by Patrick Mackenzie
Way back in 1971, venerable literary journal and Mags BC member EVENT was established at Douglas College. And despite the capriciousness of the literary landscape in regards to funding in this country, EVENT continues to champion new writing—both poetry and prose.
On October 26, EVENT celebrated 40 years of finding and fighting for creative writing worthy of an appreciative audience. And considering the precarious nature of literary and other arts funding, perhaps a 40th anniversary is a bit more than a milestone here. As current editor Elizabeth Bachinsky points out in her introduction to EVENT’s 40th anniversary issue, “…not one of our editors ever led EVENT Magazine without some significant fear of the end.”
So it is to the credit of EVENT’s editorial staff, both past and present—several of whom were in attendance at the, um, EVENT event—and their editorial assiduity, that EVENT consistently publishes work that regularly wins both local and national magazine awards, sometimes going so far as setting up the writers of these works for careers in the world of Canadian and international letters.
Former editors Cathy Stonehouse, Billeh Nickerson, Rick Maddocks, Calvin Wharton, and David Zieroth recalled stories to a sizable audience from their tenure at EVENT before reading their own work or the work of others. Rick Maddocks read an early story of his published by the journal for which he would go on to work.
Besides letters of hostility from rejected aspiring writers, Billeh Nickerson reminisced about the time EVENT received, in the mail, a peanut butter and jam sandwich on white bread with the note attached, “please find a sandwich enclosed for your consideration. Thank you for your consideration.” I wonder if that sandwich is still stapled to the EVENT office wall?
But for anybody still hungry, there was, like at any good anniversary, cake.
For more pictures, please see EVENT's Facebook album.
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