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Arsenal Pulp Press Butter Honey Pig Bread and Jonny Appleseed finalists for CBC 2021 Canada Reads

2021 marks the 20th edition of CBC Canada Reads. Over four days, the five Canada Reads champions selected will bring their diverse perspectives to this year’s theme: One Book to Transport Us. Canada Reads 2021 takes place March 8-11 and will be hosted by Ali Hassan and broadcasted on CBC Radio One, CBC TV, CBC Gem, and on CBC Books. CBC Books has launched a Facebook group for those who want to read the Canada Reads 2021 books together. You can join the conversation here.

Among the five champions are two books from the B.C.-based publisher, Arsenal Pulp Press. Arsenal Pulp Press is a book publisher in Vancouver, Canada with over 400 titles currently in print, which include literary fiction, nonfiction and poetry; books on social issues; gender studies; LGBTQ2S+ and BIPOC (Black, Indigenous and persons of colour) literature; graphic novels and non-fiction; children’s and young adult literature; regional history; cookbooks; alternative crafts; and books in translation. Arsenal Pulp Press is interested in literature that engages and challenges readers, and which asks probing questions about the world around us. Learn about the two champion books, Jonny Appleseed by Joshua Whitehead and Butter Honey Pig Bread by Francesca Ekwuyasi.

 

Jonny Appleseed by Joshua Whitehead

Devery Jacobs is championing Jonny Appleseed by Joshua Whitehead. (Submitted by Devery Jacobs)

 

Jonny Appleseed is a novel by Joshua Whitehead about a two-spirit Indigiqueer young man who leaves the reserve and becomes a cybersex worker in the big city to make ends meet. But he must reckon with his past when he returns home to attend his stepfather’s funeral. Jonny Appleseed won the Lambda Literary Award for gay fiction and was shortlisted for the Governor General’s Literary Award for fiction and the Amazon Canada First Novel Award. It was also longlisted for the 2018 Scotiabank Giller Prize. The book is championed by Devery Jacobs, a Mohawk actor and filmmaker from Kahnawà:ke Mohawk territory. She can be seen in the film Rhymes for Young Ghouls and the television shows The Order on Netflix, Cardinal on CTV and American Gods on Amazon Prime Video/STARZ. Her next major role will be in Taika Waititi’s new FX series Reservation Dogs. Her feature film as a co-writer, This Place, is set to be released in 2021. Joshua Whitehead is a two-spirit, Oji-nêhiyaw member of Peguis First Nation, currently pursuing his PhD. He is also the author of the poetry collection full-metal indigiqueer and is the editor of the anthology Love After the End. Jonny Appleseed is his first novel.

 

Butter Honey Pig Bread by Francesca Ekwuyasi

Roger Mooking is championing Butter Honey Pig Bread by Francesca Ekwuyasi. (Submitted by Roger Mooking)

 

Butter Honey Pig Bread is a novel by Francesca Ekwuyasi about twin sisters, Kehinde and Taiye, and their mother, Kambirinachi. Kambirinachi believes she was a spirit who was supposed to die as a small child. By staying alive, she is cursing her family — a fear that appears to come true when Kehinde experiences something that tears the family apart, and divides the twins for years. But when the three women connect years later, they must confront their past and find forgiveness. Butter Honey Pig Bread was on the Scotiabank Giller Prize longlist. The book is championed by Roger Mooking, a chef, restaurateur, television host, author and award-winning recording artist. He has hosted Man Fire Food on the Food Network Canada and Cooking Channel, Greatest of America on Travel Channel and Everyday Exotic on Cooking Channel and co-hosted Heat Seekers on Food Network alongside chef Aarón Sanchez. Francesca Ekwuyasi is a writer, filmmaker and visual artist. Her writing has appeared in The Malahat Review, Guts and Brittle Paper, and she was longlisted for the 2019 Journey Prize. Butter Honey Pig Bread is her first book. She was born in Lagos, Nigeria, and currently lives in Halifax.

Discover more from Arsenal Pulp Press. Learn more about CBC Canada Reads.

Creative Industries Year in Review

From a year leading with nothing short of breaking headlines, we look to the year’s story highlights from the creative industries sector. From new initiatives to heart-warming good news, here are some of the highlights from book and magazine publishing, interactive and digital media, motion picture and music industries:

 

Book + Magazine Publishing

1. Local publishers entering new chapter

B.C.’s book publishers have shown resilience, adapting quickly to the new reality. They have optimized their websites for online orders and offered discounts, partnered with local booksellers to replace in-store author events—critical to building word of mouth about new releases—with online readings, and offered more flexible usage terms to educators and librarians for the use of BC books in remote learning environments.

 


Photo by Grant Harder for Nuvo Magazine

2. Ian Williams Is Changing the Rules of the Canadian Novel

For Ian Williams, winning the Giller marks a movement forward in Canadian literature, where “some voice or some attention is given to the unruly, difficult child.”

