Authors in schools for the 2019 Festival:
Alex Van Tol is a reader, writer, editor, speaker, teacher, and bestselling author of books for young readers. In her day-to-day work, she works strategically with businesses, helping to understand and tell their stories both internally and externally. She also writes reports, articles and web content for small and large organizations, from universities to small businesses. In university, Alex worked with kids at summer camps, completing a degree in psychology and another degree in education. She taught middle school for eight years, then had children of her own. At that time, she reorganized her priorities and her life so that she could work from home.
Alex knew she wanted to be an author by the time she was in grade two. Her first book, Knifepoint, was published by Orca in 2010. She has since published biographies, natural science nonfiction, and several other short novels with Crabtree Publishing, the Royal BC Museum and Orca. Her 14th book, Great Bear Rainforest: A Giant-Screen Adventure in the Land of the Spirit Bear came out in the spring of 2019.
Alex currently partners with Jeff Hopkins, principal of the Pacific School of Innovation and Inquiry, assisting Jeff in coaching schools as they transition from traditional schools (classes, timetables, bells, discrete subjects) to schools of inquiry.
For more information see: Alex Van Tol
Memories To Memoirs founder Rob “Lucky” Budd graduated from the University of Victoria in 2005, earning a Master’s Degree in History with a focus on oral history. Between 2000 and 2004 the CBC and the Royal British Columbia Museum entrusted Rob with the preservation and restoration of the “Orchard Collection”, one of the world’s largest oral history collections. He has since worked with a number of private collections and high profile clients including the Nisga’a First Nation, the Provincial Archives of British Columbia, and the Grateful Dead’s audiovisual archive. In addition to hosting a bi-monthly radio series on CBC Radio One, he has given talks on oral history across the country and has had eleven books published, nine of which are national bestsellers. His books have been nominated for 14 awards including winning the second prize for the 2015 Lieutenant-Governor of British Columbia’s Historical Writing Award, a Moonbeam International Children’s Book Award in 2015, and the 2014 British Columbia Genealogical Society Family History Book Award.
For more information see: Lucky Budd
Chris Tougas is the award winning author/illustrator of several picture books including Mechanimals (winner of Canada’s Alcuin Award for excellence in book design and runner up for the The Canadian Library Association’s Amelia Francis Howard Gibbins award for best illustrated picture book). He has won multiple readers’ choice awards for his books, which also include Art’s Supplies and the Dojo Daycare series. Dojo Daycare is currently in development as a television series with Universal Kids TV. Chris also has a very exciting feature film in development with a major feature film studio and Academy Award winning producer, Laurence Mark.
For more information see: Chris Tougas
Sylvia Olsen was born and brought up in Victoria, BC. At seventeen she married and moved to Tsartlip First Nation. For more than thirty years she lived and worked and raised her four children in the Tsartlip community. Sylvia is a historian specializing in Native/white relations in Canada. As a writer, she often finds herself exploring the in-between places where Native and non-Native people meet.
Sylvia is also an award-winning author of over twelve children’s and adult books including Working with Wool, a history of the Cowichan Sweater, which won the Lieutenant-Governor’s Medal for Historical Writing in 2010. She lives on the Saanich Peninsula, near Victoria, British Columbia.
For more information see: Sylvia Olsen