Mini Incite: A Celebration of Indigenous Voices with the BC and Yukon Book Prize Finalists


(price does not include service charge)


Wednesday, June 17
7:00pm PDT
YouTube Live

Watch the video here.

For a stirring final event of the mini-Incite season, the Vancouver Writers Fest partners with the BC and Yukon Book Prizes to celebrate some of BC’s incredible Indigenous talent, all nominees for the 2020 BC and Yukon Book Prizes. These are stories of place, of displacement, of resilience and healing.

Helen Knott, a 2019 RBC Taylor Prize Emerging Author, shares her deeply intimate and provocative memoir of intergenerational trauma and becoming, In My Own Moccasins: A Memoir of Resilience (University of Regina Press), which is nominated for the Hubert Evans Non-Fiction Prize.

Joseph A Dandurand shares his insightful and sweeping poetry collection SH:LAM (The Doctor) (Mawenzi House Publishers), which follows the story of a Kwantlen man given the gift of healing. His collection has been shortlisted for the Dorothy Livesay Award for Poetry.

Francine Cunningham shares her debut poetry collection On/Me (Caitlin Press), a suite of emotive and powerful poems on her lived experience as an Indigenous woman, mental illness and urban life. Her collection has been nominated for the Jim Deva Prize for Writing That Provokes.

Sean Cranbury, the Executive Director of the BC and Yukon Book Prizes will host. Tune in with us live on YouTube for an unforgettable discussion, before the winners are announced Saturday, September 19, 2020. Learn more about the nominees at

Join us on YouTube Live for this special event on Wednesday, June 17 where we will begin streaming at 7pm PDT.

RSVP and submit a question for the panelists here.

Event Participants:

Francine Cunningham is an award-winning Indigenous writer originally from Calgary, Alberta but currently living in Vancouver, BC. She is a graduate of The University of British Columbia’s Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing program, a recipient of the 2019 Indigenous Voices Award in the unpublished prose category, the 2019 Lina Chartrand Award winner from Cv2, and a Hnatyshyn Foundation’s 2017 Revel Indigenous Arts Award winner. She was Grain Magazine’s Short Forms contest winner, was shortlisted for The New Quarterly Edna Staebler Personal Essay, and The Malahat Review Far Horizon’s Fiction contest. Her first collection of poetry titled On/Me is out with Caitlin Press. This collection has been nominated for a 2020 Indigenous Voices Award and the 2020 BC Yukon Book Prize Jim Deva Prize for Writing That Provokes.

Joseph A Dandurand is a member of Kwantlen First Nation located on the Fraser River about 20 minutes east of Vancouver. He resides there with his 3 children Danessa, Marlysse, and Jace. Joseph is the Director of the Kwantlen Cultural Center. Joseph received a Diploma in Performing Arts from Algonquin College and studied Theatre and Direction at the University of Ottawa. He has just completed his residency as the Storyteller in Residence at the Vancouver Public Library. He sits on a committee for the Canadian Museum of History and is tasked with consulting on the redesign of the new Children’s Museum. He has published 13 books of poetry and the latest are: I WANT by Leaf Press (2015), HEAR AND FORETELL by BookLand Press (2015), The Rumour by BookLand Press (2018), SH:LAM (the doctor) Mawenzi Press (2019), The Corrupted by Guernica Press (2020), and his children’s play Th’owixiya: the hungry Feast dish by Playwrights Press Canada (2019). His book of short stories and short plays for children, The Sasquatch, the fire, and the cedar basket, will be published by Nightwood Press along with his poetry manuscript Here we come (2020-21). He also is very busy Storytelling at many events and schools.

Helen Knott is a Dane Zaa, Nehiyaw, and mixed Euro-descent woman living in Fort St. John, British Columbia. In 2016 Helen was one of sixteen global change makers featured by the Nobel Women’s Initiative for being committed to end gender-based violence. Helen was selected as a 2019 RBC Taylor Prize Emerging Author. In My Own Moccasins is her first book.