Fun at the 2019 Phelps Homes Building Literacy Fair! / Grimsby Library

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What a wonderful afternoon at the annual Phelps Homes Building Literacy Fair at the Grimsby Public Library! Last Friday, June 7 the library is threw open its doors to the community for this fun event chocked full of family friendly activities and games. Kids played inside and outside the library as they made their way through our amazing Play Project Parkour course, played giant board games and got creative with chalk graffiti nearby. They planted seeds, painted story stones, hunted for letters in slime, read-along a story walk, tried their hand at knitting, learned about sport safety with author Sue Irwin and how to recycle with Waste Management Niagara, experienced green screen magic with nature-themed photo shoots, watched balloon twisting, read with the Therapy Tails Dogs dogs, and so much more!

The Phelps Homes Building Literacy Fair also marks the launch of kids summer programming at the Library, so everyone got to take home information and newsletters about the TD Summer Reading Club for children ages 0-12 and the R.E.A.D. summer tutoring program. Thanks to Phelps Homes Ltd. for once again generously sponsoring this library event! Check out photos from this event below:

Event photos

This event is made possible through the generous sponsorship of Phelps Homes, Ltd. and the participation of many organizations in our community, including: Waste Management Niagara, Sue IrwinNiagara Peninsula Conservation Authority, Fun School of Music, Nelles Manor, Grimsby Public Art Gallery, Play Project ParkourLiteracy and Mathematics Academy, Niagara Children’s Centre, Therapy Tails Dogs, and Needlecrafters Club.

Two-time Giller Prize winner Esi Edugyan visits the Grimsby Author Series

Last Wednesday, May 1, was the last night of the spring 2019 Grimsby Author Series and we were thrilled and honoured to bring to our stage two-time Scotia Bank Giller Prize winner Esi Edugyan. We couldn’t think of a better way to finish the season, and as guests rushed in the doors, met up with friends and grabbed a sample glass of Pengo Pally Saison Beer from Bush Pilot Craft Brewery, we knew it was going to be a night to remember.

This event saw our guest author Esi Edugyan sitting down in conversation with Grimsby’s own local author Laurie Petrou, which is a bit of different format than what we are used to at the Series. From the moment these two authors sat down across from each other it was clear this discussion was going to allow us to dig a little deeper than usual. In responding to Laurie’s thoughtful questions and keen insights, Esi provided us with an in-depth glimpse into how her Giller Prize winning book Washington Black was written and how it feels to be nationally recognized twice for the most prestigious literary fiction award in Canada.

We discovered Esi’s love of research and interest in historical science, practices and instruments, and how this shows up in the beautiful details of her books. We learned that Washington Black, while directly dealing with topics of racism and subjugation, is really a story of the psychology of the people experiencing it, from either side, and the real human consequences when massive societal change alter the rules. We heard about how she felt about her main characters, and what she was trying to convey to the reader with the choices they make or the questions they ask. Esi’s writing style is deeply engrossing and the way she explores these weighty topics leaves the reader with a important and unique perspective. Capped off with a reading from the book and many questions from the audience, this evening was truly special and a perfect end to the spring Grimsby Author Series.

Thanks so much to both authors for visiting the Series and having this wonderful discussion with us, and to Esi for sharing her book and staying afterwards to sign copies for eager fans. Door prizes were raffled off at the end of the night which included fabulous items from our sponsors Cole’s FloristsObjects to Desire, Stacy Heidman of Steeped TeaElipsis Day Spa, Special Effects Art ShoppeTheatre Aquarius, and Hamilton Philharmonic Orchestra. A big thank you to all of these contributors, and to The Peanut Mill, tMac Pottery and Bush Pilot Craft Brewery for providing our guest speakers with their wonderful gifts, and to Epic Books of Hamilton for coming to sell books!

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Shelley Wood and Andrew Pyper at the Grimsby Author Series

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Last Monday we hit the mid-season mark of the Spring 2019 Grimsby Author Series. On this sunny spring evening we were so delighted to welcome our two guests, Shelley Wood and Andrew Pyper, to the Casablanca Winery Inn. Our wine sponsor for the evening, Sue-Ann Staff Estate Winery, provided delectable selections for us to sample from their Fancy Farm Girl line including their rich Flamboyant Red and their crisp and fruity Frissonesque Sauvignon Blanc. With a great glass of wine in hand, a packed house and two amazing authors, we knew it was going to be a night to remember!

Shelley Wood

Shelley Wood was up first and provided the audience with a heartfelt reading from her new novel The Quintland Sisters. Beautifully written, expertly researched and now a national bestseller, this book is a fictionalized account of the 1934 Dionne Quintuplet sensation. The story of 5 girls born on a single night to one woman blew up all over national and international media, and turned their lives into a spectacle. Reading the news clippings and accounts from the time, you find that they are all from the harsh perspective of a spectator; someone from the outside looking in. Shelley wanted to shift that lens to by creating a character who was an insider, someone who loves these kids for who they are, and not for the exhibition they became. What follows is not only an account of the first few years of the quintuplets’ lives, but the beautiful coming-of-age story of Emma, the fictional nurse Shelley created to love and take care of them. As she writes in her private journals, Emma gives us a view into the madness, heartache and human element that is often left out of the public story.