3. B.C. colouring book: Orca image to keep you creative during COVID-19 isolation

If your eyes are needing a break from all the online scrolling to read the latest updates about COVID-19, you’re in luck.

4. Get on island time with Gabriola’s new magazine: FOLKLIFE

As the only semi-annual lifestyle print magazine solely featuring content from the Gulf Islands, FOLKLIFE celebrates and connects those living simply, and as an art form, through engaging interviews, stories, photographs, recipes, and art.

 

Interactive + Digital Media

5. This free summer program will teach B.C. teens to make music for video games and animation

DigiMusic’s free summer program facilitated an online format for B.C. high school students from grade 7 to 12 to create music for video games and animation.

6. Bringing Indigenous Voices to the Tech Sector

Indigenous peoples are the youngest and fastest growing demographic in Canada, yet in 2018 only 1.2 per cent of Canada’s tech workers identified as Indigenous. In 2015, the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada called for the adoption of the United Nations’ Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples as a pathway to ensure equitable access to jobs, training and educational opportunities for Indigenous people.

 

7. B.C. First Nation adopts ‘digital-twinning’ software to better manage territory

TimberOps functions as the “digital twin” of more than 350,000 hectares of unceded Mowachaht-Muchalaht territory near the west coast of Vancouver Island, mapping rivers, lakes, mountains, roads, trails and buildings as well as the locations of old villages and archaeological sites.

8. The Last Kids on Earth Video Game Confirmed for 2021

A video game adaptation of the Netflix series The Last Kids on Earth will bring a more kid-friendly zombie apocalypse to PC and consoles next year.

8. Gaming studio Phoenix Labs spreads wings with expansion to Montreal, L.A.

Expansion plans follow Burnaby-based game developer’s acquisition earlier this year

Arthroscopy

9. Precision OS Makes ‘Breakthrough’ in Arthroscopy Education

Vancouver, British Columbia-based Precision OS Technology said it has created a first-of-its-kind arthroscopy simulator available on a mobile, wireless device (Oculus Quest) which will also be used by Conmed International for surgeon education.

 

Motion Picture

10. Join VAFF’s campaign to #Elimin8hate

Vancouver Asian Film Festival provides an anonymous and safe reporting environment and resources for Canadians of Asian ancestry experiencing anti-Asian attacks.

11. Ryan Reynolds to use part of his own salary to hire BIPOC crew members on upcoming film

Vancouver-born movie star Ryan Reynolds said it was time to see more Black, Indigenous and people of colour on film sets and launched a new initiative, the Group Effort Initiative, to help make it happen.

12. Pioneering Remote Studio VFX Legion Launches Full-Scale BC Division

VFX Legion, a remote boutique-style global company, has announced the opening of a full-scale division in British Columbia. An early proponent of the virtualization of visual effects, industry veteran James David Hattin launched the company in 2013, introducing a groundbreaking collaborative work-from-home business model almost a decade before COVID-19 made social distancing essential.

13. How Vancouver’s DOXA Documentary Film Festival found opportunity in a pandemic year

For film festivals, 2020 has presented two choices: cancel – and hope that any costs saved by furloughing staff and securing possible venue refunds will help offset inevitable 2021 losses – or take a big chance and go online only. Neither are ideal. But Vancouver’s DOXA Documentary Film Festival, the country’s second-largest doc fest after Toronto’s Hot Docs, found an opportunity in the dilemma.

13. Made-in-Vancouver animated series Molly of Denali wins a Peabody Award

The made-in-Vancouver animated series Molly of Denali has been awarded a George Foster Peabody Award. Co-produced by Vancouver’s Atomic Cartoons and WGBH Boston for PBS KIDS and CBC Kids, the show is the first nationally distributed children’s series in the United States to feature an Indigenous lead character.

14. B.C. animation school offers free help to schools scrambling to get online amid COVID-19

A Burnaby-based animation school that has operated 100% online since its inception in 2013 is offering free use of some of its online resources to schools scrambling to find ways to keep learning going during the COVID-19 pandemic.

 

Music + Sound Recording

15. Singer’s live performance in computer-generated nightclub could be a model for concerts in a COVID world
Using animation technology usually associated with video games and motion pictures, Jill Barber was transported from a sterile suburban studio into a once-legendary Vancouver supper club, The Palomar, torn down more than 60 years ago.

16. TikTok trend launches Vancouver band Mother Mother up the charts

Ryan Guldemond says he believes luck, good timing and “a little pixie dust” led to his band Mother Mother catching fire on TikTok in recent weeks. The lead singer and guitarist for the Vancouver rock act says he was surprised when, seemingly out of nowhere, three tracks from their 2008 album O My Heart spiked in popularity on the music-fuelled social app.

