340 to purchase your ticket!


Of John Pass‘ winning poem, “Margined Burying Beetle,” judge Russell Thornton says: [The poem] presents a questing biocentric poetic awareness, an intense elegiac tone, and a portrayal in which a creature conventionally conferred little status appears as a potent agent of the creation, ‘a writer of a future’ offering sacred illumination to a shamanistic speaker who witnesses it ‘wondrously / shifting!’ on ‘plush moss’. The play of language in the piece is open and exploratory and at the same time taut, controlled; the poet here utters quick, quirky changes and rich phrases. There is the ‘crabapple / small and scabby of late but in the spring / a clustered mass of port-wine glory above / wild iris.’ There is the beetle of the title, ‘sinuous / wriggler chevroned orange on black’ that ‘nudged / the resurrection’ [the speaker’s] way in sunlight…’ In all its aspects, including complexity of theme, depth of feeling, imaginative movement, and deft lyrical execution, this poem is a marvellous success.