Too Good To Be Threw – Elisha Almeida

Elisha is a deeply feeling, healing arts practitioner. Her poetry is inspired by being among the trees, soil and plant kin. She writes about love, ancestor reverence and soul. She finds writing to be soul’s balm and is relieved when the words have found paper.

Hairpins Boutique – Janet Beggs

Hi, I’m Janet. I was born in England, moved as a child to Australia, and made Courtenay home in 2006. I like to explore—in the mountains, within myself, and through connecting with people. This adventuring led me to a career in counselling. Through bodily felt sensing, I enjoy finding words to form poems about human experiencing and awareness.

Atlas – Ed Varney

Ed Varney has been writing poetry since he was a teenager. He has published several books, many chapbooks, and numerous essays. He has lived in the Comox Valley for 22 years and does not always tell the truth. His studio is a cabin over 100 years old and he does not have a cat. He doesn’t like the way that poetry is confused with song but wishes poetry had the audience that song generates. He doesn’t have a cell phone and sometimes ignores his emails. He’s a likeable guy but his affable exterior conceals a cranky no-good-nik. He wrote this bio.

Selkie Sisters Consignment – Jaida Richardson

Jaida Richardson is a student in their twenties who grew up in Comox and currently lives in Courtenay. They have been writing poetry as a hobby since they were a teenager.

Mackenzie Gartside & Associates – Scott Lawrance

Scott Lawrance has been a settler inhabitant on the shores of the Salish Sea for over seven decades, attempting to be worthy of the Land that his ancestors, all from Britain and Scandinavia, came to occupy. He now divides his time between Cortes Island and Cumberland where he lives around the corner from three of his nine grandchildren.

One of the founding writers of Raincoast Chronicles, he has edited two poetry magazines, Raven and Circular Causation. His most recent books include Playg Daze and Little Guys, a collaboration with Bowen island artist Gregg Simpson, with whom he attended elementary school.

Gregg and Scott are working on a new collaboration based on the Tarot.

Blue Spruce Ice Cream – Adelia McWilliam

When Adelia MacWilliam did her poetry thesis at the University of Victoria, she discovered that if you cast the mythic imagination across a piece of land that has always been part of your life, everything will out. Her current manuscript, The Films the Dead Are Showing, explores the complexities of being part of a settler culture struggling to create a home in a world it is simultaneously gutting. She recently published a chapbook, Details of the Passage. Her work can be found locally in Drift, Poems and Poets from the Comox Valley,(edited by Ed Varney and Dan Kirk.)

She is also co-editor of the recently published anthology, Cascadian Zen Volume One, and managing editor of Watershed Press.

Artifact – Jan Bartier

Janet Bartier was raised in the Okanagan Valley and now lives in Campbell River B.C. on the historical and unceded territory of the Laich-Kwil-Tach Peoples. Janet has a BA in Liberal Studies and is a graduate of SFU’s the Writer’s Studio, but she is most honoured to be called Mom. She has published poems in Canadian literary magazines, including Prairie Fire, Arc Poetry, Contemporary Verse 2, and EVENT.

Kradles – Natalie Nickerson

Natalie Nickerson is a teacher, poet and visual artist who served as Poet Laureate for the Comox Valley from 2017 to 2019. In her experience, the written word has the potential to inspire deeper longings, evoke awe and act as catalysts for shifts of consciousness. Her fascination with theoretical physics exerts a strange and charming influence over much of her recent work.

Natalie’s poetry has appeared in magazines like “Contemporary Verse 2”, as well as in “Drift: Poems and Poets from the Comox Valley”.


La Cache – Linda Lillico

Poetry has been an important part of Linda’s life for many years. The beauty, biodiversity and gentle culture of The Comox Valley have been inspirations for many of her poems. There is no where she would rather be.

Her poems can be found in local publications, or sometimes read in person at Artful the Gallery on Poetry Evenings, the first Monday of each month.

She hopes you will enjoy her ode to summer.

Jim’s Clothes Closet – Kim June Johnson

Kim June Johnson is a singer-songwriter and writer currently living in Courtenay. Her poems and essays have appeared in FOLKLIFE, Room, Prairie Fire, The New Quarterly and elsewhere. Her live concerts often incorporate live readings of her poems alongside improvised cello music. Kim teaches in-person writing workshops in and around the valley and is the host of an online mindful-writing community called “Cozy Sunday Write-Ins”, which meets on Zoom during the colder months (October to March). She also works as a somatic trauma coach at The Centre for Trauma Recovery and Resolution. Find her on instagram @kimjunejohnson.

Foundation Salon – Lawrence Cooper

Lawrence J. W. Cooper is the past poet laureate of the Comox Valley. He has published eight books of poetry. He believes in what he calls Poetry with Purpose. He has published books of inspirational poetry on overcoming depression and becoming grounded and centered in spiritual living. His latest book, Shades of Sadness, is a poetic novel about an aging poet struggling with his feelings on getting older and looking back at how the sadness has shaped him into the contented and joyful person he is now.

