Val Duthie, Vancouver Island Children’s Book Festival volunteer, donates book to Park Avenue Elementary School library, represented by teacher-librarian Heidi Fargo. The books are by authors participating in this year’s bookfest. Photo submitted

Bookfest helps fill school library shelves leading up to next week’s event

Vancouver Island Children’s Book Festival is June 1 at downtown Nanaimo venues

The Vancouver Island Children’s Book Festival is about connecting kids with books and authors, celebrating children’s literature and fostering a love of reading, and those ideals happen in a few different ways.

One annual Bookfest initiatives that has carried on this year is a program to donate books from participating authors in school libraries. That has been happening in the lead-up to this year’s June 1 event.

“It’s a fantastic program,” said Laura Foran, co-coordinator of Bookfest, in a press release. “It’s a really great way to, not only support underfunded school libraries, but give both acclaimed and emerging Canadian authors and illustrators more exposure.”

The program, now in its third year, is made possible through donations from individuals and organizations and Foran said Bookfest is “incredibly grateful” for the community support.

Bookfest volunteer Val Duthie delivered books to school libraries and reported that the teacher-librarians were thrilled to be receiving the books. She said in the past, children have shown interest in reading the books by authors they’ve met through Bookfest.

“It’s wonderful to hear that the festival is having a real impact on generating enthusiasm around books and reading,” Duthie said.

Bookfest takes place June 1 at Diana Krall Plaza, the Vancouver Island Conference Centre, Nanaimo Museum, Harbourfront Library and the Nanaimo Art Gallery. The day consists of presentations from numerous authors, and kids can choose which three they’d like to attend. Free autograph sessions with authors follow the talks. Presenters this year are: Linda Bailey, Emma Fitzgerald, Monique Gray Smith, Gabrielle Grimard, Michael Kusugak, Kit Pearson, Jordan Stratford, J. Torres, Nancy Vo and Sally Williams.

Tickets to Bookfest cost $10 per child or $25 for a family pass. Adults accompanying their children will be admitted free. To purchase tickets for find out more information, visit

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