17. Vancouver Island theatre reinvents live performances with hybrid model

Small audience and live streaming are how Campbell River’s Tidemark Theatre will get through pandemic

Mint Records Is Almost Its Own Character in the Trailer for the New Hulu Show 'Woke'

18. Mint Records Is Almost Its Own Character in the Trailer for the New Hulu Show ‘Woke’

From Mission: Impossible to Riverdale, set designers have absolutely loved the output of Mint Records over the years. Today, however, the decorated Vancouver label may have had its strongest showing yet in the new trailer for the Hulu series Woke.

19. Vancouver’s NuZi Collective launches Black Therapy & Advocacy Fund
The new initiative from the DJ collective and promoter group aims to connect black residents of Vancouver with therapy and mental health resources. The goal is to provide ten to 15 hours of therapy for ten disabled and LGBTQIA+ black residents free of charge, hiring advocates to act as a liaison between recipients and mental health providers.

20. B.C. musicians to play free hour-long livestream concert Thursday

As a first step to support the music industry, the B.C. government is partnering with Creative BC to launch Showcase BC. This new online hub brings a variety of live performances, entertainment and content to British Columbians, so they can stay connected while staying home.

Missed your story? Submit your creative industry story to info@creativebc.com.

#ReadBC Bestsellers List

B.C. books cherish and champion the land, stories and diversity of life in the Pacific Northwest. Here are the 15 B.C. Bestsellers from Read Local BC, published by B.C. book publishers.

 

Book excerpt: Takaya: The Lone Wolf | Times Colonist

No. 1 Takaya: Lone Wolf by Cheryl Alexander
RMB | Rocky Mountain Books

An enchanting and evocative look at the unique relationship between a solitary, island-dwelling wolf and a renowned wildlife photographer.

BC Bestseller for 10 consecutive weeks

 

No. 2 Vancouver Exposed: Searching for the City’s Hidden History by Eve Lazarus
Arsenal Pulp Press

Eve Lazarus peels back the layers of Vancouver’s history to reveal its surprising hidden depths.

BC Bestseller for 10 consecutive weeks

 

Raven Squawk, Orca Squeak – Roy Henry Vickers Gallery

No. 3 Raven Squawk, Orca Squeak by Robert Budd, illustrated by Roy Henry Vickers
Harbour Publishing

With bright and bold illustrations by celebrated Indigenous artist Roy Henry Vickers, this sturdy board book introduces iconic sounds of the West Coast and supports the language development of babies and toddlers.

BC Bestseller for 30 consecutive weeks

 

No. 4 The E. J. Hughes Book of Boats by Robert Amos
TouchWood Editions

Boat lovers of all ages and people who enjoy the scenery of BC’s coast will delight in this charming gift book, a worthy addition to books about BC’s art history.

BC Bestseller for 13 consecutive weeks

 

Excerpt from Crossing The Divide: Discovering a Wilderness Ethic in Canada's Northern Rockies | Canadian Geographic

No. 5 Crossing the Divide: Discovering a Wilderness Ethic in Canada’s Northern Rockies by Wayne Sawchuk
Creekstone Press

Wayne Sawchuk takes us from his early days as a logger and trapper to his role in creating the largest protected wilderness area in the Rocky Mountains.

BC Bestseller for 5 consecutive weeks

 

Birds of British Columbia and the Pacific Northwest: A Complete Guide, Second Edition: Cannings, Richard, Aversa, Tom, Opperman, Hal: 9781772033274: Books - Amazon.ca

No. 6 Birds of British Columbia and the Pacific Northwest: A Complete Guide, Second Edition by Richard Cannings & Tom Aversa
Heritage House Publishing

The ultimate bestselling field guide to birds of the Pacific Northwest bioregion, now fully revised in its Second Edition!

BC Bestseller for 4 consecutive weeks

 

When We Are Kind, Book by Monique Gray Smith (Picture Books) | www.chapters.indigo.ca

No. 7 When We Are Kind by Monique Gray Smith, illustrated by Nicole Neidhardt
Orca Book Publishers

When We Are Kind celebrates simple acts of everyday kindness and encourages children to explore how they feel when they initiate and receive acts of kindness in their lives.

BC Bestseller for 12 consecutive weeks

 

A book of recipes from the author of the Grape Series memoirs that will transport you to a rustic French cottage surrounded by vineyards, no matter where in the world your kitchen might be.

No. 8 Bisous and Brioche: Classic French Recipes and Family Favorites from a Life in France by Laura Bradbury & Rebecca Wellman
TouchWood Editions

A book of recipes from the author of the Grape Series memoirs that will transport you to a rustic French cottage surrounded by vineyards, no matter where in the world your kitchen might be.

