SF Canada Welcomes New Executive

Logo1_black(1)At the recently-held Annual General Meeting of SF Canada, the organization was pleased to welcome a new Board of Directors who have offered to serve for the next term. The new Board members are:

Ira Nayman, President (Ontario)

Donna McMahon, Vice-President (British Columbia)

Judy McCrosky, Secretary-Treasurer (Saskatchewan)

Kristin Janz, Member-at-Large (Massachusetts)

Robert Dawson, Member-at-Large (Nova Scotia)

As a volunteer-driven organization, the membership is always appreciative of those who serve on the Board, and offers sincere thanks to the outgoing Board for their service.

Best wishes to the new Board!

Launch of “Water Is…” Celebrates Our Connection With Water

Water Is-coverContributed by Nina Munteanu

On June 12th, Councillor Jim Tovey, Mississauga Nation knowledge keeper Nancy Rowe and others helped Nina Munteanu celebrate the launch of her long-awaited book “Water Is…” with a water blessing of Mimico Creek and various water-engaging activities.

The environmental event “celebrated water and our connection with it” at Islington Golf Course in Etobicoke. The 75 people who attended also included the Toronto and Region Conservation Authority, Credit Valley Conservation Authority, Lake Ontario Waterkeeper, Ecologos (WaterDocs), Rethink Sustainability Initiatives, poets, writers and artists.

In her powerful and compelling blessing, Nancy Rowe said, “Water is life, water is healing, we owe everything to water.” Despite the celebration, Mimico’s ironic reality was reflected in the ceremony: “You used to be able to drink this water,” Rowe lamented as she used tap water for the water blessing ceremony. Vince D’Elia of TRCA gave Mimico Creek a failed report card and spoke about the need to educate the public on water and watersheds. Given that Mimico Creek flows some 33 km within a 77 square km watershed that encompasses three jurisdictions (Brampton, Mississauga, and Toronto); harmonizing efforts is no easy task. Councillor Tovey stressed connection of individuals, communities and jurisdictions to create awareness and action in re-wilding our watersheds and to foster beauty. He highlighted Mississauga’s extensive planning and investment into these initiatives, saying that they are setting the precedent for all Canadian cities for sustainability planning.

According to Tovey, Nina’s book “Water Is…” bridges the gap from awareness to appreciation, connection and final action.

“This book came from a lifetime’s dedication to water, humanity and our environment–from the moment I realized as a little girl that I felt the planet,” Munteanu confided during a press conference in Etobicoke. She suggested that water is the “glue” that can help us all connect and this book was the result.

Praise for Water Is…

“This book emotionally connected me with water…It reminded me that life reveals in each space a complex system that is full of surprise and beauty. A system of which I am part, without separation.”—Laura Fres, One Deep Sustainability, Barcelona, Spain

“A sumptuous collection of treasures…from the basics of matter itself to the social and spiritual aspects of this substance, which touches our lives so much and is still not really understood.”—Dr. B. Kröplin and Regine C. Henschel, “World in a Drop”, Germany

Water Is… is an adventurous, surprising and inspiring book that could not feel more timely. The writing swept me away on a journey through history, landscape and our entire universe, yet brought me back home in the end with a fresh perspective on the significance of water.”—Emmi Itäranta, author of Memory of Water, United Kingdom

“If you don’t want to read all those other books on water, just read this one.”—John Stewart, Mississauga News, Ontario, Canada

“[Nina] is immersed well enough in water to tell us about how we should think about it. And the way she goes about it in this book is awfully good…A fine achievement.”—Joseph Planta, The Commentary, Vancouver, Canada

“This book leaves me impressed. From science to science fiction, from philosophy to religion, from history to fairytale, the role of water is illustrated and illuminated. Water is probably the best investigated and least understood substance on this world, yet we still don’t know how to describe it in a better way than calling it H2O. This book tries to zero in on the missing part, the great unknown of water, and it does it in a very intelligent and charming way.”—Elmar C. Fuchs, scientist, WETSUS Program Manager, Netherlands

“Kudus to Nina Munteanu for sharing her deep wisdom, experience and knowledge of humanity’s greatest natural resource!  As Leonardo da Vinci said, “We forget that the water cycle and the life cycle are one.” We forget at our own peril and so I am deeply grateful for this book by so highly qualified an author!”—Elisabet Sahtouris, evolution biologist, futurist, author of Gaia’s Dance: The story of Earth & Us, USA


The Meaning of Water

water-is-pbook-coverFrom Nina Munteanu…

For those of you in the Toronto area and interested in the environment and water, I am hosting a Water Event and book launch of my recently released book “Water Is…” on June 12th (Sunday) at Islington Golf Course (1-5pm) in Etobicoke (near Islington and Dundas W).

