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the Galiano Island Literary Festival


The Galiano Island Literary Festival (GLF), is a non-profit society based on Galiano Island, BC, which celebrates the voices of emerging and established writers through an annual literary festival and related programming. GLF seeks to support and foster connections between artists and communities through literary and educational events which showcase a diverse range of perspectives and backgrounds.


GLF events and programs will be grounded in our unique island community. 


Galiano Island Literary Festival promotes and celebrates the work of local artists and abroad through yearly literary programming.


Galiano Island Literary Festival celebrates the island community.

Photo Credit: Douglas Thistle-Walker

Galiano Island Rain by DTW

Photo Credit: Douglas Thistle-Walker

Galiano Morning by DTW

Photo Credit: Douglas Thistle-Walker

Guiding Principles

GLF seeks to promote openness and accessibility in the arts. Events will be open to emerging and established artists from a range of backgrounds, genres and orientations.

Events will encourage and celebrate the respectful expression of a diversity of viewpoints and opinions. GLF will seek to ensure events are inclusive and accessible to both artists and participants.


Programs will reflect and celebrate the unique island community. GLF will seek to explore and deepen our understanding of historic and current events which shape our community.


GLF will promote awareness and respect for Galiano’s natural environment by seeking opportunities to minimize environmental impacts of the festival events and programs.

GLF will seek to provide programs which are grounded in and responsive to Galiano’s community, culture and heritage.


GLF will provide relevant, educational and inspirational opportunities for local and emerging artists, community members, and program participants to connect, collaborate and learn from one another. GLF will support artists in developing and refining their craft, through workshops, readings and mentorship opportunities.


GLF will support and foster connections between artists across communities.



1989 – 1994 Gulf Islands Poetry Festival

Producer/Director Geoff Inverarity


2009 – 2019 Galiano Books Literary Festival

Producers/Directors Lee Trentadue and James Schmidt

2020 – Galiano Island Literary Festival

Producer/Director Galiano Island Literary Festival Society

1990 - 1994

Gulf Islands Poetry Festival

In 1989, Geoff Inverarity launched the Gulf Islands Poetry Festival, and ran a yearly event from 1989 to 1984  Writers taking part included Dorothy Livesay, Stephen Scobie, Patrick Lane, Audrey Thomas, Jamie Reid, and bill bissett. There was an emphasis on Performance Poetry and emerging artists. Many of the emerging writers like Miranda Pearson, Alexandra Oliver, and Catherine Owen who were invited to these Festivals have gone on to produce substantial bodies of work and have received numerous awards.


The guiding principle of the Festival was to present the work of established writers alongside emerging and marginalized writers who did not qualify for funding support from the Canada Council or the League of Canadian Poets; the inclusion of Slice, a collective of Street Youth writers was one example of this policy of mixing established and emerging artists at the same event.

2009 - 2019

Galiano Books Literary Festival

The Galiano Books Literary Festival, which ran for ten years under the exemplary direction of Lee Trentadue and James Schmidt of the Galiano Bookstore, grew and became a much-loved and deeply appreciated community event. The Galiano Books Literary Festival grew and became a much-loved and deeply appreciated fixture on the Galiano cultural calendar.   During those ten years, the Festival attracted an impressive number of writers and built a solid reputation as a forum for diverse works and genres.

Among the 250 writers who have come to Galiano over the past ten years are poets like Canada's first Laureate, George Bowering, Gary Geddes, bill bissett, Miranda Pearson, and the late Jaimie Reid. 


2009 - 2019

Galiano Books Literary Festival- continued

The Festival has hosted Governor General's Award winners like Rosemary Sullivan and John Pass; not to mention Galiano'sown award-winning novelists: Audrey Thomas, Meg Tilly, and Michael Christie.  Michael has just been nominated for a Giller prize for his wonderful novel Greenwood. We've seen Children's authors, First Nations writers and artists like Darrel J. McLeod and Sonny Assu, humourists Mary Walsh and Charlie Demers, as well as essayist, novelist and CBC personality Bill Richardson.


