See photos from the Phelps Homes Building Literacy Fair at the Grimsby Library

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Families played and learned together at the Grimsby Library’s 6th annual Building Literacy Fair sponsored by Phelps Homes Ltd. There was seed planting, balloon animals, yummy freezies, crafts, green screen photoshoots, sidewalk chalk, fun literacy games & activities, plus so much more.

Guests included Fun School of Music, Speech Services NiagaraWaste Management of Niagara, Therapy Tails and Parka the Parks Canada Beaver. All of our friends had TONS of fun and educational things for kids to try. We were so excited to have Play Project Parkour course here for the first time, too, as part of the Power Off and Play initiative with Healthy Kids Community Challenge. What a way to kick off summer in Grimsby!

Check out photos below:


Here are some photos from the Green Screen too!


Paula McLain and Katherine Ashenburg at the Grimsby Author Series last Friday

What better way to kick off summer than a late spring Grimsby Author Series event? Last Friday we had our last ‘At the Library’ event of the 2017-18 season with acclaimed authors Paula McLain and Katherine Ashenburg. Peller Estates provided delicious tastings of two of their wines, the aromatic and full bodied 2016 Private Reserve Cabernet Franc 2016 and the fresh and lively 2016 Private Reserve Sauvignon Blanc.

The intimate crowd enjoyed a relaxing night in the air conditioning (away from the heat!) with two wonderful female authors whose books have been added to TBR piles and book club lists all over the country. Bestselling author Paula McLain read from her new book Love and Ruin, and Katherine Ashenburg, an award-winning non-fiction writer, read from her debut fiction novel Sofie and Cecilia. An evening of parallels, both talks featured powerful love stories and friendships, deeply creative people, exciting moments in history, and strong-willed women in relationships with overbearing men.


Katherine Ashenburg

Starting the night off was Katherine Ashenburg. An acclaimed non-fiction writer, lecturer and teacher, and a former CBC radio producer and Globe and Mail arts and books editor, it’s fair to say that Katherine has tried her hand at a few different careers. Debut novelist is one of her latest vocations, and it was a true privilege to have her at the Grimsby Library to talk about her first work of fiction, Sofie and Cecilia.

Writing this book, Katherine admits, was not exactly in her comfort zone. Inspired by two sets of real-life husband and wife artists in Sweden at the turn of the century, this book could have easily turned into her latest non-fiction award winner. Carl and Karin Larsson were artists living and working in Sundborn, Sweden in the late 1800’s. Katherine was always a fan of the Larssons’ work and their famous painted house, and on a trip to visit the site, a surprising discovery about their marriage planted the seed for what would eventually become this story. Learning about the couple’s friendship with fellow artists Anders and Emma Zorn, Katherine began to explore the dynamics of husband-wife relationships and the power of life-long female friendships. As the book evolved, Katherine ventured away from just investigating the facts, and the story became more about revealing home truths and insights into life and love.

This novel is beautifully researched however, and it is what gives Sofie and Cecilia a solid backbone. Katherine explores rich and sophisticated ideas against the fascinating background of the Scandinavian modernist art movement, while authentically capturing the emotions and perspectives of her characters. As a debut work of fiction, this enjoyable and thoroughly satisfying read is really something special, and we can’t wait to see what’s next for this author.


Paula McLain

As one of the only American authors to speak at the Grimsby Author Series, something about Paula McLain keeps us calling her back up north. She was in Grimsby for the second time in 3 years (third time since 2012) to speak about her latest book Love and Ruin. A follow up of sorts to her acclaimed bestseller, The Paris Wife – an evocative fictionalized biography of Ernest Hemingway’s first wife, Hadley Richardson – this book masterfully captures the life of his third wife, Martha Gellhorn. Now, before we lump her in to the category of just “one of Hemingway’s wives”, we should stop, and make no mistake, because Martha Gellhorn was a badass, and she was never just a footnote in his life.

Paula McLain has a knack for writing about badass women. Hadley in her own right earned the title, and Beryl West, the heroine in her last book Circling the Sun, was one of the best of them. But Martha Gellhorn deserves a special place in history as one of the most significant and distinguished female war correspondents of the 20th century, and was the only one who had a 60-year career into her 80’s covering almost every major conflict. Martha had real courage, intellect and ambition; a strong will that butted heads with her famous husband. With beautiful prose and rapturous style Paula pulls you into Martha’s story with her accessible writing and compelling voice. She makes history come alive through her eyes, and we can’t get enough!

Door prizes were raffled off at the end of the night as well which included fabulous items from our sponsors Cole’s FloristsObjects to Desire, and Stacy Heidman of Steeped Tea. A big thank you to all of these contributors, and to Forks Road Pottery and Peller Estates for providing our guest speakers with their wonderful gifts.

Thanks to all of our awesome volunteers, sponsors and benefactors for another amazing season! We could not do it without you, and are so appreciative of all of our support and generosity throughout the years. We look forward to next season and working with you again!



