Visiting Artists and Authors

Tessa Zettel – July 2022. Tessa Zettel was the 2022 Woodhaven Writer in Residence. She works collaboratively between disciplines as an artist, writer and researcher to imagine and enact other ways of living. Tessa spent a month, from July 6 to August 4, developing and sharing her work as part of the T. Rudzinskaitė Memorial Amateur Lichenologists Society.

Nicola Harwood – June/July 2022. Artist and writer Nicola Harwood had the opportunity to spend time in the studio apartment at the Woodhaven Eco Culture Centre from June 25b to July 9, 2022, giving uninterrupted time to work on her writing and artistic practice. Read more about her time here.

Chantal Bilodeau– June/July 2021. Playwright, Chantal Bilodeau was the 2021 Woodhaven Writer in Residence. She is a Montreal-born, New York-based playwright and translator whose work focuses on the intersection of science, policy, art, and climate change. Chantal spent a month, from June 17 to July 24, at the Woodhaven Eco Culture centre working on her art practice, engaging with the community and offering a workshop.

Theresa Kishkan-  August 2015. Theresa Kishkan is a writer living on the Sechelt Peninsula on the west coast of Canada. Her work has appeared in many literary journals and she has published 10 books as well as 3 chapbooks.  She gave a reading at the Woodshed Reading Series from a selection of her work.

The 2015 Woodhaven Writing Intensive took place from July 5 – 17th, 2015.  Writers who stayed at the Centre included Mark Giles, Joan Crate, Cicely Nicholson, Warren Cariou and Alison Calder.

Teresa Posyniak– in May visual artist Teresa Posyniak spent two weeks at Woodhaven working on a series of paintings on Ponderosa Pines with Kelowna poet Nancy Holmes.  Calgary artist Teresa Posyniak was born in Regina in 1951. She brings to her art an incredibly versatile professional training that includes different disciplines and a wide range of materials. She has degrees in literature and drama; a BFA in printmaking and painting and an MFA in sculpture. Over the course of her thirty year career, she has worked with materials as diverse as steel, wood, silk, handmade paper, felt and oil. Her art has evolved from bold installations to paintings of tremendous sensitivity and beauty. Posyniak is best known for her work with encaustic, using hot beeswax to create rich, sensual surfaces that incorporate textures, drippings, splatters and layers of tinted, glowing colours. This is an extremely difficult medium demanding great skill, dexterity and speed. Posyniak has always been a socially engaged artist and her activism, primarily on behalf of women, children and the environment, informs her practice. In essence, Posyniak’s paintings deal with the human condition; her nudes are emotional, raw and layered in meaning. Notable among her works is Lest We Forget, 1994, a large scale sculpture dedicated to murdered women, which is permanently installed at The Law School at the University of Calgary. Posyniak’s oeuvre also includes culturally sensitive portraits of women. Consensus is a recent series depicting Blackfoot women, a unique collaborative project with Elder Linda Many Guns.

Jeff Latosik: On Friday June 19th Woodhaven Eco Culture Centre hosted a vibrant night of poetry and live music, featuring the award-winning poet Jeff Latosik, author of the acclaimed collections Tiny, Frantic, Stronger and Safely Home Pacific Western. Jeff Latosik’s award-winning poems have appeared in magazines and journals across the country. Live music was provided by the enchanting Syren + The Waves and by songwriter Darian Saunders. Latosik’s first collection of poetry Tiny, Frantic, Stronger won both the P. K. Page Founders’ Award and 2008’s Great Canadian Literary Hunt. Sarah Lindsay, author of Twigs & Knucklebones, writes that “Tiny, Frantic, Stronger is infested with cockroaches, silverfish, wit and sharp turns. Watch where you’re going: some of his lines broaden into fields; others are trap doors.”

Fred Stenson: award-winning novelist, non-fiction and film writer, Stenson came to stay at Woodhaven on June 12th. Stenson is the author of The Trade (Giller Prize finalist and winner of the Grant MacEwan’s Author’s Prize) and Who By Fire (Doubleday Canada, 2014). The Globe and Mail writes that Who by Fire is a “well-researched and compelling narrative about the price paid in our complex relationship with an industry on which we are now dependent.” After some lively music by Birds of Cray and poetry by Lauren Marshall, Stenson read from Who by Fire, the story of an Albertan farm family faced with the arrival of a dangerous gas plant, and welcomed a public Q&A on the subject of resource development, public accountability, jobs, lives and the environment.

Joanne Arnott: On June 5th, Woodhaven Eco Culture Centre was honoured to host Joanne Arnott, poet, arts activist, storyteller, and author of seven works of poetry, including the award winning Wiles of Girlhood, Halfling Spring: an Internet Romance, and A Night for The Lady. In Arnott’s newest collection, Halfling spring: An Internet Romance, (shortlisted for the 2015 Pat Lowther Memorial Award) “a series of notes unfolds the dance of desire versus trust through a long season of actual and metaphorical springtime” (Kegedonce Press). As the Vancouver Sun notes, “You don’t have to be in love to love this writing.” Woodhaven was the perfect intimate venue for this celebrated voice. Guest reading by Nicola Campbell, author of poems, stories and two books for children, Shi-shi-etko and Shin-chi’s Canoe.