Graham’s Jewellers – Diana Kolpak

Diana Kolpak is a story teller who uses theatre, fiction, clown, poetry, music and photography as her media. She is also a theatre director and teaches clown and creativity workshops. Her most recent theatrical work is BLUE – an interactive solo clown musical for adults starring former-mermaid-turned-lounge Sally Siren. Published writing includes Starfall – a children’s book chronicling a magical quest to bring sunshine and starlight back to the world, the play Bedtime Stories – a provocative retelling of four fairy tales, and poetry and photographs in the online journals Counterflow, Ligeia and Consilience.

Tea Centre – Corwin Fox

Corwin Fox is a music maker, writer, podcaster, artist and filmmaker living in Cumberland. He has worked on several hundred studio recordings, travelled the world singing his songs and failed to recognize Brad Pitt at his concert in L.A. His artwork will be showing for the first time in March 2024 at the Penticton Art Gallery for a show called The Gifts of Madness. He has published a collection of one sentence stories called Kill Love.

States of Summer – Carly Mack

Laughing Oyster – Scott Hamilton

Scott Hamilton is a Canadian speculative fiction writer and poet with a keen interest in exploring the human spirit. His work often portrays environmental issues through an alternative lens, using these imagined worlds as a backdrop for his flawed and relatable characters. He also draws inspiration from childhood memories of being raised off-grid in northern British Columbia.

Scott writes fiction under his pen name Ash Hamilton, currently has two books published and has recently been published in the BACOPA Literary Review.

5th St Florist – Ocean Lawrance

My name is Ocean Lawrance and I am 11 years old. I live in Cumberland and I am a 6th grade student at the school there. Some things that I enjoy doing are soccer, rock climbing, skiing, doing crafts and hanging out with my friends. I got into poetry partly because of my grandpa’s love for it, but I also remember in 1st or 2nd grade I made a poem and my grandpa made a counter poem to it. I read both at a poetry reading in Courtenay once. A thing that really inspires me in poetry is the nature that surrounds Cumberland.


Local Refillery – Kaya Leslie

Kaya has always loved words and expressed herself freely.She graduated from Vancouver Island University with a Teaching Degree and a Double Minor Arts Degree in Indigenous Studies and Fine Arts. Her first chapbook, “Winter,” was published as a limited edition with BookLeaf Publishing in 2022. Kaya has drifted to creative outlets with writing being one of her biggest passions. For Kaya, it is not about reaching any specific audience, but instead it is about words being part of her own healing journey. When everything else fades away, the only consistency she falls into is her words on the page.

Spool Sewing Studio – Senyue

Hi-Tec Brazen – Margaret McKenzie

Margaret is a therapeutic artist, writer, and educator who operates the Silver Bowerbird Gallery & Studio, and facilitates expressive arts workshops, community Pop-Up arts events and art shows. Margaret enjoys combining poetry with art and has self-published Raven Meets Wolf, a compilation of works which grew out of the COVID pandemic. Her poetry has been included in the Van Isle Poetry Collective Vol. 2, several journals of Expressive Art Therapy, Quills Journal and at the Vancouver Island Regional Library.

Foveo Run – Louis Stevenson

Louis was always an avid reader and loved literature and poetry from an early age.

His work is influenced by folk music from the 1960s, in particular by Buffy St Marie, as well as by the I Ching. He loves reading translations of Chinese poetry from the Tang Dynasty and has a degree in Creative Writing and Journalism from Vancouver Island University. Louis has worked as a Forest Service Officer, letter carrier, tree planter, English teacher, logger, security officer, circus roustabout, printer, and outreach worker…but he’s still trying to figure out what he wants to be when he grows up.

Gladstone – Steven J. Thompson

Steven J. Thompson is a writer, poet and spoken word artist who has written articles for Monday Magazine and who has participated in the CBC Poetry Face-off. His poetry has appeared in publications such as Oratoriallis and MuseMedusa.

A three-time member of the Victoria National Poetry Slam team, Steven has performed at festivals and events across Canada including Vancouver’s Word on the Street, The Canadian Festival of Spoken Word and The Calgary International Spoken Word Festival. He is a graduate of the Banff Spoken Word Program and the co-founder of the award-winning Tongues of Fire spoken word series in Victoria.

Red Fox Botanicals – Joshua Klassen

I have been creating art my whole life. After one year of Fine Arts studies at North Island College I decided to pursue a lifestyle of learning through hands-on experience. From doodling on freight trains in my formative years to community murals with youth; from sprucing up neighbourhood garage doors to doing graphic design; from commissioned portraits to solo café shows and making hip-hop music. It has been an interesting journey thus far to say the least. I grew up in rural Black Creek and I currently live with my wife and daughter in Courtenay BC Canada.