Phelps Homes Building Literacy Fair 2018 at the Library coming up June 8

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FRIDAY, JUNE 8 |  2 – 4 PM

Drop-in for an afternoon of family fun at the Library!

Families can play together while building literacy skills with all kinds of fun and educational activities. Learn all about the Grimsby Public Library Summer Reading Clubs for kids 2 years and older, too!

Join us for for raffle prizes, obstacle course, tape track, bubbles, face painting, seed planting, balloon animals, yummy freezies, crafts, sidewalk chalk, a parkour course*, fun literacy games & activities, plus so much more.

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Guests include Fun School of Music, Speech Services NiagaraWaste Management of Niagara, and Play Project Parkour*. Parka the Parks Canada Beaver will be there to talk about the HMCS Haida National Historic Site as well (don’t miss Parka at the Fort George National Historic Site, too on June 17). All of our guests will have all kinds of fun and educational things for kids to try.

*Parkour Course
As part of our Power Off and Play initiative this summer with Healthy Kids Community Challenge, kids can get some exercise in a super fun way by running the Play Project Parkour Course at the Phelps Homes Building Literacy Fair! Go to our Power Off and Play page to learn more about what’s on offer for the rest of the summer too.
Thanks to Phelps Homes Ltd. for generously sponsoring this event!

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Jennifer Robson & local author Laurie Petrou close out Grimsby Author Series 2018

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Last Monday night we wrapped up the 2017-18 Grimsby Author Series with an inspiring evening featuring Grimsby’s own buzzworthy literary talent Laurie Petrou, and bestselling historical fiction author Jennifer Robson. It was the last event of the regular season, but it was actually a night full of firsts for the series. It was our first time welcoming both authors to our stage, it was Laurie Petrou’s first ever public reading of her first published novel, and she just happened to be our first ever local Grimsby author, too. Oh, and it was our first time ever having a craft beer vendor attend! As most of you know we usually have a local Niagara winery on hand to supply libations, but this Monday it was Bush Pilot Brewing Company who kept us refreshed. On one of the first more reasonably warm days of the year, it was lovely to have some ice cold Pengo Pally Saisons (brewed with Arctic herbs) for their inaugural night with us, and we couldn’t think of a better way to mix things up!


Laurie Petrou

Local hearts were glowing with pride as Grimsby author Laurie Petrou took the stage for her debut Author Series appearance and first ever book reading. Having attended our events as a guest for years, it was only fitting that her first one should be with us! Laurie is one of the Niagara Region’s most exciting up-and-coming talents and we are so privileged to have her living and working right here in our hometown. She was the winner of the Half the World Global Literati prize in 2016 for her at-the-time unpublished book. Earlier this year it was snapped up and published by Harper Collins Canada. The team at the Grimsby Library and Author Series couldn’t be more delighted to support this local author with the release of her first novel.

Sister of Mine is a riveting and suspenseful family drama that has literary-thriller fans standing at attention. It starts with a shocking murder, but it’s not a “whodunit”. It’s a “what happens next” tale. The substance of the story is really in the aftermath. What happens in the days, months and years after the event? How do the people involved keep such a terrible and damaging secret? How do our lives get twisted when our deepest bonds are pushed to their limits? Exploring the complexities of loyalty and sisterhood by reveal snapshots into the characters’ past. Laurie writes a deeply compelling story that expertly awakens all five senses. From the first sentence, Sister of Mine hooks the reader and does not let go. It is a riveting page-turner from start to finish and is the work of a new master storyteller.


Jennifer Robson

Jennifer Robson’s internationally bestselling books have been enduring favourites here at the Grimsby Library, and we were so happy to have the chance to welcome her to the Grimsby Author Series for the first time! An academic at heart, Jennifer has a passion for researching the past, and has an innate ability to make history come alive through perspectives that often get lost in time. It is the stories of women that interest her, and exploring what their lives were like against the backdrop of some of history’s most exciting, dramatic and important moments. Her latest book Goodnight from London, accomplishes this objective perfectly.

The book follows Ruby Sutton, a reporter for an American magazine in 1940’s wartime, who gets the chance to fly to London and report on the war first hand. Women reporting on the ground in this way was almost unheard of at the time, but this character exemplifies the type of person Jennifer loves to capture in her books. It is all the more poignant as the story of the main character is inspired by her own grandmother who was a reporter. Jennifer Robson knows how to deliver the goods, and her accurate portrayal of London during the Blitz, the aftermath of the bombings, and life in a besieged city told through the eyes of ordinary people is unmatched.

Door prizes were raffled off at the end of the night as well 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, Forks Road Pottery and Bush Pilot Brewing Company for providing our guest speakers with their wonderful gifts.

Both authors answered a ton of questions from the audience after their talks from the audience and stayed after the raffles were drawn to sign copies of their books for an impressive lineup of fans. We’d like to send out a huge thank you to both Laurie and Jennifer for attending and closing out our sweet 16th season with style. Seeing as they both have new books in the works, we hope to see both cross our stage again soon!

