Reading the Peninsula
Stories of the Saanich Peninsula
When I landed in Vancouver in December 1998, a light plane flew me across the Georgia Strait to Victoria, the British Columbian capital. Victoria is situated on Vancouver Island, where my husband had lived for many years before he met me. Our Canadian sojourn lasted five and a half years, most of it spent in Sidney, the small fishing town on the tip of the Saanich Peninsula. I made many writer friends there and ended up doing a stint on the Saanich Peninsula’s community arts council as their literary representative. My predecessors had conducted regular readings, major events in Sidney’s literary life, when writers from eastern Canada flew across the continent to share the platform with the locals. A Sidney writers festival started up when I was there, and the town has designated itself Sidney Booktown.
My own contribution to this ferment was this anthology, in which the wealth of literary talent in the area was showcased. The council funded the project. All the production work was local, everything from the typesetting, design and printing. As well as the editing, I designed the cover. Sales were good, and the book was reprinted after I returned to Australia. The hope was that later volumes would feature other writers and other literary forms but, as far as I’m aware, Reading the Peninsula remains a one-off venture.