Nov 2: Speaking at Canada’s History Forum in Ottawa




Canada’s Next Great Storyteller


Canadian War Museum Ottawa, ON Sunday, November  2, 2014

Twenty years ago the Hudson’s Bay Company created Canada’s National History Society to help popularize and share Canadian History. In addition to their flagship publication The Beaver, now Canada’s History magazine, the society created a new award to recognize exceptional storytellers. Fittingly the award was named after its first recipient Pierre Berton.

Since that time the Pierre Berton Award has been presented to an exceptional group of writers and organizations that have dedicated themselves to sharing Canadian history. To honour this legacy we wanted to dedicate this year’s history forum to exceptional storytellers – both young and old.

This year’s program is now online and can be viewed here. You can register to attend in-person or online. Space is limited, so make sure you reserve early.


About the Canada’s History Forum

Established in 2007, the Canada’s History Forum brings together over 150 of Canada’s leading historians, educators, museum curators, community leaders and content producers in an annual discussion of issues and opportunities facing the Canadian history community. The event is free and open to the public. Students of media production, history and education in the Ottawa area are encouraged to participate.

Forum Programme

(Programme subject to changes)

10:00 am — Opening Remarks

Janet Walker, President and CEO, Canada’s HistoryNexenCanadian War Museum

10:15 am — Young Citizens

Presentation of the 2014 Young Citizens Video Project Winners.

11:00 am— Keynote session – Mark Zuehlke

Recipient of the 2014 Governor General’s History Award for Popular Media – The Pierre Berton Award

Noon — Lunch

1:00 pm — Storytelling for the Public

Michel Côté

David O’Keefe

Danielle Metcalfe-Chenail

2:15 pm — Break

2:30 pm — Storytelling in Education

David A Robertson

Neil Orford

Mike Ford

3:45 pm — Mark Reid, Editor, Canada’s History Magazine




McGill to host Montreal Launch of Polar Winds

Very excited to head back to my alma mater on November 4 to launch Polar Winds!



Ottawa Book Launch Announcement

Northern Lights: Two New Books Explore Canada’s Aviation Pioneers

Come celebrate with me and Crystal Sissons (Queen of the Hurricanes: The Fearless Elsie MacGill) at the Canada Aviation and Space Museum (11 Aviation Parkway, Ottawa, ON) on November 1, 2014 beginning at 6pm.

We will start things off with an engaging, illustrated talk  followed by a Q&A, book signing, and light refreshments. It is free and open to the public, but please RSVP to by October 25.

Thanks to the Canada Aviation and Space Museum for hosting us and to the Women in Science and Engineering for sponsoring the refreshments. Thanks also to our promotional partners, the Canadian Aviation Historical Society, COPA 8, and to our event coordinator Carolyn Leslie. If you’d like to help with sponsorship or promotion, please get in touch!

Crystal Sissons

Crystal Sissons is an independent historian and works at the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada in Ottawa. She completed her Master’s and Ph.D. in history at the University of Ottawa, after finishing undergraduate degrees in history and education at Lakehead University in Thunder Bay, Ontario. Crystal is also active in a number of organizations, including the Business and Professional Women’s Club of Ottawa within BPW Canada.


LitFest, and STARFest, and Words in the Park – Oh My!

This is going to be a wonderful and busy month of literary festivities around the Edmonton area, and I’m really excited to be making my debut at LitFest!


First off, I’ll be launching Polar Winds together with Ted Barris (The Great Escape) at the Alberta Aviation Museum on Friday, October 17 beginning at 6pm. We will be telling stories about some of our favourite historical characters in our books (with pictures!), answering your burning questions, and, of course, signing books. There may also be some northern flyers on hand to chat with you while you enjoy adult beverages and light refreshments.

Next up, I’ll be doing a noon-hour reading and Q&A at Churchill Square on Tuesday, October 21 with Michael Hingston as my host (and tomato blocker). Come and heckle! Word on the Square is a joint project for the Edmonton Arts Council and LitFest.

Then on October 25 I’ll have a table at Words in the Park in the gorgeous Strathcona County public library – but I’ll duck out from 1-2pm to talk about Polar Winds, history, and storytelling with the LitFest crowd in the performance space there.

The next day, I’ll sing for my supper at the Brunch of Writers, a very popular LitFest event, along with Jane Christmas and Liane Shaw. I’ve promised that I won’t read the section about cannibalism in Chapter 7! GREAT_ESCAPE_JACKET_FINAL_FRONT_E7

YEG Book Birthday Party @ Audrey’s

Thanks so much to Audrey’s book store in Edmonton for hosting my book birthday bash, and to Over the Top Cakes in St. Albert for providing the fabulous Polar Winds-themed cake. I had no idea what they had in mind, and it was one of the most amazing surprises. Thanks to Jen and her creative team for the delicious, edible art!



We kicked things off with a little intro, reading, and Q&A in the basement of Audrey’s – such a great space for events and lots to keep the kids entertained!


One of these kids included my adorable honorary niece! She reminds me of all the feisty women pilots, agents, and passengers I connected with for the book.


We were so lucky to have Denny May, son of aviation legend Wop May and accomplished writer and pilot in his own right, on hand. He gave book buyers an extra treat by signing Polar Winds too!


You can’t have a birthday party without a cake, right? So beautiful and yummy!


By the end of the afternoon it was time to kick off our shoes and relax. The kids (my little guy, Andre in the flight suit on the left) and HN got us started.

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