Wildflower Mercantile – Anne Farrer

Anne Farrer is a Comox Valley based writer of poetry and prose. A keen observer of the human condition, her work reflects the beauty and humour of everyday life. Her essays have appeared in the Globe and Mail First Person section, and her inaugural chapbook Exit this Side was chosen to be part of the North Shore Authors collection of 2019/2020. She lives by the sea and dreams about a certain crow. Experience more of her work at annefarrer.com.

Sid Williams Theatre – Dan Kirk

Sprouted in Vancouver, grew to full size in Burnaby and Dollarton, spent time getting overwatered at UBC, blossomed into something unrecognizable on Cortes Island and now happily going to seed in Courtenay. Along the way worked on boats, on beaches, in the bush and gardens, alone at night and in schools.

Poems come from an unknown place when a certain sequence creates enough quiet for that voice to arise that helps me make sense of what is encountered. The real work is waking up the rest of the time between when slumbers dominate.


Second Page Books – Eric Ettinger

Mustard Lady – Afton Hawkins

Afton McCauley is an artist, songwriter, poet and all around lover of creating! She started Cosmic Daisy Studio in 2021 with the dream of doing what she loves for a living. Afton enjoys all sorts of mediums including digital, acrylic, furniture repurposing and black and white ink drawing and teaches art to Littles! Afton has collaborated with other artist to create merchandise and branding for their art as well as creating custom art pieces for businesses and personal spaces. You can follow Afton on Instagram at @cosmicdaisystudio

Curious Cat – Erica Keen

Erica Keen (she/they) is a POC settler, intersectional thinker and proud Auntie based in K’omoks Traditional Territory (Cumberland). Their work can be found in touchPOINTS, The Comox Valley Collective, and Sea & Cedar Literary Magazine. Erica is currently enrolled in Simon Fraser University’s The Writer’s Studio: Creative Writing Certificate program with a focus on poetry. When not contemplating a comma, Erica works as a Registered Nurse with Nuu-Chah-Nulth Nations.

Mignon & Kie – Landon Norris

Landon Norris is a professional multidisciplinary artist with an inclination for colour, detail, and looking at the ordinary with a tilted lens. Norris studied at OCAD University, earning a BFA in Drawing & Painting, and in that time, explored a wide array of mediums from realism, to cartoons, to complete abstraction, 2-D and 3-D animation, time-based media, sculpture and creative writing.

Norris had the unorthodox opportunity of growing up an on-screen actor, having started in the business at age 5 and working fairly regularly ever since. Although seemingly an entirely artistic upbringing, Norris grew up with aspirations to follow the family business and be a hockey player, though gave up that goal at 18 and chose to study fine art.

With an air of physicality and quirkiness, a yearning for friendly competition, and a perspective nature searching for an ideal, Landon Norris is a daydreamer looking to simply share one more viewpoint that just may make someone’s day a little better.

Hot Chocolates – Anne Dunnet

Anne Dunnett is a creative entrepreneur, designer, writer and Haiku poet based on Vancouver Island, BC, Canada. Her first experience with Haiku came from her Grandmother, opening a door that would lead her on a remarkable journey for the rest of her life. Her interest in seasonal living grew from learning about Japanese Haiku. The philosophy of Haiku is based on connecting with nature, simplicity, everyday moments and the yearly seasonal cycles.

She has found her purpose and passion in showing others how to embrace a seasonal living lifestyle to unlock their spirituality and learn how to be in the moment.

Soul Star Metaphysical – Claire Gordon

Claire Gordon is a recent graduate from Vancouver Island University with a major in English literature. She resides in the unceded territory of the K’ómoks First Nation. Her poetry explores her experiences in the outdoors, from working and trekking through the backcountry of Cape Scott and Strathcona Provincial Parks to travelling overseas. Claire’s academic and creative work has appeared in Queen City Writers, Portal Magazine, The Navigator, Canadian Yogi, CloudBurst Magazine, Sea & Cedar Magazine, Humans of the World Blog, and The CV Collective.

Ronna-Rae Leonard Office – Carys Owen

Carys Owen is a poet, educator, community builder and nature-lover who lives in the Comox Valley. Her office is on the beach, by the river, in the forest, or near a mountain. She shares her poems at community events, conferences and meetings and through her self-published collection – Into the Ordinary. Most recently she was published in the anthology ‘Alchemy and Miracles’. A regular contributor at Artful: The Gallery monthly poetry evenings, Carys is mindful of creating poems that celebrate the wonders of the natural world with the aim of encouraging connection and hope.

https://carysowenpoetry.ca/ @carysowenpoetry (IG)

Square-One Travel – John Beaton

John Beaton’s metrical poetry has been widely published and has won numerous awards. He recites from memory as a spoken word performer and is author of Leaving Camustianavaig, a poetry collection published by Word Galaxy Press. For four years he authored a monthly poetry page in the local magazine Eyes on BC. He has also moderated a respected online metrical poetry workshop and is slated to be a speaker at the 2024 Earth Charter International Conference in Florida to present his environmental poetry. Raised in the Scottish Highlands, John lives in Qualicum Beach on Vancouver Island. john-beaton.com