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Harrison Mooney

Memoirist, Journalist, Public Speaker, Educator, Activist

HARRISON MOONEY is a best-selling memoirist, award-winning journalist, public speaker, educator and activist from Canada’s west coast. The son of a Ghanaian immigrant mother, he was adopted at birth by a white, fundamentalist Christian family and raised in the Bible belt of British Columbia.

Harrison’s debut memoir, Invisible Boy, which traces his childhood journey “from white cult to Black consciousness,” was the winner of the 2023 Kobo Emerging Writer Prize for nonfiction, and has been shortlisted for two BC & Yukon Book Prizes, as well as the prestigious Hurston/Wright Legacy Award.

Before pivoting to publishing, Harrison worked for The Vancouver Sun for nearly a decade as a reporter, editor and columnist, winning the 2018 Jack Webster Award in breaking news reporting for his newsroom's coverage of the 2017 BC wildfires.

Harrison narrates season 2 of TVO Arts, an award-winning video series that decodes and demystifies iconic works of Canadian art, and is the regular host of Unbound, a growing collective that celebrates and nurtures Black creative voices. Founded in 2020 by fellow transracial adoptee Hope Lauterbach, the Unbound Reading Series produces literary events that feature emerging and established Black authors and poets.

Harrison's work has also appeared in The New York Times, The National Post, The Guardian, The Tyee, and Maclean's. He is the co-founder of long-running hockey blog, Pass it to Bulis, still going strong in its fifteenth year.

Harrison lives in East Vancouver with his family and family dog, Bootsy.

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Dr. Lyne Piché

Registered Psychologist

DR. LYNE PICHÉ will discuss how ADHD impacts sexuality. Her new workbook, ADHD and Sex: A Workbook for Exploring Sexuality and Increasing Intimacy, will soon be published and explores the intersection of ADHD and sexuality. This workbook is for you if you are diagnosed with ADHD, believe that you have ADHD or maybe you have a loved one that has ADHD. We will explore how ADHD can impact sexuality including various problems that are more common for people who have ADHD. Throughout the workbook, you are encouraged to create a plan of action as it relates to ADHD and its impact on you and your sexuality!

Dr. Lyne Piché has worked as a psychologist specializing in sexual issues for 25 years. She began her interest in sexual health during her University studies and specialized in the assessment and treatment of sexual problems. She provides sexual therapy, couples counselling, relationship counselling, trauma therapy, chronic pain therapy and forensic services in her private practice. The intersection of ADHD in sexual therapy has been a particular interest of hers in recent years.

Dr. Piché will provide an overview about ADHD and sexuality, discuss her new workbook about ADHD and sex, as well as answer any questions you might have about ADHD
and its impact on sex!


Rosemary Georgeson

Coast Salish / Sahtu Dene
Writer / Storyteller

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).

Rosemary Georgeson+Writer

Photo Credit: Jessica Hallenbach


Photo Credit: Michael Christie

Cedar Bowers


Cedar Bowers' short fiction has been published in Joyland, Taddle Creek, and The Malahat Review. ASTRA, her debut novel, was nominated for the 2021 Scotiabank Giller Prize. With her two children, she divides her time between Galiano Island and Victoria, Coast Salish Territory of the Lkwungen speaking people, the unceded territory of W̱SÁNEĆ, Penelakut, Hwlitsum Nations, and the ceded territory of the Tsawwassen First Nation.



 Kate Hennessy


Kate Hennessy is a scholar, artist, and curator of Irish and German descent who grew up on Galiano Island. She is an Associate Professor specializing in Media at Simon Fraser University’s School of Interactive Arts and Technology where her creative practice-led work explores the impacts of new memory infrastructures and cultural practices of media, museums, and archives.


Tim Higham

New Zealand

Tim Higham’s Island Notes: Finding my Place on Aotea Great Barrier Island received favourable reviews and was on the independent bookshops’ best seller list last year.


Described as “Part Man Alone, part love story, Island Notes explores questions of belonging, loss and impermanence and whether the life, seas and forests of a wild island can offer a reconciliation with our past.


Geoff Inverarity


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.

Morris+PaulaNZ+ Writer

Paula Morris

New Zealand

Paula Morris MNZM (Ngāti Wai, Ngāti Whātua, Ngāti Manuhiri) is an award-winning novelist, short story writer, essayist and editor from New Zealand.


Her novel Rangatira, about her Aotea-born ancestor Paratini Te Manu, won the 2012 New Zealand Post Book Award for Fiction and the Nga Kupu Ora Maori Book Award.


Paula regularly interviews some of the biggest names in literature at festivals around New Zealand. She teaches creative writing and is an associate professor at the University of Auckland.


Rodney Ngawaka

New Zealand

Rodney is a leader for his iwi and hapu and on behalf of Ngati Rehua Ngati Wai ki Aotea brings his mana, experience and intense love of conservation, and protection of native flora and fauna to many projects. Before returning to live in 2014 on Aotea he worked for the Ngatiawai Iwi Education unit as a storyteller, a mentor of young and old, and a cultural advisor and environmental te Ao Maori (Maori world view) educator in schools.


Photo Credit: Sydney Woodward

Giselle Vriesen


Giselle Vriesen embodies a fusion of vibrant cultures, boasting Jamaican, Chinese, and European-Canadian roots which she explores the mythologies of in her upcoming YA fantasy novel Why We Play With Fire debuting through Row House Pub., distribution Simon and Schuster (Feb 6, 2024). Nestled amidst the breathtaking beauty of the southern Gulf Islands on Canada's majestic West Coast, she resides in a sanctuary where creativity thrives and dreams are nurtured. When not immersed in her story writing, Giselle can be found doing tarot card readings, and making art.


Jenni Ogden

New Zealand

Jenni Ogden lives and writes on Aotea Great Barrier Island. She writes novels; book club fiction with a psychological slant for readers who love to immerse themselves in a domestic drama with evocative settings, centred on families or close friends. Confronted with unexpected life issues, her characters must dig deep to discover what really matters, and ask themselves what they are willing to sacrifice for the people they love.


Her debut novel, A Drop In The Ocean, was published in May 2016, by She Writes Press and has gone on to win multiple writing awards and has sold 80,000 copies.

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