Andrew Pyper

Up next we welcomed Andrew Pyper for his fifth time at the Grimsby Author Series to speak about his chilling latest novel The Homecoming. It is a book about family secrets and false memories. It is one of those stories that you think you have pegged from the beginning, only to have the author skillfully pull the rug out from under you with a completely unexpected twist. Andrew’s writing skills build palpable tension while weaving a complex yet page-turning narrative. In The Homecoming, the reader along with the characters themselves think they know the whole story. For the characters, what unfolds is their terrifying and shocking realization that everything they ever thought to be true about their family, is not. Andrew is a prolific writer in an industry saturated with thriller novels, but over and over again he finds a way to break the mold, and this book is no different. His writing is as sharp as his delivery on stage is hilarious, and we’ll welcome him back any time. Go Leafs go!

 

Thanks so much to Shelley and Andrew for sharing their wonderful books with us and staying afterwards to sign copies for eager fans. Door prizes were raffled off at the end of the night which included fabulous items from our sponsors Cole’s FloristsObjects to Desire, Stacy Heidman of Steeped TeaElipsis Day Spa, Special Effects Art ShoppeTheatre Aquarius, and Hamilton Philharmonic Orchestra. A big thank you to all of these contributors, and to The Peanut Mill, tMac Pottery and Trius Winery for providing our guest speakers with their wonderful gifts, and to Epic Books of Hamilton for being coming to sell books!

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Meridian Comic Book Day at the Grimsby Library: photos!

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Thanks to everyone who came out for Grimsby’s annual comic con at the Grimsby Public Library! Meridian Comic Book Day is all about celebrating a love of comics, graphic novels as storytelling mediums, as well as the wonderful artwork that goes with them. We had so many amazing artists share their work with us including Patricia Storms (who also serenaded us with her ukelele), Loc Nguyen, Keith Grachow, Chris Sanagan and Jason Lapidus from Group of 7 Comic, Zavian Lashington, Greg Hyland, Sean McCarron, Jordan Da Costa, Lindsay Bisland, Chloe Perrin and Abby Nickerson. Mike Cope from Copetoons was there as well to skillfully lead our comic drawing workshops to a full crowd of eager amateur artists.

More guests included Cosplay for a Cure, Cinderella and her Prince, Anna from Frozen, mascots from Blessed Trinity and GSS, Xtreme Collectables, Niagara Children’s Centre, Nate Van Lindt with his DIY comics, and Doctor Who’s telephone box! All of these amazing artists and contributors, along with our dedicated team of volunteers and our wonderful sponsors at Meridian Credit Union in Grimsby, made this Meridian Comic Book Day one for the books!

So many kids dressed up for the event this year and we were so impressed with all the amazing superhero (and villain) costumes we saw!  Check out photos from the event below:

 

Iain Reid and Anna Porter at the Grimsby Author Series: Spring 2019

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We’re back! This past Monday we were at the Casablanca Winery Inn again to kick off the spring 2019 season of the Grimsby Author Series. In a first for our Series, we skipped the coldest months of the year, and are now holding 3 events in March, April and May. Remembering those frigidly cold and windy winter nights from years gone by, we were happy to see everyone’s slightly less frostbitten faces again in warmer temperatures. We couldn’t think of a better way to say hello to spring and a whole new season of great reading than with the two authors we brought to our stage on Monday night, Iain Reid and Anna Porter. With delightful refreshments from Calamus Estate Winery, a packed house and an excited buzz in the air, the mood was set for a fantastic night.

Iain Reid

Iain Reid was thinking about becoming a fiction writer for a while. As a critically acclaimed non-fiction author, his first two books One Bird’s Choice and Truth About Luck featured himself as the protagonist. After speaking with someone about both of these books, and learning that their friend had read them, but didn’t like the main character (him), the idea of fiction-writing really started to take hold. He fulfilled this dream in 2016 with his first novel I’m Thinking of Ending Things. This book has now been published in more than twenty countries, with Oscar-winning screenwriter and celebrated director Charlie Kaufman now creating a movie based on it (in fact, filming had begun that very day in upstate New York). A pretty good start.

Following suit, Iain Reid’s latest mind bending thriller Foe has been selling out on shelves all across the country, and feature film rights have been acquired. An eerie, haunting and bizarre tale of a couple secluded from society, the theme of confinement in the book is reflected by both the size of the book and the fact that most of the action takes place within the walls of their house. Short and sweet, succinct and powerful, that’s how Iain Reid likes to write. Whereas some books are big and more like a thanksgiving meal – developing over time, his are short – more like a special sauce that has been reducing all day on the stove and the first spoonful tastes just perfect.