Just to entice you, we start with a blessing of Mimico Creek–known to be unruly at times–by a Mississauga nation knowledge keeper. That will be followed by a short talk about Mimico watershed by a TRCA naturalist. Then we move inside to mix and meet. Councillor Tovey will talk about the coolest things he is doing about city planning and water. Then we will have some awesome poetry. Tasnim Jivaji will exhibit her water art and bazillion other interesting people will be there … including you.

Bring family, friends, anyone who cares about water… Then let Debby know with an RSVP: debby@mdgassociates.com.

Writers are encouraged to bring their work and promo material; there will be a show and tell table and plenty of time to mix and share.

In some very important ways, this book is my life’s work and the culmination of a lifetime of work, play and dedication. If you want to know more about “Water Is…” you can visit www.TheMeaningOfWater.com

Or go straight to this page: https://themeaningofwater.com/water-is/

Jo Beverley (1947 – 2016)

Contributed by Paula Johanson

JoBeverleyWith the passing of our friend and SF Canada member Jo Beverley, we have lost a Canadian writer active in both romance and science fiction genres. Unlike most authors of historical romances set in England, Jo Beverley was actually English by birth though of Irish descent. She kept her Lancashire accent even after thirty years in Canada, and her marvelously good manners were warmed with good humour.

As a child Jo began writing as soon as she could string sentences together. Her juvenilia includes a romance novel set in medieval times, which she wrote in an exercise book when she was sixteen. It’s my hope that in this day of e-books and annotated manuscripts, a smart publisher will make that early novel available with commentary!

She earned a degree in English history from Keele University in Staffordshire, where she met Ken Beverley. They were married shortly after graduation, while she worked in youth employment and he became a scientist.

In the mid-seventies, she and Ken moved to Canada where they gained dual citizenship. It took attending a talk at a library to get her seriously writing the manuscript that became her first historical romance. Until the 1980s she hadn’t thought of writing as something ordinary people did, but then things came together in her life to let her apply herself seriously to her writing.

After raising their family in Ottawa, Jo and her husband moved to Victoria, BC, during the time that SF Canada members knew her best. She made us welcome in their home, and was a generous colleague among fellow writers. Visiting her home was a pleasure for SF Canada people in Victoria. In later years when her posts would come on our listserver or on Word Wenches blog, recommending markets or useful programs, it was easy to remember her saying similarly helpful things in the yard of her Oak Bay home or the haunted house in Fairfield. She took a spin on my three-wheeled bike one day, her first ever on a cycle.

Among authors of historical romance, she became a legend, a bestselling author with multiple awards. Publishers Weekly called her “today’s most skillful writer of intelligent historical romance.”

In addition to her four stories of science fiction and fantasy, her romance works included over forty-seven novels and eighteen novellas, a few of which included charming light touches of a fantasy element such as a sheela-na-gigh carving which granted wishes but at a price. “The SF side of romance (as opposed to paranormal such as vampires etc) has been neglected,” as Jo observed. She was pleased to see that Canadian publishers might be waking up to the importance of popular fiction.

In 2009 she and Ken returned to England. By 2012 she had survived cancer and moved on to new writing projects. Until the last months of her life, Jo was an active participant in her circles of romance writers and science fiction writers. Among other projects, she was making electronic content to supplement her print books. Their sons and grandchild still live in the Ottawa area, and Jo and Ken were planning to return to Canada; but her cancer returned. She passed away Monday, May 23, 2016.

A detailed note on Jo’s passing has been written by her friends on the Word Wenches blog. Ken appreciates all the cards he has received, and has told the SF Canada people: “But I’d rather you just ‘posted a card’ to the Wenches memorial page:
There will be a family and other friends memorial page set up soon — a link to it will be posted on the Wenches page when it is up and running.”


Reading and Discussion

CyclingtoAsylum-readingMontréal SF writer Su J. Sokol will be reading from her Sunburst nominated novel, Cycling to Asylum, at Perfect Books at 258 Elgin Street in Ottawa on Sunday, May 29th at 2:30. Entry is free and a short discussion will follow the reading. If you are in the Ottawa area, please stop by and welcome this new SFCanada member!

Dave Duncan Inducted Into CSFFA

Dave-Duncan-miniSF Canada is pleased and proud to congratulate founder member and honorary lifetime member Dave Duncan on his induction into the Canadian Science Fiction & Fantasy Association’s Hall of Fame. The Hall of Fame was established to recognize “outstanding achievements that have contributed to the stature of Science Fiction and Fantasy” in Canada.

With over fifty science fiction, fantasy, young adult and historical titles to his credit, Duncan has entertained and enraptured readers with such series as A Man of His Word, The Seventh Sword, and his King’s Blades novels, as well as The Great Game and many standalone works. Hailing originally from Scotland, Duncan has lived all of his adult life in western Canada, working as a petroleum geologist before embarking on his writing career. His books have been translated into fifteen languages and he has been known to write under the occasional pseudonym.

Read more about Dave Duncan’s work and feast your eyes on his wonderful Maps collection at his website at www.daveduncan.com.

Congratulations from all of us at SF Canada!