The murder of 14-year-old Reena Virk by schoolmates in Victoria., B.C. aroused deep concern about violence among children in our society. Throughout the ensuing trials, courtroom artist Heather Spears recorded these children and their stories in an attempt to understand what happened and why.

Spears’s sketches are now on display until June 25 in the Learning Centre Gallery, located on level two of the Irving K. Barber Learning Centre, adjacent to the Circulation Desk.

As part of the Gallery’s exhibition programming, Heather Spears will read from her new book of poems, Required Reading: A Witness in Words and Drawings to the Reena Virk Trials, 1998-2000. You can read more about the book here.

The reading takes place at the Lillooet Room, located on the third floor of the Learning Centre, on June 24 from 3 p.m. to 4 p.m. To ensure a seat, please RSVP to or call 604-827-4366.

Following the exhibition, Spears’s drawings will be added to the Heather Spears fonds at UBC Library’s Rare Books and Special Collections, where they will join more than 6,500 other sketches and drawings. Spears’s work includes other trial drawings, as well as drawings from writers’ festivals, music festivals and various other professions and activities. For more information, please see Heather Spears fonds.

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