Anna Porter

What better way to finish the evening than with Anna Porter? You could say that this author’s life, as well as her new memoir In Other Words, celebrate all things to do with Canadian literature – what a perfect a match for the Grimsby Author Series! The book, which has been called “A love letter to Canada’s authors and creative agitators…” gives readers a backstage pass to the Canadian publishing world, where we meet the biggest names in our country’s literary scene. It was her grandfather who originally sparked her love of stories, and it’s amazing to see how far that love has taken her.

Speaking in the same captivating style she writes in, Anna’s talk was full of anecdotes about her extraordinary life in Canada which started when she scored her dream job at McClelland & Stewart in 1969. She was lucky enough to be hired by Jack McClelland himself (which she suspects was due to her truly inventive resume). After being put to the test reading all 15 of the ‘Canadian Library’ over a weekend, he was impressed enough to put her exactly where she wanted to be: reading manuscripts for one of the biggest publishing houses in the country. During her time there, and later as co-founder of Key Porter publishing company, she has worked with the likes of Farley Mowat, Leonard Cohen, Peter C. Newman, Margaret Atwood and Margaret Laurence (who she considers a national treasure). All the time Anna was writing her own novels, and in a perfect story arc, has become an award-winning author in her own right. It was truly a pleasure to have this Canadian publishing legend come and share her stories with us.

Door prizes were raffled off at the end of the night which included fabulous items from our sponsors Cole’s FloristsObjects to Desire, Stacy Heidman of Steeped TeaElipsis Day Spa, Special Effects Art ShoppeTheatre Aquarius, and Hamilton Philharmonic Orchestra. A big thank you to all of these contributors, and to The Peanut Mill, tMac Pottery and Trius Winery for providing our guest speakers with their wonderful gifts. We very happily welcomed back Epic Books of Hamilton as our book sellers as well, it was great to see and work with you again!

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Phelps Homes Family Literacy Day 2019: See pics from the event!

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Wow, what an amazing afternoon at the Grimsby Public Library! Last Sunday, January 27, on a cold and snowy afternoon, we invited the community to our 6th annual Phelps Homes Family Literacy Day. Thanks to all the families who bundled up the kids and visited us for this celebration of literacy and all things reading, we had a blast! Kids got to try our obstacle course, tape track, balloon animals, face painting, GIANT board games, play dough fun and so much more. (Try some of these play-based literacy activities at home; they use words and actions to help kids exercise their brains and their muscles.) Check out photos from the event below:

Event photos

We were so excited to have some of our community friends come too: Therapy Tails, Niagara Children’s Centre, Smoke Free Movies, Tutor Doctor, Grimsby’s FUN School of Music, and the Grimsby Fire Department all shared their own special activities to encourage reading and learning at home. We also had gravity-defying performances by the amazing Spirit Athletics cheer team who let visitors try out different cheers and gymnastic feats.

Thanks so much to everyone who attended, volunteered their time and skills and contributed to this wonderful community event, we had so much fun with all of you! We’d like to express our great gratitude as well to Phelps Homes Ltd. for their continued support of literacy events at the Library, we couldn’t do it all without you!

At the Library with Debbie Travis: A Grimsby Author Series event

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We couldn’t think of a better way to close out 2018 than with the fabulous Grimsby Author Series event we had last Friday with Debbie Travis. Debbie was at the library to speak to a packed house of fans about her newest book Design Your Next Chapter. It was nice to gather together inside on such a cold and wintery night, and see the crowd warm up with yummy snacks and samples of delicious Pinot Grigio from Pillitteri‘s Debbie Travis Fine Wine Collection. There was a definite buzz of excitement in the room, too, as friends met up with friends to chat with each other before Debbie took the stage.

It was such an honour to have decorating and lifestyle author, TV presenter and internationally celebrated entrepreneur Debbie Travis to speak here at the Grimsby Library last Friday night. Her new book Design Your Next Chapter, is full of inspiring anecdotes and wisdom gained from her extensive and varied career, as well as ones from the many other amazing women she has met throughout her life. It is a book for anyone that is looking for the motivation to start over and follow their passion. In her talk with us, Debbie had the crowd laughing and left us inspired with her quick wit, wonderfully engaging style, and incredible life story. It was truly a treat to hear her speak and hear more about her latest projects and future plans as well.

After the talk Debbie fielded many questions from the audience and our Chief Librarian Kathryn Drury, before graciously sitting down to sign books and take pictures with a huge line of fans. We’d like to thank Debbie so much for coming to the Grimsby Author Series and for sharing her wonderful book with us. A huge thanks as well to all of the wonderful sponsors, benefactors and volunteers for making this night such a huge success!

Did you enjoy this event? Attend more quality events by getting tickets to the Spring 2019 season of the Grimsby Author Series! Perfect as a gift this holiday season for the book-lover in your life, this season we are welcoming an amazing roster of Canadian literary talent. You’ll see the bestselling and critically acclaimed authors Iain Reid, Anna Porter, Andrew Pyper, and Shelley Wood, as well as a special presentation for the last night of series, a sit down conversation with 2018 Giller Prize winner Esi Edugyan. This is one season you won’t want to miss! Buy your tickets online or at the library, $75 for 3 amazing events.

 

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