In 2018, the Galiano Books Literary Festival Society was formed, but in 2019 Lee and James decided to step back from the Festival and pass the torch to a different board.  A new society was formed to take the Festival in new directions.  Geoff Inverarity was invited to Chair.


2020 - Now

Galiano Island Literary Festival

The new Society, was formed just before the pandemic. During COVID, holding a Festival was not possible, however a single hybrid reading event was held in August of 2021 and served to whet the appetite for a 2022 Festival.  The 2021 event was a fundraiser and helped to test the equipment and logistics of running a hybrid or virtual Festival in the event of future health restrictions.


GLFs also put on a hybrid poetry event at the Inn. Words on Sunday Poetry Readings at the Inn June 2022. And more words were shared at the Hummingbird Inn in 2023.


This year, GLF is actively planning for multiple events on Galiano Island.  


Board Members

The Galiano Island Literary Festival Society board meets each month to plan, produce, and guide the direction of Galiano Literary Festivals. Each board member brings distinct skills to the table to help shape the society and literary events.


Geoff Inverarity Chair

Poet and screenwriter Geoff Inverarity has an LLB and an MA (Hons) from Aberdeen University, a PhD in English Literature from Queen's University, Kingston, and an MFA from the University of BC. He has won awards for his screenwriting, poetry, and non-fiction prose. His poetry collection, All the Broken Things, was published by Anvil Press in 2021.

Marianne Mikkelsen Secretary

An islander to her core, Marianne Mikkelsen moved to Galiano Island in January 2021 from Malcolm Island where she lived for 34 years. She is a retired Special Education Resource Teacher. She has served as secretary for many non-profits societies; Ragged Edge Community Network Society, Mount Cain Alpine Park Society, Sointula Resource Centre Society, and the Sointula Museum and Historical Society.

Lori McH+ GLF Board

Lori McHattie Treasurer

Lori McHattie is a long time visitor and current part-time resident of Galiano Island. When she is not exploring the beauty of Galiano she is a Clinical Counsellor both in private practice and in a Post-Secondary setting.

Rosemary Georgeson

Rosemary Georgeson (Coast Salish and Sahtu Dene) was born and raised in the commercial fishing industry, spending the first half of her life trolling between Galiano Island and Prince Rupert. Since leaving the industry, Rosemary has worked as a storyteller, playwright and filmmaker. Rosemary’s passion is in bringing youth, Elders and ancestors together through storytelling. Her stories are deeply rooted in her family history on Galiano Island. Georgeson has been recognized for her collaboration and sharing of stories with the award-winning play and CBC radio documentary Women in Fish. In 2014 she was the Storyteller in Residence at the Vancouver Public Library (2014).

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Head Shot Katzie Jess Hallenbeck.jpg

Photo Credit: Jessica Hallenbach

Camille Usher Profile.jpg

Camille Georgeson-Usher

Camille Georgeson-Usher is a Coast Salish / Sahtu Dene scholar, arts professional, and writer from Galiano Island, BC. Usher completed her MA in Art History at Concordia University and is now a PhD candidate in the Cultural Studies department at Queen’s University. She is the Executive Director of the Indigenous Curatorial Collective.

Kate Gunn

Kate Gunn was born and raised on Galiano Island. Kate is a partner at First Peoples Law LLP, a law firm dedicated to advancing the rights of Indigenous Peoples. Her short fiction has appeared in PRISM International, the Antigonish Review, and elsewhere. She currently lives with her family in Vancouver, BC.


Photo Credit: Bella K.

Donna Usher

While teaching Photography, Design, and Journalism at the Langley Fine Arts School for over 24 years, Usher initiated several passion projects: Arts Matter Lecture Series, Compassion 2 Action Conference, PA-MOJA, LFAS Photographic Mural, “This is Kwantlen” public art installation, and curated photography exhibitions and publications. Donna is now living on Galiano Island, excited to explore new creative possibilities.

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