Congratulations to the District of Sechelt on the completion of renovations to Rockwood Lodge, located in the beautiful Rockwood Gardens overlooking Sechelt. It was a privilege to attend the opening ceremony in May alongside Mayor Milne, archivist Ann Watson and Michelle Morton representing Nicholas Simons. Ann shared with us the very interesting history of the lodge which was built in 1935 to serve tourists who came in by steam ship. Today we are fortunate to have the use of this beautiful building and the grounds for community events throughout the year.
The renovation to the ground level of the lodge is stunning and accommodates the Sechelt archives which ran out of a room at the library. The main floor has high ceilings and is a welcoming, open gallery space for local artists.
A visit to the gardens always evokes memories of the Sunshine Coast Festival of the Written Arts, a signature annual event for the Sunshine Coast. Founded in 1983 by Betty Keller and members of the SunCoast Writers Forge, this year the festival celebrates its 36th year. The vision of the founders was to produce an annual literary festival featuring Canadian writers exclusively, which is going strong.
During the festival, Rockwood Lodge itself provides an intimate space for writers to gather. The Big Tent is where people have an opportunity to meet writers and buy their books.
Over the years, we have all had the opportunity to meet CBC personalities and elected officials mingling with the best of Canadian literary fiction and non-fiction talent. It’s always fun to pick out Senator Pat Carney seated in her usual spot. This year I would like to take note of the loss of Richard Wagamese to us. I love his books, and his appearance at the festival was a window into the personal, public and political challenges he and Canadians grapple with. The inscription he wrote to me in One Native Life scratched out his name Richard Wagamese and replaced it with “Not my name.” In the inscription to me, he wrote “To Pam, not Mrs Harper.” He brought a sense of humour that certainly helped us to connect better, and try harder, to know one another. His writing, like the festival itself, lives on.
I am so looking forward to attending this year’s festival, to reconnecting with friends and to enjoying the ambience of this wonderful place. Heritage is important to us, thank you all for caring for it.
Please visit: www.pgoldsmithjones.liberal.ca for more information. I welcome your thoughts – Email me: firstname.lastname@example.org, connect with us on Facebook: Pamela Goldsmith-Jones, or drop by our office in Horseshoe Bay, 6367 Bruce Street 604-913-2660.