Before I Let You In
Allow me to shed some light on one of Halifax’s best-kept secrets. It is a good one, folks. Before I let you in, first indulge me a little by allowing me to tell you what it is NOT!
“Is it a party where people drink Miller Light or something.” No, it is not and yes someone asked me that once.
No, not everyone sticks their finger up in the air when they drink their wine. But yes, there are a few. Pinkies are not weapons. I assure you there is nothing to worry about.
And most importantly, it is not just for book geeks like me. It is for anyone that appreciates the importance of supporting literacy.
Did you know that thirty percent of Canadian grade three students lack basic literacy skills? Not to get all statistical on you or anything but this number needs to be lowered. Wouldn’t you agree?
Why so Serious
“I thought you were going to reveal some big, fun secret? Why so serious of all of a sudden?”
Well, it is a fun secret. So much fun in fact that you will forget that you are helping build a stronger community in support of Frontier College; Canada’s original literacy foundation.
The staff, volunteers, and families that work with Frontier College all have a lot of heart. But we all know it takes more than love to pay the bills.
That is why I am letting you in on this best-kept secret, the Giller Light Bash.
Time for a Toast
Every year on the evening of the Scotiabank Giller Prize, which is held in Toronto, literacy lovers from across the country come together to raise a glass to the nominees.
We cannot all be in the big smoke for this star-studded affair (by star I mean Mary Walsh, this years gala hostess) but events are held in seven major cities; Halifax is on that list.
I have said this before, and will again, this is the Oscars for Canadian authors and their fans. The best part is you do not need a golden ticket to get in. For only twenty-five bucks, you get to take part in this great Canadian event; no hockey stick required. If you are a student, it is only ten dollars.
When you come together to celebrate Canadain stories deep connections can be made. Nova Scotia is filled with budding and seasoned entrepreneurs. If you are looking for that next great networking event,
well, look no further. You could not ask for a better group to get to know. Turn it into a business expense and meet your next client at the photo booth. This year the bash has snagged Hali-famous photographer Michelle Doucette to help capture the magic of the evening.
Tucked inside the Atlantica Hotel, the decor reflects a chosen theme to give it that extra touch of sparkle. This year is no exception with a Film Noir backdrop chosen to help accentuate the night. Fedora’s and fascinators are most welcomed but not necessary.
This bash offers light refreshment, wine, and the chance to win amazing prizes. The best part, however, is when local personalities take the stage to defend one of the shortlisted books. I am most looking forward to hearing our poet laureate, Rebecca Lea Thomas defend Eden Robinson’s, Son of a Trickster.
Come for the SWAG
For only a small investment you get a night out while helping to support an important local cause. If you are part of a book club, have them join you. If nothing else, come for the SWAG. You may just find your next book club good read.
What ends up in your takeaway bag is worth far more than you actually pay. Last year I also won two prizes which covered gifts for most of my holiday list. Be sure to get your tickets early though, I am telling everyone my secrets these days.
One Last Confession
Ok, the truth is, I have been attending the Giller Light Bash for a long time. I am helping a little with the planning this year. Full disclosure aside, I would still write this blog post even if I was not helping with the event.
The proof is here; a post from three years ago when I was just starting out as a blogger. The evidence is in the bad layout. No, I did not have to call attention to the horror of an unpolished post. It speaks however of the passion I have for this bash, while also illuminating that we all have to start somewhere. Start right now and make this your first Giller Light Bash night out. Please do come say hi.