Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Bloody Words by Lou Allin

Bloody Words is Canada's oldest and largest mystery conference. This year for the first time it will be held in British Columbia's capital city of Victoria on June 3-5 though the Arthur Ellis Awards for Canada's best crime writing will be presented on the 2nd at the same venue. Guests of honour include BC's own William Deverell, Michael Slade, and international bestseller Tess Gerritsen. 
The Hotel Grand Pacific, on the scenic Inner Harbour, has been named Canada's finest hotel by Conde Nast. Agents will be on hand for interviews, there will be a short story contest, and applicants may submit thirty pages of their work for critiques. In addition to a reception and award presentation to Deverell, Michael Slade will present his celebrated Shock Theatre, followed by a ghost walk in search of old Victoria's specters such as the elusive Amor de Cosmos. Panel discussions (literary, publishing, and forensic) will cap the programs, and a banquet Saturday night is included in the cost of the registration at $190. 

June is the City of Gardens' most spectacular time of year. With its colonial, low-rise downtown, many fine Victoria reminiscent of many European cities. Visit North America's oldest China Town, have tea on the veranda at the Empress Hotel overlooking the harbor where high tea has been served for over 100 years, see the fabulous First Nations exhibits at the Royal BC Museum, or stroll through the gardens and beaches of Beacon Hill Park, all within easy walking distance of our hotel. Or take a day trip to nearby, world-famous Butchart Gardens, Glendale Gardens, or Abkhazi Garden. Downtown is a shopping mecca, but Johnson St. is where you'll find Victoria's homegrown boutique industry and of course, there are restaurants too numerous to mention serving local fare from our coastal waters. Saving the best for last, whales abound in the waters around the capital and you have a good chance of seeing greys or even orcas on the trips that leave many times daily from the inner harbour. Only in Victoria do new whale calves make the front page.

Come and see for yourself.