Russell Thornton: 2015 Griffin prize nominee, and author of such works as The Fifth Window, A House Built of Rain (BC Book Prize finalist), Stones and Rain (Governor General’s Award finalist) and The Hundred Lives (2015 Griffin-prize shortlist). Thornton’s poems work the interplay of the human, the material, and nature as sacristy, a “beautifully articulated realm of the awkward dance between spirit and matter” (Coast Reporter). At Woodhaven he gave a wonderful public reading and spent a few days chasing owls and metaphors.

EILEEN DELEHANTY PEARKES:  Novelist and non-fiction writer, Pearkes, a resident of Nelson BC, stayed at the Woodhaven Eco Culture Centre for a few days in March 2015.  She was the UBC World Water Day keynote speaker.   Eileen brought her bike and finished off a writing project.  See the Sono Nis website for information about her book The Geography of Memory . Her UBC talk on the Columbia Basin Trust was informative, inspiring and challenging. We were delighted to have her stay with us.

KAREN CONNELLY: Poet, novelist, essayist, travel writer, Karen Connelly stayed in the top floor suite for the last two weeks of February 2015.   She wrote a short meditation on her visit on this blog:  Karen spent the two weeks walking in the woods,visiting noisy Bellevue Creek, and having dinners with her good friend Nancy Holmes. She also worked on revisions to a new novel and gave two readings in Kelowna (at Okanagan College and at Pulp Fiction, sponsored by the Writers Union of Canada and Lake Publishing Society.). And bought two pairs of excellent expensive boots.    Visit her website for details about her books and publications and see the poem she wrote while at the Centre:

CORNELIA HOOGLAND: Poet and playwright, Cornelia Hoogland stayed in our little loft studio for several days in October 2014.  She gave a reading in Vernon at the Gallery Vertigo with Kamloops writer Karen Hofmann and visited a second year poetry class with Professor Matt Rader.  Cornelia is a retired professor of the University of Western Ontario and now lives on Hornby Island.  Visit her website for details about her books and publications:

ERIN CANDELA: Visual artist Erin Candela stayed at Woodhaven’s upstairs nook as this [2014] summer’s last artist-in-residence (August). Her time in the area was spent on an immersive information-gathering community art project involving the sharing of food, stories and space in the homes of Okanagan residents. In exchange for dinner and conversation about identity, connection to the land, and anecdotal documentation of mythic moments and presence, she planted several permanent visual markers on-site, in the homes of her collaborators.  “The way that people identify and connect with the space and the place they live on and in speaks not only of the individual experiences of each, but contributes to a larger net of living, fluid and collective experience and national myth creation. In this project, I hope to begin to map these connections, learning through histories, food and physical engagement, and leave some visual documentation of a community, a culture, and a geographic presence in time.”  For more information please see Erin’s blog at or contact Erin at

LAURIE MACFAYDEN, a poet and visual artist from Edmonton, stayed at the Woodhaven Eco Culture Centre August 21 – 25, 2014.  Laurie was a featured reader at the Woodshed Reading Series. She read from her hot-off-the-press  second poetry collection, Kissing Keeps Us Afloat (Frontenac House).  Check out Laurie’s website:

DON MCKAY, renowned Canadian poet, stayed in the Studio Apartment as the Faculty of Creative and Critical Studies Visiting Artist from January 17 – 25th 2014.  Don met with students in CRWR 472, Editing and Publishing and talked about his role as founder and editor of Brick Books, worked one on one with graduate student poets Kelly Shepherd and Emily Nilsen, talked withe Eco Cultures Research group about his most recent essay “Betweenity” and Mary Midgely’s book “Poetry and Science.”   He met with a third year poetry class taught by Sonnet L’Abbe and an environmental thought class taught by Professor Kevin Hanna in Geography.  The visit was topped off by a public reading at the Okanagan Regional Library in downtown Kelowna.  We feel privileged to have had Don in residence at the Woodhaven Eco Culture Centre.

CAMILLE MARTIN:  Poet Camille Martin spent a week in the Studio Apartment this January 2014.  While here, she worked on an illustrated exploration of the life and work of Robert Zend (1929-1985), avant-garde Hungarian-Canadian poet and artist. This work features photographs, poetry, concrete poetry, collages, typewriter art, and fiction, some of it never before made public. Special attention will be given to Zend’s cosmopolitan literary spirit, including his international influences and affinities. She wil be posting installments twice a week on my blog, Rogue Embryo. Camille says “This has been a joyful and fascinating project, made possible by the kind assistance of many people, including members of the Zend family (Janine Zend, Natalie Zend, and Ibi Gabori) and the curators of the Zend fonds at the University of Toronto Library, Media Commons (Rachel Beattie and Brock Silversides), among others. ”  For those interested, here is the address for the first installment, “Preface with Portraits”:

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