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Creative non-fiction at the Banff Centre

Banff. Too much to say, will write more about it all tomorrow. I’m here for the Creative Non-fiction Collective’s conference, gave a Master Class this afternoon on the Writer as Performer. Amazing people, speakers, and this place, this heavenly spectacular place, the Banff Centre for the Arts. Above, a picture shot through the window of the bus from the Calgary airport to Banff.

Hemingway, one of the Leighton Colony studios in the woods – sometimes surrounded by elk – that writers, musicians and painters are eligible to use. I worked in Hemingway, named not for the writer but for an architect, three times, finished my first book there, love love love the tiny tranquil place.

Tunnel Mountain behind the Centre  – the classic Banff shot. To take this, I walked in the woods over lots of elk scat, luckily none from cougars or bears, as least that I could see.

Banff Springs Hotel – what a location! And below, a shot taken from our dining room of a storm coming in at dusk.


 I say humbly that this is one of my favourites of all the photos I’ve taken. Isn’t it an Alec Colville canvas? Also taken through our dining room window: three teenagers, one with this back to the most spectacular view in Canada, on their cellphones.

And then, to my delight, who was on the TV set above the bar taking about Obama in London with the Queen but my beloved neighbour Richard Berthelson, royal expert and commentator. It gave me a big hit of home far from home. Soon I’ll be able to hug him in the flesh.

The conference has been overwhelming, particularly the talk I’ve just come from by environmentalist activist and writer Wade Davis, one of the best talks I’ve ever heard, facts and ideas, thoughts and statistics and love of the land rolling from his tongue, about the destruction of the native headlands of B.C. by mining interests. Heartbreaking, yet funny, yet poetic, yet filled with anger and sorrow. I led a standing ovation at the end, and I do not do that lightly.

More anon.



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About Beth

I began keeping a journal at the age of nine. Nearly fifty years later, I started this online journal, sharing reflections, reviews, updates, and the occasional secret.

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