BC Bestseller for 3 consecutive weeks

 

Blue Sky Kingdom: An Epic Family Journey to the Heart of the Himalaya - Mountain Life

No. 9 Blue Sky Kingdom: An Epic Family Journey to the Heart of the Himalaya by Bruce Kirkby
Douglas & McIntyre

One morning at breakfast, while gawking at his phone and feeling increasingly disconnected from family and everything else of importance in his world, it strikes writer Bruce Kirkby: this isn’t how he wants to live.

BC Bestseller for 2 consecutive weeks

 

No. 10 Field Notes from an Unintentional Birder: A Memoir by Julia Zarankin
Douglas & McIntyre

When Julia Zarankin saw her first red-winged blackbird at the age of thirty-five, she didn’t expect that it would change her life.

BC Bestseller for 2 consecutive weeks

 

No. 11 Edible and Medicinal Flora of the West Coast: British Columbia and the Pacific Northwest by Collin Varner
Heritage House Publishing

A clear, concise guide to more than 130 edible and medicinal plants and funghi that grow wild throughout the west coast of British Columbia and the Pacific Northwest states.

BC Bestseller for 29 consecutive weeks

 

Image may contain: one or more people and outdoor

No. 12 On Their Own Terms: True Stories of Trailblazing Women of Vancouver Island by Haley Healey
Heritage House Publishing

A fascinating collection of concise stories about seventeen courageous, independent, and diverse women who shaped the history of Vancouver Island.

BC Bestseller for 7 consecutive weeks

 

851px version of SlashburnerUnderwayBurn.jpg

No. 13 Slashburner: Hot Times in the British Columbia Woods by Nick Raeside
Harbour Publishing

Nick Raeside worked at many jobs in the logging business but the one that he specialized in was starting fires—small, (hopefully) controlled fires used to clean up logging slash or debris-laden sites left after the merchantable timber had been removed.

BC Bestseller for 2 consecutive weeks

 

No. 14 Gone Viking: A Travel Saga by Bill Arnott
RMB | Rocky Mountain Books

Bill Arnott guides readers on an epic literary odyssey following history’s most feared and misunderstood voyageurs: the Vikings!

BC Bestseller for 1 consecutive week

 

B.C. book explores the magic, myths and ecology of orcas | Vancouver Sun

No. 15 Spirits of the Coast: Orcas in Science, Art and History eds. Martha Black, Lorne Hammond, Gavin Hanke, with Nikki Sanchez
Royal British Columbia Museum

An insightful collection exploring the plight, past and promise of the orca, powerful symbol of BC’s wild coast and apex predator of all oceans.

BC Bestseller for 2 consecutive weeks

 

#ReadBC this holiday and support local B.C. bookstores and publishers

From Terrace and Qualicum Beach to Cranbrook, the Made-in-B.C. Indie Bookstore Map is yours to use in support of your community bookstore, now offering online orders, home delivery and/or curb-side pickup during this holiday season.

The map was curated by Don Gorman of Rocky Mountain Books, from Victoria, BC. View the map here.

Top 10 tips for B.C. book lovers for Victoria Day long weekend

Make a win-win decision: Read Local BC, get discounts and delivery! BC’s book publishers and distributors have you covered from poetry to bestselling cookbooks. These are top 10 tips for BC book lovers so you can read your way through Victoria long weekend.

1. Arsenal Pulp Press is currently offering 25% off all in-print titles plus free shipping for orders over $50 (promotional code STAYSAFE)

2. Talonbooks is offering 25% off all books on their website from now until June 1

3. Orca Book Publishers is running a Giveaway for Heads Up: Changing Minds on Mental Health by Melanie Siebert until midnight PDT May 10.

4. Rebel Mountain Press is offering 30-50% off select titles.

5. Royal BC Museum Publishing is offering a 30% discount and reduced shipping on Spirits of the Coast: Orcas in Science, Art and History through May 17, 2020 in their Publications Shop using promo code SPIRITS30

6. The Royal BC Museum Foundation Shop is offering 20% off site wide for the month of May (note that this cannot be combined with the Sprits of the Coast offer)

7. UBC Press has 20% off of all print books and 30% off of all e-books at www.ubcpress.ca. When ordering print books, use the discount code “CabinFever” at the checkout, and for e-books, “Housebound.” Learn more.

8. Get 30% off everything in Anvil Press‘s online bookstore. They’re shipping twice a week!

9. Greystone Books is donating 25% of website sales to local independent booksellers. Customers can enter the name of their local bookstore at checkout.

10. Heritage House Publishing, Rocky Mountain Books, and TouchWood Editions, along with their distributor, Heritage Group Distribution, are extending a helping hand to independent bookstores while they experience challenges due to COVID-19 by offering them an extra 20% off their invoices until stores are able to reopen.

Thanks to ABPBC for the hot tip in their Read Local BC at home newsletter! Check out the map of Canadian Indie Bookstores Who Deliver, created by Don Gorman, publisher of Rocky Mountain.