Tuesday, December 5, 2006

I'm off to Berton House in the Yukon next summer

Carolyn and I will be spending three months next summer in Canada's far north. We'll be living at Berton House, the childhood home of famed Canadian nonfiction writer Pierre Berton, in Dawson City, Yukon Territory; Dawson City was the heart of the Klondike Gold Rush, and is at latitude 64 degrees north, about 100 km due east (along The Top of the World Highway) from the Alaska border.

Berton House is administered as a writers' retreat, sponsored by the Klondike Visitors Association. Established Canadian writers apply to live there for three-month terms -- and I was just accepted. This will be a real chance to get away from it all, and concentrate on my writing.

Carolyn and I will head there early in July, and stay until the end of September, 2007. (I've been to the Yukon once before, as an instructor at the Yukon Writers Conference in Whitehorse during February 2002, and I fell in love with the people and the geography.) My plan is to come back at the end of September with Wake, volume one of my WWW trilogy, completed.

Because of this residency, we will miss the World Science Fiction Convention in Japan, and we'll also miss the NASFiC (North American Science Fiction Convention, which is in St. Louis in 2007). But we will be at the World Horror Convention in Toronto in the spring of 2007, the World Fantasy Convention in upstate New York in the fall, plus all these other events (and I will be back to Toronto in time for Word on the Street on the last day of September).

I'm very excited about this!

The fundraising dinner I was at last week was in support of Berton House, by the way.

More information about Berton House is here (click to enter) and here.

More about Dawson City is here.

Biographical details about Pierre Berton are on his website, in The Canadian Encyclopedia, and at Wikipedia.


At December 05, 2006 11:08 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

I hope your international audience can appreciate the relevance of this announcement. The mystique of the North helps identify Canada to Canadians. I'm sure it will look very good on you! (semi-royalty status conferred)

Very cool indeed.

At December 06, 2006 12:28 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Have you ever watched "Gold trails and Ghost towns"? Mike Roberts and Bill Barlee. This was an old show that began in the mid 1980's. Historian Bill Barlee was the story teller and Mike Roberts the host. Each week they'd pick a different topic usually about BC towns people and places. It was a half hour show. They mostly talked about places in BC during the gold rush periods and would bring in artifacts from Bill's enormous collection relating to the shows topic. The show ran from 1985-1996 and they ventured into the Yukon many times and into ALberta and Washington state.

There was always a gold story Bill would share at the end of the show and they made history fun. Bill Barlee ran as a Federal Liberal in the Okanagan area for awhile and was an MP. The show can be aired occasionally on "Lone Star" It was a half hour show but they packed a lot into it and sometimes they went on location and panned for gold and toured sites of towns no longer on the map.

Great stuff.

At December 06, 2006 4:25 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Neat stuff Rob!

I was in the Yukon in September for the first time in 20 years. It is a beautiful place. Berton House will be a BIG change from a penthouse in Missisaugua but I'm sure you guys will adapt nicely.

Just watch out for the bears. :)


At December 07, 2006 7:36 AM , Blogger Lou_Sytsma said...

The call of the loon awaits!


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