Did you miss out on your chance to attend the regular season of the Grimsby Author Series? Well, you still have one more chance this June to go to an event! Check it out below:

At the Library w/ Paula McLain and Katherine Ashenburg

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Friday, June 1
Doors: 6:30 PM / Event: 7 PM
Tickets: $20 each

The Grimsby Public Library is welcoming two award-winning, critically acclaimed authors late this spring for a special event of the Grimsby Author Series. Paula McLain and Katherine will be here on Friday, June 1 (doors at 6:30 PM) to speak about their latest works and sign books for fans. Snacks and a wine tasting from Peller Estates will be provided. Tickets are just $20 each, and are on sale now at the Library, or you can buy tickets online.

Next season…

Buy tickets for our 3 Fall events this August. These will be held in September, October and November. Fall packages are $75 each.

No more full-season packages! The series will be split into 2 parts instead: Fall 2018 and Spring 2019. The lineup for the Spring 2019 season will be announced in the fall, tickets will go on sale before Christmas, and the events will be held in March, April and May. This allows us to invite authors who have new books being released in the spring, while avoiding the bad weather months of January and February.

Please contact the Library at 905-945-5142 for more info.

Our sponsors, benefactors and volunteers

Last but certainly not least we would like to thank all of our awesome volunteers, sponsors and benefactors for another amazing season! We 100% could not do it without you, and are so appreciative of all of our support and generosity throughout the years. We look forward to next season and working with you again!


Meridian Comic Book Day at Grimsby Library in pictures

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It felt like the whole community zipped, zoomed or flew down to the Grimsby Public Library for our annual Meridian Comic Book Day! It was an awesome afternoon filled with superheroes and activities for comic enthusiasts young and old. There was face painting, green screen photo shoots, pin-making, fun mascots, and free comic books to giveaway, as well as booths and games with Speech Services Niagara, Xtreme Collectables, Parka the Beaver with Parks Canada (promoting the 75th anniversary of the HMCS Haida in Hamilton), and Smoke Free Movies. Our sponsors Meridian Credit Union in Grimsby were there in full force and had fun games and free popcorn snacks. Thanks so much to Meridian for generously sponsoring this annual event!

There were some amazing young local artists showing off their wonderful work, including Zavian Lashington-Francis (who will be doing a talk at Grimsby Library on May 16 about his graphic novel The Winds of Change), Abby Nickerson, Hope Grant, Christina Cote, Julie-Ann Bihari, Jordan Da Costa, and more. Professional illustrators Mike Cope from Cope Toons, Patricia Storms were there too with activities and examples of their work, and our special guest Casey Parsons from Comic 1 Books delivered some amazing free workshops. Thanks to all the fantastic artists who attended and to John Swinimer from True North Country Comics for covering our event for his podcast, make sure you stay tuned for the one featuring this event!

Check out photos from the event below:

Grimsby Library to show Tragically Hip documentary on National Canadian Film Day 2018

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Join fellow Tragically Hip fans at the Grimsby Library on April 18 at 7 PM for a showing of the documentary Long Time Running for National Canadian Film Day. The documentary follows the band on their last tour ever in 2016, following the announcement of front man Gord Downie’s terminal brain cancer diagnosis. Created by friends of the band, Jennifer Baichwal and Nick de Pencier, and premiering at the Toronto International Film Festival, we’re honouring the Tragically Hip’s profound impact on the cultural landscape of this country by sharing this truly unique and beautiful Canadian film with you.

See event details.

“Long Time Running chronicles the emotional and epic iconic Canadian band’s now-legendary 2016 tour that captured the heart of the nation. Viewers will be given a unique and exclusive perspective into The Tragically Hip’s world through intimate moments, behind-the-scenes and on-stage footage, personal interviews with the band and close friends, as well as reactions from their devoted fans from across the country.” –

Watch the trailer here:

Paula McLain & Katherine Ashenburg to visit Grimsby Library this June

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The Grimsby Public Library is excited to be welcoming acclaimed authors Paula McLain and Katherine Ashenburg for a special event of the Grimsby Author Series on Friday, June 1. Doors open at 6:30 PM and the event begins at 7 PM.  A wine tasting from Peller Estates will be provided. Tickets are just $20 each, and are on sale now at the Library, or you can buy tickets online.

You won’t want to miss this event – Wrapping up the 16th season of the Grimsby Author Series in style! Call 905-945-5142 for more information.

Love and Ruin
Paula McLain, author of the bestselling historical fiction novel The Paris Wife, and who joined us at the series 2 years ago to talk about her next hit Circling the Sun,  is back with Love and Ruin. This book chronicles the life of Martha Gellhorn, arguably one of the greatest war correspondents of the 20th century, and her marriage to Ernest Hemingway.


Sophie and Celicia
Katherine Ashenburg, an acclaimed non-fiction writer of The Dirt on Clean, will be speaking about her first foray into fiction, Sofie & Cecilia. Her novel tells the story of two life-long friends living in Sweden in the 1940’s, wrapped up in the Scandinavian mid-century modern design movement that was just starting to explode across Europe.