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DISCLAIMER – the events and links herein are not maintained by the Nelson and District Arts Council, and we do not guarantee accuracy of the information they contain.

Book Launch – Luanne Armstrong and Ellen Burt @ Oxygen Art Centre @ #3A
Feb 24 @ 2:00 am – 4:00 am

Luanne Armstrong and Ellen Burt will be reading at Oxygen Art Centre on Saturday February 23, 2019 at 7pm


Oxygen Art Centre, #3 320 Vernon Street (Alley Entrance)
Saturday February 23rd at 7:00pm
Suggested donation $5

Join Kootenay writers Luanne Armstrong and Ellen Burt at Oxygen Art Centre to celebrate the launch of two books, A Bright and Steady Flame: The Story of an Enduring Friendship, by Luanne Armstrong, and What Forever Feels Like: A Memoir of Johnson’s Landing by Ellen Burt.


Ellen Burt has lived most of her life in the remote communities of Argenta and Johnsons Landing, at the North end of Kootenay Lake. She has written one previous book, When the Path is Not a Straight Line (Maa Press 2013). She currently lives in Nelson, B.C.where she writes memoir, poems, and performs spoken word. Acclaimed Kootenay poet Fred Wah writes about Ellen’s new book: “This back-to-the-land coming of age narrative…is a captivating account of the idealistic but earthbound aspirations of a smallholder; the farming, the firewood, the frozen pipes, and, above all, the community…a sweet story.”

Luanne Armstrong has written twenty-one books. She writes young adult books, fiction, nonfiction and poetry. She has contributed to many anthologies and edited a Canadian non-fiction anthology called Slice Me Some Truth.  Luanne presently lives on her hundred-year-old family farm on Kootenay Lake. She mentors many emerging writers all over the world and in the last three years, has edited eight books through to publication. Her new book, A Bright and Steady Flame: The Story of an Enduring Friendship, was published by Caitlin Press in October, 2018. She is deeply interested in researching the history of Kootenay Lake people and places.

Both of these memoirs offer deep insights into the nature of small communities and the history and development of such communities on Kootenay Lake. Ellen’s book offers colorful and nostalgic stories about Johnson’s Landing. Luanne’s book weaves together many stories set in the Kootenays over the seventies and eighties; while the core of her book is about the strength and endurance of women’s friendships.


Luanne taught writing classes for many years at Oxygen Art Centre, and over the years, mentored many writers from all over the Kootenays. Ellen is a very committed member of Spoken Word in Nelson. Both writers will be in attendance and look forward to seeing you there.


Public Talk with Tracy Valcourt @ Oxygen Art Centre @ #3A
Mar 9 @ 2:00 am – 4:00 am

Oxygen Art Centre Hosts a Public Lecture with Art Writer Tracy Valcourt


Free Public Lecture: “Scene from Above: Aerial Views of Landscapes in Crisis”:
Friday March 8th at 7pm
Writing Workshop: Saturday March 9, 10am-5pm
Studio Visits: Sunday March 10, starting at 10am


Oxygen Art Centre invites you to join us in our second in a series of weekend-long Masterclasses in Critical Writing on Art led by art writer and scholar Tracy Valcourt. This is a unique opportunity for practicing artists, curators, and arts writers to hone their critical writing skills, whether writing about your own work or the work of other artists. One-on-one studio visits with Valcourt are also available for an additional fee.

Tracy Valcourt lives and works in Montreal, where she is currently a Doctoral candidate and lecturer in art and writing at Concordia University.  Valcourt also has a long-time connection to the Kootenays, where she studied writing and sculpture at Kootenay School of Art. Valcourt has written reviews and feature articles for Border Crossings Magazine since 2005 and is working on a chapter for a book, Artistic Approaches to Cultural Mapping, with Dr. Sebastian Caquard. As part of her visit to Nelson, Valcourt will give a talk on her Doctoral work which investigates perceptions of landscape from an aerial perspective, titled “Scene from Above: Aerial Views of Landscapes in Crisis”.

The workshop will run over the weekend of March 8-10, 2019.  Valcourt will open the workshop with a public lecture on Friday, March 8 at 7 PM at Oxygen Art Centre. On Saturday, March 9th, Valcourt will hold a writing workshop from 10 am to noon followed by one-on-one consultations until 5pm. On Sunday March 10th, starting at 10am there will be opportunities for in-town studio visits with Valcourt. Enrolment is limited for both the workshop and studio visits so register early.

This is the second in a series of professional development Masterclass workshops organized by Oxygen Art Centre. The first was with curator and art writer Melanie O’Brian in October 2018. Participants found great value in having a cultural thinker and critical writer from outside the Kootenay/Boundary region address the group. This series is sponsored by the Columbia Kootenay Cultural Alliance. The Lecture is free of cost and the course cost is $100.00 with an additional $50.00 for a studio visit. To register for the course:,  Or email: .

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