Happening Tuesday
@ The Association for New Canadians Training Centre, 16 Smithville Crescent
Free Event

The Overcast’s book of the month is Sharon Bala’s very timely and topical novel, Boat People. You can read all about it all here. Canada’s latest author on fire is one of our own, and you can spend an evening with her (and CBC’s Heather Barrett) this Tuesday

“An Evening to Open Your Eyes” will feature a reading and chat with Sharon Bala, as well as tales of arrival from all over the world. The Boat People is vying for this year’s CBC Canada Reads Competition, in which 5 Canadian celebrities champion and defend 5 Canadian books.

This year’s theme is “One Book to Open Your Eyes.” Bala’s certainly does.

Her novel was inspired by a real life event. On the day she read the this quote on a Canadian exhibit on immigration in the 1950s  — “You have come to a good country. There is room for you here.” — a boat containing bearing nearly five hundred Tamils from war-ravaged Sri Lanka had arrived in BC.

“The government labelled these asylum seekers illegals and terrorists,” Bala has said. “Everyone onboard, men, women, and children, were thrown into prison. At Pier 21, seeing the words of that immigration official from the fifties, I wondered what kind of country these Tamils had come to. Was there room for them here?”

The event is hosted by CBC Weekend AM’s Heather Barrett, and will feature some live music and snacks. It is free and open to everyone.

CBC is recording the evening for future broadcast on CBC Radio One across Newfoundland and Labrador.