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We are so excited to share our incredible lineup of presenters this year. Our selection committee has worked hard to bring you a diverse group of authors and illustrators from across Canada.

Meet Bookfest's 2020 Presenters!




Mike's Presentation:

Mike’s love for illustrative storytelling comes from an early love of reading and drawing while growing up on Salt Spring Island, British Columbia.


Capilano College’s Commercial Animation Program in Vancouver helped Mike fine-tune his drawing skills and imagination. Work as a concept artist, texture artist and art lead in the video game industry took Mike to England and California. He has illustrated many books over the last 10 years including including the Tank & Fizz series, Scholastic Canada Biography series and most recently Shadow Island: A Sueño Bay Adventure.


Mike lives with his family on sunny Salt Spring Island.



Marianne's Presentation:

Mixing reality and fiction, using emotions as a starting point for a story... Marianne has many different ways of approaching writing (and illustrating!). From her quiet The Lion and The Bird to her wordless book The Cat and The Fish, with the details in Mr Postmouse’s Rounds and the whimsical In Front of My House, discover her books as Marianne shares her stories and her creative process. And have fun as she draws based on the children’s ideas, creating funny unusual creatures!



Jami's Presentation:

Jami will share how her background in animation and film led her to a career as a picture book author/illustrator. With a behind-the-scenes look at her rough sketches through to final art, attendees will see her creative process and how art can be messy and imperfect (and that’s okay)! The presentation will exercise our imaginations through interactive story building and character design activities along with some live drawing.


Jami Gigot is the Author/Illustrator of the picture books Imagination vacation, Seb and the sun, Mae and the moon and the upcoming STARBOY. In addition to making picture books, Jami also works as a visual effects film artist. Her credits include such titles as Captain marvel, Avatar and the Chronicles of Narnia.
Originally from Madison Wisconsin, she has lived in Los Angeles, and London, England, but now calls beautiful Vancouver, British Columbia her home. When not busy creating stories, Jami enjoys combing the BC shoreline for treasures with her family. You can see more of Jami’s work on her website, or follow her on twitter @jlgigot


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Jessika's Presentation:

Jess is very excited to share her background in animation and character design and the story of how she ended up in the world of kids books. There will be jokes, drawing, stories, and a peek at big projects she’s worked on. We’ll finish off with a reading of It’s Not All Rainbows, questions and some high-fives. She looks forward to meeting you!

Jess is an illustrator, author and adventurous soul who loves to travel the world. She’s worked with Penguin Random House, Marvel/Disney, DC, ABRAMS, and many other clients. Her books include It’s Not All Rainbows and Why Can’t We Be Friends? releasing in 2020. When not illustrating Jess can be found long-boarding, lifting heavy things at the gym, walking her pup Charlie, sketching at a coffee house or laughing with friends. She lives in sunny Kelowna, Canada.



Sylvain's Presentation:

First nations clothing through stories and objects. Presentation on my technique of collage and paper making on this illustration.


Sylvain Rivard is a multidisciplinary artist who specializes in the arts and culture of first nations. As a consultant, he also works for museums, schools, publishing houses, television and film productions. He is the author and illustrator of a trilingual youth book series on indigenous clothing  called “it’s the land that dress me up” published by Hannenorak.



Kevin's Presentation:

Join Kevin Sands, author of the bestselling Blackthorn Key adventures, and explore life as a child in the 17th century: danger, disease, work, play, the mad medicines of the apothecaries, and the secret codes they used to hide them!   

Since escaping from university with a pair of degrees in theoretical physics, Kevin Sands has worked as a researcher, a business consultant, a teacher, and a professional poker player. He lives in Ontario, Canada. He is the author of the bestselling The Blackthorn Key series. 



Spencer's Presentation:

Explore the beautiful and historic Nootka Sound with Metis author Spencer Sheehan-Kalina. Nootka Sound In Harmony is a poetic celebration of the spectacular landscape, wildlife and an honouring of the communities that call this rugged northern edge of Vancouver Island home!



Kathy's Presentation:

Kathy aims to inspire student interest in both reading and writing by reading aloud from something she
wrote as a child, something published, and something soon to be published, and by discussing writing and
editing according to the age and interest of her audience.

Kathy has loved reading all her life but was almost thirty before she discovered she loves writing too. She has since become the author of over 30 books for young people and a number of short stories for adults. Mother of two, stepmother of two, and grandmother of six, she is still an avid reader. When she’s not reading or writing, she enjoys photography, jigsaw puzzles, crossword puzzles, spending time with family and friends, and walking her dog in the woods near her home in Rockwood, Ontario.​

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